New York Times: ‘Nice guys’ rape 11-year-old

Here’s a combination of the ‘nice guys’ rape scenario and victim-blaming. In this case, the victim is an11-year-old child. And the perpetrators are boys and men, ranging from middle-schoolers to 27 years in age. They raped the girl under the threat of a beating. In the article, the writer, James C. McKinley Jr., has quotes in the article that blames the victim (she wore make-up, dressed in clothing that made her look older; where was her mother) and praised the perps (they’ll have to live with this the rest of their lives)

Here are my thoughts:

1) Who else has reported on this? I haven’t searched it yet, but I’ve only heard about the NY Times piece. Why is it that this crime didn’t get national attention?

2) A link below has a response from the NY Times. They stand by this piece. They said the reporter used quotes – they weren’t his words. Aaaaah! So, if we can use quotes (choosing from, I assume, many quotes), we no longer are responsible!!! It’s as if those words jumped on the page themselves. I’ve encountered this problem before and I don’t buy it. The least the writer can do is interview an anti-rape advocate to counter the victim blaming.

3) When is society going to wake up? This should serve as the wake up call, but I doubt it will. A MIDDLE SCHOOLER was involved in this gang-rape. THE VICTIM WAS A CHILD.  Really? No public outrage? We should be ashamed to call ourselves humans. Having a conscience is what separates humans from animals — in this case, we are no different.

4) Men in their 20s raped this 11 year old. Hello!! This is pedophilia, folks. Why didn’t the NY Times deal with this? 

Here’s the NY Times piece: Gang rape of schoolgirl, and arrests, shakes Texas town

Here’s their reply, posted in The Cutline news blog  NY Times responds to backlash over reporting of an alleged child rape (alleged rape?! it was caught on tape, it was a rape)

The Times responded Wednesday evening to The Cutline: “Neighbors’ comments about the girl, which we reported in the story, seemed to reflect concern about what they saw as a lack of supervision that may have left her at risk,” said Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the paper. “As for residents’ references to the accused having to ‘live with this for the rest of their lives,’ those are views we found in our reporting. They are not our reporter’s reactions, but the reactions of disbelief by townspeople over the news of a mass assault on a defenseless 11-year-old.”

Rhodes Ha also stressed that the paper stands by the controversial piece.

“We are very aware of and sensitive to the concerns that arise in reporting about sexual assault,” Rhoades Ha said. “This story is still developing and there is much to be learned about how something so horrific could have occurred.”

Read the NY Times letter to the editor

Mother Jones has quotes from the article & analysis: The NY Times’ rape-friendly reporting

Victim-blaming in the NY Times Cleveland gang rape article

The fword blog: Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused  (Domestic violence victims are also the “accused” – they nag or cheat or otherwise do something to deserve the beating. They, like rape victims, are also accused of lying.)

Here’s Salon’s reaction: The NY Times’ sloppy, slanted child rape story 

Here’s a petition on Change.org Tell the NY Times to apologize for blaming a child for her gang rape

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Super Bowl Sunday and Domestic Violence

Dispelling a Myth: Domestic Violence and the Super Bowl by Esta Soler

Here’s the truth:  In 1993, the Super Bowl and domestic violence became linked when a small group of advocates erroneously claimed that Super Bowl Sunday was a “day of dread” for women when domestic violence skyrocketed.  There’s no reliable evidence to support that claim and most of us who work in the field say that – over and over again.  Instead, we make the point that domestic, dating and sexual violence are serious problems every day of the year. 

The movement has spent the past 18 years saying that these claims aren’t true, at every opportunity.  We urge reporters not to write that story, and the responsible ones don’t.

But opponents won’t let it go.  They use it as a way to bash feminists, “bleeding heart liberals,” women, and what they call the “domestic violence industry” – a term that is truly laughable when you realize that they are talking about shelters that struggle to afford food and bedding for desperate women and children, and to keep their doors open in this recession.

