[important]TW- Rape, Victim Blaming, Suicide, Depression[/important]
I recently came across this word in a twitter discussion (OKAY, Raging Argument) with Dean Esmay and Judgy Bitch. For those who don’t know who these are, Dean Esmay is one of the big shots up at A Voice for Men and Judgy Bitch is a lady MRA who I came across when she was blaming the victim of the Steubenville rape.
And this argument boiled down to the same “nonsense” that Thunderfoot was flogging. That rape victims if they don’t take specific precautions are to blame to varying levels for their rapes.
And this term “Helmet Bunny” was an affront to me.
Why? Because I played rugby. I was not just a geek, not just a nerd but a total jock too. I played rugby well and while not good looking I was liked as a player. I had a girlfriend from another school and while we moved on with our lives we had no regrets and didn’t hate each other.
Helmet Bunny for those who are unaware are young girls who fancy football players due to their high social currency. It is a derogatory term which effectively means brainless slut, a girl who likes the sort of thug who plays sport.
Funny thing is? I played a “thuggish” sport. I started my rugby playing career playing as blindside flanker and then as scrum half. As a scrum half I was a very very tenacious tackler. My own coach at high school called me his little thug. But that’s the thing. The entire stereotype of the sportsman is “All Brawn no Brain” like there is some sort of slider that determines what you get. You play outside you get fit and good at a sport. You play inside you get good at videogames, chess and the like. There is no law saying you cannot do both. If there is then show me it?
No, to the narrative of the MRA that is Judgy Bitch, the young lady has to be a slut. She has to chase male penis. Why else would two upstanding young men rape her and videotape it? Her vagina must have hypnotised them or something.
No, what happened was a tragedy of young boys thinking that their actions were amusing to themselves. It was because rape has always been used as a tool of humiliation. You see? The ultimate joke about the MRA narrative is that the Steubenville Rape victim was raped because she DID NOT WANT to date or sleep with a footballer. She got raped because she was a stuck up bitch who thought she was “too good” for them. That’s the real stupidity of people like Judgy Bitch’s arguments.
She got raped because she went to a party and drank alcohol underaged and passed out in a strange place. That’s the MRA dialogue. Mine’s “I went to parties as a teenager, I have gotten drunk and passed out when younger”. Does that make it okay to rape me? No. Because I am a guy, I am more likely to be safe than some young lady who did the same thing.
And for a while it was “all her fault”. And then it was covered up because the rapists played American Football and that’s important. And this total Helmet Bunny ruined their lives!
I mean that’s the MRA viewpoint? Mine’s a lot simpler. Teenager wanted to fit into the culture of underage drinking and partying, got drunk, a couple of lads either saw it as an opportunity for what in their minds is “harmless fun” or revenge on a girl who had turned them down and was disliked. And they got what they thought was in their minds harmless, embarrassing revenge.
But it wasn’t, it was rape. No matter how the MRA I argued with liked to spin it out as either not rape or her lacking personal responsibility. Then the usual “I don’t teach women to be safe” nonsense. Bollocks, Poppcock and Hogwash.
In an ideal world women would not have to take precautions to avoid being raped. In an ideal world consent would be entirely implied and perfect in it’s application. And when you give birth to children you would feel no pain.
However we do not live in such a world. We apparently have to blame Eve for the reason women have pain in childbirth and in our world women do have to watch out for rapists. However such precautions are impossible to apply perfectly and the precautions are often in hindsight. AKA a woman has been raped and people telling her where she went wrong. She turned left. The way it’s treated was like my coach telling me that the reason my run failed was that I didn’t jink the correct way, so I got run over by someone who did to me what a charging bull does in a shop of expensive glassware. Technically correct but also not helpful.
The only way to avoid being tackled to the ground by someone who is what he eats (and what he ate was a whole damn bull) is not to play Rugby. But that’s stupid, Rugby is fun. The game is great! Why look at the bad experience of that and not play the game? You don’t set out to eat food thinking “Well! It’s all going to be shit in the end!”.
