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Oppression of Women Journalists

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Michigan Law Review: “Law’s Expressive Value In Combating Cyber Gender Harassment”

The online harassment of women exemplifies twenty-first century behavior that profoundly harms women yet too often remains overlooked and even trivialized. This harassment includes rape threats, doctored photographs portraying women being strangled, postings of women’s home addresses alongside suggestions that they are interested in anonymous sex, and technological attacks that shut down blogs and websites. It impedes women’s full participation in online life, often driving them offline, and undermines their autonomy, identity, dignity, and well-being. But the public and law enforcement routinely marginalize women’s experiences, deeming the harassment harmless teasing that women should expect, and tolerate, given the internet’s Wild West norms of behavior.

The trivialization of phenomena that profoundly affect women’s basic freedoms is nothing new. No term even existed to describe sexual harassment of women in the workplace until the 1970s. The refusal to recognize harms uniquely influencing women has an important social meaning—it conveys the message that abusive behavior toward women is acceptable and should be tolerated.

— Danielle Keats Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law in “Law’s Expressive In Combating Cyber Gender Harassment”, Michigan Law Review, Nov. 29, 2009

It’s good to see women attorneys who are increasingly focusing on this issue.  The 2007 attacks on Women’s Space are cited here.

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Couple Smeared Online Awarded $13.78 Million in Libel Judgment

A long-overdue heads up to all who have destroyed — or attempted to destroy — women’s reputations by trashing us online.  Yes, this ruling and judgment are troubling in some ways; still, destroying women by telling lies about us and ruining our reputations, or trying to, need to end, and this is a first step in that very positive direction.

On Friday, three years after a Collin County jury acquitted the Leshers and their employee of aggravated sexual assault, a Tarrant County jury awarded the couple $13.78 million in a libel judgment. The ruling sends the message that people have the freedom to write what they please online, but they can be held accountable.

The award is the largest ever assessed in an Internet libel case, the Leshers’ attorney, Meagan Hassan, said Tuesday…

“This was clearly a vendetta,” [plaintiffs’ attorney] Hassan said. “We originally sued 178 John and Jane Does, and it all came down to two IP addresses.”…

The abuse grew so bad that the Leshers closed their businesses and moved away from Clarksville, where they had lived for more than 20 years, Hassan said. Mark Lesher now practices law in Mount Pleasant and Texarkana, and his wife has given up her salon. Continue reading

Rush Limbaugh, Voyeur

Limbaugh said a lot more than that a woman attorney was a “slut.”  This is what he said:

“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis…If we are going to pay for your contraceptives…We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

What a pathetic excuse for a man.

The Disappearance of Gertude Beasley

“Gertrude Beasley’s memoir of growing up dirt poor in and around the Bible Belt town of Abilene, My First Thirty Years, was released in 1925 by Contact Press in Paris. That’s the same press that published James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. H.L. Mencken hailed Beasley’s book as one of the best coming-of-age books ever …

“Despite these accolades, her memoir is largely unknown. Its violent and sexually deviant material caused it to be banned in Britain, where Beasley was living at the time. Most copies were destroyed by Scotland Yard and U.S. Customs. The few that made it to Texas were mostly yanked off shelves by the Texas Rangers, probably on the orders of prominent Texans maligned in her book. Then the author vanished. She was 35. Continue reading

Free My Beautiful Boss, My Friends and Colleagues at SCM!

Free My Beautiful Boss, My Friends and Colleagues at SCM!.

Syrian blogger Gazan Rhazzawi has been freed from prison but eight of her journalist colleagues remain imprisoned.  Please spread the word and put as much pressure as possible on Syrian authorities.

Syrian Blogger Razan Ghazzawi (Razaniyyat – رزانيّــــات) Arrested

I am one of those people who are against including children in protests at times of revolutions, children should stay home, especially in cities like Homs and Idleb. But the children martyred last night in Karm El-Zeitoun were home, and that did not protect them, it rather killed them. Yesterday regime army bombed the neighborhood of Karm El- Zeitoun in the city of Homs and destroyed several buildings, two whole streets were evacuated, and 27 civilians killed, many were injured…

The names of children killed by the regime in Karm El-Zeitoun Massacre 26-1-2012 are:

1-Waed Hamsho
2-Sana’ Akrah
3-Najem Akrah
4-Samira Bahader
5-Sidra Bahader
6-Abdel Ghani Bahader
7-Kinana Akara
8-Ali Akrah

The above is an excerpt from iconic Syrian Blogger Razan Ghazzawi‘s February 13 blog post.  Ghazzawi, who was born in the United States, has been blogging courageously under her own name since 2009 and has been arrested in the past.  As of today she has been arrested again, for what she’s been writing, along with human rights activist Mazen Darwish, who heads the Syrian Center for Media and Free Expression.  Women bloggers put human, human faces on the horror of war.  There were not just “eight children killed” in “fighting in Syria.”  The children whose names are written here were killed by the Syrian regime.  For atrocities like this to end, ever, the dead must have faces and names.

Anyone giving information to international media or international NGOs may be targeted,” said Soazig Dollet, Middle East and North Africa researcher for Reporters Without Borders. She said in the past, arrested Syrian journalists have been interrogated, tortured and kept in solitary confinement. (More here)

Learn about the war in Syria here.

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