GENERAL – This is why we need rape shield laws, or something to deal with this

Two teenaged female relatives of the convicted Steubenville rapists have been brought up on charges for going up on Twitter and threatening the life of the rape victim. One blamed the victim for ruining her cousin’s life.

You can ask a number of questions about the mentality this comes out of. Is this a culture of resistance to the authority of the courts because that authority has so often and so reliably been illegitimate and oppressive? Is this just a family culture of plain old human amoral familism? Is this just teenagers with a pack mentality?

Those are questions for later. Right now the issue is protecting victims who report rapes. A rape shield law cannot reasonably conceal the name of the accuser and victim after the trial begins – some very dark places lie down that road and we have been in all of them over the centuries – but in this case this ugly persecution almost certainly started earlier.

And it’s not just member so the families of the accused who are jumping in on this:

“In addition to the threatening tweets, other Twitter users posted messages harshly criticizing the rape victim’s character, according to screen shots captured by a website dedicated to fighting online bullying.”

I’m not sure a rape shield law would have prevented this; maybe just a rally public treatment of the thugs making the threat will send enough of a message.

Read the whole article.

 

Here’s another take on this, from Amanda Marcotte. I didn’t initially buy her reversion to rape culture in this case, but on second look I can see what’s she’s saying. She says that people just don’t want to acknowledge they someone they know is a rapist. I  think there’s more to it and it is worse – I thnk these girls don’t just wnat to deny these guys did it, I think they want to downgrade it – yeah, well maybe they did do it, but it doesn’t really matter, look who they did it too. That explains a little better the vile treatment of the victim, explains a litle more fully why they are piling on. People just protect their own and sometimes this is what it looks like. I think that works with all serious crime, and so calling it “rape culture” is not really accurate.

But I really agree with this her analysis when it is applied to the way male rape victims are treated, espceially by other men. There we see a real rape culture – denialism, anomalization, minimization.

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  • dungone

    if you’re going to be treated like a second-class citizen anyway, you might as well not get yelled at all the time for speaking up about it. – Marcotte

    Occam’s Razor can fix that entire sad excuse for a theory. Stop trying to make everything fit into Patriarchal theory and you won’t need to make weird excuses for why women do the same exact things to men and other women as men do to other men and women.

  • Ginkgo

    It’s not just patriarchy theory that’s setting up that non-problem. The whole Class Man/Class Woman construct is nothing but an artificial impediment to any useful understanding.

    Oddly or maybe the same kind of shoddy work was just standard in those years, back in the 60s (and on up into the 00s) Chomsky fabricated the same kind of unnecessarily counterproductive theoretical proposals that were really just obstructive whimsies. There is a running series of articles dissecting him and his entire career over at LingBUZZ, if you are interested.

  • dungone

    I have to admit that I know next to nothing about this case, but the immediate things that strike me are the ubiquitous demonizing of a football program based on unsubstantiated feminist rumors. I also see the ubiquitous rape hysteria that equivocates statutory definitions of rape with the most vicious conceivable crimes against women.

    By statute, the girl was drunk and thus legally couldn’t consent, which in general is a completely bogus double standard that I feel does nothing more than to rob women of agency and responsibility for things that they did willingly. And on top of that, what they did wasn’t even sex, it sounds like it was closer to heavy groping. All the while she was laughing along, having a good time, throwing herself at the boys, demanded to go along with them, refusing to listen to friends who told her she was drunk, etc. I really don’t know how much more consent a person can possibly give. If you’re going to get drunk and be stupid, you have to be prepared for the embarrassment that will come out from it.

    The kiddie porn charge, that’s really bogus – It wasn’t a mentally ill 50 year old filming them for a fetish, it was teenagers being teenagers. The kidnapping charge, obviously they were completely bogus because they were dropped. And the rape charges sound like they’re worthy of a misdemeanor at worse, like underage drinking charges for all of the parties involved.

    So yeah, I can see people being really angry at what happened to these buys, even women. And the fact that someone like Marcotte will invoke the Sisterhood on these boys’ *own family members* and claim it’s really the result of the evil Patriarchy, that’s just pretty much proves that she is 100% completely insane.

  • Iron Lightning

    From what I can gather the girl was passed out at the time of the incident.

    “Anthony Craig, 18, also testified Friday that he saw Richmond digitally penetrate the girl in the basement.

    ‘She wasn’t moving. She wasn’t talking. She wasn’t participating,’ he said.”

    source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/16/justice/ohio-steubenville-case/index.html

    Can you please tell me where you got the information that: “All the while she was laughing along, having a good time, throwing herself at the boys, demanded to go along with them, refusing to listen to friends who told her she was drunk, etc.” at the time of the incident?

