Category Archives: rape
“There’s a huge amount of online activity devoted to cultivating horrific impulses toward women,” says former sex-crimes prosecutor, Jane Manning.
For instance, while Facebook prohibits content that is hateful, threatening or incites violence, rape didn’t count until recently. It took a massive campaign to stop pages with titles like “You know she’s playing hard to get when you’re chasing her down an alleyway.”
Or, an upskirt picture of a woman lying face down on the floor was recently posted on Facebook. It got comments like these:
- Id wake her up the HARD WAY and later say it wasn’t me
- She also would have woke up feeling sticky and used!
- Whuts da ho’ doin on da flo’ ?
- An found a used codom in side of her
- any man worth his salt would fuk it now
On Facebook it was easy to see who had viciously mocked the victim. Among them:
- Men who like science, yoga, Buddhism, classical music and the local church
- A supporter of a charity that campaigns against violence
- A husband who works with a Christian Ministry
- Fathers who seek support for special needs kids, campaign against animal cruelty, are proud of their daughters, and who want to be there for their children
Or, there’s Gilberto Valle, a New York cop who favored sites filled with men chatting about raping and torturing women, and even roasting and eating them. His wife, who knows him best, called the cops and flew to Nevada to escape him. She was one of his prospective victims.
Defenders say, “lighten up!”
What happens when we do?
It may well train women to accept both their diminishment and their submission. And it seems to make men more callous to women’s abuse. Others like Officer Valle, who had a plan to kidnap, torture and eat young women, are incited to violence. Around one in five American women have been victims of rape or battering.
Should we lighten up?
At age eleven Emily Lindin was declared a slut and “harassed incessantly at school, after school, and online,” she says.
A diary entry:
Aaron said he had heard that Zach “ate me out.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I said it wasn’t true, just to be on the safe side.
Fifteen years later she recalls:
I have a very painful memory of watching an instant message window pop up from an account called DieEmilyLindin and reading the message: “Why haven’t you killed yourself yet, you stupid slut?”
I’ve been thinking about this amidst an onslaught of tragedies like these:
- Fifteen-year-old Felicia Garcia of Stanton Island had sex with four football players, which was recorded and shared around her school. Two players began tormenting her and others joined in. Felicia jumped in front of a Staten Island train.
- Four boys assaulted seventeen-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia, labeled her a “slut” and shared a photo online. Then, the whole school started harassing her. Rehtaeh hung herself.
- Fourteen-year-old Samantha Kelly also hung herself, unable to withstand the taunting and harassment that followed a police report of her rape.
I’ve often wished that an “It Gets Better” project could help girls like them make it through and go on to live fulfilling lives.
Others’ opinions can have a big impact on how we see ourselves. Our personal identities can seem merely “subjective,” but when many others agree that we are “X” — for good or for ill — it can seem “objective.”
Still, each of us has more knowledge about ourselves than anyone else. And we can consider the motives behind the labeling. Kids who bully are trying to raise themselves up by putting others down. If they really thought they were so great, they wouldn’t have to make so much effort.
Luckily, it does get better because people grow up, mature and become more secure.
And, the ex-bullied may become stronger, more empathetic and deepened.
In the meantime, maybe Emily’s blog will help others to know that they’ve got support… and that it gets better.
A boy from a Pakistani tribal region was accused of a crime. In retribution, the local Council sentenced his sister to be gang raped. As though these rapists would be the heroes of justice.
As Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times:
As members of the high status tribe danced in joy, four men stripped her naked and took turns raping her. Then they forced her to walk home naked in front of 300 villagers.
Her next duty was clear: commit suicide to rid herself and her family of the stigma of being raped.
But instead, she accused her attackers, propounding the shocking notion that shame lies in raping, rather than in being raped.
When I tell this story my students are shocked. Of course the shame lies in raping.
But right here in America too many think otherwise.
