Why?

It’s another impossibly dreadful story of rape and bullying. Some of you might want to just skip the whole godawful thing.

In 2011, Rehtaeh Parsons attended a party where she consumed enough vodka to not remember most of the evening. She recalls throwing up out of a window. Four boys then raped her; one of the boys allegedly yelled, "take a picture, take a picture." According to Rehtaeh’s mother, "That picture began to circulate in her school and community three days later."

The picture prompted a torrent of online bullying as well as verbal abuse at her school. When Rehtaeh confessed the incident to her mother a few days later, they called emergency health services as well the police. After a year of investigations, the police told her it was a case of "he said, she said," without enough evidence to press charges. They told the family that though she was underage, the photographs were not a criminal issue.

I do not understand

  • why she was raped,

  • why the men took photos of the act,

  • why they then distributed evidence of their criminal act,

  • why she was bullied for being raped,

  • why the men were not publicly shamed and ostracized,

  • and why the police could not find grounds for arresting violent criminals.

I simply do not understand.

It might be an inability to comprehend the human race. I’m thinking of joining another species.

Comments

  1. Xaivius says

    Yeeeeup. Moment I find names of the men involved on this, I’m sending them to every goddamn news outlet I can find. Shit needs to stop. Fuck the haters. Name and shame every last one of misogynistic assholes, let society see what we’re making.

  2. marcus says

    “I’m thinking of joining another species.”
    Please don’t. You are definitely one of the clearest and most articulate voices on the web today. Your consistent and unwavering support for rationality, humanism, equality and good old-fashioned fairness would be sorely missed.

  3. Xaivius says

    And my rage has ratcheted up from “Righteous Indignation” to “Noise Ordinance Violation.”

    I’m out for a bit. If anyone gets their names, send them to me. Then tell everyone you know. I need to deal with my issues.

  4. Pteryxx says

    The family moved and even that wasn’t enough.

    She lasted two years.

    There’s a reason they call us survivors.

  5. Subtract Hominem says

    Are people who learn about it still going to deny that rape culture exists and/or has anything to do with any aspect of this tragedy? How can anyone continue thinking these occurrences are just isolated incidents? Isn’t a string of memetically-related “isolated” incidents a culture-wide phenomenon?

  6. Becca Stareyes says

    What kind of society do we live in where we produce people who think this is at all okay?

  7. John Morales says

    Subtract Hominem:

    Are people who learn about it still going to deny that rape culture exists and/or has anything to do with any aspect of this tragedy? How can anyone continue thinking these occurrences are just isolated incidents? Isn’t a string of memetically-related “isolated” incidents a culture-wide phenomenon?

    Some will; because people can be foolish or perverse, and not necessarily.

  8. omnicrom says

    I’m not sure what makes me vent liquid hate more, the fact that this complete offense to humanity and morality occurred or that inevitably some complete shithead is going to come into this thread and shit it up and engage in the same song and dance of victim blaming, crime denying, rapist apologia. To that person and every other person who dismisses this and shakes it off I say a preemptive FUCK YOU. To this unfortunately NOT hypothetical person I say that they must stop being a complete shitlord, because your rape apologizing IS WHY THIS HAPPENED.

  9. carlie says

    And if it hasn’t been done already (I’m sure it has), she’ll soon be called weak. People will say it was her fault that she just couldn’t handle it, that she was doomed to have this happen one way or another, that she is the only one to blame for the end of the story. No blame will be put where it should be; it will all be heaped back on her.

  10. mythbri says

    I do not understand

    why she was raped,

    Because women aren’t real people.

    why the men took photos of the act,

    Because they thought it was funny/awesome/proof of their masculinity.

    why they then distributed evidence of their criminal act,

    Because they had no fear of consequences, and that lack of fear was justified.

    why she was bullied for being raped,

    Because it’s easier to believe that someone brought something horrible on herself than it is to believe that someone you admire did something horrible to someone. Because it’s easier to believe that rape only happens to certain people. Because rape isn’t really bad, is it?

    why the men were not publicly shamed and ostracized,

    Because rape is a force of nature, not an intentional act.

    and why the police could not find grounds for arresting violent criminals.

    Because why would you ruin these boys’ lives just because some girl said she was raped?

    Because rape culture. That’s why.

  11. says

    Such a sad loss of a promising young woman. I am from that province and lived not to far from there. Sadly, I’m not shocked by the attitude of the police or actions of the boys. The attitude among many young men is that women are here for their amusement.

    Men out there, it’s time to teach our sons that women are equal human beings, not objects to play with

  12. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    Are people who learn about it still going to deny that rape culture exists and/or has anything to do with any aspect of this tragedy?

    Yes. Based on past experience, some of ‘em will be along any minute now to “explain” how.

    How can anyone continue thinking these occurrences are just isolated incidents?

    <singing>
    “All lies and jests
    still a man hears what he wants to hear
    and disregards the rest”

    </singing>

    Isn’t a string of memetically-related “isolated” incidents a culture-wide phenomenon?

    <sarcasm>
    Don’t be ridiculous.
    </sarcasm>
    -

  13. hamilton says

    I heard about this young woman today from a friend on the facebook, whose younglest child went to grade school with her. I am unspeakably angry and confused. How, in Canada, in this century, is this girl shamed and shunned by her community for being attacked? How do these boys and the community at large live with the consequences of their behaviour?
    I don’ t want to wish harm on others. But these folks are making it hard.

  14. The Mellow Monkey says

    Pteryxx

    There’s a reason they call us survivors.

    Yes. It feels like a war and one that never ends. You can’t escape from it because your own mind and body are the battleground and every time you close your eyes, it’s still there. And others will gladly remind you in case you forget for one brief, shining moment and thought you were something else, something human.

    Those who die in that war aren’t weak.

  15. says

    What always surprises, which it shouldn’t seeing as it happens again and again, is the reaction of the community. Shaming the girl, blaming the victim. Rapeculture really is a kind of groupthink (for certain values of “think” that don’t) or hivemind. It seems to all boil down to the idea that women don’t count, except as how they’re “valuable” to men.

  16. Subtract Hominem says

    John Morales @10; Cicely @ 16

    *sigh*

    I had a feeling the answers would be something like that. Why, it’s almost as if a certain segment of Western civilization (and not-so-Western civilization, for that matter) is not merely oblivious to rape culture, but willfully so. I fear that means Parsons’ tragedy won’t be the last of its kind.

    I’d like to join that conga-line toward a less repulsive species now.

