Italy's Supreme Court of Appeal in Rome ruled that women who were wearing jeans at the time of their attack cannot claim to have been raped. Judges contended that jeans cannot be removed "without the active help of the person wearing it" as long as wearers fight removal "with all their strength."
Wednesday's ruling reversed the conviction of a 45-year-old driving instructor accused of raping an 18-year-old student. The instructor had been sentenced to 34 months in jail by a lower court in Potenza.
Italian feminists were quick to express their outrage at the court's decision. Female MPs including Alessandra Mussolini began encouraging their colleagues to wear jeans and engage in a "no-skirt strike" until the ruling is overturned. Mussolini commented, "This takes us back 20 years."
Feminist actor Franca Rame, herself a survivor of gang-rape, called Italian women protest the ruling and angrily stated, "There are so many ways of undressing a woman, by holding her down, threatening her, knocking her out with a punch."
Giuliana Dal Pozzo is the president of a hotline that helps victims of violent crimes. She reported that her hotline has been swamped with calls from women who fear the impact of the ruling. "I am shocked, almost incredulous, and scandalized by this medieval decision that now makes jeans chastity belts for women," said Dal Pozzo. "This decision is going to make it even harder for victims to take the step of pressing charges."
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .