She Asked For It?
What’s “her” motive in the situation? What drives the rapist? And who has control?
I’ve been thinking about this as two men are sentenced for joining eighteen others to brutally rape a 16-year-old Richmond, California girl.
She wore a lavender dress to the homecoming dance. But she left early and began dialing her dad to pick her up. And then a schoolmate invited her to join some friends who were drinking on school property, and who encouraged her to drink too much. She said they were polite — at first.
She doesn’t remember anything after one kicked her in the stomach and she fell over.
TRIGGER WARNING Author’s Note: What follows in this blocked quote contains graphic details that may be triggering for some survivors of sexual violence.
Punching and kicking her, the men dragged her around. They beat, stripped and raped her. They assaulted her with a walkie-talkie. One urinated on her. Some burned cigarettes onto her back. Another emptied her purse and stole her money.
Her distressed dad kept calling until a man answered her cell and said his daughter was good at f-ing and giving head.
In all, twenty men participated. Others watched.
Two hours later someone finally called the cops and the men ran away.
An officer found her unconscious and bent over a table’s steel poles, with her lavender dress twisted up over her naked bottom. She was covered in vomit, bloodied and bruised. “She looked wet,” he said, “She looked really clammy white. I thought she was dead.”
When her distraught father learned what had happened, he started screaming and shaking a nearby fence.
Doctors say she was near death.
She awoke the next day in a hospital, nauseous and in pain, with a swollen face, a bruised body, a neck brace and catheter:
My head hurt, and I saw five of everybody staring at me. My body hurt from head to toe with excruciating pain every time I moved. (My legs) felt like somebody had ripped them out of place (and) as if someone had took out my insides, stabbed them and put them back in.
On this same day, her attackers laughed and joked about the assault.
Still, some blamed her:
At a vigil for the victim of the October 24th rape and beating, some students, including young women, hinted that they fault the victim because of rumors about her sexual history. Some students, like 17-year-old Luis Gastelum said if a girl, “…goes to a dark alley, you’re basically, not asking for it, but something was gonna happen.” Sixteen-year-old Briseida Rodriguez also questioned the circumstances leading up to the rape. “Why would she be over there with all them guys? Knowing that the homecoming is in the gym, not over there, so that’s why I think it’s her fault.”
She did get drunk. And she hung out. Are those “crimes” worth punishment by beating, rape and possibly death — in the “she asked for it” scenario?
The rapists also got drunk and hung out. But unlike her, that holds no fault? Have you noticed that when rapists drink they aren’t blamed for drinking?
They also beat and raped and found other means to humiliate her. They nearly killed her.
They controlled the assault. She didn’t.
And what of the motives of the girl versus the boys?
She sought friendship.
They wanted a sexual thrill, and to feel powerful and dominant. At least one wanted her money.
And they didn’t care how much it all made her hurt.
Some men will blame her because it makes them feel safer — they will be less likely to be accused or convicted of rape, should such a situation ever arise.
Some women will blame her because it makes them feel safer – if I don’t act like “that” I will be safe.
Some blame the victim when rape charges hurt the image of their community.
And some blame the victim just because they’ve heard so often that it’s her fault.
Really, I think we know who’s the bad guy.
Posted on August 16, 2013, in feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged California, feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, Richmond, sexism, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.