NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

What the Hell is Happening? (TW)

March9

**Trigger Warning for discussion of rape and rape culture, gang rape and the treatment of victims versus accused rapists**

 

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I want to say up front that I am far from educated in the ways of discussing these types of things with the proper academic jargon or dialogue. I don’t want to offend anyone, so please let me know the proper terms and I shall edit or try to use them in the future. I am open to all opinions and alternative perspectives on the subject, but I will not tolerate victim blaming of any sort. Nor will I tolerate anyone defending a rapist or other abuser.

I came across this article this morning about the recent gang rapes of two different (and in different states) eleven year old girls. One in Texas and one a few months ago in Michigan. In both instances several men, varying in age from teens to late twenties, attacked and held the girls while they were raped, repeatedly. In both instances the attack was captured in a cell phone video. These are the facts, no opinion has been inserted in this paragraph.

If this news doesn’t sicken you to your very core then it says a lot about you and a lot more about the world in which we live in currently. These gang rape cases seem to be more and more prevalent lately and this disturbs me most of all. The fact that these children (11 is a child!) were singled out and attacked and then later blamed for being gang raped makes me wonder what the hell is happening in the USA. The fact that instead of their entire communities rallying around these girls and demanding justice that they are questioning the parents, blaming the parents and even these young girls? What in the whaaaaaaaaat? NO! This is not how these things are supposed to work. I don’t care what anyone wears ever, no outfit or costume has ever been a public issuance of permission to rape, ever! I don’t care if someone lied about their age, gang rape is gang rape and the age of the victim shouldn’t factor in weather it was a lie or not. Eleven years old is eleven years old! It is not as though turning eighteen or twenty-one suddenly means you get gang raped every time you leave the damned house. It does not!And there is no way an eleven year old girl could pass for eighteen! Just sayin’!

In the Texas case, the family of the victim is being harassed by the community. The attorney for the defendants had this to say in response to the harassment, “The families are dealing with it. It is [a] very stressful environment.” Wow! The families of the accused (mind you there is video!) are “dealing with it.” Exactly how are these families dealing with the harassment of the victim’s family? If by dealing you mean doling, then yeah, you’re probably right. UGH! I know, I know, lawyering. Blegh! The accused could face up to life in prison, but let’s face a harsh fact folks, they will not be sentenced to much more than a few years and maybe probation. More likely is simply probation and maybe community service or some sort of therapy. There is no justice left to be had in this country.

If you are female or if you are a person of color or another marginalized group, you know this already! When I called the police on my abuser, even showed them the evidence, they laughed in my face. This is not new. I hope everyone is aware of the Oscar Grant murder here in California, but in case you haven’t heard, Oscar Grant was a young black man, father of an adorable little baby girl, who was murdered by BART police on New Year’s 2009. The officer who shot Oscar in the back, while he was held down by two other officers, claimed he thought he was using his taser. When you see the video (it’s all over the internet), you can tell that this simply wasn’t so. This officer received a sentence of two years for taking the life of an innocent man. There is no justice left to be had in this country.

When news of eleven year old girls getting gang raped is not on the front page of every newspaper and other media outlets, you just know in your heart that there is no justice left to be had in this country. It is the reason many of us live in fear. Fear of our neighbors and fear of strangers and fear of the police who are supposed to protect and defend us. These little girls have to live with the memory and scars (mental and physical) of their attack for the rest of their lives. If you think for one second that they can just go back to their previous lives? You’re wrong. When I was molested and my molester was sentenced, I felt like someone had dipped my entire body in red paint for all to see. I felt marked and outed. These girls will hopefully get therapy and find a new normal for them. I hope that their families can begin to heal and hopefully, one day, move on. I wish I had some bit of wisdom or advice considering my own experiences on this subject, but I have none. I instinctively live by the “Trust No One” motto of “The X-Files” but had been long before I’d hear of that show (but damn it’s a fab show). I fight against this instinct and I do get hurt, but I also live with the fear of being attacked again.