    Apparently they did digital penetration which counts as sex unless you subscribe to the Bill Clinton school of sexual definition.

    I agree with you that we are way too heavy handed about dealing out rape charges to consenting intoxicated people but that doesn’t seem to be the case in this particular incident.

  • Tamen

    I pretty much disagree with you Dungone and I think you should’ve considered to stop writing right after you wrote “I have to admit that I know next to nothing about this case”.

  • Tamen

    Marcotte:

    And women have an extra reason to blame and shame the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of rape: Doing so helps you convince yourself that you’re safe. Claiming that it’s the victim’s fault for tempting men with her drinking/sexual activity/mini-skirt means telling yourself that as long as you aren’t as “slutty” as the victim, you’ll be OK.

    I’ve seen the same reason given for why female jurors are more likely to acquit a male defendant in a rape case than male jurors.

    It can make a woman more popular, which in turn can also make her feel more protected from rapists.

    With all this pressure for women to play along with rape culture, perhaps the bigger mystery is why so many women fight back anyway.

    Women collaborate with rape culture for their own gain. The question is, to they “own” the responsibility for their collaboration? Apparently not so much – which I think reveals a not so flattering view on women.

    I also not that she links to the FF101 blog’s article on rape culture written by McEwan. It is not particularly gender neutral to put it mildly:

    A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women.

    When male victims are pointed out the pitiful attempt to make them fit into this gendered view of rape culture is to say it comes from femmephobia. Rapists of male victims tries to emasculate the victim and tries to turn him into a woman. A male victim having trouble coming to grips with his victimization and who are unable to identify what happened to him as rape even though it was are said to be thinking: “Ewww, it can’t have been rape as that would make me a woman.”

    Round peg, meet square hole.
    The mismatch between map and terrain must be caused by an error in the terrain.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner

    well, I’ve mostly been keeping quiet but I’ll say a few things here…

    I grew up in a rust belt area where the football players were worshipped…

    there was “one set of books” for the jocks and another for everyone else. The teachers, the cops, everyone granted them privileges that no one else got…

    anyways, one of the reasons I won’t be an MRA is that I think most guys would be willing to cutt down other guys. It would be problematic for Amanda Marcotte to say the same about women especially when feminist’s often presume to speak for all women. Paul Elam, Bernie Chapin-those guys sure aren’t my voice….

    https://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/more-on-why-im-not-an-mra-and-why-do-sub-par-men-perpetuate-the-nice-guy-tm-meme/

  • http://! DaisyDeadhead

    Dungone: And on top of that, what they did wasn’t even sex, it sounds like it was closer to heavy groping. All the while she was laughing along, having a good time, throwing herself at the boys, demanded to go along with them, refusing to listen to friends who told her she was drunk, etc

    Excuse me, they drove her around for hours, house to house, party to party, SHARING her like a bag of candy, and proudly tweeting about it. They filmed it all. She was passed out like a light. What the hell are you talking about?

    Obviously, this comment is exactly like MOST of your ignorant, not-researched comments: clueless as hell.

    But if anyone here would be first to offer rape apologism, I knew who it would be.

    This will be my last comment on this thread, cannot discuss this ‘rationally’ with people who defend rape. Even though I knew I would probably find it here.

    PS: Jill Filipovic (of Feministe) unexpectedly made the list of “The top 5 rape apologist reactions to the Steubenville rape verdict”: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/the-top-5-rape-apologist-reactions-to-the-steubenville-rape-verdict/

    Dungone, I think your comment here puts you on the list, easy.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner

    They really screwed the pooch on this one…

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-lies-feminism/dr-paul-on-men-can-stop-rape/

    They had the chance to say that feminist views of “rape culture” are skewed because MOST MEN have no desire to rape–you can even extrapolate statistics from the yes means yes blog entry “meet the predators” to get this. IE a small percentage of men rape and commit multiple rapes.

    Of course, the yes means yes entry didn’t even touch females raping males, older women “seducing” young boys, prison rape, boy scout rape or other incidences. Neither did AVfM…

  • dungone

    @Tamen, yet I had already known from the very first article that I Googled about it, that Iron Lighting’s comment about the girl being passed out, for example, was just one of several conflicting accounts of what happened. I have the honesty to admit that I don’t know everything, but that doesn’t make me less informed than everyone else.

  • JDCyran

    [blockquote]She says that people just don’t want to acknowledge they someone they know is a rapist.[/blockquote]

    This is actually a strike against rape culture. The reason people defend rapists (even after conviction and presentation of evidence) isn’t because they love rapists or condone rape, it’s because society has incessantly drilled into them that rape (of women) is so horrible that only a monster can do it. No one wants to acknowledge that someone they know is a rapist because no one wants to admit that they know, befriended, loved, valued or idolized a monster, and some people take that to the extreme. This is why some subset of people will also defend convicted murderers, among others.

