Too drunk to drive? Then you’re too drunk to deserve pity for having been raped, you dumb whore.

22 Oct

Thanks to reader Kelly, I’ve recently become aware of yet ANOTHER rape case in which the judge spends more time blaming the victim for drinking than the perpetrators for raping.

Here’s the short version: A 15-year-old girl went to a party, she drank, she ended up too intoxicated to know what was going on. Three boys took her into a bathroom and raped her, taking advantage of the fact that she was too intoxicated to know what was going on. The boys admitted to committing the crime. At the hearing at which they copped to raping the girl, the judge, Steven G. Salant, decided that the most important issue he needed to address was the girl’s behavior. That’s right. Here’s a quote from the article:

Salant, who described the rape as “horrific,” only discussed the girl’s behavior the night of the party, not the boys’, at the hearing. The girl and two friends decided to have a party with no adult supervision and were “chugging alcohol,” he said, and some in attendance were engaging in sexual activities. The victim was drunk and “engaged in risky and provocative behavior” like sitting on people’s laps and talking about “hooking up,” he said.

“I’m telling you this not to excuse behavior, but this was a disaster waiting to happen,” Salant said. “…There was a dynamic at work here. There were things going on here. It doesn’t make the respondents any less worthy of blame but what it does mean is I have to determine whether what we have here is sexual predators or respondents who acted horribly. …They did not get that when a girl is intoxicated and presents herself in that manner you do not take advantage.” …

The victim’s father said he filed a complaint against the judge with the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities last week because of what he described as inappropriate comments he made about his daughter, such as saying that she had been “provocative and exhibited sexual behavior towards the male attendees” and that “she may have underlying issues of her own.”[sic]

The victim, who has had to move to Nevada because the rape and the harassment she suffered afterward (that’s right, motherfuckers at school harassed the victim, not that that’s a huge surprise) have basically destroyed her life, reported that she had to sleep with her mother or sister every night as she was afraid to sleep by herself, but Salant seems more worried about the suffering the poor rapists will have to undergo, being sentenced to probation and all (no, I am not kidding, they were only sentenced to probation, and two of them are BACK at the school they previously attended with the victim). Salant had only a few moments to make a statement of opinion regarding the case. He had just one opportunity to display his dazzling and distinguished judicial skill and to project a smidgen of his legal genius out into the world. Just one shot to get a zinger onto the trial record, and he chose to use it to express his distaste for the fact that these boys would be punished for raping someone who was clearly asking for it.

I mean, that’s what the quote says, isn’t it? Why make mention of the fact that she was drunk? Why bother bringing up the fact that she sat on someone’s lap? Why would it matter if she’d spent the whole god-damned night talking about “hooking up”? Why is a drunk girl a “disaster waiting to happen” unless we’re discussing a slip-and-fall accident? Why is it necessary to go on record as saying you think there’s a difference between sexual predators and three dudes who plan out and commit a gang rape? What, exactly, is that difference? Does this guy really expect us to believe that dudes who are about to graduate from high school don’t know that it’s not cool to lock an incapacitated girl in a bathroom and rape her? Where are the condemnations, the admonitions, the outrage over the boys’ CALCULATED DECISION to gang rape a young woman?

Really, now, is underage drinking and flirting the pressing issue at hand here? Is the victim the one who warrants public reproval? On a scale of “come on, dude, that shit happens every day, everywhere” to “holy shit, that’s so fucked up I can’t handle it,” where does the girl getting drunk fall? Pretty sure it’s on the left end, right? And what about three dudes gang raping a vulnerable young woman? Somewhere right about the exact other end of that continuum, I’d say. But that’s because I’m a person who recognizes the fact that a young woman is a human being and deserves to live free of the threat of gang rape even if she gets drunk.

Not only do we have to tolerate a legal system that punishes just shy of 6% of rapists, but we also — on the off chance our attackers do get some kind of punishment (though it’s arguable whether probation counts) — have to suffer being called stupid, immoral sluts in open court by phallocratic, rape apologist judges? I call bullshit on that.

If I were Martin O’Malley, the distinguished governor of Maryland, I’d be pretty ashamed of myself right now for appointing Steven G. Salant to the Montgomery County Circuit Court. If you agree, feel free to head over to his page and contact him to tell him so.

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125 Responses to “Too drunk to drive? Then you’re too drunk to deserve pity for having been raped, you dumb whore.”

  1. Faith October 22, 2009 at 7:11 PM #

    “Thanks to reader Kelly, I’ve recently become aware of yet ANOTHER rape case in which the judge spends more time blaming the victim for drinking than the perpetrators for raping.”

    Who knew Andrew was a judge.

    • Nine Deuce October 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM #

      Good one. I have to say, the connection between this case and the recent comments did cross my mind a few times as I wrote this.

      • Nine Deuce October 22, 2009 at 8:44 PM #

        They planned it out and took her in a bathroom and raped her. Read the article. And if you’re saying you wouldn’t have known, then you see my point earlier: stop coming here to “educate” women on what they need to do and go educate men on what rape is.

      • berryblade October 24, 2009 at 4:57 AM #

        Hey Andrew:

        My first boyfriend pulled knives on me, beat me, threatened to kill me, raped me repeatedly, threatened to beat my friends, threatened to let his brother rape me and he was only 15.

        Last I heard of him he was still doing it to 14 year old girls and now he’s 21. Oh yeah, and he’s not in jail. He’s still walking the fucking streets free without a care in the world.

        Moral of this story: You’re an idiot and an arsehole.

        P.S sorry if this is inapporpriate Nine Deuce, but once again, Andrew really fucking got my goat.

        • marc October 24, 2009 at 9:44 PM #

          “Oh yeah, and he’s not in jail.”

          Have you tried talking to a lawyer ?

          Maybe you cant get justice (because for some reason if you get raped a long time ago its like nothing happened at all) but you might manage to help current victims.

          • berryblade October 25, 2009 at 4:13 AM #

            No, because I’ve been down that road before and it’s nearly as fucking bad as trying to press charges.

            But thank you for the suggestion.

  2. polly styrene October 22, 2009 at 8:54 PM #

    Oh it’s what was brilliantly identified some time ago as disembodied roaming penis syndrome.

    http://sparklematrix.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/can-we-please-get-off-this-loop-please/

    Which kind of says it all really. Penises? Attached to men? With the ability to make decisions? (the men not the penises….)

    Someone should tell his judgeness.

    I’m going to ignore Andrew. I suggest others follow suit.

    • Nine Deuce October 22, 2009 at 8:56 PM #

      Yeah, Andrew is banned from this thread from now on.

      • Ren October 22, 2009 at 9:15 PM #

        I notice how the judge is so quick to be pointing out the drunkeness on the part of the girl and no mention of the boys own booze consumption. Because, you know, teenage dudes are supposed to get blasted and teenage girls aren’t. I wonder, oh, if these boys had gotten in a car and taken out a nice family (maybe his?) in an auto fatality if he would be so quick to excuse them or would have suggested those other people should not have been on the road where drunk boys might be driving…

        It is if he utterly fails to realize the damage that has been done to this girl completely.

        Why yes, the theory that women are supposed to be the moral gatekeepers for things with a penis is alive and well.

        I’d happily serve 15 to life for killing that idea.

      • Roxie October 23, 2009 at 2:18 AM #

        Thank goodness. I could not take any more of his toxic ignorance.

  3. polly styrene October 22, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

    Also what is the difference between?

    sexual predators or respondents who acted horribly

    The fact that they didn’t go out looking for a girl to rape, but just stumbled upon one by great good fortune? By that token, if you go out deliberately to mug someone, it’s worse than if you see someone passed out dying in the gutter and steal their wallet.

    Though some people might think they’re equally bad.

    • isme October 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM #

      Yeah, that was just fucking retarded.

      “It doesn’t make the respondents any less worthy of blame but what it does mean is I have to determine whether what we have here is sexual predators or respondents who acted horribly. …They did not get that when a girl is intoxicated and presents herself in that manner you do not take advantage”

      Nice of him to say that it doesn’t make them less worthy of blame. Pity he didn’t back it up.

      And…claiming to “not get” that doing certain things is wrong is a defence now?

  4. Hoyahead October 22, 2009 at 10:14 PM #

    I know Andrew is banned from this thread, but I just can’t help myself…

    “If one can imagine though that between [ages] 15 and 18 they matured exponentially and that these boys, though having made a terrible, life ruining choice, should not have their lives ruined in turn, the outcome is closer to the one the judge came to in this case.”

    Right. Because the only ruined life that counts for anything is the ruined life of a boy.

    “In short, the answer depends on whether one wants the punishment to be meaningful to the offender or not.”

    I couldn’t care less if the punishment was meaningful to the gang rapers of a 15-year-old girl, as long as whatever form it takes makes a real effort towards preventing them from raping anyone else. (Which, in this particular case, I’m pretty sure didn’t happen, especially for the two boys who are back in school and probably looking forward to their homecoming football game this weekend.) There are, of course, other legitimate reasons for punishment besides let’s-all-learn-a-good-lesson-about-our-bad-behavior: retribution, deterrence, and societal protection/incapacitation.

    Personally, I care that the punishment for rape be meaningful to the VICTIM, and to a society that currently seems perfectly OK with the idea of children and women being treated like inanimate sex toys. (See: http://www.more.com/2050/8669-whoopi–it-wasn-t–rape-rape-)

  5. Val October 22, 2009 at 10:41 PM #

    Hello-
    9-2, I am really happy you banned Andrew from this board. From where I am sitting, he’s a bad person.

    This just happened where I am from too. I am writing to this judge as well. The judge didn’t get into a long list of excuses for the guy, but he did let him off with only 192 days served and then probation.

    Did you happen to see the USA Today yesterday?
    Big story about a D-bag who took his 11 year old son to Hooters to teach him about sex.
    I wish it were a joke.

    • wiggles October 23, 2009 at 4:52 PM #

      Did you happen to see the USA Today yesterday?
      Big story about a D-bag who took his 11 year old son to Hooters to teach him about sex.
      I wish it were a joke.

      I’m actually surprised that was a news story. Isn’t Hooters considered a “family” restaurant? Not by anybody with a lick of sense, but generally?

      • Nine Deuce October 23, 2009 at 4:53 PM #

        I’ve been to one and seen a lot of kids.

  6. womanvsfeminist October 23, 2009 at 6:45 AM #

    I know Andrew has been banned from this thread, but part of his comment gets to me in particular. Yes, the criminal system is supposed to mete out justice ‘in a way that is meaningful to both the offenders and the society’, but the missing component here is the victim. The criminal system must also mete out justice that is meaningful for the victim. Those 15 yr old boys’ lives might have been ruined if they had gone to jail now, but the victim’s life is ruined without having done anything wrong. There is no justice in that.

    • polly styrene October 23, 2009 at 6:13 PM #

      And society of course. Society might want to send the message that rape is bad thing, to stop other *confused* fifteen year olds following suit.

  7. Imaginary October 23, 2009 at 11:17 AM #

    I didn’t read the article you linked to Nine, because I’d probably start weeping.

    On the off chance that this girl reads this post, know that we’re all here supporting you and you were unbelievably brave. Bravo. I truly admire your courage and I hope the best for you. You were the victim here, and you should not be blamed.

    The boys who assaulted you will meet their sins in the deepest bowels of hell.

    Again, best wishes. I hope that you can recover from this terrible crime.

    Love,

    Imaginary

  8. Linda October 23, 2009 at 7:09 PM #

    So glad to not hear from what’s his face anymore. He never did answer my original question: If it were his sister, daughter, or wife that was raped, what kind of penalty would be sufficient? Perhaps the fact that the boys are 15 warrants even tougher sanctions than would otherwise be given. If not addressed now, those sociopathic young men will turn into older sociopathic men who will not know how to take no for an answer, will blame anyone but themselves, and will eventually get away with murder. They will not know the meaning of consequences and will believe they are above the law. And what about the boys’ parents? I wonder what they have to say about their promising offspring. They are culpable.

    • isme October 24, 2009 at 3:46 AM #

      “If not addressed now, those sociopathic young men will turn into older sociopathic men who will not know how to take no for an answer, will blame anyone but themselves, and will eventually get away with murder.”

      Hmmm…I’ve heard people say much the opposite (in regards to a pedophile, though), that if he is treated bad by society, made an outcast etc then he is never going to be rehabilitated. Which implies to me that the only solution is to gather a lynch mob.

      I can sort of see Andrew’s point, though, that ruining those kids lives isn’t going to help anyone, but, in hindsight, perhaps it would have been wiser to go with the “not be a rapist” option.

      • winter_lights October 25, 2009 at 2:15 AM #

        “I can sort of see Andrew’s point, though, that ruining those kids lives isn’t going to help anyone,”

        That’s kind of what I was thinking too. But if the idea is supposed to be that these boys might actually be salvagable… Well, the judge really dropped the ball. If anything they’re more likely to feel that they did nothing wrong, and possibly be a threat to others in the future. It’s certainly not going to send a useful message to anyone else.

        • karinova October 31, 2009 at 6:29 AM #

          Exactly.

          First of all, it’s not like I’m an unfeeling robot, but I can’t help but notice how disproportionately often “ruining those [convicted criminals'] lives isn’t going to help anyone” gets applied (officially, by the courts) to just these kinds of cases.

          Second, the penalty—that’s why they call it the “penal system,” right?— clearly doesn’t fit the crime here, but the judge’s statement just made it even worse. He could have said so many things, but that? He was practically sympathizing with their plight. I don’t care what tone of voice you say it in, that whole “when a girl presents herself… you don’t take advantage” line has an air of, “I totally hear you, women are sooo hot when they’re blackout drunk, but these are the rules. *shrug* What are you gonna do, y’know?” embedded in it. It’s weirdly boilerplate.

          Even if they’re rehabilitatable, something to the effect of “Holy shit, I should throw the book at you! Praise the deity of your choice, because it is your lucky freaking day.” would have been more appropriate.

    • sour song October 25, 2009 at 12:12 PM #

      Rapists are not sociopaths.* Rapists don’t rape because they are sick. They rape because they believe misogynistic rape myths, such as those expressed above by the judge who believes that 13-year-old girls who get drunk are asking for it.

      * Some people might happen to be both rapists and sociopaths, but that’s hardly the point.

  9. Valerie M October 23, 2009 at 7:34 PM #

    And what about the boys’ parents? I wonder what they have to say about their promising offspring.

    Probably something like ‘That whore seduced our sons and is now trying to get them in trouble blah blah blah!’

    • isme October 24, 2009 at 3:46 AM #

      Almost certainly.

  10. Nolabelfits October 23, 2009 at 8:26 PM #

    Men see rape as no big deal. Unless, of course, its “their” woman who is raped, and by someone other than them. I truly believe this is because all men have at some point in time forced of coerced a woman to get what they want.

  11. berryblade October 24, 2009 at 4:54 AM #

    That judge’s statement sounds eerily like the cop’s report on me after I tried and failed to press charges. Because you know. A rape survivor is clearly the disturbed one.

    The scary thing is how fucking common this attitude has become. Or is.

  12. Aine October 24, 2009 at 5:24 PM #

    I seriously don’t get this- don’ t most people think that if you’re drunk you are not responsible for your actions? If her self-control is gone, she cannot be blamed for flirting and what have you, whether or not she should be “blamed” for it in any case. If the boys were drunk, I can see how that would be slightly relevant to the case, as it would mean their judgment was impaired. HER drunkenness only makes it worse- if someone is drunk then no matter what she says you KNOW she cannot consent.

    • polly styrene October 24, 2009 at 9:33 PM #

      If you’re drunk you are responsible for your actions. And if those actions include say, getting in a car and driving and you kill someone as a result you’ve done something very wrong.

      But there’s nothing wrong with flirting. And because someone flirts with someone it doesn’t mean they’ve consented to sex with that person, or anyone else.

      Why is this so hard to understand?

  13. Faith October 24, 2009 at 7:22 PM #

    “I seriously don’t get this- don’ t most people think that if you’re drunk you are not responsible for your actions? ”

    No. I absolutely do not think that drunk people are not responsible for their behavior. All people (adults, at least) are responsible for their behavior, barring genuine severe mental disability, being -forced- to imbibe drugs or alcohol against one’s will, or being forced to engage in any activity without one’s consent. Since the person in question was only 15 responsibility is somewhat questionable.

    That being said: The girl in question is not responsible for getting raped in any capacity. Because, guess what, she didn’t rape herself.

    “If her self-control is gone, she cannot be blamed for flirting and what have you, whether or not she should be “blamed” for it in any case.”

    No one should be “blamed” for flirting. But, yes, she is still responsible for flirting (if she did. i have no idea if she flirted with any of the boys or not). She just isn’t responsible for getting raped. It really isn’t that difficult to understand.

    “If the boys were drunk, I can see how that would be slightly relevant to the case, as it would mean their judgment was impaired.”

