Give Me The Blame, Just Give Me The Boy

4 Apr

On March 8th the New York Times ran a story about the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl by 18 boys and men in Cleveland, Texas.

When I finally read the article I was amazed at the kind of victim-blaming language such a reputable newspaper used.

“The case has… left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?”

Gosh, in a rape culture like this one I simply can’t imagine.

More sympathy to a group of rapists from sweet churchgoing (well, I can only assume) neighbors:

“These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

Poor poor rapists…

And here we go with the victim-blaming.

She dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

Remember girls, those clothes advertised in the magazines you read, don’t wear them.  The makeup your role models wear in their movies and music videos, don’t wear those.  And certainly don’t hang out at the playground.  That makes you a S-L-U-T, slut!

And just because we haven’t blamed enough women yet, let’s blame her mother for her 11-year-old daughters gang rape.

“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record.

Rape isn’t a ‘natural hazard’ like a cliff edge that women must be careful to avoid when drunk – it is a wilful act of violence perpetrated by another human being and the responsibility lies with the perpetrator not the victim.

~The Equality Illusion, Kat Banyard

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