New York City Parks Department at Center of Sex Abuse Scandal

n 2016, state investigators found that a New York City Parks Department supervisor, Jeffrey Blount, had pressured a woman employee into having sex with him, threatening to fire her unless she agreed. According to the New York Times, this was not the only time investigators found that Blount had sexually abused and harassed women whom he supervised. Instead of being fired, he was allowed to resign, and as part of his agreement with the city, officials promised not to mention his history of sexual abuse and harassment to any prospective future employer—a common practice that allows abusers like Blount to continue to find work, potentially putting other unsuspecting coworkers at risk.

Blount was not the only New York City employee who, after being found to have sexually harassed fellow workers, was allowed to resign with few consequences for their future employment prospects.

via New York City Parks Department at Center of Sex Abuse Scandal

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First Female Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Resigns Due Some Very Bullshit-Sounding Circumstances 

However, Lehnertz soon found herself battling accusations against her. In October, the inspector general of the Interior Department investigated claims that she issued a wrongful one-day suspension, “bullied or retaliated against male leaders,” and wasted park funds on renovating a park residence. All that sure smacks of a good old-fashioned bitch hunt by a bunch of dudes waving misandry banners.

via First Female Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Resigns Due Some Very Bullshit-Sounding Circumstances 

Irish PM brings partner to meet Mike Pence and delivers pointed remarks on sexuality | US news | The Guardian

The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, who is openly gay, brought his partner to a meeting on Thursday with the US vice-president, Mike Pence, a conservative Christian once dubbed “the face of anti-LGBTQ hate in America”.

Varadkar, who is in Washington this week to reaffirm the longstanding shared history between the two countries, brought his partner, Matt Barrett, to a St Patrick’s Day breakfast at the vice-presidential residence at the Naval Observatory.

Varadkar tweeted that he and Matt had received a “warm reception” at Pence’s home, but in pointed remarks to Pence and gathered media, he also called out various forms of discrimination.

via Irish PM brings partner to meet Mike Pence and delivers pointed remarks on sexuality | US news | The Guardian

A feminist’s guide to raising boys | Life and style | The Guardian

It’s always the things you think will be a doddle that end up causing most heartache. When I was asked to write about being a feminist and a mother to three boys, I imagined dashing off something witty, yet touching and wise, and never thought for a moment I’d end up losing my temper (several times) or in tears, or storming away from meals, and feeling like a failure. Did not see that coming.

How do you raise boys? My extremely authoritative sources for this article were: my friends; my children (I interviewed two of them, but the middle one refused and now says, “Is it a gender thing?” every time it seems funny); my husband; some brilliant books; and a huge number of conversations, including one in the pub with a friend who is, genuinely, a professor of feminism. In no particular order, this is what I learned.

via A feminist’s guide to raising boys | Life and style | The Guardian

Mikaela Shiffrin Isn’t Tired Of Winning, But She’s Maybe A Little Tired Of Eggs

Despite all of that history-making, the 23-year old from Vail, Colorado, insists she’s trying to keep the accolades out of her head and focus on her turns. But when you’re bashing records this constantly, how is that even possible?

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Last week, over FaceTime from her hotel room in the Czech Republic, Shiffrin and I talked gross eggs, 1.5-hour naps and why walking away from the last Olympics with two medals left a sour taste in her mouth. (This interview has been condensed and edited for space and clarity.)

via Mikaela Shiffrin Isn’t Tired Of Winning, But She’s Maybe A Little Tired Of Eggs

Shannon Lee Goessling, OVW Nom, Says Arming Women Prevents Rape

Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women is a former prosecutor and rightwing culture warrior who notably believes that women who are armed with guns are less likely to be raped. Surely this will all end well.

While the nomination of Shannon Lee Goessling was announced in June and a hearing date has not yet been set, anti-violence organizations are mobilizing to play defense. Part of that has included publicizing her record on violence against women and related issues that would come under her purview in the office. Goessling does not have a long career working on issues of violence against women; even as the White House highlights Goessling’s time as the “head [of] the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit in Georgia’s largest county,” her own LinkedIn profile states that she was only in that position for nine months.

via Shannon Lee Goessling, OVW Nom, Says Arming Women Prevents Rape

Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

For months, the landmark Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress, and last month, funding for the bill expired, putting programs that support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking at risk. On Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers reintroduced the bill, hoping that in 2019, with a Democrat-stacked House, Congress will finally reauthorize the critical piece of legislation.

On Thursday morning, four people appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on VAWA: Ramona Gonzalez, a Wisconsin family court judge who oversees cases of domestic violence; Sarah Deer, a law professor who has built her career advocating for the rights of Native Americans in sexual assault and domestic violence cases; Rob Valente, a policy consultant for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and finally, Julia Beck, a self-identified radical lesbian feminist who has, in recent months, become a beloved figure in conservative media for her exclusionary, anti-trans views.

via Republicans Invite Anti-Trans Feminist to Hearing on Violence Against Women Act

Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

A high school senior chose to sit out the Colorado state wrestling championships in order to avoid sparring with two opponents who ended up becoming the first female wrestlers to ever place in the tournament.

The Denver Post’s reporting of the incident was really something, placing Colorado teen Brendan Johnston at the center of the story as the one making history. In the article, Johnson said he didn’t want to compete against Jaslynn Gallegos and Angel Rios because of the “physical contact” wrestling entails:

via Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

A feminist’s guide to raising boys | Life and style | The Guardian

t’s always the things you think will be a doddle that end up causing most heartache. When I was asked to write about being a feminist and a mother to three boys, I imagined dashing off something witty, yet touching and wise, and never thought for a moment I’d end up losing my temper (several times) or in tears, or storming away from meals, and feeling like a failure. Did not see that coming.

How do you raise boys? My extremely authoritative sources for this article were: my friends; my children (I interviewed two of them, but the middle one refused and now says, “Is it a gender thing?” every time it seems funny); my husband; some brilliant books; and a huge number of conversations, including one in the pub with a friend who is, genuinely, a professor of feminism. In no particular order, this is what I learned.

via A feminist’s guide to raising boys | Life and style | The Guardian

Sexual Violence Is an ‘Inescapable Part of the Collective Migrant Journey’

Sexual violence has “become an inescapable part of the collective migrant journey” for women who cross the border—and it doesn’t end once they enter the United States, as a new report from the New York Times makes painfully clear. From smugglers who exploit women making the journey north to Customs and Border Protection agents and Border Patrol officers who then use their authority to abuse women in their custody, the threat of violence can be ever present.

The current dangers associated with the journey are largely a product of U.S. border policy, which has forced people to rely even more on human smugglers and take increasingly dangerous routes to the United States. As a team of researchers wrote in 2016, “As migrants were diverted away from relatively safe and well-trod pathways in urban areas into more remote, isolated, and environmentally hostile sectors of the border, crossings grew increasingly difficult and hazardous and the share relying on the services of a paid guide, which had always been high, steadily rose.” Our border policy, specifically the Clinton-era policy of “prevention through deterrence,” said No More Deaths’s Justine Orlovksy-Schnitzler in an earlier interview with Jezebel, is “functioning exactly as intended.” She added, “The Trump administration has emboldened both government and non-governmental actors against migrants, which often creates deadly outcomes.”

via Sexual Violence Is an ‘Inescapable Part of the Collective Migrant Journey’