    No. It wouldn’t be in the slightest bit relevant. They would still be guilty of rape. They still made the decision to rape that girl, drunk or not. If someone gets drunk and shoots someone, they are still guilty of murder…even if they don’t remember doing it the next day. And what are the chances that the boys were not drinking as well? I don’t believe that the article states either way, but I seriously doubt those boys were stone-cold sober.

    “HER drunkenness only makes it worse- if someone is drunk then no matter what she says you KNOW she cannot consent.”

    Her drunkenness only makes what worse?

    And, no, it really isn’t as simple as you make it out to be. I’ve given consent to sex while drunk on numerous occasions. Drinking a half-bottle of straight vodka did not make me any less able to consent to sex as long as I was still mostly conscious and aware of what was going on around me. When a person is so drunk they are losing consciousness and/or are barely able to speak or comprehend their surroundings, then it becomes quite a bit difficult to establish consent.

    The problem with drunkenness and rape actually has more to do with men intentionally preying on women who would never consent to sex with them sober. Or men intentionally plying women with alcohol to get them drunk for the same purpose. Taking advantage of a drunk person is foul and disgusting at best, criminal at worst.

  14. Finisterre October 24, 2009 at 8:40 PM #

    Sickening and outrageous and infuriating, as these stories always are. Probation – fucking probation – for a GANG RAPE? God, that judge is an arsehole.

    “If a girl presents herself… you don’t”… my, it’s not at all obvious who he’s empathising with there, is it?

    And although this is less serious in the context of the main story, am I right in thinking that Hooters is a topless-waitresses restaurant? And people take their children there?
    Just… FFS.
    I really despair.

    • Nine Deuce October 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM #

      Hooters isn’t topless, but it’s a place where the women are expected to wear hot pants and really revealing shirts and cater to men’s egos while they eat hot wings. It’s actually quite funny, if you think about how stupid the men who eat there are. Still, I’m not about to tell people to spend their cash there or take their kids and wife.

    • Hoyahead October 24, 2009 at 10:35 PM #

      Finisterre, are you referring to the USA Today story about the blogger who took his eleven-year-old son to Hooters for lunch in order to see whether it was time to talk to him about sex?
      (http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/10/column-sex-ed-and-a-trip-to-hooters-.html)

      Basically, this guy decided that a good way to gauge his son’s sexual development was to see whether or not he treated the waitresses like sex objects: “The trip to Hooters, I saw, as an opportunity to see how he conducts himself around women. If he drooled and couldn’t take his eyes of the waitress, then that would be an unmistakable cue to me to start preparing another birds and the bees talk.”

      Because, you know, the only version of human sexuality is one which involves men’s drooling over and ogling of women’s bodies.

      Don’t despair. As long as we keep thinking, speaking, writing, and voting in ways that insist women are people, too, we’re fighting the good fight!

  15. winter_lights October 25, 2009 at 2:05 AM #

    Maybe it’s just me, but…

    It sounded like Aine was saying that the Judge was crazy for berating the girl for things she might have done while drunk, and that the boys were even slimier for raping her while she was drunk than it would have been if they’d done it when she was sober. I just can’t come up with a way of reading it that sounds like blaming of anyone but the perpetrators (except possibly the demon rum).

    “I seriously don’t get this- don’ t most people think that if you’re drunk you are not responsible for your actions?”

    I would say that there’s a difference between responsibility and control. If one chooses to do something that damages their control (like getting drunk), then they are still responsible for the choices they make in that state, because it was their own actions that put them there. (And since, as noted above, I don’t think you’re saying that this makes them responsible for things other people do, drunk or not, I won’t have a go at you for it.)

  16. isme October 25, 2009 at 6:16 AM #

    ““I seriously don’t get this- don’ t most people think that if you’re drunk you are not responsible for your actions?”

    I would say that there’s a difference between responsibility and control. If one chooses to do something that damages their control (like getting drunk), then they are still responsible for the choices they make in that state, because it was their own actions that put them there.”

    I mostly agree with that.

    I’d be willing to accept that the boys were completely not guilty of rape, due to being drunk and no longer in control of their actions, on the proviso that they are guilty of getting drunk and that it is just as heinous a crime and carries the same penalty, in that it ends up with them losing control and raping someone.

    Though, that would imply that they still should have been charged even if they didn’t rape anyone, because the danger was there, in the same way that drink driving is a crime even if you don’t cause an accident.

    This is the main reason I stay away from alcohol and other drugs, though.

    • winter_lights October 25, 2009 at 9:24 PM #

      “Though, that would imply that they still should have been charged even if they didn’t rape anyone, because the danger was there, in the same way that drink driving is a crime even if you don’t cause an accident.”

      I don’t think it works quite the same way.

      Drunk driving, as I understand it, is related to the idea of reckless endangerment – that it’s a crime to do something that has a high chance of getting someone else hurt or killed even though one ought to know better. (Though while doing some googling on the subject, I found a piece on google books that suggests it could be turned around – that an intoxicated person might not be capable of realizing that driving while drunk is dangerous. But then there’s the whole “designated driver” idea, that you’re supposed to arrange to not be driving before you start the drinking. Apparently intoxication and culpability is a really thorny issue, or at least this author saw it as such in 1992. But I expect it’s still thorny now.)

      … Maybe I got a bit sidetracked there. Anyway. With drunk driving, I think it basically ends up being a matter of luck whether the driver makes it to where they’re going without incident, or whether they have an accident. But that doesn’t really work for rape. Ideas like “was lucky, and didn’t rape anyone” don’t make sense, and I can’t imagine a way someone could commit rape by accident. Whether one is in full control of one’s faculties or not, one still either undertakes the action or not. There’s probably some related precedent for other forms of violence while drunk, but I’m having trouble finding anything useful, and running out of researching stamina. (It doesn’t help that the first result of the search I tried seemed to be rape porn. Have I mentioned how I sometimes hate the internet?)

      “This is the main reason I stay away from alcohol and other drugs, though.”

      Seconded. I like my personality when I’m sober, thanks. (Plus, I’ve had precisely one alcoholic drink that I liked enough to make an effort to drink, and I don’t think they make it anymore.) If I want that ‘high’ feeling, that’s what music is for.

      • isme October 26, 2009 at 1:56 PM #

        Well, no, it doesn’t work like that, I’m just saying that if it committing a rape was the alcohol’s fault, then logically putting yourself under the influence should be a very serious crime.

        • polly styrene October 26, 2009 at 7:34 PM #

          You know that I’ve been drunk a thousand times.

          But I’ve never raped anyone.

          Drink driving is a crime to stop people doing it because drink impairs your reactions you are more likely to lose control and cause an accident.

          Having impaired reaction times does not make you any more likely to rape anyone. No one who would not WANT to rape sober would rape when they’re drunk.

          • isme October 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM #

            True, but I was talking about “if” drunken rape was the alcohol’s fault.

  17. cub October 26, 2009 at 9:41 AM #

    here’s what i sent to the gov. of md:

    STEVEN G. SALANT needs to step down, get fired, get set on fire, whatever works– to teach him that even 15 year old boys have the ability to stop rape by simply not raping.

    Is it possible that the judge was “intoxicated” while on the bench? His judgment seems impaired to me– sure hope he watches his back when he goes to the men’s room, because based on the way he is “presenting himself,” “this (is) a disaster waiting to happen.”

  18. Jara November 1, 2009 at 1:27 AM #

    Read the (interesting) post and comments…

    There’s a double standard going on here in the comments section that’s hard for me to understand:

    If you’re drunk and get raped, then you’re not responsible for your own actions because you didn’t rape yourself.

    However, if you’re drunk and rape someone, then you ARE responsible for your own actions because you raped someone.

    It’s one thing to protest blaming a rape victim for being raped, but it’s an entirely different thing to divest this 15 year-old of ANY responsibility for her actions. Doing that is enabling someone to be a victim AGAIN because they aren’t learning how they contributed to the situation.

    If this happened to my 15 year-old daughter, I’d make sure that she understood how she made herself vulnerable to rapists to prevent a deja vu moment.

    That written, these rapists should be in jail (not out on probation!) – at least until their pubes have turned gray.

    • isme November 1, 2009 at 4:17 AM #

      *waits for it*

    • berryblade November 2, 2009 at 5:28 AM #

      “If this happened to my 15 year-old daughter, I’d make sure that she understood how she made herself vulnerable to rapists to prevent a deja vu moment. ”

      Wow, I’m so glad you weren’t my mum during my teenage years. Or ever. That’s like me saying hey uh, no offense, but you’re an arsehole and a victim blaming one at that.