    The way rape is treated in the media and the way perpetrators of rape are viewed contributes to this. If anyone has been paying attention to forums or friends of friends of friends on social media , they’ve no doubt seen people calling for the death of these rapists, claims that they’d like to see the whole town burned, that we live in a society so horrible that they just can’t stand to live in it, etc. That doesn’t really speak of a “rape culture” so much as a culture so violently anti-rape that people would actually give thought to burning an entire town to the ground because a rape happened in it and people didn’t have exactly the reaction they wanted them to have – abject horror, disgust and, most importantly, completely lack of empathy for* and/or a desire to kill the rapists.

    Given that, what do people expect young women who were emotionally involved with the rapists to do? Rationally, of course, we might expect them to say, “Oops, I loved a rapist. I had no idea. What a jerk.” But I think we all know that some people aren’t so willing to give up the attachments they’ve formed even in the face of overwhelming evidence, nor are people willing to face their own thought that they’d misjudged someone so, so horribly.

    [blockquote]And women have an extra reason to blame and shame the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of rape: Doing so helps you convince yourself that you’re safe.[/blockquote]

    Pseudo-psychology bullshit. That’s what after-the-fact or from a distance post analysis where you make things up for a story to sound pat might tell you (especially if one is trying to frame it in a way defends the women thinking it (they’re subconsciously interested in their own safety, and society has pressured them to think that!!) while also decrying the situation for the woman/women who were raped), but most people are neither that stupid nor that clever.

    I’d say more likely reasons are those I mentioned above for people close to the rapist(s), and more a combination of fundamental attribution error (it’s her fault because she’s a drunk/whore/irresponsible and other character comments) and dispassionate risk assessment (for non-passionate people not close to the rapist; getting wasted drunk is stupid and puts you at greater risk of harm from human and non-human sources, in no way justifies rape, but they think it’s still important to mention because rapists are Out There, etc.), whether they are men or women, and that’s without commenting on how wrong or right any of them are.

    @Tamen

    [blockquote]The question is, to they “own” the responsibility for their collaboration?[/blockquote]

    Of course not.

    If rape culture really exists, a big part of the reason for it is that rape is treated as histrionic theater. It’s alternately a horrible scenario that is sometimes treated as worse than murder, wrecks towns and makes everyone afraid of the culture they live in (which somehow turns into a nice platform to disingenuously speak from about how whatever incident is happening at the time literally applies to every man, everywhere, those rape lovers), or it’s an angry shout-fest where everyone is screaming out their violent revenge fantasies against anyone branded a rapist, before or after conviction, everyone tripping over themselves to show that they, more than anyone else, want to defend whatever woman by wishing death, castration, prison rape or claiming they’d personally slaughter the alleged or convicted perpetrator.

    *Regarding the empathy thing, I don’t understand the whole media/social media explosion about it. It’s completely reasonable to look at people who have done grievous wrong and say “those poor people. They have wasted their lives, earned the hatred of family and friends with their wrongdoing and will now never have a productive life. What a waste” or some such, and be sad about that, not because they want to or are even attempting to excuse rape, but because it’s a common thing (at least in history. Maybe it was a passing but long term fad) to pity the damned, as they say.

  • JDCyran

    Uh oh. I’ve messed up my tags. Italics, maybe.

    Eh, stupid code differences between sites :)

  • dungone
  • dungone

    No one wants to acknowledge that someone they know is a rapist because no one wants to admit that they know, befriended, loved, valued or idolized a monster

    This is probably true, but it must be acknowledged that putting these kids on sex offender registries for the rest of their lives literally means they’ll be treated like monsters until they die. Actually having a reasonable understanding of rape and the issues of drunkenness and consent may be more than enough to take a stance against what’s happening.

  • Iron Lightning

    Well, from that story at least it sounds a bit unclear but the evidence seems to favor their guilt. Definitely a shadow of a doubt though. The most bullshit thing I see here is that they were denied a trial by jury for such an important offense and were given a juvenile judge instead.

    @Daisy: Stop running away from things just because they offend you, you wimp.

  • Adiabat

    From the above alone I think it’s obvious that the two girls genuinely believe that the guys are innocent, despite the guilty verdict. I guess the question (or at least A question) is how much we expect the general population to modify their behaviour against their genuinely held beliefs based on the verdict in a court.