There are things the victim of Steuvenville wanted to experience in the social world of Teenagers and while we may look back and think those things are stupid now, she clearly didn’t think so. She wouldn’t see the negatives but the positives. And that is how most of us live our lives. Looking at the fun part of things more than the bad. That is why young ladies go to clubs, that is why they party, that is why they drink, that is why they have sex. Because these things are fun if done correctly and that they aren’t thinking about their feet being trodden on by some incompetent dancer or a bad hangover or terrible sex. And they certainly aren’t thinking about rape and if they are? Well they are taking precautions aren’t they? They are with friends? Surely no one else would let someone rape another human being right?
The Colemans came to Maryland from Albany. A small farming town in Missouri, Maryland is probably like many of the quiet idyllic and picturesque towns I have driven through as a tourist in the USA. Where people know each other and are friendly. These are the places where people pride themselves on being conservative and following “good” home values. I mean I believe in good home values too like working hard, caring for your kid and being responsible parents, I just think two men/women are capable of doing it. or even one guy/woman. Hardly a radical notion as some may think.
The family came to start afresh. A new life. You see? Michael Coleman had died in a tragic accident when his truck skidded on ice and met with an accident on the way to one of the kid’s sporting events. The two children in the back of the truck made it out. Michael did not. Melinda and Mike were both doctors, of animals and people and the loss of Michael left them in agony. So they wanted a new start and Maryland seemed like a good place to start again.
And they thrived there. Charlie got a sports scholarship to study at university. Logan’s an accomplished wrestler and carried on wrestling in memory of his father who died on the way to see him wrestle. Everyone loved Tristan.
Daisy and Logan were in the car the day Michael died. Daisy was the young lady of the family.
Daisy unfortunately would have fit into Judgy’s idea of the Helmet Bunny. I know the mere description of her sends alarm bells ringing through my own mind of “Cliched Terrible Cheerleader” but she was beautiful enough to be in pageants, blonde, smart and a dancer and cheerleader at Marville High School.
And like the story, the Cheerleader Gets the Football player (American Handegg to the Brits). Matthew Barnett was the object of her affections.
On the 7th of January, 2012 she was with her friend with an illicit stash of booze, sat in her room texting her 17 year old football player. And that condensed into a plan. At 1 AM after a parental check the teens slipped out and were met by Barnett who drove them to a party.
Where she was encouraged to drink. She was given a large glass of alcohol and then another and was urged to down it. And that’s the last thing she remembers.
The next morning Melinda was woken up by a scratching at the door, think it’s the dogs she got up to let them in. Instead she found Daisy out in the cold and barely conscious. Her hair was frozen and she had spent 3 hours wearing a T-Shirt and sweatpants.
In Daisy’s bedroom she found the friend also asleep and also confused. Melinda then carried Daisy to warm her up in the shower and as she undressed her she noticed the redness around her daughter’s genitals and buttocks.
At St. Francis’s in Marville the medical report confirmed that small vaginal tears were present indicative of recent sexual penetration. The friend also tested positive.
When the Police arrived the story became more clear.
Her friend was raped. She was undressed by her 15 year old assailant and he put a condom on and raped her despite her saying no. Her friend did not drink at Barnett’s place. After the rape she saw Barnett return from another room and ask if she wanted to go home. Daisy was in the room he just left. She couldn’t speak coherently and was crying. When they got there they told her to go inside while they watched over Daisy.
The Sheriff’s office quickly seized the young men and with search Warrants confisticated evidence. Including an iPhone where the rape was (like the Steubenville one) Videotaped. Now normally it’s hard to prosecute sexual assault and rape which is why so many get away with it. The issue is that in a trial reasonable doubt can be thrown on a rape case with greater ease.
The thing to remember that seven hours after her being brought in, Daisy still had a BAC of 0.17 which is “Blackout Drunk”, Daisy is lucky to have lived considering she was left out in the cold by her assailants. And to show that she was drinking hard alcohol in a large quantity.
But then it started going wrong.