If anyone doubts that there is backlash and contention against advocates who work to stop domestic violence and violence against women, please see the comment posted on this article by Joseph M. (No doubt more will follow by other guys like him.) I myself have been bashed, called the Feminist Propaganda Minister of the site I used to write for, threatened, and called horrid names – – all because I write about violence towards women.

The Victims Rights Movement of the 70s exposed men’s violence towards women and children – and the insecure men still deny it, pretty much use abusive tactics themselves, and claim men are the real victims. They also like to throw in our face how evil women are – we kill babies, commit most child abuse, and are even more aggressive than men. Sorry guys, but we don’t have to be perfect in order to have protection against domestic violence, rape or stalking.

Joseph_M Esta answers the question in February 5, 2011 – 6:56pm

Esta answers the question in her article, which quotes the number of women who are murdered by their partners, but not men who are murdered by theirs. Does Esta believe that men are second rate citizens, not deserving of equal protection under the law?  Since she can advocate programs on “violence against women” can we assume that she thinks that men’s lives are worthless?  If her son were to be killed by a girlfriend or wife, she would have no problem there?

 If the feminist myth of Superbowl Sunday were an isolated case, it might be dropped. But the reason that it needs to be kept in the public consciousness is because it is part of a spectrum of misinformation that has been perpetuated by feminists over the past decades.  Consider other feminist falsehoods, such as “1 in 4 women is a victim of rape.” And then look at how this leads to mass hysteria which inevitably comes down to violence against men in the form of false charges of rape and sexual assault–the Duke University Three is simply the tip of this iceberg.  But then this is to be expected in a society which devalues men’s lives, and which make women into a privileged caste, worthy of special protections simply because of their sex. 

 Men commit acts of violence by FAR greater numbers than women do.

 Just as women lie about being raped more than men do. But this is not an excuse to deprive women of equal protection under the law. And that is what this is all about. By playing the woman-as-victim card, feminists manipulate male legislators into passing laws which give women additional rights while treating men as second class citizens.

Is that the sexual equality which is being demanded?  

Gee, is wanting safety from harm seeking “special protections” because of our sex. I guess Joseph thinks we should be hit or killed by our boyfriends and spouses and raped, too. We wouldn’t want to deprive men of that, would we? Why would we want to spoil their fun? Of course, according to Joseph’s world view, women lie about abuse. He had one case to prove his point, after all.

If Joseph were a random commenter, then I wouldn’t bother to post his remarks – but he’s not. Just about any article that deals with women’s issues, particularly those discussing domestic violence or rape, gets comments by guys like this. Sometimes it’s just one or two, sometimes it’s many – they come out of the wood work. When are reporters going to cover this issue? Aren’t hate groups being written about anymore?

Domestic violence resources

I was without power for three days last week on account of the snow storm, so I started cleaning out some papers. I found a few that I’d like to post, even though they might be a few years old.

WATCH  This group does court monitoring in Minnesota. I had a WATCH brief called WATCH Report II:  The Impact of Minnesota’s Felony Strangulation Law May, 2009. The link I provide has several of their briefs. In the brief I have, it’s startling to read that Minnesota was only the sixth state to make strangulation of a family member a felony-level crime. Prio to this law, strangulation was a misdemeanor that could be reduced to disorderly conduct. It says 23-68% of female victims of domestic violence have experienced at least one strangulation and that strangulation is an indicator of escalating violence and potential lethality.

Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody – This Web site has many resources, including a database that has domestic and family violence legislation.

This is a link to a study looking at Men’s Rights and domestic violence: Men’s Rights and Feminist Advocacy in Canadian Domestic Violence Policy Arenas 

Men’s Rights and Feminist Advocacy in Canadian Domestic Violence Policy Arenas Contexts, Dynamics, and Outcomes of Antifeminist Backlash

Ruth M. Mann
This article examines government and advocacy group texts on three recent Canadian domestic violence policy moments. Drawing on governance, feminist poststructuralist, and social movement perspectives, it examines men’s rights advocates’ and feminists’ discursive actions and their influence on officials. The research aim is to explore the provisional, intrinsically incomplete, and indeed questionable success, to date, of Canadian anti-domestic violence advocates’ strategies and tactics of resisting men’s advocates’ efforts to delegitimize gendered constructions of domestic violence. At the level of political action, the article contributes to efforts by feminists internationally to safeguard protections and supports for abused women and children in a political context marked by the increasingly prominent influence of men’s rights and associated antiprogressive backlash.