  17. gmacs says

    I just heard the mother of the victim and a member of the police force (not at the same time) interviewed on a Canadian public radio news show (they play it on IPR here). If it makes any of you feel better, the interviewer did not go easy on the RCMP dude. He said that these cases must be evaluated for merit, and the interviewer’s reply was somewhere along the lines of “You have the picture. You know which phone took the picture. What else do you need?”

  18. says

    This is the shit that never ends.
    It just goes on and on my friends.
    Some people started flinging it well knowing what it was,
    And they’ll continue flinging it forever just because this is
    the shit that never ends.
    It just goes on and on my friends…

  19. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    Those who die in that war aren’t weak.

    No.
    They’re out-numbered, out-gunned, and out-maneuvered; plus the enemy have the “home field” advantage.
     
    *pre-emptive hugs* for everyone, in…the word I want isn’t “anticipation”, because that word has connotations of joyfulness, but I can’t think of what its Evil Twin would be…dread-laden-certainty that they are going to be needed, by the ton.
    -

  20. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    “Now and forever,
    World without end.”

     
    …my friends.
    -

  21. Holms says

    “That picture began to circulate in her school and community three days later.”

    The picture prompted a torrent of online bullying as well as verbal abuse at her school.

    +

    the police told her it was a case of “he said, she said,” without enough evidence to press charges.

    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE POLICE

  22. thetar says

    With all this talk of wanting to leave the human species, I thought I was reading comments from the Rapture Ready forum. Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

  23. says

    Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

    Obviously there’s no topic so horrible that some whiny little shit like thetar won’t happily use it as drama food.

  24. mythbri says

    @thetar

    Brilliant comment, thetar. You really captured the tragedy of a young woman’s needless, agonizing victimization and death.

  25. says

    Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

    Thanks ever for dropping your opinion once again, thetar, because it’s much more important than rape, rape culture, and the loss of life. Yep.

    Comment by thetar blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

  26. thetar says

    @ mythbi

    I wasn’t commenting directly on this terrible tragedy, I was merely making the observation that Pharyngula and A+ forum are similar and in some ways more draconian that the rapture ready forums.

  27. says

    Hey, thetar, how does it please your God when you make a mockery of a girl being raped? Or are you just a stain of a different kind of shithead?

  28. says

    I wasn’t commenting directly on this terrible tragedy, I was merely making the observation that Pharyngula and A+ forum are similar and in some ways more draconian that the rapture ready forums.

    Actually, by dropping your little observation in a thread about this terrible tragedy, rather than, say, Thunderdome or the Lounge, you ARE commenting on it. And your comment is, “This terrible tragedy is less important to me than sharing my opinion about the A+ forums and Pharyngula.”

  29. gmacs says

    I wonder how it feels knowing you are so devoid of real enjoyment that one trolls such threads just for a little attention. Vile as they are, I pity some of these trolls (MRA I’m guessing).

    In the deepest pits of my depression, I’ve never thought to seek angering or hurting people for any source of fulfillment. It must be agonizing to live such an existence.

  30. mythbri says

    @thetar

    I wasn’t commenting directly on this terrible tragedy, I was merely making the observation that Pharyngula and A+ forum are similar and in some ways more draconian that the rapture ready forums.

    Because that’s SO much more important to talk about when the topic of the thread is a young woman literally raped and hounded to death.

    Nice priorities you have there.

  31. says

    Draconian?
    Well, I wasn’t hatched from corrupted dragon eggs, but let’s leave that aside. And I do know what you meant. But please make your point plain. How is Pharyngula so… whatever your point was?

  32. says

    How is Pharyngula so… whatever your point was?

    thetar’s point was, roughly, “ohmygod a whole group of people who are upset and not talking about me me me! How can I get them to start talking about me me me?”

  33. mythbri says

    Fuck it.

    I’m placing the blame for this one squarely on the guys, which will make a refreshing change from defending the victim from being blamed for her own rape.

    Guys, recognize the humanity of the people around you.

    Guys, pay attention to what your friends/brothers/cousins/co-workers/buddies say.

    Guys, don’t laugh when your friends/brothers/cousins/co-workers/buddies tell sexist and/or rape jokes. Don’t laugh. Say, “Dude, that’s not cool.”

    Guys, don’t give your friends/brothers/co-workers/buddies cover for bad behavior. Don’t let them believe you condone it, when you really don’t.

    Guys, listen to your friends/sisters/co-workers/girlfriends when they tell you about things that make them uncomfortable, even if what makes them uncomfortable is your friend/brother/co-worker/buddy. Listen to them.

    Guys, know what rape is. Know it when you see it, and you better damn well know it before you do it.

    Guys, know what consent is. Know it when you see it or hear it. Because you risk assaulting someone if you don’t.

    Guys, don’t rape people.

    Guys, don’t do that.

  34. says

    I read some comments on that article. A lot of them were actually pretty good, but a few were just very very naive:

    I don’t understand is this newer trend of kids who are victims being tormented by lots of other students, and not just their abusers.

    that’s not new, it’s just more public now, with everything being out there to see on facebook/twitter. etc.

    But seriously, does anyone actually find rape humorous?

    unfortunately yes.

    of course though, a rape apologist shows up and whines about how unfair the article is to the poor poor guys. grrrr.

  35. says

    Chris, yeah, I know. But there are trolls and then there are trolls with a mission. I just wanted to know which kind of bug-be-gone to use.

  36. says

    Fuck it.

    I’m placing the blame for this one squarely on the guys, which will make a refreshing change from defending the victim from being blamed for her own rape.

    Guys, recognize the humanity of the people around you.

    Guys, pay attention to what your friends/brothers/cousins/co-workers/buddies say.

    Guys, don’t laugh when your friends/brothers/cousins/co-workers/buddies tell sexist and/or rape jokes. Don’t laugh. Say, “Dude, that’s not cool.”

    Guys, don’t give your friends/brothers/co-workers/buddies cover for bad behavior. Don’t let them believe you condone it, when you really don’t.

    Guys, listen to your friends/sisters/co-workers/girlfriends when they tell you about things that make them uncomfortable, even if what makes them uncomfortable is your friend/brother/co-worker/buddy. Listen to them.

    Guys, know what rape is. Know it when you see it, and you better damn well know it before you do it.

    Guys, know what consent is. Know it when you see it or hear it. Because you risk assaulting someone if you don’t.

    Guys, don’t rape people.

    Guys, don’t do that.

    A good reminder that shouldn’t be so sadly necessary.

  37. brive1987 says

    #32 Stupid is as stupid does.

