12-Year-Olds Wanted Rape, Judge Says

Six British soccer players confessed to gang-raping two 12-year-old girls last March. But an Appeals Court recently freed the men because, “The girls wanted to have sex,” explained Lord Justice Moses.

They wanted sex? Even Moses admitted, “They had pretty miserable, fleeting sex in a
freezing cold park.” Now that sounds like what girls want.

Apparently one of the 12-year-olds had been texting the players, and she and her friend agreed to meet them in a park. There, five of the men gang raped one girl while a sixth assaulted the other. When they didn’t return home, one of their mothers called the police, who found them wandering alone in the early morning hours.

At the least this looks like statutory rape. The girls were only twelve after all. They claimed to be sixteen, but shouldn’t adults use some judgment?

Most importantly, the men admitted to rape.

Yet those “frank confessions” convinced the judges of the soccer players’ “positive good character,” suggesting they had been duped into sex.

Huh?

Colin Horgan, a regular contributor to The Guardian, looks to Men’s Studies professor, Michael Kimmel to consider why men sometimes side with rapists over victims.

In some men’s eyes a girl is seen as offering herself for a sexual encounter just by “being there.” The men feel entitled to sex because, deep down, they all “know” that’s what she wants. So gang rapes end up being seen as something the victim actively did or encouraged, and not something done to her.

Horgan says porn plays a role, not as an instruction manual but as a projection of the fantasies and validation of the feelings of men who consume it. Some studies do suggest that certain types of porn promote the myth that women secretly want to be raped.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Hallett, over at Ms., observes that rapists are continually let off the hook because, “The girls were dressed provocatively, the women were drinking, women lie about rape, there was “sex in the air,” yet:

Research has shown that most rapists are serial rapists–and those serial rapists commit 90 to 95 percent of all rapes. What’s more likely–that these repeat perpetrators just happen to get “tricked” by underage women or receive “mixed messages” from unconsenting women, again and again–or that the overwhelming majority of rapes aren’t really committed “by accident”?

She makes a good point.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in feminism, gender, men, pornography, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. i scoured bbc and cnn for this story and couldnt find anything. this is another sad set back for justice, the reputation and credibility of men and female/male relations

  2. And some men AND women wonder why events like “Slut walk” have a following.

  3. This is a really horrifying article. I honestly think girls that age are so involved in trying to be grown up and don’t have the mature mind to know right from wrong. For the rapist to get off the hook for good character is obscene because had they had good character, they should have taken a look at the young girls they were raping. I believe that the men were let off too easily and obviously only see women as sexual objects. Even to say that woman lead on men or send mixed messages it is still wrong to force yourself on anyone in a sexual manner. What defines consensual is a thin line that seems to always be misunderstood.

  4. What’s misunderstood is this court decision and the origional article which obviously nobody here has really read.
    They wern’t let off for good behaviour for one. One of the guys didn’t even do anything because the girl started crying (as she was probably draged in by her friend) so he spent the whole time condoling her, so don’t say “they should have taken a look at the young girls”.
    These people are not the 90-95% repeat offenders. They turned themselves in as soon as they found out the girls were underage, a warning to all men not to believe a girl when you ask her for her age.
    P.S. The ‘Slut Walk’ is a protest for womans rights and freedom, to look how they want, to be treated as equal. Anyone against the ‘Slut Walk’ are either sexist or repressed.

    • On the ‘Slut Walk’. I just realised that the participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance. So if Mike H. is in fact saying this in support of the event, then I’m sorry if I interpreted it wrong.

    • Well, your sources say something different from what my sources said. I hope yours is the right one as that would make the case more humane.

      I was using Ms. Magazine and the Daily Mail. What are your sources, btw?

  5. Also the Daily Mail as it happens. A quote from their full article (they don’t print the full thing in the paper due to space restrictions):
    “The girls told the men they were 16, had dressed to look older and put fake ages on their Facebook accounts.
    They sneaked away from a party to be with them after exchanging suggestive text messages in which one girl said she wanted to have sex with more than one of the men.”
    From http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014278/Jailed-footballers-freed-judges-rape-appeal-say-girls-12-wanted-sex.html

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