Business as usual or not: Rape, social media.

Here we have incontrovertible evidence of happy young people not only hurting and humiliating others, but taking pleasure in it, posing with their victims. The Abu Ghraib torture pictures were trophies. The Steubenville rape photos are trophies […] The Steubenville rapists had fun, and they broadcast that fun to the world. They were confident that nothing could touch them, so baffled by the idea of punishment that they wept like children in court.

→ New Statesman, Laurie Penny: Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment

This may be the end of the cycle that began with Friendster and Livejournal. Not the end of social media, by any means, obviously. But it feels like this is the point at where the current systems seize up for a bit. Perhaps not even in ways that most people will notice. But social media seems now to be clearly calcifying into Big Media

→ Warren Ellis: The Social Web: End Of The First Cycle

Oh, it’ll get better. Diversity – that so often mocked of modern societal goals – will make such dust-ups far less common. More and more games being made by people other than heterosexual men for a gaming audience that grows similarly diverse will mean less feelings of marginalization. The problem isn’t, and has never been, that The Sorceress (or Ivy, or Cammy, or Lara, or Daphne, or whomever else) look like they do… it’s that everything looks like they do.

→ Escapist Magazine, Bob “MovieBob” Chipman: It never ends

So, I no longer want a seat at your restaurant, where you serve me begrudgingly, where I am belittled for asking for food without pork, where I endure your dirty looks at my hijabi friend. I want my pride intact, I want this struggle of mine to be recognized, for you to look me in the eye and acknowledge that yes, this tumor called bigotry is indeed rivering through your veins, polluting your mind, and is so malignant that it compels you to squash my dignity.

→ Huffington Post, Seema Jilani: My Racist Encounter at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Rwanda and the boats from Denmark

I need to increase my carbon footprint lest all the cool kids make fun of me, so I’ve taken to printing articles and reading them on dead trees. While sitting by the docks and counting ferries coming to port, I was reading a piece on Rwandan ex-minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the first woman ever charged with genocide. The article focuses on her role in the utterly fucking horrendous shit that was 1994 Rwanda, but more specifically at the policy of rape and murder of women in war:

In an interview at the State House in Kigali, Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, talked about the mass rapes in measured, contemplative sentences, shaking his head, his emotions betraying him. ”We knew that the government was bringing AIDS patients out of the hospitals specifically to form battalions of rapists,” he told me. He smiled ruefully, as if still astonished by the plan.

→ New York Times: A womans work, by Peter Landesman.