    That said if I could implant a camera in my daughter I would as I cannot see any solution based on reciprocal intelligence or emphathy coming in my lifetime – only the need for outraged retribution. Kinda sad really. I do know of a subset of boys though to whom this type of activity would be as alien as it is to us. Alas they do not generally choose to participate at alcoholfests with the “cool gang” and they are very much in the overall minority.

    Is it blaming the victim that I intend to set *firm* boundaries around my soon to be teenage daughter’s participation at these sort of activities – and will be *very* displeased with her if she breaks these boundaries with or without consequences? Christ it sounds like a domestic version of Sharia Law but in my mind it is a jungle out there and the only person whose responibility I trust, can demand and therefore require is that of my daughter.

  38. Pteryxx says

    He said that these cases must be evaluated for merit, and the interviewer’s reply was somewhere along the lines of “You have the picture. You know which phone took the picture. What else do you need?”

    how many examples of rape culture in a single investigation…

    Parsons said she was unhappy with what she saw of the investigation.

    “They didn’t even interview the boys until much, much later. To me, I’d think you’d get the boys right away, separate them.”

    When it came to the photo or photos taken that night, “nothing was done about that because they couldn’t prove who had pressed the photo button on the phone,” she said.

    She was told that the distribution of the photos is “not really a criminal issue, it’s more of a community issue,” she said.

    “Even though she was 15 at the time, which is child pornography.

    “The whole case was full of things like that. We didn’t have a rape kit done because we didn’t even know (anything had happened) until several days later when she had a breakdown in my kitchen.

    “She was trying to keep it to herself.”

    Source – Chronicle Herald

    The boys alleged to have raped Rehtaeh were not charged. The RCMP told CBC News they investigated and consulted with Crown prosecutors but concluded there was not enough evidence to produce convictions.

    “We have to deal in facts and not rumours,” RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae said. “We may not be able to go down certain roads because of the tragic circumstance.”

    Source – Yahoo Canada

    As we saw from Steubenville, what level of evidence DOES produce one of those rare, 5% or so convictions? Video evidence “that could not be ignored” (if I remember the judge’s words correctly) plus a public outcry, pressure on the town, and the involvement of officials and a judge from outside the local community.

    So, evidence sufficient to drive a victim to suicide, isn’t enough for a reasonable chance of conviction, combined with a half-assed investigation that helps make the low chance of conviction a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet protesters or PoC or slightly-brown airline passengers can get processed for pointless charges for the harassment value alone. Can’t all these date rapes at least get investigated properly so there’s a paper trail for the next time?

  39. ekwhite says

    I hope that the people that raped and hounded this poor girl to death die horribly. PZ – you don’t need to leave the human species – THEY do.

    By the way, thetar- dropping in on a thread about this tragedy to whine about Pharyngula is disgusting. Why don’t you go crawl back under the rock you crawled from?*

    *PS – I apologies to leaf-litter denizens for comparing them to thetar.

  40. says

    oh, and some fuckweasel jumped on the fact that she was using pot to cope to blame the suicide on the drug, rather than the reason she was taking it in the first place.

  41. brive1987 says

    Umm by demand I was referring more to the inability of “demanding” reasonableness from society. Not so much “demanding” in an aggressive manner obedience from my daughter ..

  42. ck says

    Let me guess. The guys responsible are hockey players, right? Even if the police didn’t want to press charges, they could’ve at least leaned on the boys a bit, and make them stop distributing the picture that was taken. “He said; she said” is simply the worst excuse for doing nothing.

  43. mythbri says

    @brive1987

    The only advice I can give is that you be the father she can tell anything to. Be supportive. Help her be safe, but don’t let that help turn into victim-blaming. Please don’t let the help turn into victim-blaming.

  44. thetar says

    @mythbri

    Because that’s SO much more important to talk about when the topic of the thread is a young woman literally raped and hounded to death.

    Nice priorities you have there.

    So it is a major sin to not stay directly on topic? Which chapter and verse does that come from? It also says nothing about my priorities.

  45. says

    Is it blaming the victim that I intend to set *firm* boundaries around my soon to be teenage daughter’s participation at these sort of activities – and will be *very* displeased with her if she breaks these boundaries with or without consequence

    ultimately, yes.
    I lived for an entire summer in a frathouse, and spent most of the nights there drunk; I was never sexually assaulted. Other girls are teetotalers with the good-guy boyfriend, and then they get raped by that good-guy boyfriend (those stories just don’t ever make the news). You can’t control rape by controlling the actions of potential victims, because their actions are not what causes rape.

    I know it would make you feel better to act that way, because you feel the need to “do something” and get control over an uncontrollable situation, but it won’t help your daughter.

  46. mythbri says

    @thetar

    If you’re protesting to me because your conscience is twinging, then fuck off. I’m not going to “absolve” you for the “sin” of going off-topic.

    But I will look forward to the spatter if PZ decides to smack the hammer down.

  47. thetar says

    Oops, Lord Peezus has spoken. How wonderful, they don’t get direct revelation at Rapture Ready!

    [Bye. --pzm]

  48. says

    Jadehawk:

    oh, and some fuckweasel jumped on the fact that she was using pot to cope to blame the suicide on the drug, rather than the reason she was taking it in the first place.

    Jesus Christ. There is literally no excuse whatsoever that assholes won’t grab hold of in order to keep blaming the victim. It’s already a damn nightmare trying to deal with being raped *minus* the harassment, threats, stalking and being utterly dismissed by law enforcement. Even death doesn’t end it, it just goes on an on, making absolutely sure that everyone knows that if you are raped, there’s only one person to blame, yourself.

    *spits*

  49. gmacs says

    oh, and some fuckweasel jumped on the fact that she was using pot to cope to blame the suicide on the drug, rather than the reason she was taking it in the first place.

    Must be a person who has never suffered depression or smoked marijuana. I dealt with thoughts of suicide a lot when I was younger, and I smoked a fair bit of weed in my late teens. I never felt suicidal when I was high. I’m pretty sure that’s why a lot of people do it.

  50. says

    Is it blaming the victim that I intend to set *firm* boundaries around my soon to be teenage daughter’s participation at these sort of activities – and will be *very* displeased with her if she breaks these boundaries with or without consequence

    By doing so, you’ll be making sure that if something does happen to your daughter, she’ll know it was her fault. What you would be doing is telling her what we are always told, that the onus of not being raped is on us, not the rapist. You’d be better off making it very clear that the blame is only ever on the rapists[s], never, ever the victim, no matter the circumstance.