A bevy of reports have been telling the same story: young high school men sexually assault a young woman, take pictures and share them to brag about their conquest as she is belittled and blamed. Rape is something to brag about. Rape makes the young men heroes.
That’s what happened to 15-year-old Audrie Pott of Saratoga, California who was gang raped not too far from my home. After passing out from drinking at a party she woke up to find that her body was covered with humiliating messages scribbled in black magic marker:
She woke up with her shorts off and arrows, circles and nasty comments scrawled on her body. The left side of her face was colored black.
Arrows pointed to her genitals. Scribbles on her breast proclaimed, “(blank) was here.”
One suspect told investigators that he thought it was funny to draw all over her.
She later heard rumors that football players had sexually assaulted her and taken pictures, which they shared with friends and most of the football team. She had seen students at her high school crowding around the cell phone of one of the boys.
Eight days later Audrie hung herself in her bathroom. A note she left read:
My life is ruined. I can’t do anything to fix it. I just want this to go away. My life is over. The people I thought I could trust f-ed me over and then tried to lie to cover it up. I have a reputation for a night I don’t even remember and the whole school knows.
Rapists are heroes and a victim takes her life. Sounds a lot like tribal Pakistan.
This matter of women liking sex less than men is confusing. I enjoy sexuality very much as a man and am disheartened by the seemingly in-your-face fact that women don’t enjoy sex as much as we men do. To me sex is a total experience (heart, soul, mind and body) and it seems that if women don’t enjoy this important part of healthy relationships, then they aren’t as attracted to men in all those ways. I don’t know, it would be nice to actually feel very attractive to the opposite sex. The whole thing makes me very sad, i dunno.
That’s one man’s reaction to a blog post I wrote asking, “DO Women Like Sex Less Than Men?” I wrote the post because statistics suggest that, on average, women do typically like it less.
That’s because women’s sexuality has been repressed by a culture that calls us sluts and ho’s and describes men getting sex with women in unappetizing ways: screw, f-, bang, nail, ram, smash, smack that, beat those… Or, women may get distracted with worry about not looking good enough. And if they do think they look good, they may focus on looking hot for the guy. Who can be in touch with sensual feelings with all that going on? Not to mention, women who have been raped often don’t enjoy sex at all.
Women in egalitarian, sex-positive cultures love sex and are easily and multiply orgasmic. They don’t even need a vibrator.
The problem is sexism, not biology.
The question remains: What to do?
As a society we need to heal. Women, their sexuality, and their bodies — in all their many forms — must be respected and celebrated. And we must put an end to a rape culture that so often blames the victim and fails to punish rapists.
Over time, both sexism and sexual repression have diminished, so there is hope. But cultural change takes time. What can we do right now?
If sexual abuse and trauma are part of a woman’s past, she likely needs therapy and a great deal of understanding from her partner. Too many couples try to struggle through the problem alone when they need help.
Meanwhile, the beauty ideal has narrowed to impossible standards, leaving many women feeling sexually undesirable – and that dampens libido. So women need to become more loving and accepting of their bodies, and men need to appreciate and communicate the unique beauty their partners hold.
Also, let go of how you look and get in tune with how you feel. Focusing on looks is a huge distraction. Instead, center on small sensations that grow larger as you submerge yourself in them.
Deep connection may also help partners to merge and emerge into a transcendent experience. As one woman describes it:
There is a form of sexual ecstasy that mimics the union of God and man, recreation of the world. I can’t really describe this experience… But pure joy and connection with another person I feel is becoming closer to the cycles of life and the underlying palpable energy to the world… in essence, God.
And finally I’ll repeat some advice to men from earlier posts:
If you want your partner to desire sex then romance her, show appreciation, stop shaming women for being sexual, or for not fitting ridiculous “ideals,” desire her and let your lady know she’s beautiful.
So says University of Rochester professor, libertarian and former Slate contributor, Steven Landsburg, who is oddly popular. (With whom?)