Many supported the young girls as victims but a lot of people supported the alleged rapists. Just 2 days later, Melinda Coleman was warned about others making threats at her family including threatening to beat up her sons. Mostly it was hoping that “Daisy gets what’s coming to her”. And I don’t think they wanted Justice.
Daisy was suspended from the Cheerleading Squad. Charlie was booed during matches. According to people Melinda and Daisy were “Crazy Bitches” and Daisy was “Just asking for it” (I assume it’s not Justice again).
People and even young girls rather than show solidarity walked around with home-made shirts that said Matt – 1, Daisy – 0. The cheeky side of me wants to say that “of course that’s horrible, see the town only equates rape to a field goal”. But that’s the thing, it was just a game to these kids. Helmet Bunny got what was coming to her.
Two weeks later, Melinda was fired from her job. There was no explanation on t he day but later she went in with a recorder and was told that she was putting stress on everybody at SouthPaws Vetinary Clinic (When Compassionate Care is Needed the Most. But only if you are a doggy) and that she wouldn’t be able to come in during the trial. What’s more likely is that the owner of the clinic was family to one of the accused.
Melinda was determined to see justice but come March 2012 she got a phone call. The charges were being dropped. Favours were being called in. Her lawyer asked the prosecutor about the rumours. Within the week she got a call. The charges were being dropped against both boys on both sexual assault and exploitation.
The reason? In a small town, small town politics mean that some names are a big deal. Rice Barnett is the boy’s grandfather and his name carried weight. He was the Republican State representative and served 4 terms. The Barnett family had ties to Sam Graves’ campaign.
When the charges were dropped, in accordance to Missouri law, all records pertaining to the case were sealed, such as interviews with nearly a dozen witnesses, the results of tests done on bedclothes and the rape kits. The video wasn’t found, according to the prosecutor, though Charlie Coleman told his mother it was passed around school and he saw it.
When asked, Rice Barnett responded with the statement that there was no meddling and that there was no prosecutor who could take that case to trial despite all the evidence gathered. He put it down to hijinks and kids being kids. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s a crime was the general message.
Which means that the non-drunk eye witness was effectively called a liar.
And then the victory dances started. “Fuck yea, that’s what you get for bein a skank!”. You know the drill, you guys have seen enough of them to know what it’s like.
In August 2012, the Colemans went for a deposition regarding the final charge. Endangerment of Welfare by getting Daisy effectively alcohol poisoned and left in freezing weather. Daisy was excused but Rice Barnett defended Matthew and even these were dropped.
The Colemans moved back to Albany, they were in effect defeated. The Barnett’s had won even with all the evidence.
But that wasn’t the end of the story.
In April 2013, the Coleman’s unoccupied house that was up for sale was found to be on fire. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
But people move on. Two of the young men got to play sport again for the NW Missouri Athetics Team. Matthew Barnett got enrolled at Central Missouri which was the Uni of his grandfather.
But the town doesn’t remember the Coleman’s fondly. Sheriff White thought that Melinda “has issues” because she was so determined to fight the Barnett’s influence.
Oh what about the victims? Well no one’s thought of them till now? Should we buck the trend?
It hasn’t ended for the victims. You see? As minors the story would have been hidden under a blanket of anonymity. To Daisy Coleman and Melinda Coleman that blanket would not have helped them so they spoke out openly. They gave their names in the hope of Justice and to bring light to the case.
Her friend? She didn’t leave town but she couldn’t sleep alone anymore. She suffers from nightmares and flashbacks. For those who are unaware? That’s a sign of PTSD and these flashbacks can be vivid.
Daisy? Daisy has been in regular therapy and requiring in patient care. To put it into perspective? Psychiatric care is not a slander on a shame to be in. It is a disease, a disease of the function of the mind. There may be organic causes such as in dementia or in Wilson’s disease or they may be unknown ones. But only really severe cases are admitted. Daisy was serious enough to have spent more than 90 days in watched care.
She’s also tried to commit suicide twice, being rescued by Charlie.
Part of why she tried was because if you are called slut, whore and bitch enough times you tend to believe it.
Maybe Matthew learnt an important lesson, apparently he didn’t learn the one we wanted him to learn.