  51. glodson says

    Ignoring the worthless and derailing asshole…

    This story makes me sick. The police failed this girl. This community failed this girl. It is heartbreaking, and it is another reason for me to try and speak out as often as I can about this toxic bullshit.

  52. says

    Oops, Lord Peezus has spoken. How wonderful, they don’t get direct revelation at Rapture Ready!

    The hell?
    You swine yourself into a post about rape and then claim to be the REAL victim. THEN you go on to compare Myers to Jesus in some sort of inverted I-don’teven-know-what?
    Get help and/or better.

  53. glodson says

    What you would be doing is telling her what we are always told, that the onus of not being raped is on us, not the rapist. You’d be better off making it very clear that the blame is only ever on the rapists[s], never, ever the victim, no matter the circumstance.

    As a new father, I am glad I have started reading more into these issues, and rape culture in particular. The rape culture is insidious, and I never considered how easy it is to blame the victim. How easy it is fall into the trap of lazy thinking and blame the victim without thinking about, even if one has the best of intentions.

  54. says

    Is it blaming the victim that I intend to set *firm* boundaries around my soon to be teenage daughter’s participation at these sort of activities – and will be *very* displeased with her if she breaks these boundaries with or without consequence

    if you really can’t resist “doing something” to feel in control of the situation, it would probably make more sense to help your daughter get a sense of absolute “ownership” of her body, and therefore at least help her avoid being pressured into sex she isn’t sure she wants by a “persuasive” partner on the one hand, and being shamed or talked into suppressing her sexuality on the other. Probably much more helpful than putting her on a short leash.

  55. Pteryxx says

    brive1987: depending on your specifics, you might be able to get the not-cool kids bystander training, or even nudge the school to hold a rape-awareness seminar. In the US and Canada at least, rape crisis centers often will give presentations like that for free. Just getting the knowledge out there can really help, both with prevention, and letting any victims know how to put a name to what happened to them and where to go for help.

    Seconding Caine… the best you can do for your daughter is let her know that if anyone inflicts sexual behavior on her that she didn’t want, she can come to you and trust you NO MATTER WHAT ‘MISTAKES’ SHE MAY HAVE MADE. Drinking doesn’t rape people, partying doesn’t rape people. Only rapists rape. (For all you know, she may be in greater danger from a teacher or parent. Sheesh.)

    ——

    Of course, it gets worse. Nova Scotia’s justice minister:

    “As a community, we need to have more dialogue with our young people about respect and about support to educate our young boys and our young girls about what’s appropriate behaviour, what’s not appropriate behaviour…We have to make sure that we’re cognizant about what gets online and what doesn’t get online and what the impacts are, so it’s having that dialogue…That still doesn’t take away the fact that we’ve lost a beautiful young woman … and I’m very upset about the loss.”

    Source – Chronicle Herald

    via this essay with a response: We are all to blame

    Saying that we need to educate boys and girls about appropriate behaviour is victim-blaming. Saying that this wouldn’t have been a problem if the pictures hadn’t ended up online is like saying that rape is fine, but publicly broadcasting it isn’t. Calling Rehtaeh’s death a tragedy because we’ve lost a beautiful young woman is a joke – seriously, what bearing does her appearance have on how sad her death is? And since Landry is refusing to open an official review into how the RCMP handled this, isn’t he basically saying, “I think she was lying about the rape, but gosh, she sure was hot”?

    All of this, every single word of this statement, all of the things that Rehtaeh endured, every single detail presented here is rape culture.

    This is rape culture. This is our culture.

  56. says

    brive1987, before you set the victim blaming stage with your daughter, I suggest reading this thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/nyt-women-cause-rape-by-being-too-scarce/comment-page-1/#comment-537899 – starting specifically with #255, because from that point, it deals with the notions you have set forth. There’s a lot of reading, considering the last post is #780. I hope that gives you a clear idea of why your plan with your daughter might not be the best one.

  57. glodson says

    Is it blaming the victim that I intend to set *firm* boundaries around my soon to be teenage daughter’s participation at these sort of activities – and will be *very* displeased with her if she breaks these boundaries with or without consequence

    Would you set the same boundaries for your teenage son? I intend on setting boundaries for my daughter. Because teenagers need a bit of structure, they walk the line between adult and child. I want her to explore being an adult, but I want her to be sure she’s safe. I would set the same boundaries for my son, if I had one.

    But this isn’t connected to my fear of what might happen to her at the hands of a horrible human being. This is a worry about her doing something foolish. I can only hope that she trusts her father enough to talk to me about anything. Being needlessly strict could diminish that.

  58. lochaber says

    I don’t know how some people can be continously aware of the horrors in the world without developing a pretty severe substance abuse problem…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography_laws_in_Canada
    It seems like at the very least, they should be able to nail some people to the wall on child porn possession/distribution charges. How is that not a criminal issue? regardless of who actually took the picture, it’s in the possession of everyone who has a device with a copy of that pic.

    They raped (and as far as I’m concerned) killed this young woman, and all the authorities can do is offer a shrug and say ‘eh, what can you do…’

    I’m thinking we should cut funding for any program/organization that tracks asteroids. The Earth will be a better place once one of those planet-hammers smacks us and ends our horrid species.

  59. says

    gmacs

    Must be a person who has never suffered depression or smoked marijuana. I dealt with thoughts of suicide a lot when I was younger, and I smoked a fair bit of weed in my late teens. I never felt suicidal when I was high. I’m pretty sure that’s why a lot of people do it.

    A lot of us do self-medicate.

    I openly admit to self-medicating. Chronic pain (from positioning issues*), spasticity (from Cerebral Palsy), depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, ADHD… and it makes the nasty little troll (you know, the one that whispers nasty discouraging self-critical things) in the back of my head shut the fuck up. I can function when I’m stoned.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, yeah?

    Point is, people shouldn’t be pointing at her and going “OMG MARIHUANA SHE’S A JUNKIE!!11!!!1!elebenty~!” (I paraphrase and, perhaps, exaggerate a bit, but I assume we’re all smart enough to understand hyperbole.)

    *my seating system is great, but it’s still uncomfortable to be in the same. fucking. position. all the damn time. My joints, as a result, tend to be quite unhappy by the end of the day.

  60. gmacs says

    help your daughter get a sense of absolute “ownership” of her body

    THIS THIS THIS! I cannot understand, between victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and abortion-condemning, how people do not understand that a person’s body is inherently her/his own property. This means that she/he can do whatever the fuck she/he wants with it (barring infringement upon another’s bodily autonomy), and only with a person’s express permission does anyone else have a right to interact with that body.

