Rape is rape (now, can somebody please tell the judges)

This is really bad…The judge overturned a 2-year sentence for 6 men that gang-raped 12-year-old girls. Not only that, he said the men had “positive good character” for confessing.

British judges free child rapists, say 12-year-old wanted sex

In March, six British soccer players confessed to gang-raping two 12-year-old girls and were sentenced to two years behind bars. But last week, an Appeal Court overturned the sentence, and all of the men were freed.

The reasoning? “The girls wanted to have sex,” said Lord Justice Moses, who was among the deciding judges. “And  they had pretty miserable, fleeting sex in a freezing cold park.”

Rape is rape  –  sign the petition to the FBI here

For 82 years, the FBI has defined “forcible” rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” This means that rapes using fingers or an object aren’t counted–as well as non-consensual anal and oral penetration. The rapes of men, boys and transgender people also fall outside the legal definition. What’s more, the emphasis on “forcible” means that other categories of rapes often aren’t counted, either: those of victims who were unconscious, unable to consent because of physical or mental disabilities, or those where drugs or alcohol were used to gain control over the victim.

 

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Update: Libyan woman who was raped

Please sign the petition asking Turkey to use their diplomatic means to get Iman al-Obeidi released:

AVAAZ.org

168,235 people have signed the petition so far – they’re seeking 500,000 signatures.

Have you seen this yet? Her alleged rapists are suing her for defamation. How is it possible for rape victims to have the tables turned on them? 

Militia members sue woman who accused them of rape 

Tied up, raped, videotaped…and peed on

Okay, this is one of those articles that – if you’re like me – will get your blood boiling. You’ll wonder: Why do women have to suffer like this? When will the world recognize the horrific, often tortuous, treatment of women? When will it come into its consciousness?

Woman says raped by Gaddafi’s men, pleads with media

“Look at what Gaddafi’s militias did to me,” Eman al-Obaidi screamed with tears in her eyes, pulling up her coat to show blood on her upper leg.

After being intimidated by security men and hotel staff, who also beat journalists trying to interview her in the restaurant of the hotel, she was bundled into a car and driven away.

Obaidi said she had been arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli because she was from the city of Benghazi, bastion of the insurgency against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.

Obaidi, who appeared to be in her 30s and was wearing a loose black coat, slippers and a scarf, said she had been raped by 15 men and held for two days. Her face was badly bruised.

“They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whisky. I was tied up,” she said, weeping and stretching out her arms to show the scars.

“They peed on me. They violated my honor.”

Libyan claims rape by soldiers, is dragged away

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

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

PETA? How about People for the Ethical Treatment of Women?!

It’s often been said that people get more upset over animal abuse than wife abuse.  People point out that there are more animal shelters in the US than domestic violence shelters. The National Network to End Domestic Violence, in fact, conducts an annual survey and finds that women & children are often turned away from shelters due to lack of space. As further proof, folks think Vicks, the football player charged with animal abuse, got more punishment than athletes that abuse their wives or girlfriends.

And then I saw this article in Salon this morning. I was sickened. There was just a vigil in DC over a police officer who shot a dog. Where is the outrage – the vigil – the protest – over gender-based violence being performed on this teen? over sharing this grotesque human right violation on Facebook? over this writer excusing and providing rationalization for the harmful conduct? This is disgusting – the act, the audience, the excuse.

Teens share photos of assault on Facebook

The horrific gang rape of a 16-year-old girl is roiling Canada. It’s suspected that she was drugged at a rave on Saturday and then assaulted in a nearby field by a group of males. Truly adding insult to injury: The attack in Pitt Meadows, B.C., was photographed and videotaped — and the evidence was then published on Facebook by one of her alleged attackers. The photos and video “have been viewed, shared, saved and reposted numerous times,” an official told the Vancouver Sun. The images are spreading like wildfire, and it’s impossible to contain.

And-

it isn’t hard to understand how even a nonsociopathic teenager might opt to view a photo of a girl’s rape, or even send it along to a friend. This is so often how we share things, good and bad; we hit “forward” or “re-tweet” or “like,” etc. Technology offers us a sense of privacy, and detachment, even as we’re sharing these things with the entire Web. The online mentality is one of entitlement and total freedom, no one has ownership over anything (just ask record label execs). I would venture to say that it hasn’t even occurred to many of the kids — the ones who are not, you know, patently evil — that they are violating this girl themselves.