Slipped through the cracks

A UK paper accidentally blames rape victims. Plus, too pretty to guard the prison, world's oldest mom dies and more

By Joe Coscarelli
July 18, 2009 1:18AM (UTC)
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It was the week of Sonia Sotomayor as the future Supreme Court judge faced endless (or did it just feel that way?) inquiry at her confirmation hearing. At Broadsheet we kicked off the week with a video summary of questionable Sotomayor coverage, and had barely exhaled when abortion protesters stormed the Senate proceedings -- even Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) got in on the action and was subsequently arrested. In presidential news, Jimmy Carter wrote passionately about the subjugation of women by the Southern Baptist Church, while Obama nominated an arguably overweight woman, Dr. Regina Benjamin, as surgeon general. Away from the Beltway, we tackled the "epidural epidemic," the trans bathroom debate, and welcomed a young feminist to the blogging block. Still, some notable news managed to fall by the wayside:

British paper accidentally blames rape victims: “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists,” read a controversial headline in The Daily Telegraph a few weeks ago. Turns out, the report was wholly untrue and the paper has since apologized. In a correction earlier this week, the paper claimed an "editing error" had twisted the British Psychological Society study and in fact, the "research found the opposite." The mistaken article also claimed that women who "drink alcohol, wear short skirts and are outgoing are more likely to be raped," when actually the study's press release was titled, "Promiscuous men more likely to rape."


Too old to be a mom?: A Spanish woman recognized as the world's oldest mother died at 69, only three years after giving birth to twins. The single mother reportedly lied to the fertility clinic which assisted in her conception at age 66 and sold her house to pay for the treatment. At the time, her case sparked a debate about the age limits of motherhood and "how much responsibility fertility clinics have over who gets treatments," issues now reignited upon her death.

Don't hate the prison guard because she's beautiful: A 27-year-old British woman is seeking damages after being fired from her job as a prison officer at a facility housing young males, claiming she was let go for being too pretty, though some of her former colleagues are questioning her behavior with the inmates. In addition to wearing a "snugly fitted" uniform, she is alleged to have not followed the dress code for hair and makeup and was accused of lacking "boundaries and assertiveness with the prisoners."

Intuitive eating: The New York Times tackled the plight of dieters, including the belief that "one’s hunger and taste cues -- rather than cognitive rules -- provide the most trustworthy guide toward balanced, healthy eating." Broadsheet's own Kate Harding (author of "Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere") provided some of her own wisdom: "Why not buy some clothes that fit you and turn off the TV a little bit?"


Transgender murder ruled a hate crime: A jury found Dwight DeLee guilty of a hate crime in the murder of a 22-year-old Lateisha Green (a case mentioned earlier this week), in what is only the second U.S. hate crime conviction involving a transgender victim.

Farrah Fawcett diary forthcoming: Alana Stewart, a close friend of the "Charlie's Angels" actress, will publish "My Journey with Farrah: A Story of Life, Love, and Friendship," the diary she kept through Fawcett's three-year cancer battle. All proceeds from the book will go to The Farrah Fawcett Foundation for cancer research.

Joe Coscarelli

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