    How is this simple concept not understood?

  61. says

    That still doesn’t take away the fact that we’ve lost a beautiful young woman … and I’m very upset about the loss.”

    Oh yes, so upset about the loss of a beautiful woman, we just have to talk about being more responsible with where we paste our photos of being fine young rapists. So sad, to have lost all that…pretty.

    Fuck him and fuck that noise. Asshole.

  62. says

    gmacs:

    a person’s body is inherently her/his own property.

    Actually, a person’s body is that person. My body isn’t a possession, it isn’t an accessory and it isn’t something I have the luxury of taking off and putting on, or tossing away and getting a new one (I wish!). Duality thinking doesn’t help.

  63. says

    @Caine, šiča uŋ waȟča:

    By doing so, you’ll be making sure that if something does happen to your daughter, she’ll know it was her fault. What you would be doing is telling her what we are always told, that the onus of not being raped is on us, not the rapist. You’d be better off making it very clear that the blame is only ever on the rapists[s], never, ever the victim, no matter the circumstance.

    What if brive1987 does both? (That is, makes it clear that rape is the rapist’s fault, which it definitely is, but also makes sure their daughter sets personal boundaries as well?)

    I don’t think it’s wrong to teach children about personal boundaries. For one thing, it lets them know: when someone is violating your boundaries, they are doing something wrong, and no, it isn’t just you being picky if you object to their behavior. I seem to recall reading that there’s a definite overlap between guys who fail to respect personal boundaries and rapists who victimize friends and acquaintances in social settings rather than attacking strange women violently, so it wouldn’t hurt to let the daughter know “if a guy starts doing this, don’t just laugh it off because it’s a sign he’s a potential rapist”. Maybe it’s a matter of how the concept is taught? Or am I wrong for even thinking this? As a guy who is merely on your side, I am willing to bow to your expertise.

    For that matter, although Jadehawk pointed out that (to paraphrase) some people do “everything right” and still get raped and some people do “everything wrong” and still don’t, the same can be said for, say, smoking and cancer. Everyone has met some 90-year-old who has been smoking since they were 16; that is not any argument against the fact that tobacco makes you vastly more likely to get cancer. Yeah, okay, some people will beat the odds, and some people are going to eat right, jog 5 miles a day, get plenty of sleep, and still croak at 47. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone to go out and start a pack-a-day habit. Similarly: yeah, some people get away with hanging around drunk with frat boys, who are basically the backbone of rape culture, without ever getting raped. That doesn’t mean it was a good idea, or that they were wise, it means they were lucky. Someone wins the lottery about once a week, that doesn’t make the tickets any less of a ripoff. People should be encouraged to reduce unnecessary risks when they can.

  64. ck says

    (I paraphrase and, perhaps, exaggerate a bit, but I assume we’re all smart enough to understand hyperbole.)

    I find it increasingly difficult to clearly identify hyperbole. I’ve been encountering more and more things I would’ve once assumed are hyperbole that are being said completely seriously. i.e.: Anything the MRA crowd was said recently.

  65. says

    lochaber:

    They raped (and as far as I’m concerned) killed this young woman, and all the authorities can do is offer a shrug and say ‘eh, what can you do…’

    That shrug is from the ever pervasive line of thought “eh, boys will be boys.” Part and parcel of toxic, every day sexism. Going by the follow up statements, that’s even more obvious, with the emphasis being on “boys! you must be careful with documenting a rape, you’ll get caught that way! Be careful next time.” That was the same sentiment issued by the judge in the Steubenville case.

  66. says

    Why?

    Because we men are taught that women are toys. We’re taught this by sport, TV shows (both fictional and “reality”), movies, stories, games, friends, family, teams, clubs, religion – sometimes even by women themselves.

    They’re decorative, fun to play with, collectable and our friends will envy us if we obtain items of a certain quality – but if they object to being in our collection and don’t want to play with us, they’re clearly defective. That means we can discard, insult and abuse them or just go ahead and play with them anyway – especially if they’re too drunk or high to object. And if they end up deactivating themselves afterwards, that’s just proof of how defective they are.

    Fucking humans. What the fucking fuck.

  67. gmacs says

    Caine,

    Thank you for that clarification. I had not thought about it that way, but you’re right. That was a very dualist outlook to take.

  68. gmacs says

    WMDKitty,

    Those kinds of words are everywhere on the internet, just do a search on Trayvon Martin (or don’t).

    ck,

    The very existence of the Men’s Rights movement is hyperbole.

  69. says

    The Vicar:

    Similarly: yeah, some people get away with hanging around drunk with frat boys, who are basically the backbone of rape culture, without ever getting raped. That doesn’t mean it was a good idea, or that they were wise, it means they were lucky. Someone wins the lottery about once a week, that doesn’t make the tickets any less of a ripoff. People should be encouraged to reduce unnecessary risks when they can.

    I would suggest going to the link I provided brive1987 and reading it yourself. I am tired of rehashing this for the nth time, and it was all said, over and over and over and over in that thread. Look, since time immemorial, women have taken the blame for being raped. (This happily ignores the fact that infants are raped, children are raped, and men are raped.) While the advice has changed over the years (and increased an unbelievable amount), here’s the one simple fucking fact that matters: all the goddamn lists, all the goddamn precautions in the fucking universe will not stop a person from being raped. The only thing that stops a rape is removing the rapist from the situation. Until people get that through their skulls, victim blaming will continue. Parents will continue to make sure their daughters know that if they aren’t good enough, if they aren’t careful enough, *bam*, their fault! Those same parents won’t be talking to their sons about guy culture and how important it is to fight back and speak up.

    I have brought this up until I’m blue in the face, but one more time – there has been an anti-rape campaign that has been highly successful. It has actually reduced incidences of rape. Want to know what it is? The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign in Canada. Want to know why it’s been successful? Because it targets potential rapists.

  70. says

    I don’t think it’s wrong to teach children about personal boundaries.

    and where exactly do you get the idea anyone was claiming that teaching about personal boundaries was bad?

    Similarly: yeah, some people get away with hanging around drunk with frat boys, who are basically the backbone of rape culture, without ever getting raped.

    1/3 of women get raped by a significant other, and 40% of rapes happen in the home of the victim. guess what that suggests about your idiotic way of protecting women from getting raped?

    Also note the bait-and-switch of your claim: smoking actually has causal relationships with lung cancer; partying is not causal to being raped. But you compare them anyway, as if they were equally causal.