“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”
It’s a recent tweet from him.
Yes, we can look at it right here and start pointing out blame.
Why if she hadn’t been drinking that night she may not have gotten raped. Clearly her friend was too drunk to fight back too. Okay? Why if she didn’t go out that night she wouldn’t have gotten raped. If she didn’t like Matthew? Why stop there? IF she wasn’t a cheer leader? If she wasn’t so attractive?
Why stop at her? If her mother had not moved to Marville she would not have been raped too! Or is that too stupid? Now here is the thing. We all have been involved in youthful hijinks. Me and my cousin were once CONVINCED our neighbour was a murderer because he sat in his field at night. Turns out he went there to get some quiet for a smoke but to us it was an adventure. Hijinks? I once on a field trip climbed out of the boys window, shimmied across a tree, onto a roof to knock on the girl’s window to let me in so I could open the locks because “boys want to talk to you strange creatures” (I went to an all boys school). I got upto hijinks that we know that no girl would do because for young ladies, hijinks such as sneaking out to a party ends up with rape.
And you can spin grandiose reasons why these young ladies got what they deserved but ultimately the fact remains that these two young ladies were probably raped and that in spite of video and medical evidence the rapists got off thanks to vague and unknown reasons.
You can talk about personal responsibility but the price for sneaking out late and being stupid enough to get caught is not rape, PTSD and suicidal depression but grounding and no TV.
Women are personally responsible for their own safety but the problem is that rape hits women when they think they are safe. Matthew utilised the trust and willingness to impress to force Daisy into sex. Her friend was effectively overpowered. We regularly tell women to be safe. We make up apps to keep them safe on casual dates. We have created the infrastructure of women’s shelters and hotlines to listen to women. We even create systems of safe return to houses such as Night Buses. In fact there is an entire song and dance about meeting men that women know about safety and in spite of all that they still get raped.
Now some people think it’s clearly the women’s fault. They were doing something that got them raped. I don’t know, maybe they ran screaming from their rapist and didn’t make themselves as big as possible to scare them off. I think it’s that it doesn’t matter what a woman does, the rape is going to happen if they are in the situation. And you can say “avoid the situation” but that’s like telling people that the key to safe driving is to avoid car accidents.
Or soldiers that the key to surviving war is to endeavour to not get shot. There is no algorithm to stop rape, there are so many if’s and buts and maybes that any defence is generic, random and haphazard. So to blame women for not taking any precautions is just a bad idea. There is no mathematical and statistical position one can take to win a gun fight.
Neither is there one to avoid being raped. The best way to stop rape is to start treating rape victims better and start realising the depth of the problem. Then to start teaching young men what rape really is. If she says no but you make her say yes it’s still rape. If she says yes because you placed her in a situation where she thinks she cannot say no it’s still rape. If she doesn’t fight back it’s also rape, not a secret message that she wants sex because she isn’t flailing at you hard enough.
And if this is not a concerted social effort to blame the victims and protect rapists then what is it? And what do you call such a culture of support for rape but rape culture? To claim that there is no such problem in the USA is to be blinded to it.
I am sure the MRAs opt for the “She should be personally responsible for her actions” and that rape is a clear and obvious response to a drunk girl but there is one thing I did not mention.
And that’s the age of the victims. Daisy was 14, her friend was 13 at the time of the incident. Think 13 year old girls should be responsible for their own rape? At what age is it acceptable to blame a woman for her own rape? And one final thing I noticed.
Where was all this “responsibility” for rape arguments being bandied about by our brave MRA Atheists such as Thunderfoot when the Catholic Church rape scandals were coming out? Are altar and choirboys incapable for look confident and thus forcing paedophile priests to seek weaker victims? All that outrage over that and we still were happy to blame the victim when it comes to things like this.
How are the victim blamers any different from the idiots who blamed chow mein or told people that the victim should have prayed to Krishna.
There is no rape culture, there is just a culture that allows rapists to walk free and blames the victims to the point of causing such depression and pain.
But what do we care? She’s just a helmet bunny. Right?