In the wake of Todd Akin’s now infamous comments about “legitimate rape”, there have been quite a few rather offensive and uneducated bon mots in the news on the subject of rape.
In Canada, the niece of the Mayor of Toronto, Krista Ford got into the debate via her twitter account by giving this bit if advice to women. “Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defence classes & don’t dress like a whore. #DontBeAVictim #StreetSmart,” Never mind that it is illegal to carry mace or pepper spray in Canada unless you work in law enforcement, or that not everyone can afford to take a self defense class. The fact that Krista Ford, who is famous for playing football in her underwear and teetering around Toronto in stiletto heels and mini dresses so tight that it looks like she’s trying to get toothpaste back into the tube, had the nerve to say don’t dress like a whore would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. This kind of slut shaming and victim blaming has got to stop. Why are we not teaching men not to rape, instead of preaching to women not to dress provocatively. This boys will be boys attitude is not helping the situation.
Chief Prosecutor Paul Richwalsky
Then there is a case out of Louisville Kentucky where a 16 year old girl was sexually assaulted by two boys who thought it would be funny to get her drunk, expose her breasts and genitals, penetrate her with their fingers and take pictures of the event with their cell phones. The two boys plead guilty to charges of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and misdemeanor voyeurism. For their crimes they are required to do 50 hours of volunteer work and attend treatment. As if the 16 year old girl’s violation and humiliation was not enough, the Chief Prosecutor of the case, Paul Richwalsky, actually told the girl, when she complained about the plea agreement being too lenient, to “get over it and see a therapist. … The jail was for ‘real’ rapists, murderers and robbers.” This from the man who was hired to serve the best interests of the victim!
SNL alumnus and Tea Party darling, Victoria Jackson, came out in defense of the aforementioned Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments. She was quoted as saying, “The Todd Akin thing was so blown out of proportion — it’s a joke. How many times do people get pregnant from rape? It’s point zero zero one percent. It’s a joke. I read lots of articles. I know people, because I’m 53. I’ve know a lot of people, and I’ve actually never known anyone who got pregnant from being raped.” She went on to say, “If I got raped, I would have the baby. And if I didn’t want to keep it because I had these [mocking tone] horrible nightmares, I would adopt it out. But I think that God can turn a bad thing into a good thing. And that, if I got raped and a beautiful baby who was innocent was born out of it, that would be a blessing. The DNA of a baby is individual. It’s not the mother’s DNA. It’s not the father’s DNA. And that’s why I believe abortion is murder, because it’s not the woman’s body. It has it’s own DNA. If there’s a boy baby inside of me, he has a penis. That’s not my body.” Good for you, Ms. Jackson, but not every woman feels the same way. To deny others a choice just because you think that everyone should believe what you believe is the antithesis of what the pro-life movement should be doing more of… live and let live.
With a tip of the hat to Bill Maher, I would like to suggest my own New Rule. Unless you are a woman or a man (yes, men get raped too) who has been through the violation, humiliation and emotional toll of the crime of rape, you must keep your pie hole shut. All you are doing with ignorant statements like the ones above is opening wounds and putting the responsibility for the crime on the victim instead of the criminal. It’s attitudes like these that make rape the most unreported crime on the planet. You are only showing a lack of compassion, empathy and humanity when you vilify a victim of rape, not to mention giving rapists the message that you are on their side.
13 thoughts on “The Great Rape Debate”
Amen!! All of these comments make me want to vomit. (Especially the one from the chief prosecutor. Let’s try letting these boys explore your body cavities with their fingers, buddy, and see how quickly you “get over it.”) By quoting a made-up statistic, Ms. Jackson has just proven how irrelevant she is to any such conversation, so I guess I have to thank her for that. Where did she get her info? The fact that it hasn’t happened to anyone she knows personally doesn’t sound particularly convincing.
I love the part where she says she knows people because she’s 53. I mean her whole quote was just ridiculous. I think the chief prosecutor should be forced to resign based on what he told a 16 year old girl for whom he was hired to get justice.
Agreed! No one like that should be in the justice system.
What a load of ridiculous comments. I hate the hashtag “Don’tBeAVictim”, as if 1. One has any control over whether one is a victim or not, and 2. It is a shameful thing to be a victim. Ugh.
Absolutely, and well put
Also, I’ve nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog Award: http://cratesandribbons.com/2012/09/11/one-lovely-blog-award/
Holy Crap, that shit is hard to read. Wow!
Welcome, and rest assured that not all my posts are as depressing and difficult to read as this one was.
These are stupid times, and sometimes that means you gotta give an accounting of the stupid. Well done.
As one who has not endured the crime of rape, I cannot answer this question. Perhaps you or your readers will.
Is it okay for a bystander to walk up and kill a rapist in throws of committing the crime? Would it be okay for someone to kill another person is is raping someone?
If death is too much, can we simply beat them into a coma? Can we cripple them for life? How far can we go? The crime is apparently black and white. Where is the line between black and white on how such criminals should be punished?
Can we shoot them? Can we cut and stab them? Can we beat them with a bat? Can we cut off their genitals?
I’d like to know so I am prepared on how far I can go if I ever see a rape in action.
Even though I suspect there is sarcasm in your question, I will give the benefit of the doubt here and answer seriously and to the best of my ability.
Though it is my opinion that killing or maiming another human being, even while in commission of a crime is not the best way to go about things, I THINK, from a legal standpoint that killing someone in self defense or in defense of others is allowed, but I assume that would depend on where in the world you reside.
I would, however suggest that the best thing to do in that situation is call 911 immediately and if your cell phone has a camera, use it. Photographic evidence can go a long way towards a conviction.
The point of my question was not sarcasm, but to illustrate that the definition of rape is not black and white by showing that the punishment people would assign is not black and white.
You have not thought this through, which is clearly indicated by your comment that those who have not been raped should not be commenting on the subject. You claim that only they can talk about it but even that group cannot determine what is objective punishment so the crime itself is not black and white. When you begin classifying crimes which are generally called ‘rape’ you will eventually get to a point where the term legitimate rape is useful.
I’m in no way defending the asshole that brought this to public attention. He firmly has his head up his ass. What I take exception to here is that you have said those that have not be raped should not speak about the subject.
You said: “Unless you are a woman or a man (yes, men get raped too) who has been through the violation, humiliation and emotional toll of the crime of rape, you must keep your pie hole shut. All you are doing with ignorant statements like the ones above is opening wounds and putting the responsibility for the crime on the victim instead of the criminal. It’s attitudes like these that make rape the most unreported crime on the planet. You are only showing a lack of compassion, empathy and humanity when you vilify a victim of rape, not to mention giving rapists the message that you are on their side.”
This is not a statement in keeping with equality for all. In fact it is counter to equality.
I have not ever been raped yet I have positive things to contribute to the conversation. Your assertion that I do not is insulting. Perhaps you should reconsider who should keep their pie hole shut.
It has been said that anyone who has an opinion, and voices it, will offend someone. It seems that my opinion has offended you. I have kept your comments on my blog up because I believe in the free exchange of ideas and I do not censor my readers, no matter what their opinions of my opinions are. Thank you for sharing your opinion.