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Sexual Assault

''Many women who have spoken out against sexual aggression by celebrities have received sympathy, and the men they have accused have often turned contrite in the face of public scorn.

''Not so for Laura Prioul, a 21-year-old Frenchwoman, who says she was beaten and raped last year in a Paris hotel, where a housekeeper found her partly naked and bruised in a hallway.

The man she accuses — a 32-year-old Moroccan pop star, Saad Lamjarred — has a music video with a half-billion YouTube views, a zealous fan base, a prominent family and fame enough that King Mohammed VI helped hire a top-shelf legal team to defend him, according to the Moroccan state news agency. ...
''Now that Ms. Prioul has decided to talk, many people online have condemned the singer and expressed outrage for the support granted to him by the king.

''But many of his fans have also rallied around their idol. Some Moroccan women even released videos online saying they wished he would rape them.

The response reflects what women’s rights advocates say is a disturbing climate of permissiveness around rape. ...

Marital rape is not a crime in Morocco, and sex outside of marriage is illegal. Both rules discourage rape victims from coming forward because of the fear of being incriminated, advocates said.

''“Going to the police to file a complaint about rape can also become an admission of having sex outside of marriage,” Ms. Kouzzi said.

Rape is also punished more leniently if the woman does not lose her virginity during the assault.

Hind Bensari, 30, a Moroccan film director currently based in Denmark, made “475: Break the Silence,” a web series on women’s rights. She interviewed Moroccans extensively about their views on rape and the cultural stigma around it.

“It is largely considered that rape or any act of sexual violence on women is also due to a woman being provocative in one way or another,” Ms. Bensari said.
- AIDA ALAMI, She Accused a Moroccan Pop Star of Rape. Online, She Was Vilified., NYT, NOV. 27, 2017


In 1990, Antioch College students pioneered its affirmative sexual consent policy, formulating a document now called the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy. It was mocked by much of the rest of the world. Since then, campuses across the country have caught up. Education about consent is now part of college life. ...
On campus, friends ask permission before giving hugs. Personal space is discussed in class as an often encroached-upon right. At the same time, as with many in their generational cohort, some students are giving full expression to their gender identities, whether those identities are fixed or fluid. People introduce themselves with their preferred pronouns (“I’m Katie and I use ‘they/them/their’”). ...
If you choose to... visit Antioch, you will be asked to sign a “statement of understanding” that you will abide by a policy that requires enthusiastic verbal consent during every stage of every sexual interaction. ...
In its most updated form, the S.O.P.P. is an eight-page document that spells out the tenets of “affirmative consent.” In each stage of a sexual interaction, consent must be verbally requested and verbally given, the policy says — and “silence conveys a lack of affirmative consent.”

It prohibits the sending of unsolicited sexual text messages.... It also dictates that people under the influence of drugs and alcohol cannot give consent. So, strictly speaking, any drunk hookup would be found to be in violation of the policy if one of the parties filed a complaint. ...
“We wanted to bring even more pleasure-based sex education and gender-based education,” said Iris Olson, a 2017 graduate, who is studying for a master’s degree in public health at Boston University and uses the pronouns they/them/their. Mx. Olson, 23, who prefers that gender-neutral honorific, helped organize Month of Sex events. ...
“The S.O.P.P. is a reminder of who we are and what we’re here to do,” said Michelle De León, 23, a second-year student. “It lets us say, ‘Hey, you’re in a community and you’re in a space with other people and be mindful of the space you’re taking up.’ Women, nonbinary people, queer people, people of color — we’re not living in a culture that gives them space. We live in a culture where so many are penetrated physically, emotionally and verbally by anyone at any moment.” ...
Roger D. Stoppa, the director of public safety at Antioch, said that because a reported violation of the S.O.P.P. is, by definition, an unwanted act in the context of a sexual interaction, it must also be considered a violation of Title IX, the federal law that forbids sex discrimination within any entity that receives federal funding. ...
In late 2014, Todd Sanders, now 26, was called to meet with a dean because two S.O.P.P. violations had been filed against him. “I had gotten very active in my romantic life when I was at Antioch,” said Mx. Sanders, who is gender-fluid and uses they/them/their pronouns. “I was having difficulty managing being polyamorous. Alcohol became a factor.”

The dean read a list of complaints, Mx. Sanders said. Some of them came as a surprise, but not all. Mx. Sanders said they and the dean decided they should leave school. ...
Mx. Sanders left Yellow Springs for a while but then returned, moved into an apartment in town and got a job at a restaurant. At another meeting, the dean told Mx. Sanders that they were banned from campus, Mx. Sanders said. ...
“At Antioch, we focus so much on inclusion and creating space for marginalized people on campus that I think what has formed is a hierarchy based off of marginalization,” Mr. Vanarsdale said. “It gives people who have this marginalization attached to their identity some form of power. Todd wasn’t the archetype of what we think toxic masculinity would look like. He wasn’t a heterosexual cis male.” ...
Contemporaries of Mx. Sanders said they tried to compel Mx. Sanders to acknowledge their missteps. ...
“I have very little patience with the notion that something like this isn’t needed,” she said. “I don’t feel the policy was meant to stop us from shaking hands without consent. What it does do is sort of say, ‘Your body is your body and if you don’t want something to happen to it or with it, it shouldn’t.’ And then that can be applied into every social interaction.”

Andy Janecko, 19 and a second-year student, wants to create another policy. “I’m really wanting to write a separate policy, that brings consciousness about consent a little bit further,” said Mx. Janecko, who uses they/them/their pronouns. “We’re missing this whole component of consent in general, teaching people not to touch people at all if you don’t have their verbal consent,” they said, suggesting that it could be called the Nonconsensual Contact Prevention Policy.
- KATHERINE ROSMAN, Thank You for Asking, NYT, FEB. 24, 2018


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