Let’s suppose that you, or I, or someone we love, or someone we care about from afar, is raped while unconscious in a way that causes no direct physical harm—no injury, no pregnancy, no disease transmission…
As long as I (the victim) am safely unconscious and therefore shielded from the costs of an assault, why shouldn’t (my attackers) be allowed to reap the benefits?
Prof. Landsburg began by musing, “Let’s suppose that you or I,” but has he really put himself in the victim’s place? Would he really be okay waking to find that he had been anally assaulted?
But then, libertarians appear to have low levels of empathy so maybe he hasn’t.
Prof. Landsburg seems to think that harm only counts when it is “directly physical.” What about emotional wreckage?
Jim Crow laws caused no physical harm to Blacks in Michigan. Even Mississippi Blacks were not physically harmed by separate drinking fountains and bathrooms or by sitting at the back of the bus.
Yet those laws said something disturbing about Black humanity and created emotional injury in the North and South, alike.
Racism and rape, among many other things, wreck emotional violence even without physical harm.
The intention of rape is to demean the victim and prove that the perpetrator has power, allowing him to feel his so-called “manhood” (defined by the rapist as powerful, domineering, violent, superior).
He defiles another to raise himself up.
Rape victims are too often, in turn, demeaned by the community. That’s what happened with the Steubenville rape – the assault that Prof. Landsburg refers to in his illustration. Kids made fun of the sixteen-year-old victim, sharing gossip and pictures. They recognized the denigration and spread it further.
Prof. Landsburg, even if a woman was not beaten and did not get an STD or a pregnancy, she was still harmed. And she has every right to complain.
“It isn’t sex unless you’ve had an orgasm” says Jessica Valenti on losing virginity.
I’d take that a step further and apply it to rape: It ain’t sex unless it’s pleasuring. That makes sex and rape two different things.
When words fail to make distinctions things can get fuzzy and merge together. In places like Korea no words distinguish between blue and green, leaving people unable to see a difference.
We may need to distinguish between sex and rape to stop confusing one with the other. Sex is about consensual, mutual pleasure. Rape is not.
The Steubenville rape, and reaction to it, has got me thinking about this.
A semi-conscious, non-responsive 16-year-old girl is digitally penetrated. So what happens? Someone films it. Next she’s photographed naked, gossiped about, joked about, and it’s all passed around on the web as the girl’s former friends, other students and local townsfolk defend the assailants.
Evan Westlake said he didn’t stop the assault, because,
It wasn’t violent. I didn’t know exactly what rape was. I thought it was forcing yourself on someone.
After a guilty verdict a defendant wails that his life is over. CNN, ABC and NBC seem sympathetic to the perpetrators, whose lives are forever ruined. Just sex gone bad? Bad decisions surrounding sex? It’s easy to make a mistake?
If sex were only thought of as consensual, mutual and pleasurable for all involved then maybe more people could see that entering a semi-conscious girl’s vagina is not sex, it is rape.
And if a woman or girl were raped, or lost her virginity through rape, maybe she’d feel a lot better if she redefined “sex” and “virginity loss” in terms of pleasuring sex, not mere penetration.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable thinking of sex and rape as being different forms of the same thing.
It ain’t sex unless it’s consensual.
It ain’t sex unless it’s mutual.
It ain’t sex unless it’s pleasurable.
It ain’t sex unless everyone feels good afterwards.
And real men love sex, but real men don’t rape.
Last week rape survivor, Zerlina Maxwell, went on Fox’s “Hannity” to discuss rape and guns. But instead of saying women should drink less, dress modestly, arm themselves and learn self-defense, like she “should have,” she told Hannity:
I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there… If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.
“Thanks for the feedback, Internet dopes. Why would anybody think that you need some sensitivity training?” responds Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.
Maxwell tells Salon that, “We need to teach (men) to see women as human beings and respect their bodily autonomy.” Williams points out that when you do, things change:
After Canada launched a “Don’t be that guy” consent awareness campaign in 2011, the sexual assault rate dropped for the first time in years — by 10 percent.