    • berryblade November 2, 2009 at 5:28 AM #

      And words can not even fucking express how much this fucking offends and triggers me.

      • Jara November 2, 2009 at 7:03 PM #

        You should try calming down and re-reading my post. Hopefully, then you will see more than what you first read.

        Or maybe it’s impossible for you to see that not everyone is attacking you (or any other rape victim) just because we’re using the words “take responsibility for your actions” because you’re too close to the subject.

        E.g. Most rapes occur on dates. Part of preventing date rape can be improving one’s judgment about who to share time with. It’s not blaming the victim, it’s taking steps to try to lessen the chances of rape.

        On the flipside, society should stop teaching their sons (both implicitly and explicitly) that a woman doesn’t have the right to refuse sexual advances. That a man’s right to have sex supercedes a woman’s right to NOT have sex.

        Also, we should stop judging women who want to have sex as whores. Maybe then they wouldn’t keep giving off mixed signals like getting drunk and flirting (body’s saying yes) but then saying no with their mouths (I hope) to sex. Sorry, but a drunk, horny man is gonna listen to the answer he wants to hear (which is the body saying yes).

        If women don’t want to be raped, then a large part of cutting that down is to be CONSISTENT in the NO message to sex >> take responsibility.

        • Nine Deuce November 2, 2009 at 7:10 PM #

          Several problems here:

          1) You are assuming I’m a rape victim. Not your business, also not cool. You’re also trying to imply that, if I am a rape victim, I am too biased to talk about the subject. Are you more qualified than rape victims to talk about rape? Ridiculous. And in any case, you’re telling rape victims that their reaction to the “take responsibility for your actions” are irrational. Sorry, but having a stranger tell you that you bear some responsibility for the fact that you’ve had a crime committed against you is likely to elicit anger, because it’s fucking offensive and WRONG.
          2) You are claiming that a rape victim is in some way responsible for her own attack. Guess what I did last night? Got drunk. And I didn’t get raped, because there wasn’t a rapist there. The same would have been the case for this girl had the attackers not been at the party.
          3) You think that there is some way women can lower their chances of getting raped by making “better choices” about who to hang out with. Sorry, rapists don’t wear ID tags.

          • berryblade November 4, 2009 at 1:26 PM #

            Thanks Nine, after several times of re-reading Jara’s comment the meaning I extrapolate from it remains the same and you summarised what I was thinking far more articulately :)

        • sour song November 2, 2009 at 7:22 PM #

          9-2 covered most of it, but I’ve got to address this thing about being “consistent.” For heaven’s sake, no means no, okay? People do not get to make up shit about what women are allowed to do and then punish them by raping them if they don’t obey the rules. Women are allowed to drink and to flirt without The Drink and Flirt Police sentencing them to rape. Jeez.

    • sour song November 2, 2009 at 10:36 AM #

      I am going to set the internet on fire if I see one more person complaining about victims of violence not “taking responsibility” for the fact that someone assaulted them.

    • Hatter November 2, 2009 at 12:51 PM #

      I don’t think it’s a double standard, I think you’re missing the point. The boys, whether drunk or not, have done something despicable. The girl, whether drunk or not, has had something done to her which she would not be responsible for anyway.

      Her actions aren’t the issue. No one contributes to their own rape except by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn’t matter if she was drunk or not, she’s still not to blame for something that was done to her against her will. Rape is the fault of the rapist, never the victim, and there’s no way you can rationalize it to make the victim in any way responsible.

      If she hadn’t been drunk, then MAYBE she could have been aware enough at a crucial moment to escape this. But I doubt it. Rapists don’t just choose drunk girls; sober girls get raped too. The girl may have had a better chance of avoiding it had she been sober, but only marginally. Even then, it’s not an issue of “taking responsibility” for actions which put her in the path of a rapist. For a female, walking around in the middle of the day is sometimes action enough.

      When will people learn that rape has nothing to do with the victim and everything to do with the perpetrator? I could swear off all drugs, walk around with a taser, never go out at night, wear horrible clothes, make myself the ugliest woman alive, and I could still be raped. A rapist doesn’t need an invitation – they will rape someone regardless of the things she wears or the way she looks or the stupid, provocative things she does or doesn’t say when drunk. Whatever the reason behind rape, it’s not up to the victim to protect against it – you’d have to close yourself off from society to do that. It’s up to the people who are committing the crime to make it stop, and the finger needs to be pointed at them rather than continuing to place blame and responsibility where it doesn’t belong and won’t change anything.

      • winter_lights November 2, 2009 at 4:37 PM #

        I was going to comment, but you’ve said everything I was going to say and more.

  19. Jara November 1, 2009 at 5:36 PM #

    @isme

    it would be stupid for people to attack me or my comment. i’m ready with a bag full of logic (not emotional posts) on my side.

    pshh!

    • polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 9:57 PM #

      Yep come on Jara, let’s have the “bag full of logic”.

      Starting with ‘how to tell a dude is a rapist before he rapes you’ and moving on from there maybe?

  20. Katie November 2, 2009 at 6:41 PM #

    I’m with Jara. I do think there is a double standard. Women are never responsible for what happens to them sexually in male/female sexual situation; the responsibilty always falls on the male either to do or not to do something, thereby absolving the female of all agency and responsibility.

    • Nine Deuce November 2, 2009 at 6:58 PM #

      What should we do, then? Charge the victim as an accessory to her own rape? Unbelievable.

    • sour song November 2, 2009 at 7:07 PM #

      It absolves women of agency to expect men to not rape them? Are you kidding me?

      This “double standard” thing that is getting thrown around is almost too ridiculous to bear. It’s a double standard to expect someone to not rape if you aren’t also expecting victims to prevent someone from raping them? How on earth do you manage to twist your brain around to get that to make sense in your head?

    • Citizen Taqueau November 5, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

      I think you’re misusing the words “agency and responsibility” and also claiming that sex and rape are the same thing. The whole point of rape is that it is not a decision made by two people about a shared activity. The rapist gets to decide whether or not rape will happen. The victim can’t make that decision unless she physically incapacitates the attacker. If she can’t, due to being overpowered, it is not her fault. Drunk or sober, she has had just as little to say about the event, and for someone who enjoys raping, her lack of agency is the point. The rapist likes it that way. Even sober, this girl could not have fought off 3 guys who felt like gratifying themselves at her expense.

  21. Jara November 2, 2009 at 6:55 PM #

    Thank you, Katie.

    It’s pretty obvious that there are people on here who don’t seem to get that rape doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The entire society SHOULD take responsibility, including parents, teachers, the entire justice system, rapists, victims of rape, people commenting on blogs, etc.

    And to not do that is to help keep the cycle going. But it’s much easier to put blame solely on rapists than say…think about the “why” of the problem.

    To start, look up “responsibility” and “blame”. There’s a difference, people.

    • Faith November 2, 2009 at 9:40 PM #

      “It’s pretty obvious that there are people on here who don’t seem to get that rape doesn’t happen in a vacuum. ”

      You did not just tell a bunch of feminists that they don’t understand that rape doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

      That’s the funniest damn thing I’ve read all day.

      Thanks for the laugh, Jara.

    • Hatter November 3, 2009 at 12:33 AM #

      I admit that I used the word “blame” too freely in place of “responsibility” when replying to your post. I still disagree with the idea that there is a double standard here. In saying that, you’re looking at it more as a male-female dynamic (which is most often the case, but not always) where everyone involved has power, rather than as a conflict between an aggressor and a victim. You’re putting both (or all) people involved on an equal footing, where one person has as much responsibility as the other – but that only works for consensual situations. Responsibility for the situation is removed when it’s forced against one’s will. That’s why it’s called “rape” and not “sex” and that’s also why it’s a crime.

      There are things that a woman could avoid doing which would make her an easier target (getting too drunk to walk would be one), but that’s only a defensive measure and not a preventative one. It still doesn’t mean she has some weird responsibility to not be raped. She has no control over that situation. This girl certainly didn’t bring it on herself because she did something stupid when she should have known better. People get drunk every day; it’s not a reason for rape to happen and it’s certainly not an excuse (and this applies to ALL parties involved).

      I’d just like to clarify what you mean when you say a victim has responsibility for the situation. Do you mean before or after the rape occurs? Do you mean the person as a part of society, or as the victim of a crime? I think you have a point in saying that society as a whole should be responsible for awareness of the concept of rape, for educating people about it and trying to prevent it. However, I would disagree that the actual crime of rape, once it has been committed, has anything to do with anyone but the rapist – at least in terms of responsibility.

      If a five-year-old male were raped, in what way would he be responsible for it?

