What’s Current: A sex robot was ‘molested’ and ‘badly soiled’ by men at an Austrian tech festival



  • A sex-robot called “Samantha’ was put on display at the Ars Electronica festival in Austria.  It had to be removed and sent for repair after it was damaged, “molested” and “badly soiled” by a crowd of men.
  • Two–thirds of the people who earn far below minimum wage and rely on tips for income in the US are women. Most of them are sexually harassed by men.
  • The cover of a new UK edition of Sylvia Plath’s letters fesatures the author in a bikini, continuing the maddening trend of marketing her as “sexualised and frivolous.” Cathleen Allen Conway at The Guardian says:

“These are the images that publishers think best represent Plath, an internationally recognized poet and novelist, an icon, an alleged victim of domestic abuse, a single mother, a person with mental illness and person who killed herself. Why is her work, so heavy with symbolism and myth, which documents the frustrating consequences of transgressive womanhood, marketed with so little thought and respect?”

  • French prosecutors have declined to charge a 28 year-old man with the rape of an 11 year-old girl. Instead, they charged him with the crime of ‘sexual abuse of a minor.’ Sex without consent, even with a minor, is not always or automatically charged as rape in France:

“[Prosecutors] had no evidence, they said, that he had been violent or that he’d constrained the girl or threatened her. And under French law, that means the girl had “consented” to sex…Under French law, an act can qualify as rape only if there is violence or a threat of violence during a sexual act. Though the age of consent is 15, sex with a minor does not automatically qualify as rape in France.”

Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.