In fact, violence against women is much lower in non-patriarchal cultures that respect women. Both rape and battering were pretty much nonexistent among American Indians before Europeans arrived. Rape and battering have also dropped in the U.S. with a rise in feminism, according to Justice Bureau surveys of victims.
But why the rage when the focus of rape prevention turns from women to men?
Actually, the outrage hasn’t come from everywhere. It comes from right-wing groups — Fox News viewers and the like — who bolster the haves over the have-nots: typically whites, the rich, heteros and in this case, men, over everyone else.
Here, the matter relates to who is free and who is not. Do not even think about asking men to limit themselves. Women, on the other hand, should limit themselves: what they wear, what they drink, what time of day they leave the house… They must prepare themselves for defense against men who refuse to limit themselves. And continuing the right-wing rant, women must be stripped of freedom over their reproductive lives, entirely. No right to your own body in any way.
In this worldview even if rapists ACT, responsibility for the act must fall on the victim. Because men must be free, but women must not.
It’s not often – if ever – that you can witness a man grooming a woman to accept battering. We now have a visual record of how one man attempted it. And it may help to warn women away from potential abusers.
Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, a grad student at Ohio University, had planned to study the stigma of being an ex-convict. While at a local Corn Festival she spotted a tattoo-covered man who was gently cuddling a cute little girl. She approached and asked him and his girlfriend if she could photograph them over a period of time for her project, and they agreed.
Our photographer had met the couple only about a month after they’d gotten together. Two and a half months later she photographed Shane as he battered Maggie in their home. And she had already amassed a photographic record of how he had groomed her for the abuse. You can see the pictures here.
Batterers know that if they give in to their craving to beat their partners too soon the women will leave. So they have two immediate projects 1) push for quick involvement and 2) make her fall in love hard and fast so that she will stay after the beatings.
Shane’s charm offensive began while he was in prison, where he called Maggie every day. As soon as he was released they began dating and within weeks Maggie and her two kids, ages two and four, had moved in with him. A month later Shane got a huge neck tattoo which practically shouted MAGGIE. Any man who would get a tattoo like that must surely be both smitten and committed!
Abusers also keep score of emotional debts owed them (while ignoring those they owe). Altering his body for Maggie created a huge debt. As Amanda Marcotte put it,
“But I got a tattoo for you!” Translation: I altered my very body “for” you, and that is a massive debt that you can pretty much never pay, so you have to put up with my crap forever.
In more emotional blackmail Shane spent plenty of time complaining that Maggie paid more attention to her kids than to him.
Her four-year-old son, Kayden, took the brunt of his resentment even as he lavished attention on his cute two-year-old sister, Memphis. Maybe Shane thought he could release some of his abusive cravings on him while he repressed his desire to beat the boy’s mother. So keep in mind that batterers are often cruel to animals and children.
Batterers also try to isolate their victims, leaving them without help or support. So characteristically, Shane moved Maggie and her kids far away from family and friends within months of beginning their relationship. Moving everyone in with him may have also created a sense of “debt owed” and dependence on him.
But with a criminal record and facial tattoos Shane had difficulty finding work, so he couldn’t really afford to support the family. Abusers can come from any class but men who feel disempowered sometimes beat up their partners partly because it gives them a sense of empowerment in those moments when they are raging and pummeling a smaller, physically weaker person. And Shane’s difficulty finding work may have created a sense of powerlessness.
Once Maggie had fallen in love and was isolated and dependent, Shane only needed an excuse to beat her.
Jealousy works especially well for this trigger. The whirlwind courtship had already marked the relationship as passionate, and so administering a beating over jealous love promotes the storyline that he only did it because he loves her sooo much. And that makes her more likely to stay afterwards.