      • Jara November 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM #

        Sorry if this is a duplicate post. Can’t tell if it went through or not.

        Actually, I never wrote that both parties have equal responsibility. I never even provided a ratio. I probably wouldn’t even give more than 10% to the victim.

        Since I think you understand the difference between blame and responsibility, I’m spelling it out for the sake of others here:

        Blame is accepting fault for what happens/happened. It results in accepting consequences of actions (e.g. jail time, community service, negative public opinion, etc.).

        Responsibility is accepting/reviewing contribution/participation in what happens. Usually results in asking self questions that lead to solutions of how to prevent the same thing from happening again. Also used to merit sentencing/consequences of perpetrator. If this never happens, then the victim gets stuck full of bitterness/fear/anger in the blaming the perpetrator role, can’t grow or learn the lesson of the experience and move on. Also can’t forgive self (where most of the anger comes from) if one never takes responsibility.

        We just aren’t taught to take responsibility for what life brings us. Life doesn’t happen to people. We are all active participants in life. We choose our paths that lead to our experiences. And if we don’t take an active role in our experiences, then that will lead to constantly being a victim of life – over and over again. There’s a reason why some women never get raped, some only get raped once, and some women have been raped repeatedly by different people. The difference is usually in the attitudes of the women and how they carry themselves. All rapists (regardless of how much premeditation goes into the act) are opportunists who can spot a vulnerable person a mile away. A drunk woman is a ripe target for an opportunist.

        • Faith November 3, 2009 at 5:12 PM #

          “Responsibility is accepting/reviewing contribution/participation in what happens. ”

          I don’t think anyone here has difficulty understanding what responsibility is. We’re just tired of being told that we should take responsibility for what other people do to us.

          “Also can’t forgive self (where most of the anger comes from) if one never takes responsibility.”

          I’ve never had to forgive myself for being raped/sexually assaulted. Why? Because I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. My attackers did something wrong.

          “We are all active participants in life. We choose our paths that lead to our experiences. ”

          Yes. We do choose our paths. And we are responsible for our own choices. We just aren’t responsible for what other people do to us against our will. I fail to understand why this is so difficult for so many people to understand.

          “There’s a reason why some women never get raped, some only get raped once, and some women have been raped repeatedly by different people.”

          Yes, there is a reason. No what that reason is? No one ever decided to rape them.

        • polly styrene November 3, 2009 at 9:06 PM #

          So how do you explain the following then Jara?

          Most women who are raped are raped by partners or ex partners.

          Most women who are raped (2/3) are STONE COLD SOBER.

          And you still haven’t explained how to spot a rapist. I’m going to have to press you on that one.

        • berryblade November 4, 2009 at 1:32 PM #

          Thanks for 10% of the blame, it’s so nice to know that maybe if I’d thought about the consequences of my stupid selfish actions of expecting not to get raped when drinking, sleeping, smoking, passed out and/or sober.

          ” The difference is usually in the attitudes of the women and how they carry themselves. All rapists (regardless of how much premeditation goes into the act) are opportunists who can spot a vulnerable person a mile away. A drunk woman is a ripe target for an opportunist.”

          Cool, so, what you’re saying is, my low-self esteem from previous abuse made me an obvious victim because I had some “victim pheremone” or some shit?
          I’m just wondering what your thoughts on child-rapists are? Because I’m a little curious to how I (or any other survivors) could have carried myself as a child to attract an “opportunist” – I guess it must be that low self esteem pheremone shit again.

          Or maybe it’s the bullshit I can smell coming from the direction of this comment.

  22. polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 8:47 PM #

    Most rapes occur on dates. Part of preventing date rape can be improving one’s judgment about who to share time with

    Yes laydeez, just look for the dudes with ‘Rapist’ handily tattoed on their forehead! That should do it!

    • Jara November 3, 2009 at 1:09 PM #

      Your sarcasm is duly noted, Polly Styrene…but it won’t make your point sound any more logical or make mine sound any less logical to a smart person reading this.

      Obviously, rapists don’t walk around with “rapist” tattooed on their foreheads.

      But potential rapists DO often times give off what should be red alerts:

      Ignoring his date’s wishes on the “little” things (e.g. if she wants to leave a place but the date keeps trying to persuade her to stay)
      Trying to get his date drunk
      Attempting to get his date alone and then ignoring protests
      Inviting friends on the date when his date has no friends of her own there at the same time
      Etc.

      If more women could recognize these signs of a potential rapist, then maybe they’d know how to get out of a situation before it gets out of hand. Or know which guys to just say no to before the date even happens.

      Let’s see if this comment even makes it through, seeing as how Nine Deuce has chosen to reject my comments that showed how s/he incorrectly thought I was replying to her as a rape victim. lol

      • Nine Deuce November 5, 2009 at 8:37 PM #

        Here’s that comment, Polly. I had deleted it due to the unbelievable snottiness, but I suppose I’ll let it through for educational purposes. I really like the “lol” at the end there.

  23. polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 8:48 PM #

    But it’s much easier to put blame solely on rapists

    Because they’re responsible?

  24. polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 8:50 PM #

    Katie, I think women most certainly ARE responsible for what happens to themselves in a male/female sexual situation. If they freely consent to it (I seem to remember getting into terrible trouble for arguing that very point).

    Sorry ND, but my desk is complaining again about Katie and Jara, it can’t take the repeated bashing.

  25. polly styrene November 2, 2009 at 8:52 PM #

    And Jara, I sincerely hope you don’t really have a 15 year old daughter.

  26. thebeardedlady November 2, 2009 at 9:02 PM #

    De-lurking to say this to Jara: Right, so a rape victim has to take responsibility for being raped? A murder victim should presumably take responsibility for being murdered, yes? Stupid murder victim, walking around all alive and everything. And how about those kiddies, huh?

    Ain’t it funny how in every other crime imaginable, the perpetrator is considered responsible. No one thinks it’s the victim’s fault when their house is burgled, their wallet is pickpocketed, their car is twocked. We – by which I mean society in general, and the criminal justice system in particular – consider such crimes to be the responsibility of the criminal, never the victim.

    Yet, when it comes to raping women, the criminals are basically given a free pass while everyone gathers around to shame the victim and clog up perfectly reasonable blogs with their calls for victims to take responsibility for the fact that some rapist raped them. Why aren’t you calling for rapists to face up to their responsibilities? Show me where you are talking to rapists and calling them out for their raping, abusive, criminal behaviour? Where the fuck do you get off coming here to a feminist blog to give rape victims shit about taking responsibility? Don’t even bother answering that. And fuck you.

    • RaeAn November 3, 2009 at 2:09 AM #

      That’s absurd. I know that guys think like that–and I knew that before my rape. In fact, I’m bisexual and often participated in conversations about how to get laid. However, everyone who is trying to convince someone to sleep with them should know that there’s a line–and that line simply does not get crossed. We need more education as to what that line is. I’m a firm believer in Jaclyn Friedman’s theory–if you ever want to see a realistic plan of action for decreasing the incidence of rape in our society, I strongly suggest reading her book “Yes Means Yes.” (http://www.amazon.com/Yes-Means-Visions-Female-Without/dp/1580052576) It’s very well-written. She acknowledges that men are taught to seek out sex and get it by any means possible–but that’s not how it has to be. Men can learn to expect enthusiastic consent before proceeding with sex–meaning not just “Okay, FINE, I’ll sleep with you” but “YES! Please fuck me NOW!” enthusiasm. (It’s so much more fun with the latter anyway–why settle?)

      Rape is not always a crime of opportunity. Sometimes it’s planned. Sometimes it’s not. In this case, it obviously was planned–maybe not for a long period of time, but the boys had to collaborate to have one be in the bathroom while the other two dragged the girl in.

      And we shouldn’t blame the victim in any crime–including your friend who got mugged at the bus stop. Sure, he walked into a dangerous situation, but the fact of the matter is, it shouldn’t matter: it’s still the mugger who is at fault. We should feel safe standing at bus stops at night.

      By the same token, I should feel safe going to parties and getting drunk. If I don’t have the capacity to say yes, then you don’t have the right to have sex with me. End of story.

      • Jara November 3, 2009 at 1:27 PM #

        “By the same token, I should feel safe going to parties and getting drunk. If I don’t have the capacity to say yes, then you don’t have the right to have sex with me. End of story.”

        That’s what this is really about. Women want to feel safe being publicly inebriated, but the truth of the matter is IT’S NOT SAFE FOR A WOMAN TO BE PUBLICLY INEBRIATED. Any time a woman is drunk in this society (I live in the U.S.), she runs the risk of being raped. Because all men are not civilized, especially a DRUNK man that’s sharing the same space with a DRUNK woman.

