A Raped Girl Is A Joke

She’s deader than a doornail.

She’s deader than Trayvon Martin.

What if she was pregnant and gave birth to a dead baby?

Anonymous has posted a video of drunken high school athletes making fun of a 16-year-old girl who was raped while unconscious by two star football players.

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.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Real Men Don’t Beat, Rape Women: A Guy’s View
Rape and Acting Offensively are Natural Male Urges?
Dad Imprisons, Rapes Daughters, Mere Sex Objects

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 January 7, 2013, in feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Nataliya Naumova

    The core of rape culture in America is shocking. While in India young men rape women on purpose that is far from just making fun of it, and everybody understands that this act humiliates woman. In America guys do it just for laughs. At this point I call their psychological condition in question. Are their psychology condition ok? How can normal human beings enjoy humiliating, hurting another human being? How raped person can be just a joke? How it could be fun?

    However, blaming the victim and not considering rape as a crime are shared in both countries, America and India. I am surprised as to why people blame the powerless in this particular crime? Why are women blamed for this, like if she would purposely search out a rapist? It seems that people suddenly start thinking about raped woman as some sort of masochist. It seems that society suddenly starts to deny the truth that no one wants to be abused. It looks like renewed practice of taking woman’s voice away. Like it was centuries ago when women were easily considered as mentally unhealthy just because men said so, even though it was he who was insane.

  2. Reblogged this on winterdominatrix and commented:
    Thank you Anonymous. You shined the spotlight, made the victim visible. I hope she does not commit suicide like the other two females this happened to last month..

  3. Beth Stolyarchuk

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole video, because it sparks so much rage in me. however, I saw a lot of this in my time in the Marines, as shameful as that is. I didn’t understand then why the people that are supposed to be your friends, and also the people who are supposed to take care of your wellbeing can act as though it is the womans fault in a rape. I’m still baffled by it. The Marine Corps was a boy’s club without a doubt, but I saw a lot of girls get treated like absolute trash after they accused their attacker. Unfortunately, all that does is to teach the other women in the command to not say a word if something happened, because it is absolutely a reputation destroyer. There needs to be serious education about how wrong and horrific rape is, but until then, a lot of women will be punished by her peers and everyone else for being a victim of rape. It ruins lives, and to have people like that, treating rape like its a joke, it just makes me physically ill.

  4. Sabrina Paynter

    I was horrified when I heard about this case. I haven’t watched the video (17+ minutes of this talk?!) because the short clip I saw on CNN was enough to make me sick to my stomach; even seeing the picture of that boy’s laughing face gives me the chills. It seems incomprehensible to me that anyone would think acting (or even joking) like this is okay. I can’t even understand how anyone could come to be like these teens.

    We need to emphasize to our young boys and girls that rape is never okay, is never deserved, is never asked for, and is inexcusable. Thinking back to my youth, the only time I remember any adult talking to me about rape was when I was 17, and then it was at an assembly during the summer at UCLA, so I assume other girls my age did not get the same information. Maybe some sort of rape awareness education should be taught along side sex education and continued throughout junior high and high school health classes. I don’t know; all I know is that we can’t keep fostering a culture where people think this kind of talk and behavior is acceptable.

  5. I couldnt believe what i was watching. they are so calm about the whole situation, it makes my stomach turn. I am a little confused on why they would keep saying the girl is dead when the two girls are very much alive. could they have done it to more people? could some be dead?
    I cant understand why they would find this is funny, its like he has no guilt whatsoever. i am baffaled on how he can act so normal knowing he raped a girl!!!! its scary to see how young male teens are. IF THIS IS OUR FUTURE WE ARE IN ALOT OF TROUBLE

    • Luckily it’s only some guys not all guys.

      I believe they were calling her dead because she was unconscious at the time of the rape.

      It’s very sad, I know.

      • whats even worse is when he said that “she was dead like OJs wife” that made me sick to my stomach because hes ok with the idea that oj killed his wife.

  6. What a messed up world we’re living in! I am not sure if we’ll see a day when these heinous acts stop but I hope they do. It’s sad and scary to read about these things happening to women. The victim blaming is just so terrible.

  7. There’s an interesting thought you move towards here, about public response – that the victim becomes ‘soiled’. That people view victims as soiled is surely a large contributor in making rape so hard to report, recover from etc.
    While it wouldn’t necessarily reduce incidence – being sympathetic and offering a ‘safe ideology’ (if that makes sense) for victims is something everyone could do right now.
    A jumbled thought but I felt it worth teasing out.

  8. Thanks for continuing to speak truth clearly. This is the path to healing for humanity. Strong words.

  9. This is horrific. Every time they laughed, they were raping this poor young woman again.

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