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