So Maggie and Shane went to a bar where Maggie became jealous over some flirtations and left. After a friend drove him home, Shane became enraged that Maggie had abandoned him. He then turned the jealous accusation around. Furious that one of his friends had flirted with Maggie, he claimed that she had betrayed him.
As they fought he told her to choose between getting beaten in the kitchen or going to the basement where they could talk privately (they were staying at a friend’s home).
Any police officer will tell you to never go to a second, more isolated location where something more brutal is likely to happen. Maggie was smart enough not to do that.
Hearing her mother’s screams, two-year-old Memphis ran to her mother’s side. Maybe because Shane had always been so sweet to Memphis, she felt she could protect her mom. So the little girl screamed, stomped her feet and finally put her body in between the two of them.
But the abuse didn’t end until a housemate called the police. Shane told the officers that he was just trying to keep Maggie from leaving the house with the children while she was drunk.
When that didn’t work he cried out, “Please, Maggie, I love you, don’t let them take me, tell them I didn’t do this,” apparently hoping that his “love” would persuade her to save him.
Often, it works. And it nearly did here as the officer had to coax the truth from Maggie and then talk her into signing a protection order and getting a medical exam.
“I don’t want to get him in trouble,” she wept.
“You aren’t getting him into trouble. He got himself into trouble,” the officer assured her. “You know, he’s not going to stop. They never stop. They usually stop when they kill you.”
What’s not typical is that Maggie left. She now lives in Alaska with her children’s father. Maybe she left because she had someplace to go. Maybe the publicity and the pictures made it difficult to deny the gravity of the abuse.
Most women stay, thinking that he will change. It usually takes months or even years of violent outbursts to see that it is about him and not about her, to see that he will not change, and to see that love is nowhere to be found.
When women decide to leave they should first call a domestic abuse hotline to make plans. And then go without warning. Because leaving is the most dangerous time.
800-799-SAFE (TDD: 800-787-3224)
SIGNS OF AN ABUSER
Before an abuser starts physically assaulting his victim, he typically demonstrates his abusive tactics through certain behaviors. The following are five major warning signs and some common examples:
Abusers can be very charming. In the beginning, they may seem to be Prince Charming or a Knight in Shining Armor. He can be very engaging, thoughtful, considerate and charismatic. He may use that charm to gain very personal information about her. He will use that information later to his advantage.
For example; he will ask if she has ever been abused by anyone. If she says, “yes”, he will act outraged that anyone could treat a woman that way. Then when he becomes abusive, he will tell her no one will believe her because she said that before and it must be her fault or two people would not have hit her.
Another example; he may find out she experimented with drugs in her past. He will then threaten that if she tells anyone about the abuse he will report her as a drug abuser and she will lose her children. The threat to take away her children is one of the most common threats abusers use to maintain power and control over their victims.
Abusers isolate their victims geographically and socially. Geographic isolation includes moving the victim from her friends, family and support system (often hundreds of miles); moving frequently in the same area and/or relocating to a rural area.
Social isolation usually begins with wanting the woman to spend time with him and not her family, friends or co-workers. He will then slowly isolate her from any person who is a support to her. He dictates whom she can talk to; he tells her she cannot have contact with her friends or family.
Jealousy is a tool abusers use to control the victim. He constantly accuses her of having affairs. If she goes to the grocery store, he accuses her of having an affair with the grocery clerk. If she goes to the bank, he accuses her of having an affair with the bank teller. Abusers routinely call their victims whores or sluts.
The goal of emotional abuse is to destroy the victim’s self-esteem. He blames her for his violence, puts her down, calls her names and makes threats against her. Over time, she no longer believes she deserves to be treated with respect and she blames herself for his violence. For some survivors of domestic violence, the emotional abuse may be more difficult to heal from than the physical abuse.
Abusers are very controlled and very controlling people. In time, the abuser will control every aspect of the victim’s life: where she goes, how she wears her hair, what clothes she wears, whom she talks to. He will control the money and access to money. Abusers are also very controlled people. While they appear to go into a rage or be out of control we know they are very much in control of their behavior.