        That’s like expecting to be able to keep your doors unlocked in a high-crime area and not get robbed. Well, you can do it but don’t get angry when someone just walks in your house and takes your stuff without asking. No, locking your doors won’t prevent every robbery but guess what? If you’re in the court of law, it will help make your case that much stronger against the thief if you can say that you locked the doors (i.e. took reasonable precautionary measures to prevent the crime from happening).

        And rape is analogous to a robbery. It’s someone stealing a woman’s body, reproductive rights, sense of safety/security, etc.

        • Faith November 3, 2009 at 10:02 PM #

          “IT’S NOT SAFE FOR A WOMAN TO BE PUBLICLY INEBRIATED. Any time a woman is drunk in this society (I live in the U.S.), she runs the risk of being raped.”

          According to you and Andrew, women are at risk for being raped whenever they are in the presence of men.

          Do you advocate that women avoid men all the time? Because, you know, I’m really quite positive that is the only thing that women can do to avoid being raped.

          Let me tell you a little story, Jara:

          Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was this young woman named Morgan Harrington. Young Morgan decided to go to Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Va.

          While at this concert, Morgan got separated from her friends. She called them on her cell phone and told them not to worry about her, she’d find a ride home.

          Morgan disappeared that night and has not been seen since.

          Now, want to know what people have been talking about since Morgan vanished into thin air?

          Well, gosh, Ms. Morgan was wearing a black miniskirt and knee-high black boots.

          Gosh, Ms. Morgan should have known better than to go out in public wearing such an outfit. It was just asking for someone to rape and kill her.

          So, you know what, Jara. Quite frankly, you can take your rape apologism and shove it. I’m so fucking sick and tired of people blaming women for getting victimized.

          It’s got to fucking STOP.

        • polly styrene November 5, 2009 at 7:02 PM #

          And any time a woman is sober she runs the risk of being raped as well Jara, if a man is present. Men are the risk factor, not drink.

        • karinova November 8, 2009 at 2:28 AM #

          “Well, you can [keep your doors unlocked] but don’t get angry when someone just walks in your house and takes your stuff without asking.

          God, this analogy sucks.
          I’d be angry. Locked or not, my house does not have a “come on in and take whatever you want; also, trash the place!” sign on it that pops up when the door is unlocked. At any rate, if women are houses, please note that two-thirds of robbed houses were stone-cold locked at the time. And in some cases, the alarm was going off. So, no. The problem is that too many men are willing to dabble in burglary. And to them, what makes houses vulnerable is that they have doors.

    • isme November 3, 2009 at 5:03 AM #

      “Ain’t it funny how in every other crime imaginable, the perpetrator is considered responsible. No one thinks it’s the victim’s fault when their house is burgled, their wallet is pickpocketed, their car is twocked. We – by which I mean society in general, and the criminal justice system in particular – consider such crimes to be the responsibility of the criminal, never the victim.”

      Actually, no, the victim is generally heldto be somewhat responsible if they have done anything to increase the risk of the crime happening, such as being drunk.

      • thebeardedlady November 3, 2009 at 7:18 AM #

        Just not true. I have never heard a victim of theft being held responsible for that theft, whatever they were doing and however drunk or sober they were. It’s pure bullshit.

        • isme November 4, 2009 at 12:10 PM #

          I can’t speak for you, but that’s something I hear alot.

    • isme November 3, 2009 at 5:13 AM #

      “That being said, I think what is happening is that to men, it seems painfully obvious to us that the rapists in question were going to do what they did, and we are surprised that the girls did not see it that way either.”

      So…any guys at that party (or any other where a rape has occured) knew it was going to happen, but didn’t feel like pointing it out to anyone?

      “Rapists commit rapes, but I don’t think there is a rapists out there who has quit his desire to rape because he realizes its wrong.”

      I’m not sure about that…at least in that there’d be people that wanted to rape, but didn’t because they recognised it as wrong.

      • Jara November 3, 2009 at 1:57 PM #

        Andrew – “That being said, I think what is happening is that to men, it seems painfully obvious to us that the rapists in question were going to do what they did, and we are surprised that the girls did not see it that way either.”

        Isme – “So…any guys at that party (or any other where a rape has occured) knew it was going to happen, but didn’t feel like pointing it out to anyone?”

        How I interpreted Andrew’s words is this:
        Women aren’t aware of how many hetero men think – always strategizing to get laid, looking to seduce women by spotting weaknesses, etc. (imagine a fox trying to get into a hen house). If you give them ANY room to move in for the kill, they will. Because men act like hunters, casting women in the role of prey. Now you can walk around with your head in the sand if you want (demanding the right to be drunk publicly around heterosexual men) but I would advise against it.

        I’m a woman who was taught by both my mom and dad how men think so I wouldn’t be one of these women speaking a different language than men. I can empathize with women not liking the situation – the fact that we have to be on guard but that’s the reality.

        In the meanwhile, we can help change the reality by protecting women by not enabling their stupid actions and, at the same time, teaching men to respect women as humans with equal rights to their bodies.

        • Faith November 3, 2009 at 5:16 PM #

          “Women aren’t aware of how many hetero men think – always strategizing to get laid, looking to seduce women by spotting weaknesses, etc. (imagine a fox trying to get into a hen house). If you give them ANY room to move in for the kill, they will. Because men act like hunters, casting women in the role of prey. Now you can walk around with your head in the sand if you want (demanding the right to be drunk publicly around heterosexual men) but I would advise against it.”

          I’m quite aware of how the average man thinks. I’m quite far from being naive. None of the feminists here strike me as the naive type either. We simply refuse to take responsibility for men’s behavior and attitudes. What we believe is that people should stop telling women to be responsible for men’s attitudes and behavior and actually start holding men accountable for their behavior. It is not my job to keep from getting raped. It is the job of men to not rape me.

        • merriweatherford November 6, 2009 at 4:26 AM #

          Jara:

          Why do you hate men?

          • Nine Deuce November 6, 2009 at 4:29 AM #

            Say what?

          • polly styrene November 6, 2009 at 7:12 PM #

            Word. I have never met a radical feminist who hates men as much as Jara.

    • Faith November 3, 2009 at 2:48 PM #

      “As a man, I am intimately familiar with literally all of the ways men will try to get laid. These include everything from pick up artistry to rape. It constantly surprises me how women are unaware of these things for the most part. If I saw that situation unfolding, I would have known right away that those kids were probably planning to do something to her. I bet that she had no idea what was happening…That being said, I think what is happening is that to men, it seems painfully obvious to us that the rapists in question were going to do what they did, and we are surprised that the girls did not see it that way either.”

      There goes Andrew advocating separatism again.

      “I have a friend who got mugged at night at a bus stop in Oakland and I told him that is what he gets for hanging out at bus stops in Oakland at night. He more or less agreed that it was stupid and that he wasn’t going to do it again.”

      No one is stupid for being the victim of any crime.

      If I didn’t lock my front door and came home from work to discover that I’d been robbed, I wouldn’t say: “Gosh! I forgot to lock my door! I’m so dumb!”

      I’d say: “Damn! Those monkeysuckers robbed me! Goddamn Shitlickers! I’m calling the cops!”

      I really fail to understand why my response should be different if I get raped because I’m drunk, walking alone after dark, or living amongst men while possessing a vagina.

  27. RaeAn November 3, 2009 at 12:56 AM #

    Since the boys are not legal adults, I see why they weren’t thrown in jail. Juvenile justice works differently, and it’s not always fair. Probation (“home monitoring,” and “sex offender treatment,” which, if anyone has ever looked into, is such a joke) seems quite a bit lax, though.

    What I don’t understand is why the boys weren’t given even some community service. I think they should be mandated to volunteer 120 hours in a battered women’s shelter to see the effect which men can have on women when they don’t treat women with respect. That would be far more beneficial for everybody–the girl doesn’t get to see her rapists in jail, but most of us don’t; mine is still happily flying around the world in the US Air Force despite all efforts to bring him to justice. (Doesn’t make it right. Just a fact.) But I do know that men who have been exposed to rape victims have a higher awareness of their actions as it can affect women. The guy who was the most comfort after my attack, and the first male I would let touch me for weeks, had lived in a battered women’s shelter for a few weeks with his mother after she finally moved out from an abusive marriage. He was only six at the time–but he has never said a harsh word to a women. Ever. Not even when he’s legitimately angry.

