Halo Reach, Sexual Violence and Rape Culture

This post contains explicit language and profanities.

I like to play video games and Halo has been my favorite for many years. Halo 4 came out earlier this month and it made me reflect on Halo Reach, what I liked about the game, and what I did not like. One thing I found very off-putting was the constant bantering and aggressive verbal behavior displayed during matchmaking. That was one reason why I rarely used a microphone while playing.

Here at Feminists for Choice we often discuss the concept of rape culture, which is the notion that sexual violence is in many ways condoned. We often hear or experience the normalization of rape, which often leads to blaming the survivor rather than the perpetrator. This normalization of rape and the use of threats of sexual violence are very common in Halo Reach as players communicate with one another. Interestingly enough, I have never witnessed any females partake in such a discussion, or in the one-sided arguments where putdowns and remarks are constantly made. When it comes to discussions and remarks about rape the message is one of power, domination and subjugation. The verbal threat or use of the word rape is therefore used to display the threat of subjugation and the power and domination certain players hold over others.  [Read more...]

Washington Man Threatens Dr. Hern in Colorado

Dr. Warren HernDonald Hertz, a 70-year-old man from Spokane, Washington for allegedly making Donald Hertz, a 70-year-old man from Spokane, Washington for allegedly making threatening phone calls to the women’s health clinic in Boulder, Colorado where Dr. Warren Hern (pictured) performs late abortions. According to the New York Times:

Hertz, 70 . . . was arrested Wednesday in Spokane. He was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Mr. Hertz’s indictment was the first in an abortion case since the killing of Dr. George R. Tiller, an abortion provider from Wichita, Kan., who was shot to death in May while attending church, a Department of Justice spokesman said.

Mr. Hertz’s lawyer, W. Russell Van Camp, said Mr. Hertz, a retired real-estate and insurance broker who was released without bail Wednesday after a court appearance, would plead not guilty . . . Mr. Hertz faces a maximum prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $350,000 if convicted.

Hertz is just one of the wing nuts to get caught up in a long line of anti-choice extremism. It’s reassuring to see the feds acting so quickly to indict Mr. Hertz, before he had an opportunity to act on those threats. Here’s to hoping that a jury convicts him and sends him to prison, where he belongs.

Colorado Abortion Clinic Threatened

Tiller ShootingThose stats about increasing clinic violence have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Remember the story I posted last week about Dr. Warren Hern in Colorado? Well, apparently the his clinic has been threatened this week. He’s the next person on the anti-choice movement’s hit list. According to RH Reality Check:

After Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed in May, an abortion clinic in Boulder, CO, was threatened, as reported by the ColoradoDaily.com. At the Boulder Abortion Clinic, Dr. Warren Hern, like Tiller, is one of the few providers in the country to perform late-term abortions. Warren and his clinic, as well as a “number of individuals and facilities” have been under the protection of the U.S. Marshals Service since Tiller’s murder, according to the article.

Boulder police would not comment on the severity of the threat because an investigation is still being conducted.

It’s good to hear that the US Marshals are protecting health providers. But honestly, they shouldn’t have to. Doctors shouldn’t have to wear bulletproof vests in order to give women health care. If feminists started protesting outside of vasectomy clinics and pharmacists refused to fill Viagra prescriptions, can you imagine the response we would get? Marshal law, ya’ll. That’s what. Please send some positive thoughts Dr. Hern’s direction.