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MeToo

Nassar Trial Gets Violent: Father Defends Daughters

“It should not have taken over 150 voices for the world to listen” -Melissa Vignone

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As the Nassar Trial unfolds, the public hears more and more incidents of young girls and women who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, former USA Gynamstics and Michigan State University Doctor. But this morning, the courtroom got physically violent when one father lunged at Nassar after two of his daughters delivered their victim impact statements.

Randall Margraves asked Judge Cunningham to speak after his daughters shared their statements. His request was granted and after using profanity was requested not to do so in the courtroom. Following this, he asked the judge that upon sentencing he made a request:

“I would ask you to, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.”

Cunningham said she wasn’t able to do this, and as a result Margraves lunged over the table and attempted to attack him.

This afternoon, Margraves went before Judge Cunningham who said there will not be charges pressed due to the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Nicole Masaki is a current student at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is graduating in May 2018. She is a triple major in English, Environmental Studies, and Philosophy.

Academics

UC San Diego Refuses to Cancel Course on Woody Allen Films

University of California, San Diego refused to cancel a course on Woody Allen films despite a petition with over 20,000 signatures.

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The University of California, San Diego is refusing to cancel a course on “The Films of Woody Allen” despite a petition with more than 20,000 signatures.

The UC San Diego Academic Senate announced that they “conclude that canceling or removing this or any other course for the reason that it contains the study of controversial material, or even material widely regarded as morally problematic, would undermine both the value of free inquiry and the associated rights of faculty to engage in such inquiry by choosing their course content” in a press release.

The Senate also defined the subject of the press release as “Academic Freedom at UCSD”.

The petition, which currently has 21,895, was created by theater student Savanah Lyon, who said she “emailed all of the people in charge in an attempt to appeal to their sense of reason, humanity, and morality to stop this class and take it off the books so that no one can teach this class again.” Lyon’s emails have been met with dismissal, unprofessionalism, and dehumanizing rhetoric, according to the petition.

“They believe they have a right to teach this class due to academic freedom. They do not care about the statement it makes to survivors everywhere. They do not care that Woody Allen is on his way out of Hollywood,” Lyon also said in the petition.

“They do not care that the class is less than 1/3 full, making it an unpopular class that has no reason to be taught. They do not care that there are thousands of other directors who could teach the same film basics that they use Woody Allen to teach, directors who haven’t raped seven-year-old girls.”

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter with Mia Farrow, had accused him of molesting her when she was a seven year old. Allen is currently married to Mia Farrrow’s other adoptive daughter Soon-Yi Previn. He claims the affair with Previn started when she was 21 years old.

In  a Facebook post Lyon said she tried as hard as she could but the odds were stacked up against her from the beginning.

I tried, I tried as hard as I could, and the people around me and across the globe tried as well. The odds were stacked…

Posted by Savanah Lyon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“It’s hard to believe what would’ve been enough to get them to remove it from the books. Over 3,700 emails weren’t enough. Over 14,500 signatures weren’t enough. Various news clips and articles weren’t enough. The students weren’t enough, but the way the system works, I have a hard time believing we ever will,” she said.

“I don’t know if free speech and academic freedom will ever stop protecting oppressors. But, we can keep trying. Trying is radical and it will make them jump back every time. You get enough people pushing for change, it’ll start to happen. Don’t be discouraged by this.”

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MeToo

Viewpoint: There is No Problem with the #MeToo Movement

#MeToo is here to change America: Empowering survivors and giving their voice a platform.

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Recently The Atlantic posted a short video of writer Caitlin Flanagan explain what was wrong with the #MeToo Agenda.

Her first point was that it covered too much as it “descends the ladder from rape to bad dates making it a category big enough to be meaningless.” But there is an obvious difference between rape and a bad date and there is a huge gray area in between and the line is drawn with consent. I know too many men and women who are survivors of sexual violence. But I also know people who have had bad dates (myself included). A bad date is someone who’s rude or narcissistic or just not someone you’re interested in, Rape and assault are crimes. The difference is clear and no one tweets #MeToo over a bad date, they just “girl me too” to a friend.

Flanagan also mentions men who are unfairly caught in the crossfire among accusations of powerful men being brought to justice. She cites Matt Damon who said “groping someone’s butt was different than sexually molesting a child.” While Damon was correct from a legal standpoint, and that these two acts are different, both acts are acts of sexual assault or violence.

There is no excuse for assault or violence on any scale. The fact that Damon doesn’t realize this is a perfect example of how microaggressions find their way into our common media. Any act of unwanted sexual advances made by anyone is unacceptable.

To Flanagan, Damon is misinformed and part of the problem. But most of that comes from the fact that he was misinformed.

She criticizes women for thinking male power structure is part of the problem and suddenly smashing the patriarchy being added to the list of goals for the #MeToo Movement. You can only do so much good targeting individual offenders who have taken advantage of the unfair power structure stacked in their favor. Soon enough you need to address the root of the problem, and it often lies in our history of male centered power structures.

While we can’t undo history, we can work towards equal representation and allowing each individual to be able to thrive under a power structure instead of allowing the people at the top take advantage of everyone below.

Flanagan notes, “It seemed as though almost every woman had some sort of goal she wanted to add to the agenda. No problem was too small or too vague to be included–So long was a man was to blame.”

Have you stopped to think that there actually is a problem? If every woman can identify at least one time in their life where someone has made unwanted passes at them this is clearly a problem that needs to be handled.

Perpetrators needs to face justice and survivors need to heal.

This isn’t just a women’s issue: sexual violence affects everyone: More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The #MeToo movement is about bringing those guilty to justice. Not attacking men.

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Campus Crime

Student Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Frat Brothers Shown No Leniency

The former Albright College student argued that his sentence should be reduced.

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Former Albright College student Robert Convery Jr. shown in a booking photo. (Handout)

A Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday that a student who committed multiple acts of sexual assault on his fraternity brothers while they slept does not deserve a break on his sentence.

Robert Convery Jr., a former Albright College student, was sentenced to 13-to-30-years behind bars in 2016. He had argued at his trial that the sex was consensual, but a jury disagreed.

PennLive reported that the assaults were committed in 2013 and 2015:

Both of the victims were his friends as well as his Pi Kappa Phi frat brothers… Convery assaulted one of them twice, and apologized afterward.

All three assaults followed the same pattern. The victims fell asleep after drinking and awoke to find Convery performing oral sex on them.

Convery appeared in court seeking a reduction in his sentence. His attorney argued that his harsh sentence was a punishment for taking the case to trial instead of negotiating a plea deal or admitting guilt.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes found there was no evidence that Convery was punished for going to trial.

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