  71. brive1987 says

    Thanks #72 I will review. But to clarify: I would *never* blame my daughter for coming to grief in this society.

    Analogy in general sux – but I feel there really is an un-asked for enemy out there and I despair of this fact. Given this context I do expect her to be sensibly “locked and loaded” and at a pragmatic level the (un)fairness of this requirement is moot . BUT if she ends up wounded, then it is obviously not appropriate to blame her for getting shot. Quite the contrary – you would want to go out and hunt the bastards down.

    Right now I am trying to work out what “locked and loaded” means. Ie navigating the finelines between education, openess, advice and objective rules – all against the scary backdrop that I really need to get this right the first time … she is 13 with all to common confidence issues and a desire to be “liked”.

    Explaining she has absolute “ownership” of her body is a start but I/she have direct practical scenarios to confront and as a parent every bone in my body is to demand she be covered in kevlar though I know this is not possible :-) Stories like the one here do nothing to moderate my fears.

    Anyway thanks all for the input I will mull it over.

  72. says

    I’m thinking of joining another species.

    Can I join you?

    Short of that… you know what would be nice? You know that whole expat thing? I’d like to go expat from the whole fucking world.

    I’m done. I can’t fucking take it anymore. This bullshit is enough to make one just outright give up.

    I legitimately don’t know what else to say…

    Except a giant and hearty fuck you to every optimist out there, because how can you be a fucking optimist in the face of this shit? You’re either obtuse or willfully ignorant. But you sure as fuck ain’t aware.

  73. mythbri says

    1. Make enthusiastic consent a mandatory part of all sex education classes.

    2. Include discussions of rape, assault and abuse part of all sex education classes.

    3. Remove all traces of abstinence-only sex education, which reinforces the purity AND rape culture, and replace it with a culture of enthusiasm and safety.

    And fellow atheists, know that this can’t all be blamed on patriarchal religious influence. This is rape culture. This is YOUR culture, too.

  74. says

    This conversation reminded me once again of the epically horrible victim-blaming note the campus police sent out a while back: “avoid contact with strangers”; while in college. good fucking luck with that.

  75. dingojack says

    How is it that posting sexual photos (involving in a sex act or not) of a (presumably, in this case) under-age person on an electronic network is a crime, but posting photos of a person being raped is not. Find out who posted it and charge them. The trail will lead back to the person who took the photo, and to then the rapists. Simple.
    Dingo

  76. zhuge, le homme blanc qui ne sait rien mais voudrait says

    Brive, you are right to be afraid. There are awful people out there. I don’t really know anything, so perhaps what I want to say is wrong.

    But I think the best thing you can do is make yourself trustworthy and safe for your daughter. Be honest and upfront with her about sex, and her absolute right to say no or yes. Give her the self esteem, as much as you can, to make it through life. Talk to her about abusive relationships.

    But you can’t keep her safe, at the end of the day. You can get involved in anti rape and anti domestic violence activism, but you can’t guarantee her safety. It’s just a comforting lie backed up by just world fallacy nonsense.

    But you can make a safe place in the world for her, a place where she is a human being, loved and respected and believed. And if something awful does happen, you can help her as wel

    But you can’t take away her sense of autonomy and personal rights, even just a little, and expect that to help. The world can be an awful place, but if we close our eyes to that, we just continue the harm.

  77. John Morales says

    mythbri,

    3. Remove all traces of abstinence-only sex education, which reinforces the purity AND rape culture, and replace it with a culture of enthusiasm and safety.

    Where “safety” includes consideration of not just physical, but also mental and social consequences.

    (Though all three considerations are relevant in the current milieu, only the first two are not amenable to social engineering)

  78. gmacs says

    I hope that didn’t sound like too simplistic a response, but I’m just wondering if there is anything I can do (in addition to acting out against rape culture).

  79. Rob says

    mythbri @14

    Sadly I think you could have shortened your post to just “Because women aren’t real people.” That line pasted at each of your response points works just as well.

    Fuck. Some days I just sincerely hope there are no alien’s watching us.

    Hugs to those who need and want them. I have a nice selection of single malts for those who feel the need of a dram or three.

  80. Pteryxx says

    gmacs, in the US, the Hotline’s my go-to:

    http://www.thehotline.org/support-the-national-domestic-violence-hotline/

    and RAINN’s sexual assault hotline:

    http://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline

    Either can also direct you to local crisis centers. They could use all the donations (and volunteer help) they can get.

    Steubenville trial prompts spike in crisis center calls

    In addition to calls from rape survivors, the Center is fielding an increased number of calls from people who want to volunteer and from groups requesting a speaker to talk about preventing rape.

    “People are outraged by what happened in Steubenville,” added O’Bryan. “People are calling to find out how they can proactively work to end sexual violence. We are happy to answer their call.”

  81. says

    thetar:

    With all this talk of wanting to leave the human species, I thought I was reading comments from the Rapture Ready forum. Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

    I’m late to this thread, and I’m responding to your post as I read it (in other words, I haven’t read the entire thread to see if you have flounced, or-even better-been banned), but the fact that you can even write a sentence like this demonstrates that you are part of the reason that people are making the statement “I want out of the human race”.

    The main reason I am commenting on your bullshit? While you may be gone (or still here, if we are ever so UNlucky), there are always more people of your ilk. There are always more people willing to jump to the defense of rape apologists everywhere. There are always people out there who have no empathy for the victims of rape. Some of those people are probably reading this thread. I hope they are, because what I have to say to you applies to them equally.

    Let me tell you something, you pathetic dreg of humanity:
    There are some of us out there who want to be part of a human race that doesn’t consider women disposable toys that exist for the pleasure of men. Some of us recognize that women are equal to men and deserve EVERY. SINGLE. RIGHT. that men possess (and since this is too binary for you, let me add that I include *anyone* along *any* portion of the gender spectrum). When we hear these stories, these goddamned, fucking horrific stories of women who are raped, cast aside, bullied, harassed, driven to the brink of suicide and beyond…it fills us with rage. It fills us with sorrow. It makes us wonder how we could possibly have any connection to a species that would allow something as abominable as rape culture to continue. It makes us long to be part of a better species.

    DON’T. FUCKING. RAPE.

    If you do, you are deserving of all the shame, disdain, and disgust that we have to offer. You also deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest the law will allow, but given the efforts of fuckfaced people like you, rape culture protects the rapist most of the time.

    It really is not that hard.

