The incredibly frustrating idea that women and girls ASK to be raped

Rape me, rape me; Oh, please, rape me.

I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine anyone thinking or saying these words, so how on Earth people think women and girls ASK to be raped is beyond my thinking.

If you haven’t yet read this, Keli Goff had a very good article on Salon about the gang-rape of the 11-year-old girl:

Of course she was asking for it

Of course she was. Why else would 18 men and boys rape her?

This case is still on my mind. It’s on my mind when I take a shower. It’s on my mind when I hear about other sexual assaults. When I hear about other crimes (the kind that doesn’t involve victim-blaming, which tends to be those involving strangers or male victims).

Goff brings up the Polanski case and adds a link to the Hollywood petition asking for him to be excused – I’ve added it here too. It sickened me to see how many celebs believe a pedophile should go unpunished: Petition 

She brings up several other cases to support her argument and, interestingly, mentioned how some judges even believe trafficked girls are actually “bad girls.”

Here’s Goff’s ending:

Maybe the reason we can’t get our criminal justice system and others in power to take sexual crimes against children more seriously is because too many of them believe that under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances they too could find themselves the accidental “victim” of the seductive charms of a young siren — whose age they really didn’t know (wink, wink.)

And wouldn’t that be terrible for them to find their lives ruined?

Especially if she was really asking for it.

 It’s not the first time somebody has pointed out that men in power can relate to the story or crime. For instance, it’s been said that white male writers/editors write about the “nice guy” that “snaps” and kills his wife because — well, that could be him in that position. It makes sense – rarely to I read that minorities are “nice guys” that “snap” when they commmit a crime.

Goff’s article has 486 comments at the moment. The last comment I read proved that people STILL didn’t get it:

CapriRS302 said:

WHen someone says “she was asking for it” they are not trying to put blame on the victim AND take it away from the perpetrato­r, they are just trying to point out that there were bad decisions that were made beforehand by the victim that led to the situation.

If I were to take a shortcut through a dark alley at night instead of walking around a few blocks or calling a cab and I got mugged, it would be the same type of thing.

What does it take to educate people on victim-blaming?
Here was my reply to Capri:
If someone said ‘she was asking for it’ – and “it” meant “rape” – then, yes, it’s blaming the victim. Nobody asks to be raped. Nobody asks to be mugged. Nobody asks to be killed. Period.

If bad decisions were made – well, they’re just bad decisions. No one can predict the future – no one can predict an assault. Bad decisions don’t cause or lead to rape. Rapists rape. It’s the rapist’s behavior – and the perp must take full accountabi­lity of committing a CRIME.

People make bad decisions every day. They don’t deserve to be punished for it. They don’t deserve to be raped, or mugged, or killed.

An 81-year-ol­d man was recently killed. He left his door open and a robber came in, stole $40. and killed him. Was he to blame? No. But he did leave his door open. Rarely do we blame victims for these crimes – but we do for rape and domestic violence.

Perps are NOT vigilantes­. They are not judges or juries. They should have no power whatsoever to punish people for bad decisions.

Here’s another article on the subject  – A REPUBLICAN joined the victim-blaming:

Sick: Republican Lawmaker likens 11 yr old rape victim to a “21 yr old prostitute” – this also links to another article on the topic, by Amanda Marcotte

 

New York Times apologizes for victim-blaming

A bit of a half-assed apology, but it can help:

Big news! After a massive outcry from more than 40,000 Change.org members — which led to news coverage in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, and even London’s Daily MailNew York Times public editor Arthur S. Brisbane has issued a strong rebuke of the victim-blaming in a recent article by reporter James McKinley about the gang-rape of an 11-year-old girl and her community’s response.  

Brisbane wrote said that the outrage was “understandable” and that the piece conveyed “an impression of concern for the perpetrators and an impression of a provocative victim” that “led many readers to interpret the subtext of the story to be: she had it coming.”

The apology isn’t perfect — it decries the lack of “balance,” as if the paper should be providing equal voice to the concerns of the victims and her alleged attackers. And unfortunately, while the story ran in section “A” of the Times, Brisbane’s commentary showed up only online, not in his weekly column.

But because the Times is so high-profile, this condemnation still sends an important message to reporters all around the U.S. that readers will hold them accountable for insinuating that victims are somehow responsible for playing a role in their own sexual assaults. And you made this happen.

We have much more to do together as we fight for the rights and security of women everywhere, but we’re proving we can make real progress. If there’s a campaign you’d like to start, click here to create your own petition:

http://www.change.org/start-a-petition?alert_id=IWSUxNFEGk_HMgNqlZrOR&me=aa

Thanks for taking action,

Shelby and the Change.org team