The following are the reasons we know his behaviors are not about anger and rage:
- He does not batter other individuals – the boss who does not give him time off or the gas station attendant that spills gas down the side of his car. He waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the person he says he loves.
- If you ask an abused woman, “can he stop when the phone rings or the police come to the door?” She will say “yes”. Most often when the police show up, he is looking calm, cool and collected and she is the one who may look hysterical. If he were truly “out of control” he would not be able to stop himself when it is to his advantage to do so.
- The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show. If he were “out of control” or “in a rage” he would not be able to direct or limit where his kicks or punches land.
Here are some more signs:
1. Jealousy of your time with co-workers, friends and family.
2. Controlling behavior. (Controls your comings and goings and your money.)
3. Isolation. (Cuts you off from all supportive resources such as telephone pals, colleagues at work and close family members.)
4. Blames others for his problems. (Unemployment, quarrels – everything is “your fault.”)
5. Hypersensitivity. (Easily upset by annoyances that are a part of daily life.)
6. Cruelty to animals or children.
7. “Playful” use of force in sex. (May start having sex with you when you are sleeping or demand sex when you are ill or tired.)
8. Verbal abuse.
9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. (Sudden mood swings and unpredictable behavior – one minute loving, the next minute angry and punitive.)
10. Past history of battering. (Has hit others but has a list of excuses for having been “pushed over the edge.”)
11. Threats of violence.
12. Breaking or striking objects.
13. Uses force during an argument.
Any woman who sees herself in this column should call the nearest women’s crisis line and tell someone what is happening. She will be provided with support and safety options.
Some women do not realize they are being abused until someone points it out to them. They have been made to believe that abusive treatment is what they deserve and that most women are treated this way. Women who see themselves in his should check out the nearest shelter and keep the phone number handy. They can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (TDD: 800-787-3224).
1. Controlling behavior: “I know what’s best for you” and “I know what you want (or need).”The reality is that no one knows what is best for another adult.
2. Blames others for his problems: “Look what you made me do” and “If you hadn’t done that, none of this would have happened.”
3. Use of force in sex and/or saying that sex was a “wifely duty.” There is no law requiring a woman to have sex if she doesn’t want to. Forced sex is called rape.
4. History of battering: Excuses include the classic, “If you hadn’t provoked me …”The truth is that he chose to hit, push, kick, slap or punch you. If he hit you once, he will hit you again.
5. Verbal abuse: If someone deliberately hurts your feelings by word or deed, it is abuse, even if it is as simple as “You look fat in that outfit.”
6. Threats of violence: Threats are almost always precursors to the deed. If he threatens you, leave him before he does it.
7. Use of force during an argument: Most women feel, as I did, that if they haven’t been hit, they have not been physically abused. Restraining someone is also physical abuse. Pushing and shoving are physical abuse.
Abuse and battery take a toll on one’s physical, emotional and spiritual energy. It is easy to say no. We say this word all the time. Unfortunately, we find it especially difficult to say no to those we love and those we fear.
I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states — 31 — men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy.
That’s Shauna Prewitt. In her final year of college she became the victim of a horrifying rape. Nine months later she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She chose to keep and raise her because her daughter was,
so much more than her beginnings. I blissfully believed that after I finally had decided to give birth to and to raise my daughter, life would be all roses and endless days at the playground.
I was wrong again.
Nearly 1/3 of women who conceive by rape choose to keep and raise their children. Like Shauna, they probably don’t realize that their rapist will be given visitation rights and end up in their lives forever.
As if the violent rape weren’t bad enough now she must be constantly reminded of it as she is forced into contact with the child’s father.
That may be just why the men seek custody. Rapists enjoy power and intimidation and can now create dread and fear through a lifetime. Or, as Shauna sees it:
It is not surprising that a man who cruelly degrades a woman would also seek to torture her in an even more agonizing way, by seeking access to her child.