    So please, please, take your rape culture enabling fuckwittery elsewhere. Did you really think you would be welcome here? Did you think your bullshit would be put up with for even a split second?
    People like you have my complete and utter contempt.

    (I do wonder which one of the Slymepit you are though. Including A+ in your comment is such a tell you shithead.)

  82. says

    That said if I could implant a camera in my daughter I would as I cannot see any solution based on reciprocal intelligence or emphathy coming in my lifetime – only the need for outraged retribution.

    You really think violating your daughters personal integrity to such an egregious degree is somehow a *good* thing for her?
    You are sick.

  83. laurentweppe says

    And if it hasn’t been done already (I’m sure it has), she’ll soon be called weak

    Mememememememememe: I can do it!

    Ahem…

    MimimimimimiMiiiiIIIIIIIIII
    The fact that se did not take guns with large magazines, did not went to a preschool and did not slaughter as many toddlers as possible in one horrific, hellish, pointless vendetta while making sure that the media find a suicide note saying “I’m going to hurt society MORE than it hurt me” is proof that she was not really raped, and was weak, and deserved what happened to her,, because everyone knows that the only reaction to Real True Rape™ is uncontrollable anger and vengeful bloodlust.

    ***

    Christ it sounds like a domestic version of Sharia Law but in my mind it is a jungle out there and the only person whose responibility I trust, can demand and therefore require is that of my daughter.

    That’s exactly the type of thought process which leads people to support regressive customs. Who do you think are the most numerous among the Sharia Law supporters: the hateful sociopaths who are keenly aware that such a system make their life easier, or the people who, like you, mistakenly think that since “it’s a jungle out there” tough rules have to be enforced?

  84. says

    brive1987:

    Thanks #72 I will review. But to clarify: I would *never* blame my daughter for coming to grief in this society.

    The problem is that you’ve most likely already provided the subtext of fault and blame being on her. It’s part and parcel of our society. You have to take the red pill and understand how pervasive it is, how much we all think that way, how much all women, from a very young age, are taught and trained to think that if something bad happens, it’s her fault. It’s why reading the comments in the thread I linked is important.

    Women are not safe, brive1987. Anywhere, at any time. That’s a fact of life we know, we live it every day. That’s why learning and fighting rape culture at every turn is vital.

  85. kraut says

    Living in Canada my distrust for anything that has to do with the RCMP is deep and abiding.

    They have no problem to shoot prisoners – as in several case in BC, they have no problem to shirk investigations but are always mightily upset when criticized, they had no problem assaulting their own female officers in the force and hiding it well, they had no problem to incarcerate my son on his way home when he showed the finger to an officer driving by, and when he demanded to be released four officers assaulted him and one banged his head on the floor.
    No the RCMP are a bunch of crooks (provable), liars, bullies and overall have become a joke as a police force, are racist to the core and misogynist to boot. No respect for those arseholes any more at all.

  86. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    Tony to brive1987:

    That said if I could implant a camera in my daughter I would as I cannot see any solution based on reciprocal intelligence or emphathy coming in my lifetime – only the need for outraged retribution.

    You really think violating your daughters personal integrity to such an egregious degree is somehow a *good* thing for her?
    You are sick.

    Maybe, Tony — but if so, this is weak evidence for it (poorly-expressed as the sentiment may be).

    I make the intent to be that were such an event to occur to their daughter, its occurrence would be documented and incontrovertible so that this sort of circumstance would not be legally dismissible as was the titular case.

    (It may be hard to believe, but I do practice the principle of charity)

  87. says

    brive1987, I believe in your good intentions. But as is almost a mantra round here, intent isn’t magic. If you teach your daughter a long list of precautions that she must take, on pain of punishment, then what happens if things go wrong? Will she be able to trust that you will truly support her and not blame her for not adhering to the rules?

    Does she see you calling women sluts who asked for it, or stupid reckless fools who should have known better? And fear that it might be her one day? Will she be questioning if she really sent some “asking for it” signals with this pretty party dress, or that cute flirty line to that harmless-seeming boy, and feel guilty?

    Or does she see you calling out those common rape culture tropes as perniciously false, and blaming the rapist every time?

  88. okeydoke says

    Well PZ, all your questions can be answered in a single sentence:

    “She was asking for it!”

    Which seems to be the majority consensus in ‘Murica (and let’s face it, much of the rest of the western world).

    Compared to other parts of the world, one would think that we long ago would have arrived at the obvious conclusion that women are humans too.

  89. says

    John:
    What exactly would be documented?
    I suppose that’s the crux of it.
    If we’re talking some sort of vaginal implant, well that’s hardly going to be effective at seeking retribution.
    “Look officers, an image of the rapists’ dick from .2 centimeters away.”
    Additionally, when is this camera supposed to be active? All day, every day, recording everything within its field of vision?
    Does it sense physiological changes and then begins recording? Does physical arousal activate the camera? Does it take masturbation? Is increased blood flow, body temperature or breathing necessary to activate the camera?
    Where is the camera located?
    How wide is its field of vision?

    On the one hand, I’d like to know how this could even work, but really, it’s too hypothetical. When it comes to rape, hypotheticals can fuck themselves (nevermind the creepy notion of someone deciding to violate the personal integrity of someone else for their own good)

  90. says

    Alethea:

    brive1987, I believe in your good intentions.

    I do too. It’s hard to be the parent of a child with all the ills in the world, and the fear can hit particularly hard when you have a daughter you see going out into that world. All that said, there’s another factor when it comes to a father setting boundaries, teaching his daughter that she must take all the precautions in the world and so on, one subtext is already present: “if you aren’t a good and proper woman, by listening to a man…then something bad will happen.”

    It all runs so terribly deep. We all need to be aware and educate, educate, educate, constantly. And we must always be ready and willing to educate ourselves first.

  91. BJ Survivor says

    Oh, fuck this world…That poor, poor young woman. They have incontrovertible evidence in hand, and it’s still not enough, because being passed-out if one is female = consent to whatever any male decides to do to one’s passed-out body. Boys will be boys and all that. *nudge nudge wink wink* And even your female peers and all the people you thought were friends will blame you for somehow “inviting” those criminal acts. And even your parents, well-meaning though clueless, will chide you for putting yourself in danger’s way. As if rape is a force of nature, like a hurricane or an earthquake, and not an intentional fucking crime.

    I don’t even have a point. I’m just so fucking tired of this shit. So tired of being considered, even by other women, as something less than death row inmates and corpses when it comes to my right to decide who gets to use my body.