NOTE: This link also has Michael Kimmel’s substantive look at “gender symmetry”

This is a link to Bala’s study on false allegations, noting men make more than women (but you’d never know that from the myths and stereotypes) –

 Results: Consistent with other national studies of reported child maltreatment, CIS-98 data indicate that more than one-third of maltreatment investigations are unsubstantiated, but only 4% of all cases are considered to be intentionally fabricated. Within the subsample of cases wherein a custody or access dispute has occurred, the rate of intentionally false allegations is higher: 12%. Results of this analysis show that neglect is the most common form of intentionally fabricated maltreatment, while anonymous reporters and noncustodial parents (usually fathers) most frequently make intentionally false reports. Of the intentionally false allegations of maltreatment tracked by the CIS-98, custodial parents (usually mothers) and children were least likely to fabricate reports of abuse or neglect. Conclusions: While the CIS-98 documents that the rate of intentionally false allegations is relatively low, these results raise important clinical and legal issues, which require further consideration.

Pink trains

No doubt the media love a good train wreck, especially if the train is pink and headed down the “postfeminist” track. I’d like to do my own qualitative study of the Washington Post’s and New York Time’s mention of feminism and then determine whether those articles had a positive or negative slant. Since the media influence the public, the way it paints feminism can affect the way people view this work of art, a work in progress, mind you and a work that is far from finished.

Here, in Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work, Mickey Meece choses to focus on the minority of conflicts at work – the women-on-women bullying. Why? Oh, because their fights are just so much juicier! Plus, you can get a few snide comments in about feminism. (What feminism has to do with bullying is beyond me. I’d say patriarchy has more to do with bullying, but, hey, when do you ever see the media talking bad about patriarchy? Like this article, they choose to focus on the less prevelent issue that is more acceptable to bash.)

It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.

Wow, I haven’t seen this kind of talk since the hypocritically Black-on-Black violence speeches of the ’80s. I guess, again, it’s just no fun to talk about white men committing crime. Talking about women or minorities sabotaging each – now, that’s fun – and guilt free, too! 

Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women’s movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called “the pink elephant” in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?

Women treating other women badly shakes the women’s movement to the core? Wow. When was the last time MM even stepped foot into the women’s movement? The ’80s? What shakes us to the core is the brutal violence committed against women, but, hey, if you don’t interview any feminists you’re not going to know that.

And, while I have been the victim of women’s bullying, I’d also say there are a lot more serious problems women face in the workplace, too. I have faced sexual harrasment, hostile environments, leering and so forth. I’d say they gave me more concern than women’s bullying ever did. Why doesn’t MM write about those issues? If given a voice, wouldn’t women choose to discuss the more serious issues? How about child care and balancing work and family? Giving a voice to another writer who wants to paint women negatively (you’re worried about male violence, look at what you’re doing to each other!) and avoid writing about what we want to hear is soooo ’80s.

“The time has come,” she said, “for us to really deal with this relationship that women have to women, because it truly is preventing us from being as successful in the workplace as we want to be and should be.

Yeah, that’s what’s preventing us from success: other women. Don’t you agree, single mothers? Working mothers? If only women at work would be nicer, we would be far more successful.

Good grief.

If ever there were evidence of a need for representation of ALL in the media, surely this would be it. If representation is the sign of a true democracy, this is a cry for help because it is far from being representative. Few whites can speak on behalf of blacks and few men can do so for women. This article is a voice for backlash, as the headline claims, but the question is: whose?