    And I agree with Iron Lightning regarding the lack of a jury. I’m concerned about this increased tendency to move to trials decided by judges rather than jury’s. I’m noticing more and more that legal systems are moving further and further away from being representative of the views of the people; it feels very Orwellian.

  • Tamen

    DaisyDeadhead:

    PS: Jill Filipovic (of Feministe) unexpectedly made the list of “The top 5 rape apologist reactions to the Steubenville rape verdict”: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/the-top-5-rape-apologist-reactions-to-the-steubenville-rape-verdict/

    Now, that was a misleading sentence implying that Jill Filipovic were called out by RawStory for being a rape apologist. The judge were called out for saying the case was a lesson about how one records things on the social media these days (which implies that it wasn’t about the rape, but about the victimization online or the worse alternative that it was about how putting evidence online will get one caught) and they chose to cite Jill Filipovic’s tweet where she called the judge out. The social media aspect (the spreading of media and rumors and slut-shaming on social media) added to the injury towards the victim, but ironically it also contributed to the case being prosecuted and towards the conviction of the two boys.

    JDCyran:
    Given that you think

    And women have an extra reason to blame and shame the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of rape: Doing so helps you convince yourself that you’re safe.

    is pseudo-psychology bullshit – do you have a theory as to why female jurors who shouldn’t know either the victim nor the defendant are more likely than male jurors to acquit the defendant? Personally I am more interested in any explanation not removing the agency of these people and not removing the onus on them to change their way. Like Schwyzer does when he says that women don’t have a choice but to slut-shame other women due to men upholding the male weakness myth – http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2009/09/09/legal-and-topless-on-myths-of-male-weakness-and-the-virtues-of-feminist-legislation/#comment-8568

  • dungone

    Just as important as the lack of a jury was what appears to have been extensive witness intimidation. But instead of protecting the witnesses, judges and parents who refused to allow them defense’s key witnesses to testify, so they never did. It really puts the judge’s actions in prosecuting just the two girls who made threats against the accuser look hypocritical.

  • EquilibriumShift

    Tamen,

    Not JDCryan, obviously, but I think it might have something to do with looking at the guy, and comparing him to a mental picture of ‘the type of person who would rape me’, and not seeing those things match up. Since the woman isn’t scared of the guy, and he isn’t a drooling rape machine that she has been taught about, she might think, oh, this guy couldn’t have done it, since he isn’t pure eeeeeeevil. In that sense, it is very much related, but instead of being an active move to protect one’s own psyche, it is a simple comparison to the rapist-monster schema that the woman might hold in her mind, and seeing little in common.

  • Adiabat

    Tamen: “do you have a theory as to why female jurors who shouldn’t know either the victim nor the defendant are more likely than male jurors to acquit the defendant?”

    I’ll have a punt at this as I do enjoy pseudo-psychology: maybe the men, knowing how hard it can be to “get sex”, are more likely to believe that the woman said no and that the guy raped her, while women, who may have themselves done things they later regretted, perhaps even denying to their friends that they slept with ‘that guy’ from their past, are more likely to think that the woman is lying about not consenting. The natural life experiences of the male and female jurors are influencing to what extent they believe the defendant and potential victim’s testimony.

    To explain better: the men can emphasise easier with the situation of the male defendant being guilty as it is supported more by their own experiences, while the women jurors can emphasise more with the shame of doing something they later regretted and feeling ‘like a slut’. The jurors are projecting the darkest parts of their own nature onto the defendant and potential victim, not liking what they see, leading to women acquitting more and men acquitting less.

    But hey, the fun of this stuff is that with a good enough imagination you can come up with any answer you want. The biggest problem is that feminist ideology is pretty much comprised entirely of this stuff.

  • Adiabat

    I’ve got a better one which should be more palatable to feminists! The idea of the male brute and virtuous female are Patriarchal constructs and due to feminism over the last century or so women have a greater resistance to going along with patriarchal constructs. Therefore they are less likely than men to jump to the conclusion that the defendant is a brute “who done it” and the potential victim is a virtuous princess who would have nothing to do with him. This leads to women acquitting more and men acquitting less.

  • Adiabat

    Oh and just in case it isn’t clear because I know that there are types who will jump on anything to prove how holy they are: above I wrote ‘like a slut’ in the inverted apostrophes to highlight that I’m talking about the internal thought processes and feelings of the jurors, not as a judgement of my own.

  • Ginkgo

    dungone, people have made soem good points. You want to walk that one back.

    JDCRyan,
    “This is actually a strike against rape culture. The reason people defend rapists (even after conviction and presentation of evidence) isn’t because they love rapists or condone rape, it’s because society has incessantly drilled into them that rape (of women) is so horrible that only a monster can do it.”