    These boys need the same exposure–they need to know how rape and abuse ruins lives and isn’t something to have as a lark at a party. I don’t think they should be kept out of school–they should be moved to a new high school, though, at least. They need to get their education and learn to think for themselves, not let peer pressure or society tell them what’s okay–because often the messages are wrong. And college, in theory, teaches you to think like that. They need education: from volunteering, mostly, but also to continue in school.

    • Andrew November 3, 2009 at 1:32 AM #

      I agree, the problem with the justice system a lot of times is it’s inability to perform any serious rehabilitative function, but in this case, because of their age, the suggestion above seems reasonable.

    • Jara November 3, 2009 at 1:22 PM #

      Great comment, RaeAn. I agree with everything you wrote. It’s so true that men who have been exposed to the victims’ side of the equation are often times more sensitive because they see the women as HUMAN instead of objects for their pleasure (the attitude behind rape in the first place).

    • Faith November 3, 2009 at 2:51 PM #

      “I don’t think they should be kept out of school–they should be moved to a new high school, though, at least.”

      And what happens when they rape some other girl at their new school?

      Explain to me why we should allow known violent criminals to walk around unsupervised. These boys were 15, 16, and 17. They were not 11 and 12. They could have easily have been tried as adults – and should have been – if the judge in question had actually taken the case seriously.

      • RaeAn November 7, 2009 at 1:46 AM #

        They should be heavily supervised at the new school, have regular appointments with the school psychologist, etc., but it’s not fair to the victim and the victim’s friends to have the rapists walking around their school. In this case, the poor girl moved across the country to find a new environment. If the boys do the community service too, they’ll become more aware of the consequences of their actions. But keeping them out of school is absolutely counter-productive; it’s no worse than throwing them in jail for how much hope of rehabilitation they would have. I disagree that 15-17 is always able to be tried as an adult–I know many 20-year-olds who don’t have the capacity to act as adults yet, and 15-year-olds, for the most part, simply are too naive to be held to the same standard as someone who is, say, 30. A 15-year-old hasn’t always learned to think for himself and consider the consequences of his actions. If they’re going to grow up to be decent human beings, they need to continue learning–if they’re pulled out of school forever, they’ll be screwed over and just end up developing no morals and never being able to make anything of themselves.

        I think these boys need very different treatment than my rapist, who’s in his late 20s or early 30s and an officer in the Air Force and is supposed to have a strong moral compass and the maturity to be a decent person. The judge screwed this case up, yes, but pulling them out of school is just about the worst thing you could do for a criminal. Give them even more education and teach them how to think in a manner that doesn’t hurt others–don’t take away every opportunity they may ever have in life by denying them a high school degree.

        • Faith November 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM #

          “I think these boys need very different treatment than my rapist, who’s in his late 20s or early 30s and an officer in the Air Force and is supposed to have a strong moral compass and the maturity to be a decent person.”

          I simply can’t agree. As I’ve said before: Rape is rape is rape. Whether the person in question is 15 or 30, they both deserve to be punished heavily for their crimes.

          “Give them even more education and teach them how to think in a manner that doesn’t hurt others–don’t take away every opportunity they may ever have in life by denying them a high school degree.”

          I actually didn’t say anything about denying them an education. I’m a firm believer that education is a human right. I just don’t believe they have any business being in -school-. They can receive an education while behind bars. It is possible to educate criminals without allowing them to interact with the general population.

  28. Hatter November 3, 2009 at 12:56 AM #

    I wanted to link to an article that I ran across a while ago dealing with the issue of rape. It’s quite a lengthy read, but it outlines what some of us have been getting at, and I think it’s worth taking the time:

    http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/how_you_guys_thats_right_you_guys_can_prevent_rape

    It’s directed at men, and it details what rape is and how one can prevent oneself from committing rape (rather than how to protect oneself from it). Sounds simple, but it’s rarely discussed from this angle. The author understands that not all rapists are male, and she addresses this point in the article, but the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are male is the reason why she has written it mainly for their benefit.

    • Jara November 3, 2009 at 2:03 PM #

      Hatter, I like this article you linked to. Much more education needs to occur to get men to see that their actions IS rape. Trying to persuade a woman who doesn’t want to have sex with you is a sure road to rape. Even if that woman temporarily says yes, that’s a likely morning-after rape charge waiting to happen. She wasn’t comfortable with the yes; she feels coerced. Meanwhile, the man feels like the mighty hunter who shot the big bear (a hard lay) instead of a deer that just came up to his gun (an easy lay).

      We really need to stop linking masculinity and manhood with sex. If we could stop teaching that, that would go a long way towards getting men to honor women’s right to say/mean no.

      • Faith November 3, 2009 at 5:17 PM #

        “We really need to stop linking masculinity and manhood with sex. If we could stop teaching that, that would go a long way towards getting men to honor women’s right to say/mean no.”

        From some of your previous comments, I’d say you are in need of some of that education yourself.

  29. Nine Deuce November 3, 2009 at 4:39 PM #

    Giving women tips and tools that will help them avoid being raped is a far cry from claiming that women who have been raped bear some responsibility for what has been done to them. Let’s be serious here and maybe think about separating those two concepts.

  30. Roxie November 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM #

    It occurs to me this attitude of place some blame/responsibility on the victim is the same sort of attitude that allows us to blame poverty on the poor and deny a public health care option. It’s this “If I can justify the bad things that happened to you as your fault, then I can escape these bad things myself.” and in order for anyone to believe that could actually work, they MUST blame the victim or they become too much like the victim themselves. Then either they’d have to shatter their world view to REALITY and then maybe actually have to fix something.

    I’m sure there’s a name for this. Any one know?

  31. polly styrene November 3, 2009 at 10:17 PM #

    Well as I’ve said before I have an
    absolutely guaranteed way to avoid rape.

    Avoid men! Simple!

    Whaddya mean, “don’t be silly”, are you serious about women preventing rape or not?

    • Andrew November 3, 2009 at 11:02 PM #

      You have to be careful, now, would this mean that women who didn’t avoid men would be somehow responsible?

      On a more serious note, does anyone here have any sort of fact, anecdote, hypothesis, etc., to back up the notion that rapists can be successfully deterred? Especially by feminist logic. I know that it doesn’t work at all with pedophiles and I’m having a hard time distinguishing.

      • Faith November 4, 2009 at 1:57 AM #

        “You have to be careful, now, would this mean that women who didn’t avoid men would be somehow responsible?”

        No.

        • Nine Deuce November 4, 2009 at 5:03 AM #

          Yeah, right? I wanted to give that comment a “doi” myself.

      • polly styrene November 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM #

        On a more serious note, does anyone here have any sort of fact, anecdote, hypothesis, etc., to back up the notion that rapists can be successfully deterred?

        No: (barring shooting them) but there is evidence that people (wrongly) believe that women who are raped somehow deserve it. Going back to “just world theory/fallacy” – and with apologies for quoting wikipedia

        One study gave women what appeared to be painful electric shocks while working on a difficult memory problem. Other women of broadly the same age and social group who observed the experiment appeared to blame the victim for her fate, praised the experiment, and rated her as being less physically attractive than did those who had seen her but not the experiment. [1]

        In another study, female and male subjects were told two versions of a story about an interaction between a woman and a man. Both variations were exactly the same, except at the very end the man raped the woman in one and in the other he proposed marriage. In both conditions, both female and male subjects viewed the woman’s (identical) actions as inevitably leading to the (very different) results.[2]

        Fascinating eh? It’s very scary to believe that events like rape are random, so to protect themselves psychologically, and maintain an illusion of control, lots of people like to believe that if something bad happens to you, you did something to deserve it.

        It’s a type of magical thinking. And it’s bollocks of course. Life isn’t fair.

        • Ben November 5, 2009 at 3:15 PM #

          How about a little research that’s relevant to the article at hand?

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17396398

          “Researchers have established that alcohol is a risk factor for date rape for both victims and perpetrators. OBJECTIVE: The authors tried to experimentally address the link between alcohol consumption and women’s risk detection abilities in a risky sexual vignette. PARTICIPANTS: The authors recruited 42 women from undergraduate classrooms at a large midwestern university and randomly assigned them to drink an alcoholic (.04 blood alcohol content) or a placebo beverage. METHODS: Participants completed self-report inventories and listened to a date-rape audiotaped vignette, which began with consensual sexual behavior and culminated in date rape, and the authors asked them to determine if and when the man should refrain from making further sexual advances. RESULTS: Student’s t tests and Pearson r correlations showed that women who consumed alcohol and exhibited high levels of rape myth acceptance showed a significant decrease in risk recognition (p = .000 and .001, respectively). CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the significance of even small amounts of alcohol on behavior and cognition in women who are self-reported experienced drinkers.”