A rape victim may, alternatively, sacrifice her need for justice by dropping the charges in a bargain to gain sole custody of the child.
Apparently, the court’s concern is that the man may not have raped the woman. But in this “he said/she said,” why does he win? Especially since rapists tend to have a controlling nature and a violent streak, risking child endangerment.
When I look at which causes greater harm, a man denied custody or a woman forever tormented and a child at risk for abuse, I wonder why the man’s rights trump the woman’s and the child’s.
Probably because every society is ruled from the perspective of the powerful. In this case, men. Those making the law are looking at things more from the man’s perspective than from the perspective of where the greater harm occurs.
It’s all reminiscent of a newly proposed bill “aimed at throwing rape victims in jail if they refuse to honor their rapist’s right to control their body by carrying his child,” as Amanda Marcotte put it.
That’s right. Rep. Cathrynn Brown of New Mexico wants a bill banning abortion for rape victims because it “tampers with evidence.” Sounds phony since pregnancies may occur without rape and rape can occur without pregnancy. Wonder how much money one of her constituents contributed to get that bill proposed?
At best this ban sees through the eyes of the powerful instead of the powerless.
At worst it is misogynistic, an excuse to hurt a woman even more than she has already been harmed by rape.
When it comes to justice sometimes it’s a world turned upside-down.
She’s deader than a doornail.
She’s deader than Trayvon Martin.
What if she was pregnant and gave birth to a dead baby?
Jokes like that bolster rape and rapists. It’s all just fodder for wisecracks. No big deal.
Even the feminist blog, Jezebel, received comments on this story that support a lighthearted view:
Yes, it’s tasteless and twisted and offensive. But as far as we know, it’s also just talk…They’re probably just a bunch of dumb high school kids, most likely drunk and/or stoned, making terrible jokes.
Unfortunately, this is how young men joke around these days.
I guess these folks don’t get that the blasé pose contributes to the crime.
Another commenter told about rape culture from her high school days.
They would pull all kinds of pranks that I wrote off then as just typical asshole stuff, like leaving Playboys out open to the centerfold, with lit candles on every girl’s crotch, whenever girls came over to their hangout. I figured they were testing us girls to see if we were cool, if we could take a joke. Until one of them raped my friend when she was drunk. He dropped her off at a sleepover where she cried because she was a virgin and she was scared. Those guys proceeded to prank call us every 5 minutes and when we answered it was just laughter. Laughing!
Rape culture also arises when drunkenness is thought a worse crime than rape. It’s “her fault” for getting drunk. And indeed, as the 16-year-old became drunk at a party some taunted her and cheered when a baseball player dared someone to urinate on her.
The day after the assault, photos and comments went up on the Web. One tweet claimed, “Some people deserve to be peed on.” Others retweeted, including one of the rapists.
You see rape culture in the townspeople’s reactions, with many blaming the girl for being assaulted, seeking justice and putting the football team in a bad light.
Her family received threats so that extra police were needed to patrol their neighborhood.
Rape culture arises when a girl’s friends ostracize her and parents encourage their kids to stay away. As happen with this young woman.
A commenter on Jezebel wrote that,
What they mean (in the video) by “dead” is her reputation is dead. Meaning no one will ever date her or sleep with her again.
That’s what happens when being raped is thought a worse crime than raping. That’s what happens in rape culture. You blame less powerful people – typically women here –to protect more powerful people – in the case of rape, most likely men.
Things are improving. Not everyone took the side of the ballplayers. And most of the reactions on Jezebel’s blog were sympathetic to the girl, not the rapists.
Even the dimwit on the video eventually got some pushback from the other guys:
That’s not cool bro.
That’s like rape. It is rape. They raped her.
What if that was your daughter?
But unfortunately, from America to India and beyond, rape culture is still all too common.