    But you can come to that conclusion only if you have not already come to one…..

    dungone,
    “This is probably true, but it must be acknowledged that putting these kids on sex offender registries for the rest of their lives literally means they’ll be treated like monsters until they die.”

    Here we come to the male disposability. The victim has been injured, but her life is not over, despite the histrionics around rape in this society. But that society is quite happy to ensure that the convicted men’s lives are over with that mark of Cain.

  • UnbiddenKarma

    @Tamen the issue of female jurors more likely acquitting the accused may be as simple as women are less likely to see other women as virtuous Madonna’s. They may be able to relate with a women who could be scornful, lying, or simply confused with the situation and would hate to place that type of burden on the accused. It’s interesting because we already know rape is one of the most under reported crimes, what if there is something in female nature (whether inherit or socialized) that makes them doubtful about their ability to justifiably accuse others and likewise female jurors also will doubt the women’s agency when she does in fact do so.

    Marcotte posits that it comes from a need to feel protected. I mean this is a double whammy for her personal beliefs because it reinforced that women are constantly terrified of the culture and it hints at internalized misogyny keeping women down. I don’t mind being skeptical on whether she is projecting or if it’s actually an accurate depiction of the situation.

    I can’t find the link right now but I’m reminded of a feminist group in Sweden that actually campaigned to end the sex discrimination in sentencing length’s in their prisons. It all could be so simple as women view women differently then men view women. Whether their view on women is justified or not is of course open to debate, we are all after all kinda just stumbling around trying to find the truth. Marcotte very easily could be projecting her wishes through pseudo psych or she could be correct. /shrug

  • UnbiddenKarma

    Bah Adiabat snuck in his post before I realized. He covered it plenty well.

  • Adiabat

    Except that I kept writing emphasise rather than empathise. Hopefully no-one will notice…

  • Ginkgo

    “@Tamen the issue of female jurors more likely acquitting the accused may be as simple as women are less likely to see other women as virtuous Madonna’s. They may be able to relate with a women who could be scornful, lying, or simply confused with the situation and would hate to place that type of burden on the accused. ”

    ES, yes!

    I don’t recall if you are in the US, but we had a spate of TV shows that were informal courts – real judges, but fake proceedings. One of the judges was Judge Judy (who has since come up on DV charges, i think, but that’s a footnote.) What was novel with her was exactly what you are describing. A lot of these cases were boyfriend/girlfriend roommate thing gone bad. And invariably the women would turn on the tears, and you could just see Judge Judy lay her ears back. It would always end badly for the crybaby.

  • EquilibriumShift

    I seem to recall Judge Judy being an old school gender roles kind of woman. She shamed more than one man about “not stepping up” or “not getting his stuff together”, but she did it to the women too. I think what a lot of people forget is that in the past, women were expected to tough it up almost as much as men. (I guess the difference being women had to tough it up re: their emotions, and men had to tough it up re: trench warfare?)

  • Ginkgo

    “I think what a lot of people forget is that in the past, women were expected to tough it up almost as much as men. (I guess the difference being women had to tough it up re: their emotions, and men had to tough it up re: trench warfare?)”

    Depended on the woman and her circumstances. One corellary of male disposability and all the dead men that entailed was a lot of widows stuck with kids. It took a lot of toughness not to buckle under that load.

    Emotions – self control and a refusal to let the rabble see you subject to any distress is a core survival skill for gentry, amle or female. Thi is the piece of being “a lady” that the womenfolk of the rising bourgeoisie failed to get. I date a lot of out gendered double standards *within the same class* to this process of derangement of the social strata and I expect itm to work itself out because the same factors that conditioned a stiff upper lip in one elite will have the same effect on another.

    “I seem to recall Judge Judy being an old school gender roles kind of woman. She shamed more than one man about “not stepping up” or “not getting his stuff together”, but she did it to the women too. ”

    That’s the traditionalism I grew up with, but it was not general by my time. Judge Judy had blue collar roots, and also her particual Jewish culture demanded a lot of adulthood from women anyway. I don’t come from blue-collar roots but the expectations on women were pretty similar in their general effect. Then I went into the Army, where that was even more pronounced. It has taken me more than 20 years to get used to being around civilian women and their cvilian white-knighting men.

  • dungone

    dungone, people have made soem good points. You want to walk that one back.

    I really don’t feel the need to. I don’t think the punishment fits the crime, I strongly disagree with the double-standards and subjective legal standards involved, I don’t think that these kids really got a fair trial, and the histrionic lynch mob surrounding the case is downright alarming. This whole thing looks more like a 3-ring circus than anything that I would recognize as justice.

