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In 1978, it was still legal to rape your wife

I've been having a conversation on Facebook with a gloomy friend who looks at drone assassinations and indefinite detention and Republican sabotage of the economy and believes America is at a low point. That our country is locked into a downward spiral of doom that will lead surely to collapse. I've been responding and saying that America has never been an innocent nation. We've done horrible things to each other and our neighbors since we were colonies. We've massacred natives, started wars with everyone around us, poisoned our own people, enslaved people, freed slaves only to strip them of nearly all rights for 100 years, given rural communities irradiated food just to see how they die, injected healthy men with syphilis and told them it was vitamins, forced rape victims to deliver children and then stole their kids away before they could touch them. And on and on and on. This list could go on for days and pages and years. But here's the thing: we've stopped doing most of this and in terms of civil rights and women's rights, we've come a very long way. Case in point: A Billion Rising (Or 51% of America, Anyway): The GOP Is Killing Itself With The Violence Against Women Act — The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
In 1978 in Salem, Oregon, a married woman who had been a victim of domestic abuse accused her husband of rape. The rape and the accompanying violence inflicted upon her by her spouse was not a new thing for the woman; the ability to have the state intercede on her behalf was. Prior to 1978 Oregon rape laws mirrored those of the rest of the country, in that cohabitation was a legal defense against rape. (In most states this defense was extended to husbands who were estranged or legally separated from their wives.) The story sparked a national controversy.[1] The concept that a woman should be allowed to refuse her husband’s sexual advances, violent or otherwise, divided the country’s progressives and conservatives along wholly predictable lines. That the victim had been beaten, bloodied, and dragged about her house by the hair was not in dispute. Nonetheless, most of the national press stories focused on the defense’s arguments that she was sexually dysfunctional, frigid, and might well have once had a lesbian encounter. According to the defense attorneys (who did not deny that the defendant had forced himself upon her), criminalizing such violence was a “wholesale feminist view [of rape]” which would only be pursued by “a manipulative woman seeking either revenge or fame.” Within three hours of closing arguments, the jury acquitted the husband. The couple was divorced soon after the trial. Once divorced, the defendent would break into his ex-wife’s house to continue the harassment; he was eventually jailed for these later transgressions. By then the genie was out of the bottle, however. Not surprisingly, the idea that women might have some say about the legal use of their bodies turned out to be extremely popular with women. . . .

This is a fun and savage attack on the cultural assumptions of start-up culture

The author highlights frequently heard statements about start-up culture and translates them into Real World Consequences. This is hilarious and apt, especially around here in the far-end commuting range of Silicon Valley. What Your Culture Really Says - Pretty Little State Machine
Culture is not about the furniture in your office. It is not about how much time you have to spend on feel-good projects. It is not about catered food, expensive social outings, internal chat tools, your ability to travel all over the world, or your never-ending self-congratulation. Culture is about power dynamics, unspoken priorities and beliefs, mythologies, conflicts, enforcement of social norms, creation of in/out groups and distribution of wealth and control inside companies. Culture is usually ugly. It is as much about the inevitable brokenness and dysfunction of teams as it is about their accomplishments. Culture is exceedingly difficult to talk about honestly. The critique of startup culture that came in large part from the agile movement has been replaced by sanitized, pompous, dishonest slogans. Let’s examine popular startup trends that are being called “culture” and look beneath the surface to find the real culture that may be playing out beneath it. This is not a critique of the practices themselves, which often contribute value to an organization. This is to show a contrast between the much deeper, systemic cultural problems that are rampant in our startups and the materialistic trappings that can disguise them. . . . We have a team of people who are responsible for organizing frequent employee social events, maintaining the office “feel”, and making sure work is a great place to hang out. We get served organic, vegan, farm-raised, nutritious lunches every day at work. What your culture might actually be saying is… Our employees must be treated as spoiled, coddled children that cannot perform their own administrative functions. We have a team of primarily women supporting the eating, drinking, management and social functions of a primarily male workforce whose output is considered more valuable. We struggle to hire women in non-administrative positions and most gender diversity in our company is centralized in social and admin work. Because our office has more amenities than home life, our employees work much longer hours and we are able to extract more value from them for the same paycheck. The environment reinforces the cultural belief that work is a pleasant dream and can help us distract or bribe from deeper issues in the organization. . . .