If you lived here…

if-you-lived-here

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JackieFox.net is up and running

My new website JackieFox.net is up and operational (more or less).

Blog entries will be duplicated here for the near future, but to stay up-to-date, please visit the new page.

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Why removing the statute of limitations for sexual assaults is a good idea

Justice

A California bill proposing to eliminate the 10-year statute of limitations on rape and child molestation charges has passed in the Senate Public Safety Committee. That committee had, in the past, refused to move through similar bills.

The new bill sponsored by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, passed the committee on a 4-0 vote . The passage came after testimony from sexual assault survivors and others, including Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents 30 of the Bill Cosby accusers.

The American Civil Liberties Union objected to the change, saying charges could be brought after witnesses’ memories had become cloudy, evidence has faded and witnesses have become harder to locate. Continue reading

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The Bitter Fruit of Forever now available

Bitter fruit front cover

My novelette The Bitter Fruit of Forever is now available on Amazon.com.

Soo-zee Wanabi and his friends are rebel soldiers fighting the oppressive regime that rules their world. But when their own commander commits an act of shocking brutality Soo-zee and his friends learn that bravery is not so easy–and that oftentimes the real enemy is the one that lies within.

The Bitter Fruit of Forever is a haunting story about hard choices and the aftermath of violence. And I think it’s safe to say it’s unlike anything you’ve ever read.

What readers are saying about The Bitter Fruit of Forever on Amazon.com:

Imaginative writing that packs an emotional wallop.

An intense allegorical tale that keeps you reading.

Shares peculiar (though welcome) similarities with the works of Kafka and RW Fassbinder, HBO’s “Oz” and Wong Kar-wai’s “Ashes of Time.”

The Bitter Fruit of Forever is available for $6.29 in paperback or $2.99 on Kindle.

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Rape survivor or rape victim?

durr photo

I was running through my upcoming keynote address at Carnegie Mellon’s MOSAIC conference for my niece, a recent university graduate, when she suddenly looked up from her phone, on which she had been taking notes.

“You can’t say that,” she said.

“Say what?” I asked.

“Victim,” she told me. “You have to say ‘survivor.'”

This was news to me. But a quick Google search showed me that I seem to be in the minority in preferring the V-word. “Survivor” is thought to be a more empowering term–a more respectful one. Continue reading

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What the Jian Gomeshi acquittal can teach us about victim blaming

pointing

Yesterday former Canadian Broadcasting Company host Jian Gomeshi was acquitted of sexually assaulting three women. This morning one of Gomeshi’s accusers, Lucy DeCoutere, told The Guardian newspaper how the acquittal had affected her:

[Gomeshi’s defense attorney, Marie Henein] told the court that I enticed him; that I had always been an attention seeker; that I was coming forward as an excuse to get interviews with the press… Henein’s barrage of questions sought to whittle away at my allegations by undermining my credibility. Her main argument was to show that the nature of my relationship with Jian after he assaulted me proved that I was an unreliable witness, and that my testimony couldn’t be counted on…

Everything Henein asked me came back to one big question: why did I keep in touch with Jian? The answer is that it was my way of processing what happened to me, of neutralizing a volatile situation he created. But for her and the judge, it turns out, that wasn’t enough… All of the build-up, my 12 months of preparation, had come down to this: a letter I didn’t remember writing…

I thought about how my own words, written 13 years ago, were now being used against me to argue that I had been complicit in my own assault.

Much of what she said reminded me of my going public last year about how on New Year’s Eve 1975, the manager of my band, The Runaways, raped me and violated me with a hairbrush. He did so in front of a roomful of people, including several of my then-bandmates. It was an event I kept silent about for almost 40 years for fear of things like what happened to the Gomeshi accusers. Continue reading

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Kesha and the economics of misery

boycott

A New York state judge has ruled against Kesha in her quest to be let out of her record deal with Sony due to sexual assault allegations against producer Dr. Luke. In the wake of the decision, some of Kesha’s fans have called for a boycott of Sony.

But a consumer boycott against the industry behemoth isn’t likely to do much.

For a boycott against a major entertainment distributor to have an effect, it has to be limited in time (a designated day, for instance) and well-coordinated. Even 100,000 people here and there refusing to buy Sony product will have little impact.

But even if it did, such a boycott would punish other artists who are also tied to the company via record deals they can’t get out of.

New artists refusing to sign a deal with the label might have some impact. However, in a world in which bidding for new artists isn’t that competitive, turning down a record deal is a lot to ask of anyone. And let’s be honest – every other record company would have done the same thing. It’s an industry-wide problem that isn’t going away anytime soon.

I applaud Kesha wholeheartedly for standing up to Sony. It’s not easy for any artist to do so, let alone one suffering from the trauma of working with an alleged rapist.

So what can we do to help artists stuck in oppressive contracts?

Well for one thing, we can stop downloading or streaming entertainment illegally. That put distributors out of business and stunts competition. We can also call companies out when they turn a blind eye to sexual assault, discrimination or harassment – and that includes paying women less than their male counterparts – such as when Fox purportedly offered Gillian Anderson less than David Duchovny for the “X-Files” reboot.

And if you’re in the industry, isn’t about time you stopped looking the other way in the interest of your own paycheck or the company bottom line? Because it shouldn’t be up to the consumer to prevent wrongful conduct. It should be up to all of us.

 

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