  • Ginkgo

    “I really don’t feel the need to. I don’t think the punishment fits the crime,”

    You may not consider this a walk back, but it satisfies me.

  • JDCyran

    @Tamen

    is pseudo-psychology bullshit – do you have a theory as to why female jurors who shouldn’t know either the victim nor the defendant are more likely than male jurors to acquit the defendant?

    Others covered some good reasons reasons pretty well. ES’s suggestion meshes very well with my comment about rapists being seen as Horrible Monsters (so if the guy on trial doesn’t seem like a horrible monster…), while UnbiddenKarma notes that women are probably less likely to see other women as virtuous Madonnas because they, as women, are aware of their own thoughts and actions in the past.

    Adiabat’s comment hit the nail on the head best, however, when he said:

    The natural life experiences of the male and female jurors are influencing to what extent they believe the defendant and potential victim’s testimony.

    As an aside, I think it’s important to remember that trials are vastly different than psychological studies, and that they invariably include things that the studies do not: evidence and testimony, and they have no predetermined answer underlying them. Statistics, on the other hand, don’t say anything about reasons. Why is it okay to assume that women are less likely to make judgements based on evidence and testimony, in these cases, as opposed to some subconscious desire, than men?

    Remember, the point of the trial is to determine whether the accused is guilty and that the answer is not known. If we assume that a higher rate of acquittal decisions by women is based on subconscious feelings unrelated to the participants and proceedings of the trial, aren’t we presupposing guilt and/or saying women are more unfit to be jurors in rape cases (as in, they’re making, and often make, the wrong decision – how do we know that – based on unrelated fear)? Why aren’t we also, then, assuming that a lower rate of acquittal by men means that they’re subconsciously biased against the accused and less likely to consider or believe exculpatory evidence (after all, actor/observer bias works both ways?

    This is not to say that psychological biases don’t play a role in decisions people make. However, it smacks of pseudo-psychology to pick and choose when we apply biases to people in order to meet our worldview. Studies have shown that men are more likely to “blame the victim” than are women, and it has become a pervasive narrative; we often hear about rape enabling and whatnot being a problem with men. However, when the situation is reversed, and women are finding the accused less guilty/the potential victim more suspicious, even though they usually don’t, then it’s a suddenly stronger bias that is making them acquit a rapist?

    Personally I am more interested in any explanation not removing the agency of these people and not removing the onus on them to change their way.

    On the guys who were convicted of rape, sentenced to juvenile detention and who will likely be registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives? I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, even if some people don’t think they’re actually guilty. Incidentally, it will never matter if they change their way. Even if they become the equivalent of seraphim in their own lives, they will forever be reviled.

    @Ginkgo

    But you can come to that conclusion only if you have not already come to one…..

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here.

  • Ginkgo

    I mena she went in with her conclusions already set.

  • JDCyran

    @Ginkgo:

    I mena she went in with her conclusions already set.

    Oh, you were talking about Marcotte? If so, I agree.

  • Ginkgo

    Yeah. That one.

  • Harald K

    “You can ask a number of questions about the mentality this comes out of. ”

    Bullying. With bullying, the offender relies on the victim having such low social status that people will look the other way (or even cover up for them or defend them).

    I think this is a better explanation than “rape culture”. The offenders couldn’t have done this to just any woman and expected to get away with it. They knew perfectly well that what they did was wrong, too, they just counted on not being held accountable (while alcohol and approval from their closest peers probably let them banish any twinge of guilt they may have). It might even have worked – when their relatives support them at this point, it’s clear they must have been immensely popular compared to their victim.

    It’s not unheard of for bullies to end up murdering their victims – although since bullies are deliberately playing a game to get away with what they do, it’s rare, and incitement to suicide is far more common.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, Harald, if I haven’t welcomed you before.

    Bullying – thta is indeed and essential element. This is not just rancid loyalty, though that may be the motive, there is also the cowardice of atacking a defenseless victim, and that is the core of bullying.

    And oyu are also right that bullies rarely actually kill their victims, since they feed off their energy – their fear gives the bully the feeling of dominance.

  • http://! DaisyDeadhead

    Iron: @Daisy: Stop running away from things just because they offend you, you wimp.

    If you insist.

    Tamen: and they chose to cite Jill Filipovic’s tweet where she called the judge out.

    I stand corrected, although when I first saw the tweet, I thought it was Jill saying that.

    Whichever, what a dumb thing to say.

  • dungone

    @Harald K,
    Bullying. With bullying, the offender relies on the victim having such low social status that people will look the other way (or even cover up for them or defend them).

    What about the specific circumstances here, though? These girls were family members of two kids who were themselves receiving death threats, with people threatening to burn down the entire city they lived in and even groups such as Anonymous getting in on the act with witness intimidation against people who would testify on behalf of the defense?

