The Pencil Today:


“Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” — Jessica Valenti


A young woman reported that she was raped late Friday night/early Saturday morning after attending a fraternity party.

The Indiana Daily Student newspaper carried the story yesterday. Reporter Colleen Sikorski, whom I’ll assume is a woman, wrote the piece. Sikorski twice referred to the incident as an “alleged rape.”

From IDS Online: Click For Full Story

Do our journalism schools teach students to doubt women who report rape?

Hanging out with frat boys when they’re ingesting alcohol (or even when they’re not), is ill-advised for all sentient humans, no matter their sex. Nevertheless, females who choose to surround themselves with hard-drinking privileged young white males who view Tucker Max as a role model don’t deserve to be physically violated.

The young woman was violated after that party.

How do we know? She said so. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Had she called campus police and reported her wallet stolen, would IDS reporters doubt her story? Would the paper have run a piece saying, “Student reports alleged theft”?

We’re still not getting it on the issue of rape.


Speaking of not getting rape, the Republican Party is in a tizzy over the rhetorical emesis spewed by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin the other day.

Akin, if you’ve been living under a rock of late, said women who suffer “legitimate” rape most likely won’t get pregnant because the “female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

The sane among us agree — Akin is a dope of the highest order.

Not Only That, He Wears A Comb Over

Even Willard Romney shuddered when he heard of Akin’s blatherings. Big shots within the POG have leaned on Akin to quit his race but, scientifically illiterate tough guy that he is, the candidate refused to go quietly into the dark night of stupidity whence he came.

In fact, in the grand tradition of the Republican Party, he’s painting himself as the wronged one. “You misspeak one word in one sentence on one day — don’t you think that there’s a little hyperbole going on here?”

Yeah, Todd, we’re the assholes.

BTW: This isn’t the first time Akin has gorged on his foot. Not by a long shot. Politico lists five goofy statements uttered by the current Congressman from Missouri’s 2nd District. Here are three of them:

  • Regarding the student loan program: “America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff that it has no business tampering in.”
  • “I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for god and a belief that government should replace god.”
  • When asked about an uninsured person who contracts a catastrophic disease: “People have to start being held accountable for their decisions. If somebody’s not buying insurance, then they’re going to have to be selling their car or whatever it is to try to help cover that.”

A real sweetheart, no?

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.


I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

Click For Full Story

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Malibu GrillAlki Scopelitis; 6-9pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Laura Connalion; 6-8:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterBuddhism in Everyday Life Series: “What Is Enlightenment?”, workshop presented by Ani Choekye; 6:30pm

Unity ChurchAuditions for Bloomington Peace Choir; 7pm

◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterAuditions for the African American Dance Company; 7pm

The Player’s PubBottom Road Blues Band; 8pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 8pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of BloomingtonContra dancing; 8pm

The BishopWaxeater, Monogamy Party, Braver, Dead Beach; 9pm

Bear’s PlaceThe Smooth Jazz Trio, The Brothers Hertel, Eric Wells, Mark Keller; 9pm

The BluebirdHairbanger’s Ball; 9pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, public viewing through the main telescope; 9:30pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th

  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th

  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th

  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th

  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st

  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012

  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st

  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

4 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Susan Sandberg says:

    Sell my car in order to buy health insurance? It’s so easy for these morons, isn’t it? They always have an answer for how we need to live our pathetic little, sexually depraved, socialist, poverty stricken lives. We’re not the chosen ones like the pious GOP, so…let us eat cake. Sick to death of this Congress, and Todd Akin isn’t the only bird-brain in it. What a mess, and I say….time to clean House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Mr. President, you may stay put! We got you!

  2. The enormity of rape makes its false report, for character defamation (whether by a woman or a man) all the more reprehensible.

    So, “How do we know? She said so. That’s enough, isn’t it?”

    Not really. Her word is large, but there’s another person involved here. That person needs to be formally charged and face his accuser in a court of law. So,

    “Had she called campus police and reported her wallet stolen, would IDS reporters doubt her story? Would the paper have run a piece saying, “Student reports alleged theft”?”

    Yes, they probably would have, since J-school students are here to learn principles of sound journalism – which includes not getting your publisher in trouble for reporting as true something that has not yet been proven.

    “Alleged” often looks clumsy in news stories and headlines, but its use is standard and legally proper, to indicate the reporter’s and the publication’s neutrality.

    Grabbing a pitchfork may be emotionally satisfying when the word “rape” is spoken, but a working justice system – supported by an objective media – is so much better in the long run.

  3. Susan Sandberg says:

    Perfectly correct, Joy, in spite of the ham-handed and ignorant comments about “legitimate rape” we can’t forget due process in the justice system and innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately at the heart of this parsing of rape and abortion debate is a basic mistrust of women and their motives. It would be a rare woman indeed who would make up a rape tale full well knowing how painful it is to go through the scrutiny of the legal process. And yet the pious, abstaining GOP would have everyone believe that the menfolk (who still rule the world) are at dire risk for such false allegations by the multitudes of us brazen hussies. They legislate morality at every turn with respect to sexuality and womens’ rights to privacy and reproductive choice because…..we are the descendents of (gasp) Jezebel! Methinks they have an “alleged” problem.

  4. Hmm, we could start a new trend in strategic use of the word “alleged” with regard to politicians. “Alleged” potency. “Alleged” fidelity. “Alleged” heterosexuality. “Alleged” Christian faith. That might be fun …

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