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Another look at John Hughes’ films

August 11th, 2009 Comments off

We lost a fine filmmaker last week in Mr. John Hughes who had a cardiac event and died at the all too young age of 59. Despite being a big fan – what person who came of age in the 1980’s doesn’t have some affection for Mr. Hughes, who pegged our adolescent angst so perfectly – as someone who does violence prevention work, I’m very glad that Amy Benfer over at has written a postmortem where she takes him to task, rightfully, for being not so good when it comes to matters of date rape…

the barely conscious drunk girlfriend in question is Caroline, the evil prom queen. An epic party at Jake’s place leaves her leveled. (“I have Caroline passed out in the bed upstairs,” Jakes muses at one point, trying to put his finger on what’s missing in his relationship with her, and why he feels drawn to Sam. “I could violate her 10 different ways if I wanted to.”

Ms. Benfer does a good job of upholding respect for Mr. Hughes’ skills in terms of his acumen for dissecting class, while acknowledging shortcomings on how he dealt with gender and sexism. This is the often over-looked aspect of dissecting the popular culture, we often have to take people who we revere in some ways to task for their less-than-perfect behaviors. It’s a well written, and thought-provoking piece.

It makes me want to rent the Hughes canon and view those films again, twenty years later, with an adult awareness, and with the eyes and ears of someone who has worked in the movement for nearly that long.

brothers will be brothers…

June 4th, 2009 Comments off

Very well written, insightful piece released by the NSRC (National Sexuality Resource Center) on their website [update September 6, 2012: the NSRC site is no longer available; we are looking for another source for this text] by Nicholas L. Syrett (professor of history at University of Northern Colorado University): Bros Before Hos: College Fraternities and Sexual Exploitation.

Professor Syrett does a very good job of putting fraternity behavior in historical and cultural context. This piece is a must-read for anyone doing prevention work.

My thanks to Amy Benfer of the Broadsheet at for bringing this article to my attention (and for offering a very good overview of the salient points).

Its only rape if the victims a girl? – Broadsheet –

March 21st, 2009 Comments off

Interesting article by Kate Harding on regarding two separate Wisconsin cases of underage sex that resulted in charges against perpetrators – one male, and one female – with vastly different consequences. The author quotes from an article on The Daily Beast which calls into question the imbalance in the culture – and by extension the criminal justice system – in the way in which we view male vs. female perpetration. Both articles are thought-provoking reads…

Its only rape if the victims a girl? – Broadsheet –