    While their threats were ill-conceived, I find it plausible that these girls were backed into a corner and, very likely, were being harassed themselves.

    The girl at the center of this debacle had, from what I’ve heard, changed her story after rumors had destroyed her reputation. It was her parents, freaking out over the rumors and in denial of their daughter’s own behavior, who dragged her down to a hospital to get a rape kit done. The rape charge was inconsistent with the accounts of what had actually happened and the degree of enthusiasm that the girl had for participating in the night’s events, including the sexual ones.

    Now, if I were a teenager and I saw my family’s lives being torn apart over what looked like another teenage girl lying about her own complicity in what happened as a way of saving face, I think I would be really pissed. So I don’t really think that bullying necessarily plays a role in this. OTOH, I think that being girls, they may have felt entitled to lash out without being held accountable for their threats. I think if they were men, and sane, then they would have pictured themselves hanging from a tree the next morning before they opened their mouths.

  • dungone

    A note about rape definitions.

    “But your honor, I was drunk” is not an excuse when you choose to do participate in some illicit activity. I think that deep down, most people intrinsically know this to be true.

    The problem with rape definitions in our society is that they are not based on mens rea, a tried-and-true legal standard that defines wrongdoing in terms of what the perpetrator’s state of mind, irregardless of the victim’s state of mind. With rape definitions it’s the polar opposite – it’s the victim’s state of mind that makes it rape or not rape, regardless of what the perpetrator was doing or what they were thinking. And that makes these definitions really awful and misleading, as far as I’m concerned.

    Ask any woman how they would feel about their husband getting drunk and having sex with another woman. Would their first thought be, “oh my god, my poor husband was raped,” or more like, “that dirty cheating son of a bitch!”?

    There are two very different ways that things could go down when alcohol is involved. One is when you get drunk with no motive to cheat on your wife, maybe have someone slip something in your drink or pressure you to drink too much, maybe even you suffer from addiction, and when you pass out or become delirious, someone decides to take advantage of your state of mind and have their way with you. The other is when you meet up with a woman at a bar, wanting her all along, get drunk with the purpose of lowering your inhibitions, start fooling around, keep getting drunk until you’re plastered, and then try to use your drunkenness as an excuse for what you did.

    It’s pretty obvious which set of events is cheating and which is rape. I think this is intuitive to most people. Especially those who have been drunk and know exactly how our own motivations interplay with our behavior while under the influence. Anyone who says otherwise is just a liar.

    That’s what I think is wrong with the law and with this verdict. It’s not that I deny that she was severely drunk and there was some sexual activity. That is firmly established. What I don’t see is any evidence to suggest that she wasn’t aware of or complicit in all of the night’s events, that there was any sort of discomfort, confusion, or unwillingness on her part. She got plastered and fooled around, but so what? At one point she even decided to start taking off her clothes in what would have been indecent exposure, had they not had a few teenage guys to scapegoat for it.

    This whole entire thing is about nasty high school rumors and parents who freaked out and went into denial over their daughter’s wild antics. You know what the really sad part is? There may have actually been an underlying cause for her promiscuous attention-seeking behavior – maybe an eating disorder or some other un-diagnosed mental health issue. But now that they found some scapegoats to blame it all on, those guys will go to jail and the real problem got swept under the rug. So good job feminists, good job parents, pat yourselves on your backs.

  • Jupp

    How can one talk rationally about the limits of the vileness of the acts of the two Steubenville football players? They apparently committed a serious crime, but i hope people would agree, that it wasn’t as bad as FGM.

  • Iron Lightning

    Wait, what the hell does any of this have to do with FGM, Jupp? Did you forget to add the “ina” to the end of your name?

  • Jupp

    IronLightning
    I was trying to talk about the severity of the crime. It seems to me that part of the public acts as if there is nothing worse than the rape in question; but there are far worse things.
    If those two guys are monsters, what are the parents who genitally mutilate their daughters?
    (I could have taken a different offense, like murder for example, but I wanted to take a related crime, so the comparison is more obvious. Both are crimes against sexual autonomy, but only one causes a permanent physical harm.)

  • Harald K

    Dungone: She was unconscious, not merely drunk. The participants in the bullying themselves described it gleefully as rape. She did not just “get plastered and fool around”.

  • Iron Lightning

    @Jupp: If we want to talk severity it seems to me that these guys aren’t that bad as criminal scum goes. They violated a chick who seems to have made herself unconscious which is bad but not as bad as if they violated her while she was conscious since she didn’t experience it quite as vividly. I’m not saying that their crime was minor or even different enough from conscious rape to warrant reduced punishment but I feel it’s a comparison to be made since you brought it up.