          • Nine Deuce November 5, 2009 at 4:43 PM #

            How is that relevant?

          • polly styrene November 5, 2009 at 6:59 PM #

            Ben:

            Learn the difference between CAUSATION and CORRELATION.

            Yes, people’s awareness of risk (generally) decreases when they are drunk. This is because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

            Your general awareness of risk does not make someone else rape you. The presence of a rapist does that. I’ve been drunk many, many times, I’ve never been raped.

            I’ve been sexually assualted, when I was a child, and definitely not drunk. Two thirds of women who are raped have consumed no alcohol at all immediately prior to the event, not even a smidgen.

            Also the study you cite refers to “high levels of rape myth acceptance”. Maybe that was a factor also?

  32. Jara November 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM #

    “Most women who are raped are raped by partners or ex partners.”

    Bad judgment in picking partners. Sorry, but I can spot an abusive man from a mile away. Ditto for a rapist.

    The bullshit on this blog is too funky for me. You all need to wake up. Your “feminist” rage is covering up a big stinking pile of victim mentality.

    And Nine Deuce is a bitch for only letting through certain comments (conveniently the ones that point out how she was responding erroneously to me when I was replying to someone else).

    Bye victims.

    • Nine Deuce November 5, 2009 at 4:46 PM #

      Wow. I let this through just so everyone could see what Jara is all about, and to make it clear why she’s banned.

    • polly styrene November 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM #

      Jara, Jara, come back! You still haven’t told us how to spot a rapist!

      What were the odds eh?

  33. thebeardedlady November 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM #

    I thought Andrew was banned? (A thought that made me very happy, I might add.) What did I miss?

    • Nine Deuce November 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM #

      Sorry, it’s been awhile and I forgot which post he was banned from, but I won’t publish any more of his comments on this post.

  34. aray November 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM #

    what do you think of camille paglia’s opinions on date rape?

    • Nine Deuce November 10, 2009 at 6:49 PM #

      She’s an asshole. I’m sure whatever her opinions on date rape are, I disagree.

  35. polly styrene November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM #

    A postscript, the cops over here are doing yet another, “don’t drink because if you do it’ll be your fault you’re raped, you stupid slut”, sorry I mean awareness campaign over here, they do them every Christmas, as if it wasn’t bad enough already. Let’s face it: alcohol is the only good thing about Christmas.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8385048.stm

  36. Alina December 1, 2009 at 3:48 AM #

    It’s sad that guys seem to think gang-raping a drunk girl is some form of “male bonding” to be proud of. Really, what’s respectable about “having sex” with a girl that’s so drunk she can barely stand? Back in my day guys would get all excited about the “thrill of the hunt.” I blame porn. Teenagers are no longer interested charming women into bed, it’s just about getting off. Do the deed, get another beer. Gross.

  37. christina beastly December 4, 2009 at 2:29 PM #

    So, this is what I sent to the Governor’s office.
    ———————————————
    Greetings Governor O’Malley!

    I was just made aware of the Montgomery County case (article: http://www.gazette.net/stories/10212009/rocknew222349_32522.shtml) involving three young boys accused of raping an unconscious girl at a party, while they were all students at Col. Zadok Magruder High School. Obviously, rape in any circumstance is a harrowing, gut-wrenching, indescribably painful event; what was so particularly unbelievable about this case was that the judge, one Steven G. Salant, came uncomfortably close to blaming the victim for her own violation. This is UNACCEPTABLE from someone who supposedly represents the assertion of justice in an uncertain world. When a judge can turn on an underage victim because she had the misfortune of being ASSAULTED by THREE young men who could’ve easily chosen otherwise — well, you know something is sick and rotten within our society. What if she were your own child or a child you knew and loved?

    I beg you, please, don’t let this sort of behavior stand from the officials that the public is supposed to trust and respect. An adult man (Salant) incapable of respecting that a young girl has the right to drink and party without then being brutally assaulted, has the right to act flirtatious without being forcibly penetrated, is not a man capable of making sound judgments on behalf of the state of Maryland. He sounds a bit like these three young rapists who couldn’t determine for themselves that this girl did not ask to be brutalized.

    I was born in ’83 in Bethesda Naval Hospital to a black woman with a history of abuse (who was also a Naval Officer, who pioneered this path for other women like her) and have since moved all around this “great” country. So I have seen many horrible things happen to many wonderful people and I know, absolutely without a doubt, that blaming young women for having the misfortune of living in a violent, rape-fueled culture is NOT how we will achieve a better world. Young men of all races and backgrounds need to be held accountable for their violent actions. No man of any age or status has the right to “take” sex from anyone else. No man is ever entitled to anything from any woman, unless consent is granted. I think this country needs to have this message drilled into its collective mind.

    Thank you for reading this message, I hope that I’ve expressed myself clearly enough. I refrained from the coarse and angry language I wanted to use, in hopes that more of my intent will get through. I feel so sick, as do many, many other women that I know, that this even happens, this blaming of rape victims who were said to be “asking for it” — yet, have we stopped teaching boys NOT to rape? Have we successfully educated young men about simple human respect and decency? Is that why these three young men could drag a drunk girl to a bathroom and f*** her without her consent? Is that why a male judge could then lay BLAME on this young girl, implicating her in her own unconscionable RAPE? Right, because no girl should ever drink, have fun, and engage in flirting. Sure, that’s fair to expect of young women, whereas we should expect absolutely nothing but sexually violent reactions from men? Right.

    This stains Montgomery County and it stains Maryland. It is absolutely foul. Please, investigate this issue, reprimand this judge Steven Salant, or remove him from his post. Perhaps your court officials could benefit from rape/victim sensitivity training? That this happened once is almost too much to believe — but I have no doubt that if this incident is ignored, more victims will experience unfair prosecution, and justice will have been a myth all along. Is that all we, as human beings, are capable of? Hurting others and blaming them for their own hurt? After all these civilized years? Have men still not heard the memo about choosing NOT to rape? Or the message about choosing to RESPECT young women?

    Again, thank you for your time. I hope that this message is heard. It is likely not the first nor the last you will receive on this issue.
    ——————————————–

    What’s up with judges flouting their own baggage? This reminds me of this douchebag eviscerated here at Shakesville. How can these men even walk upright and make intelligent sounds? I have more respect for the wormy things I find underneath big rocks.

    Sure sending an irate letter won’t help any, but it felt good, especially after reading through the comments. You’re all amazing people, do you know that? Except Jara, holy crap. So sad.

  38. suhani December 21, 2009 at 11:59 AM #

    i have gone through same rape case,where i was the victim,1 was 19 ,drunk with my bf and his frnds,me and my bf had no physical relations by then. after i passed out n slept.. he raped me in front of his frnds… next morning when i woke there was no one…. well it was my first time…. after he never spoke to me again… i cried n begged to be with me… but he left me,as he was done… i loved him… n he raped me.i belong to a very respectful family n orthodox too.. i couldn`t tell any one… i kept blaming myself for loving a wrong guy… n still never got in relation ship again. i am working 23 now. i work for a widow society … but the scars of that night are still fresh… and i get scared at nights… it hurts….

  39. ben tillman December 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM #

    “Sickening and outrageous and infuriating, as these stories always are. Probation – fucking probation – for a GANG RAPE? God, that judge is an arsehole. ”

    He’s a Jewish activist who is “celebrating . . . Jewish values in the law”. From here:

    http://www.sobeloff.org/

    “Steven G. Salant observed that none of the state or local bar associations in Maryland provided a forum for those attorneys interested in Jewish issues and concerns. He discovered that many attorneys were willing to devote their time to build such an organization. Therefore, the Simon E. Sobeloff Society was established to provide a social vehicle to network, encourage civility and build camaraderie among attorneys while celebrating their Jewish heritage and Jewish values in the law.”

  40. suhani December 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM #

    3 years after being raped …. i still think i was the one responsible,yeah its true.. if i was too drunk.. its my mistake.. i am the whore…. he was innocent.. he just did.. what he wanted too,since we got in to relation……
    Your Honor, I committed the crime of getting drunk with my bf,trusting him that he would take care of me. My lips were too shiny. I was deeply in love with him. For my penalty I accept to be alone forever.” case over!!!!!!

  41. Immir March 7, 2010 at 1:31 AM #

    Thnx for providing a way to contact him… brb

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekend Link Love « The Feminist Texican - October 25, 2009

    [...] Rage Against the Man-chine: Too drunk to drive? Then you’re too drunk to deserve pity for having been raped, you dumb whore. [...]

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