Category: Women’s Rights

Lesbian couple attacked on the way to LGTBQ event

A group of women were attacked on their way to Dallas Pride on Sunday by an assailant who punched and stabbed them as he screamed they were going to Hell.

Love Seiber, Krystle Seats, and their friend Vanessa Stepney were heading to the parade downtown when they were approached by a homeless man later identified as 22-year-old Brandon Holbert.

“I thought maybe, ’Oh, he’s going to ask us for money,” Seiber told Fox 4 News. But he came closer and began yelling and then hitting Seats. Holbert then pulled out a pocketknife and chased Sieber and Seats into a nearby building, cornering them in an elevator before stabbing them repeatedly.

Seiber and Seats, who are both gay, say Holbert was shouting, “I see what you are doing. You are the child of Satan and God sees what you are doing. You guys are going to go to Hell.”

Seiber was stabbed multiple times in the neck, face, arm, forehead and chest before a bystander helped detain Holbert until authorities arrived. Holbert has since been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, although no hate-crime charges have been filed.

Police records do not reflect his homophobic rant, according to Fox 4, instead they “emphasize [his] erratic behavior.”

Recovering back home in Oklahoma, Seiber says her assailant deserves to be charged with a bias crime. “My family definitely thinks he got off a little too easy.”

Defense attorney uses courtroom to claim women are weak and lie about rape

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A defense lawyer is being criticized for telling a Tennessee jury that women are “especially good” at lying “because they’re the weaker sex.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports attorney Steve Farese made the comments during closing arguments of the trial of Mark Giannini, a wealthy businessman accused of raping a woman who came to his house for a job interview. Farese maintains that the sex was consensual and has questioned the woman’s credibility.

“There’s always a reason behind a lie. People can be very good at lying. Women can be especially good at it because they’re the weaker sex and we, that’s what the books say, and we want to protect them and not have anyone take advantage of them. At least I do,” Farese said during closing statements

Mark Giannini, 51, had been accused of raping a 25-year-old woman, and also faces separate charges for two other alleged rapes dating back to 2002, involving two different women.

Memphis Area Women’s Council executive director Deborah Clubb calls Farese’s comments “absolutely despicable.”

Farese tells the newspaper that his job “is not to care if anybody gets offended” and “smart people will see it for what it is.”

After the jury – made up of nine women and three men – found Giannini not guilty on three counts of rape Friday, the woman he was accused of raping left crying and screaming, according to local newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said after the verdict that they were “deeply disappointed in the outcome” and credited the woman with coming forward, adding that she hopes the case doesn’t stop others from testifying.

Giannini’s other two rape trials are still pending.

Men’s rights activist proves men need more rights by being elected to the state house

A Republican lawmaker from New Hampshire that has been accused of creating a misogynistic online forum is today resisting calls for his resignation. Details of his online activity surfaced after an investigation from journalist Bonnie Bacarisse.

Last November, voters in New Hampshire  re-elected Robert Fisher to the state house of representatives. The man also appears to be one of the secret architects of the internet’s misogynistic “Manosphere.”
The homegrown son of a preacher, 31-year-old  Fisher is a Republican who represents New Hampshire’s Belknap County District 9. In addition to his legislative duties, Fisher owns a local computer-repair franchise, which he bought from fellow MRA Joshua Youssef, and in his spare time, seems to have created the web’s most popular online destination for pickup artistry and men’s rights activists, The Red Pill, according an investigation by the Daily Beast.

An investigation into Fisher’s online aliases found a trail of posts linking the lawmaker to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill—an online Reddit community of nearly 200,000 subscribers that promotes itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.”

It’s possible that now, four-and-a-half years after Red Pill’s founding, Fisher may regret his creation. When reached for comment by phone, Fisher denied participation in the Red Pill forum, claiming not to know what The Red Pill was. Though he did say he had heard of the men’s rights movement, he said he hadn’t heard of PUA. “What is a pickup artist?” he asked.

“Marriage, and yes, female oppression, slut shaming, religion, these were all a means to control (infidelity),” Fisher wrote in 2012, according to the Daily Beast. “Marriages might be considered loveless, and women might have been unhappy, but for men it meant marriages that lasted, commitments that continued, and protection against the fickle whims of females.”

Fisher’s online posts also attack women for their “sub-par intelligence,” and he said their “personalities are “lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to day life,” reported The Daily Beast.