To blame someone for a crime committed against them? To say things like, “boys will be boys” is fucked up and damaging to us all and future generations. I say get that fucking phrase out of our common usage and into the dark ages where it belongs. To say someone isn’t responsible for their own actions due to their gender? That’s a whole lot of wrong! Yet the girls are to be blamed for getting gang raped? Someone please explain the logic here, because I cannot seem to find it! I do hope that justice is served, but I won’t lie and tell you I think it’s even remotely possible. At least not without the full support and demands of their communities. We need to reach out to our youth and get the message across to them now that this behavior is wrong, period. There is nothing more to it. It is wrong! It will not be accepted and you will be punished if you think otherwise. So why is this message not already out there and getting heard?

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posted under Bullshit, Buzz, Equal Rights
6 Comments to

“What the Hell is Happening? (TW)”

  1. On March 9th, 2011 at 3:50 pm Medea Says:

    I read about the Texas case in the NYT, and my jaw hit the floor when, 12 paragraphs in, I read:

    They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.

    I’ve seen people try to justify sexual assault with “oh, but she was wearing provocative clothing” fuckery before, but applying that callous, bullshit argument to a gang-raped child in a reputable national newspaper is a new low.

  2. On March 9th, 2011 at 3:59 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes, exactly! And who cares if she was walking down the middle of the road naked?! It is still not an invitation for gang rape of all things!

  3. On March 10th, 2011 at 1:54 am Dee Says:

    I saw that story too, and it made me want to puke. They should toss those men and boys in jail and throw away the key. They’re worthless pieces of garbage and they proved it by what they did. They deserve no sympathy or consideration whatsoever. And, maybe they should throw that New York Times reporter in there with them and then see how sympathetic he is to their cause afterwards.

    Jesus! An 11 year old girl, and this guy thinks it matters how she was dressed or how old she looked? She was gang raped! It wouldn’t even matter if she looked like (or was!) a fifty year old hooker, those guys would still be disgusting scum deserving of harsh punishment.

  4. On March 10th, 2011 at 8:50 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Yes! What motivates a person to side with the gang rapists? I just can’t see that.

  5. On March 10th, 2011 at 2:19 pm Lauren Says:

    I actually have a posit for this kind of behavior cropping up more often in our country. It’s sick and wrong, but it actually makes sense. If one looks at any other country in the world where the wealth disparity between the poor and the rich is wide, there are greater and greater cases of violence against women. A strong theory behind this is that when the male populations become stressed, particularly young males will try and find ways to exert power over groups weaker than them, most often women. Look up world statistics on rape; the poorest countries correlate strongly with the countries with highest instances of violence against women. And don’t let them fool you, rape is not about sex, it is all about power. In America, the rich are getting richer, and while jobs are on the rise again, they are paying less than they have in the past. Young people are seeing less and less options for them. There are greater pressures to conform to group mentalities for safety. I still condemn them for what they did, but I am willing to bet there was at lest one boy in each rape case that saw what was happening was wrong but was too scared to speak against the group for fear of retribution against himself. An act of cowardice, for certain, but quite possibly an act of self preservation.

    As for the communities coming out in support of the accused and blaming the victim for her rape, this is just another point in a long data set of such instances. The perpetrators were considered valued by their communities, so it would cause cognitive dissonance for the community to change their view points to cast them as villains. Thus, every excuse to blame the victim is exploited to save themselves from having to confront the ugliness in those they value. What really pisses me off is that when the National media picked up the story, they repeated the lies uncritically. I can understand it in local media (even if I do not condone it), but major syndicates such as CNN and The NY Times who are removed from those communities should be able to look at the flaws in the original reports with a critical eye. They should be rallying support for the victim from the outside, since she is obviously getting none from inside her community. It’s really quite despicable.

  6. On March 10th, 2011 at 2:24 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow, I hadn’t thought about the class divide (for once). Thank you for pointing that out. And yeah, modern journalism is a fucking joke!

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