Don't be fooled by the title of this blog. I don't discuss herbs very much here. This blog is general-purpose, although I do like ranting about politics and religion.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Slander of a Woman

The Washington state legislature has a new bill before it to repeal the sinister crime of "Slander of a Woman." Introduced just today, SB 5148 is aiming to repeal this:
RCW 9.58.110
Slander of woman.
Every person who, in the presence or hearing of any person other than the female slandered, whether she be present or not, shall maliciously speak of or concerning any female of the age of twelve years or upwards, not a common prostitute, any false or defamatory words or language which shall injure or impair the reputation of any such female for virtue or chastity or which shall expose her to hatred, contempt or ridicule, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Every slander herein mentioned shall be deemed to be malicious unless justified, and shall be justified when the language charged as slanderous, false or defamatory is true and fair, and was spoken with good motives and for justifiable ends.
[1909 c 249 § 181; RRS § 2433.]
As you can see, this law was passed almost 100 years ago. I wonder how many people were charged and convicted for this heinous offense? I wonder if it will be repealed, or if it will be vigorously opposed by women's groups?

It was introduced by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle). I wonder what made her decide to try to repeal this law at this time? Perhaps I can get her to tell me.


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