Fisher often said Women were uninteresting, immature, unintelligent, lacked depth, and were entitled. He bemoaned that dating was easier for women. He felt it was unjust that women get a free ride, believing ‘a pair of boobs grants [them] equal footing with somebody bringing intelligence or a personality.’”

He wrote, ‘I’m going to say it—rape isn’t an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he’d say it’s quite good, really.’” Bacarisse wrote. “Though he stated he ‘doesn’t advocate breaking the law,’ Fisher said online in 2012 that a 40-year-old man asking to see the breasts of a 15-year-old wasn’t creepy. Instead, he said it was ‘evolutionarily advantageous and perfectly natural.’”

“It is literally the [female] body that makes enduring these things worth it,” he said in another comment.

Other New Hampshire politicians are already calling for Fisher’s resignation. Less than 12 hours after the Daily Beast went live with the story, State Rep. Amelia Keane of Nashua, executive director of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, issued a statement decrying Fisher for the allegations made in the report, and called for his fellow Republicans to call for his resignation, too.

“There is no excuse for the type of hateful and ignorant rhetoric anywhere in our state, none the less from someone elected to our State House to serve the men and women in his community,” Keane’s statement reads. “If Rep. Fisher has any semblance of decency or shame left, he will resign his seat.”


Felony charges for forced Birthers that made bogus planned parenthood video

The two men who mounted a hidden-camera investigation against Planned Parenthood officials have been charged with 15 felony counts of violating the privacy of health-care providers by recording confidential information without their consent.

In announcing the charges against David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt on Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the duo used manufactured identities and a fictitious bioresearch company to meet medical officials and covertly record the private discussions they initiated.

“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”

The criminal complaint alleges that on 14 occasions, between October 2013 and July 2015, Daleiden and Merritt filmed people without permission in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties. The activists face a felony count for each person covertly recorded, and an additional felony charge for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.

The charges mark a major turning point in a case that had drawn national attention from both sides of the abortion debate and led to investigations — but no charges — against Planned Parenthood in 13 states. The secretly recorded conversations dropped during the politically tumultuous summer of 2015, amid a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders, and turned Daleiden into the biggest star of the antiabortion movement. The heavily edited videos attempted to discredit Planned Parenthood, long a target of the right, and galvanized conservatives’ efforts to pull funding from the women’s health organization and other family planning programs.

The court fight over the videos began in April 2015, when Daleiden and Merritt made site visits at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast headquarters, using fake names and driver’s licenses to portray themselves as a company interested in connecting Planned Parenthood health centers with research studies. The two were actually affiliated with Daleiden’s little-known antiabortion nonprofit, the Center for Medical Progress.

Daleiden calls the charges “completely bogus pandering” And added that in the coming weeks he will be releasing previously unseen footage pertaining to Planned Parenthood.

Daleiden’s lawyer, Steve Cooley, a former district attorney of Los Angeles, blamed the charges on Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a former attorney general of California whose office initiated the investigation that produced Tuesday’s charges. He claims Harris corrupted the current attorney general’s office to “pander to her constituents and her supporters.” Cooley said he looks forward to “cross examining her” in court.

“It was nothing more than a First Amendment journalist pursuing a good cause and fighting a battle, now a martyr who’s being crushed by the power of the State of California,” Cooley said.

Defense attorney claims he didn’t know rape was illegal

San Antonio defense attorney Mark Benavides was running for a local judge’s seat in 2015 when he was arrested and charged with coercing women to have sex with him as “payment” for his legal services.

Since then, the case has snowballed into nearly three dozen criminal charges, which include having sex with a minor, inducing a child under 18, to have sex, compelling prostitution of at least nine legal clients and possession of child pornography. Ahead of his April 3 trial date, lawyers for Benavides went into court Thursday to try to suppress a video showing his police interrogation after his arrest.

According to mySA, here’s how Benavides addressed the whole sex-for-services part of the case against him:
“I don’t understand the connection between having sex with your clients and the charge of compelling prostitution. I hear of attorneys having sex with their clients all the time. I’ve never heard of them getting in trouble.”
In arrest warrant affidavits filed in the case, Benavides’ first accuser to come forward was a 21-year-old sex worker who claimed the attorney offered her more money if he could film them having sex at the River Inn Motel. He also handed her his card and told her to call him if she ever needed any legal help.

Which she did, and so after that first encounter, the two wound up having sex in Benavides’ law office, his car, his father’s office and even a conference room at the Bexar County courthouse, according to an arrest affidavit.