    The parents who mutilate their daughters’ genitals are just as bad as the parents who mutilate their sons’ genitals which is, I would agree, worse than what these guys did.

    Of course, this story is quite over-sensationalized as there are many worse crimes both sexual and not that statistically happened that same day. I suppose it’s the whole them being star football players of a sort that made this so interesting. When something is sensationalized this much by the media people think that it’s worse than it is since it made the news.

    Really the biggest story here is that they were denied trial by jury which is a pretty clear violation of their sixth amendment rights but no one cares since everyone pre-determined that they were guilty from the fact that the media reported that they were being tried.

  • dungone

    Dungone: She was unconscious, not merely drunk.

    What are you basing this on? What evidence?

    The accounts that I have seen indicate that she wasn’t, whereas the claims that I have seen that she was are unsubstantiated or conflicting with other accounts.

    For example, the photograph of her being carried was used as evidence of her being drunk. But a completely sober person would have looked exactly the same in a photograph of being carried. Another thing that didn’t pass my smell test is the prosecutor’s argument that she must have been unconscious because she couldn’t remember the next day. Which is completely bogus. If that’s the type of arguments which were used to argue that she was unconcious – and they were – then I just don’t buy it.

  • dungone

    @Harald K, I almost forgot. The eyewitness account of her being digitally penetrated, in the car, which is the only evidence of anything that could even potentially rise to the level of rape, indicates that she was actually kissing the guy back, on his neck, as this was happening.

    Honestly, I think that this girl could have been shouting, “fuck me, fuck me harder!” and those guys would have still been charged with rape. Because she was drunk. And so were they, probably, but no one has even bothered to ask becaus. But apparently, she’s not responsible for purposefully putting herself into this predicament of engaging in drunken sexual conduct, not guilty of indecent exposure, not guilty of public sex, not guilty of underage drinking – it’s all everyone else’s fault, somehow. No charges against her at all. It boggles my mind.

  • Schala

    Another thing that didn’t pass my smell test is the prosecutor’s argument that she must have been unconscious because she couldn’t remember the next day.

    I’ve been black-out drunk (can’t remember some hours the next day, but was definitely still “there” and able to consent up to right before bed) a lot it seems. I’m probably a bad judge at that point, but, if I can still stand and walk, let alone talk, it’s on me not to have been that way in the first place.

    I’ve been lucky that the only times I’ve been in that state have been at my brother’s and at my own place. I would avoid being in that state in bars.

    At my brother’s, I drank enough to be unable to walk or even stand, but I apparently talked endlessly. I don’t remember the last 4 hours of that evening. I don’t remember getting a ride back, being carried to the car, then from the car to my place, or getting into bed.

    I usually drink rum by shots, in shot glasses, and remove the aftertaste with orange soft drinks. That time I drank rum in normal non-shot glass, so I drank 3-4x faster than normal. It was pretty stupid of me.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Harald: Dungone: She was unconscious, not merely drunk. The participants in the bullying themselves described it gleefully as rape. She did not just “get plastered and fool around”.

    Dungone believes all men are innocent and all women guilty. Facts don’t matter. He is the only actual misogynist who posts here… but he is a great tutorial in what misogyny truly is. I used to hate his comments but now I study them carefully and learn.

    Dungone: What are you basing this on? What evidence?

    Photos, tweets and texts by the defendants. You saw and read them all, right? They were admitted into evidence.

    Dungone: For example, the photograph of her being carried was used as evidence of her being drunk. But a completely sober person would have looked exactly the same in a photograph of being carried.

    Priceless. My God, no feminist could ever improve on that.

    Dungone: But apparently, she’s not responsible for purposefully putting herself into this predicament of engaging in drunken sexual conduct, not guilty of indecent exposure, not guilty of public sex, not guilty of underage drinking – it’s all everyone else’s fault, somehow.

    If you leave your house unlocked and someone steals your stereo, they can still go to jail for theft, no matter how dumb you were in leaving your house unlocked. If someone says “hit me” and you hit them, you can still be arrested for battery. Get a clue.

    This is the way the US judicial system works; apparently it was different in the country you emigrated from?

    Dungone: The eyewitness account of her being digitally penetrated, in the car, which is the only evidence of anything that could even potentially rise to the level of rape,

    What about the guys bragging about raping her? You read all the tweets, right? Does their own word about their own behavior not count? (And what about their statements in their subsequent interviews with the cops?)

    Of course not, I forgot… they are men and she is a woman, and Dungone judges accordingly. They could confess to MURDER and somehow, would still be her fault.