‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

A famous act of political violence is often used to illustrate the utter collapse of civic norms in the run-up to the Civil War: the caning of Charles Sumner by his fellow congressman, Preston Brooks of South Carolina, on the floor of the Senate.

It turns out, though, that this was just one of dozens of incidents of violence in Congress in the period between 1930 and the first shots fired at Fort Sumter, ranging from physical menacing to threats to brawls to duels—including one that killed an elected representative. This phenomenon, which has been little-understood thanks in no small part to the euphemism-laden legislative records of the era, has been rediscovered in The Field of Blood, a fascinating and upsettingly timely new book by Joanne B. Freeman. A professor of history at Yale, one of the world’s leading experts on Alexander Hamilton, and co-host of the podcast Backstory, she’s studied political violence for decades.

via ‘Norms Are Being Challenged All the Time’: Joanne Freeman on Civility and the History of Congressional Brawls

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Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

Federal inspectors conducted an unannounced visit of an immigration detention center in southern California and found “serious violations” throughout the facility, where guards improperly placed adult inmates in disciplinary segregation and ignored more than a dozen “nooses” fashioned out of bedsheets.

The report, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, also showed that medical staff at the Adelanto, Calif., facility disregarded federal regulations governing the treatment of inmates by doing only cursory checks of inmates and making them wait months, sometimes years, to receive basic dental care, leading to tooth loss and “unnecessary extractions.”

via Federal inspectors find nooses, “serious violations” at ICE facility

The 2019 Women’s March Will Take Place in January

Break out your poster board from wherever you… store your poster board… because the National Women’s March is BACK, baby. Or, at least, it will be back in January 2019, per organizers.

The New York Times reports that the third annual National Women’s March will take place on January 19 of next year, with planned actions in cities across the nation and world. The main march will take place in Washington D.C., though organizers say they’re still hammering out the route and other permit-related details.

via The 2019 Women’s March Will Take Place in January

Leta Hong-Fincher on Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China

In 2015, a group of feminist activists in China planned to commemorate International Women’s Day by handing out stickers calling out sexual harassment on subways and buses in cities throughout the country. For several years, they had been engaging in provocative performance art—acts of consciousness-raising that involved everything from their donning white wedding dresses doused in fake blood to call attention to domestic violence to holding street actions protesting the lack of equality in the number of women’s public toilets, dubbed “Occupy Men’s Toilets.”

via Leta Hong-Fincher on Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China

Stockton University Allegedly Fails Women After Sexual Assault

A New Jersey university failed two former students after they were assaulted, two new federal lawsuits claim.

The first suit, filed Monday, involves a Stockton University student who says she was sexually assaulted by a fraternity member at a Pi Kappa Phi house party in 2012, The Trentonian reports. (23.1% of female undergraduates expert rape or sexual assault while in school, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.) The student says she tried to report her assault to police when they broke up the party approximately one hour later, but the officer told her to stop talking about it after she told him she’d punched the frat house member in self-defense.

via Stockton University Allegedly Fails Women After Sexual Assault

UCLA Student Sues ZBT, SAE For Failing To Do More to Prevent Assault

In 2017, a UCLA student filed a Title IX complaint against another student for sexually assaulting her and won. (Her attacker, Blake Lobato, was expelled.) She is now suing two fraternities and a student group representing the interests of other frats on campus in order to change “a culture of alcohol abuse and sexual transgression,” reports the LA Times.

The civil complaint (filed under Jane Doe) accuses fraternities, especially Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, with “[doing] little-to-nothing to protect their members and guests from harm.” It also accuses the SAE chapter at UCLA of failing to intervene on the night she was sexually assaulted by Lobato:

The complaint alleges that Sigma Alpha Epsilon members continued to ply Jane Doe with booze although she was visibly drunk at the fraternity’s house party on Aug.12, 2016. It also alleges that the fraternity failed to provide security or supervision.

via UCLA Student Sues ZBT, SAE For Failing To Do More to Prevent Assault

Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

“I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity,” Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh said on Monday in what has now been his second statement denying sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee but senators remain divided over whether to postpone voting on Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee or let Thursday’s vote carry on as scheduled. Trump himself seems committed to Kavanaugh’s nomination. When asked on Monday if Kavanaugh offered to resign, Trump responded: “What a ridiculous question.”

via Brett Kavanaugh, Sexual Assault, the Threat to ‘Every Man’

McDonald’s Workers to Go on 1-Day Strike Over Sexual Harassment

For Kim Lawson, who began working at a McDonald’s in Kansas City, Missouri last year, sexual harassment seemed to come with the job. Almost immediately after she started, she said, a coworker began brushing up against her numerous times and went out of his way to be near her, always standing too close. He would give her gifts, something he didn’t do to anyone else they worked with. But when she told a manager about her coworker’s behavior, no action was taken: “He still worked the same shift. He was still around,” Lawson told Jezebel. The experience soured her on reporting any harassment, so when a night shift manager began hitting on her, making lewd comments about her body, she felt like saying anything would be useless. And since he was a manager, she said, “I felt like I had to be nice about it.”

via McDonald’s Workers to Go on 1-Day Strike Over Sexual Harassment