Which she did, and so after that first encounter, the two wound up having sex in Benavides’ law office, his car, his father’s office and even a conference room at the Bexar County courthouse, according to an arrest affidavit.

Another of Benavides’ former clients was a defendant in a criminal case who told investigators she only had sex with him because she thought he was friends with the judge on her case. Another former client told police she never paid Benavides to represent her in her two criminal cases, but rather met him at a motel to make “payments” every Tuesday. If you believe what Benavides told police, apparently such attorney-client arrangements are not uncommon in Bexar County.

“All of the victims recounted that they felt they had no choice in the matter and that if they did not perform the sexual acts in the manner that Benavides required, they would go back to jail or he would not give them proper legal representation,” the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement at the time of Benavides’ arrest.

Benavides, meanwhile, has insisted the charges stem from a former client who was unhappy about the outcome in her criminal case and is now “making up a bunch of lies about me.”

On Thursday, the judge on the case denied a motion by Benavides’ attorneys to block the video of his police interrogation from being played at next month’s trial. As mySA reports, the video appears to show Benavides telling someone* to destroy a DVD while investigators searched his house. Court records state that police found a disc labeled “137 of 276” that contained images of a minor engaging in sex acts.

On the police video, Benavides can be heard telling his someone: “You know what I’m talking about, the one I told you to destroy … This pretty much will cancel my political career … I could lose my law license over this,” he says.

Later in the video, officers ask Benavides to remove his shirt so they could identify something his former clients recalled seeing: a large “scales of justice” image tattooed across his back.

United airlines thinks kids clothes are too “provocative”

After a traveler tweeted about girls being barred from a Minneapolis-bound flight for wearing leggings, United tried but failed to explain their decision to ban the young passengers.

First the airline pointed to its rules for general customers, which allows United to refuse transportation “for passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed.” But as Twitter users noted, there’s nothing there making clear that leggings — or anything else in particular — are not proper.

United then reversed course and revealed that two young girls who were turned away from the flight were “pass travelers” — relatives of United employees, who fly for free or on discount but also with certain expectations.

Among those expectations: No “form-fitting” spandex pants.

“Like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow,” United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said in a media statement.

“The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel. We regularly remind our employees that when they place a family member or friend on a flight for free as a standby passenger, they need to follow our dress code. To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.”

American Airlines outlaws leggings, workout clothes, as well as beach clothing, mini skirts, short shorts, attire with “offensive” graphics and even shorts and T-shirts for “pass travelers”.

From there, only more questions take off, especially: Who decides how these rules get enforced?

Shannon Watts, the woman who originally tweeted about the girls being detained, pointed out that she saw a father in shorts board the flight with no problem while his daughters were held up for their leggings.

There was also the question of why any gate agent saw little girls in leggings as reason enough to keep them from flying.

“I’d be interested in knowing how often they do this for little boys,” Watts told the Daily News in an interview.

Soccer player gets new contract after murdering his girlfriend

The violence and misogyny of Brazilian society was highlighted on Monday when a second-division club signed up a goalkeeper who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and having her body fed to his dogs.

As reported by Jonathan Watts of the Guardian, Bruno Fernandez de Souza was released from jail last month having served seven years of what was initially a 22-year sentence for assault, torture and murder. The 32-year-old has since agreed a two-year contract with his new club.

Amid smiles and handshakes, Boa Esporte unveiled a two-year contract for Bruno, who was released from jail last month pending an appeal.

Three sponsors withdrew their support from the team in protest against the decision. Hackers also posted denunciations on the homepage of the team.

But many football fans applauded the return of one of the country’s most popular players, despite the gruesome crimes he committed.

The signing of Bruno comes amid growing concern about femicide and rape in Brazil. To mark International Women’s Day last week, the Cruzeiro football team – which is famed for being socially progressive – wore shirts that highlighted the problems with relevant data for each number, for example: “A rape every 11 minutes”.

As noted in the report, the victim Eliza Samudio disappeared in 2010 having sued Bruno over support for their child; the goalkeeper was said to be close to moving to AC Milan at the time and was concerned the suit could hinder a transfer.

“The court heard how he conspired with friends who tortured and strangled the model, then disposed of the body by feeding it to the footballer’s Rottweilers,” noted Watts. Bruno has admitted his role in the plot.

Having been charged in July 2010, Bruno was eventually sentenced to the 22-year term in March 2013. He was released from his imprisonment in February having secured a habeas corpus.

Bruno was a highly rated goalkeeper before his arrest in 2010, captaining Brazilian giants Flamengo at the time.