    The year was 1986. My best friend and I were 16 and had been invited to a kegger at a jock’s house. At one point, my friend decided to stay and play quarters while I went on a beer run with some other people. We ended up being gone a long time, as we went a four-wheeling jaunt on the way back. When I returned to the party, my friend was nowhere to be found. I asked several people if they had seen her, but to a one, they denied knowing her whereabouts whilst pointedly failing to look me in the face. I knew something very wrong was up. I was not about to leave without her, so I searched the house. The house was one of those two-story homes with a spacious foyer that had a skylight to the roof and you could see the second story bedroom and bathroom doors from it. I noticed three or four guys milling about near a closed bedroom door and I just knew. I was 5’2” and 105 lbs soaking wet, but I had no thought for my own safety. I raced up the stairs and barged into the room, ignoring the protestations of the would-be rapists standing outside, and found my friend completely naked, passed-out cold, with some naked guy on top of her. I screamed at him to get the fuck off of her while I pushed him off. It took several minutes for me to wake my friend up. She was totally disoriented. I helped her put on her clothes and told her we had to get the hell out. As we were exiting the front door, several of the rapists had the nerve to call her a whore. I just spat at them, “fucking rapists.”

    Fortunately, there was no digital photography and no Internet in those days. Also fortunate, is that my friend had absolutely no recollection of the incident and the perps did not attend the same school as we. We weren’t dumb enough to think she’d get any sort of justice if we reported the crime, so we didn’t.

    To this day, I just do not get how the bystanders could just ignore that a fucking crime was occurring. They knew it was wrong or they would not have been so cagey with me, yet not a single person, male or female, did a single fucking thing to stop it. And stopping this shit is really fucking easy. Even my brother, hardly a feminist, but fortunately neither a rapist nor rape-apologist, has prevented more than one rape of a passed-out gal by simply saying, “dude, you don’t want to do that.” And he’s not a big guy. It’s not fucking rocket science. It’s dreadfully goddamn simple.

  92. says

    Tony:

    What exactly would be documented?
    I suppose that’s the crux of it.

    Tony, I think you’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick here. Brive1987′s statement was obvious hyperbole, said out of love and fear, that horrible, sickening fear that no matter how much you love your child, you won’t be able to protect them every moment of their life. It might be fine to dissect the whole ‘implanted camera’ business, but is it necessary? I also think the declaration that Brive1987 is sick was uncalled for and doesn’t help in any way. If we can, it’s better to bring awareness up and try for positive methods of approaching parenting in this particular regard.

  93. says

    BJ Survivor:

    To this day, I just do not get how the bystanders could just ignore that a fucking crime was occurring. They knew it was wrong or they would not have been so cagey with me, yet not a single person, male or female, did a single fucking thing to stop it. And stopping this shit is really fucking easy. Even my brother, hardly a feminist, but fortunately neither a rapist nor rape-apologist, has prevented more than one rape of a passed-out gal by simply saying, “dude, you don’t want to do that.” And he’s not a big guy. It’s not fucking rocket science. It’s dreadfully goddamn simple.

    Yes it is. Until the focus stops being on how one should prevent being raped, nothing is going to change though. It’s going to take people speaking up and speaking out, in particular, men. I’ve been singing this song for a while now, but until men find their voices and start actively speaking out against rape, very little is going to change. We also desperately need more campaigns like the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign. They should be done to the point of complete saturation.

  94. unclefrogy says

    I dropped out of what ever it is that passes for modern american society or culture or tried to way back when not sure that was the best idea I ever had but am not able to take much of that kind of crap just the knowledge of it and the the whole thing .
    If you can find a way to actually do that lets us all know I am willing to try again last time there were some flaws in the execution of the plan. here is good expression of my feelings then and now

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShC_OQtimMA

    uncle frogy

  95. brive1987 says

    @John Morales @Caine, šiča uŋ waȟča Thank you. Spot on.

    Naturally I don’t want to fill my daughter with fear and self censorship.

    I do want her to transition from childhood innocence to maturity without having her trust or lingering naivety abused.

    If part of that pragmatic strategy is responsibility to watch out for wolves then I also (now) understand the danger that actual abuse can be destructively and errorously percieved to be a “failure” in keeping such “defences” up..

    This was made clear in my reading of the posts suggested by Caine and especially the hole Bill Openthalt dug for himself.

    My rather simplistic views do include:

    … lager louts (for instance) with see x y or z behavior and interpret it as “I can have sex with you”. That is because they are morally ‘broken’ – NOT because you are actually projecting that message. A lot of guys are not like that – but at the very least beware the predatory beasts and that which gets their attention – because they are truly shits …

    But as I said above I see now there is additional complexity I had not factored in (and to be honest still haven’t fully processed). Bugger.

    This will take some more thinking about.

  96. Pyra says

    In 13 years, when I discuss rape with my son, he’s horrified anyone would even consider hurting other people. He can’t even imagine the shear stupidity of doing things. I have sat him down and told him what consent is and is not. He is a special child and will always be. I don’t make any assumptions about what he is or is not learning from the rest of the world. I will do the same with my younger son, too. These two will not be part of the problem, because my life depends on them growing into thinking, compassionate beings.

    This is how I survive. How I make sure I do my part against the culture that let me be tortured and silenced.

    Also, I make sure they come to me with anything that happens to them. My oldest is vulnerable, as a very smart, small, non-athletic boy. I feel like he can be abused as well as I was. I want to keep him from abusers with all my might. The flipside of teaching him others’ consent is knowing others could try to victimize him. The instinct to ensconce him from the world is strong. I can’t do that. I can’t stop others. But I want to.

  97. says

    We also need to disseminate far and wide this handy, dandy little device. It will guarantee that no rapist will go unpunished.

    I fear two things resulting from this:
    1)Women being murdered by their enraged and wounded rapists
    2)Women going to prison for aggravated battery

  98. says

    Okay, I went and read all the comments on that thread, starting with the indicated number (and even watched most of the bunny videos). I also followed a lot of links, and some further links from those. I saved a lot of stuff to the hard drive for future quoting purposes, and even saved one to PDF, so thanks for the vast quantity of materials.

    A few things I now wish to say:

    1. I am unconvinced that I am wrong.

    2. I am entirely convinced that whether I am right or wrong, even arguing the point would both be cruel to rape victims and potentially provide ammunition to rape apologists, neither of which I wish to do, and I would back the judgement of Caine (which sounds like a bad early-twentieth-century thriller novel) on the subject of tactics, so I refuse to say anything further on this subject. (And unlike certain others, I won’t respond to any further comments.)

    3. I not only don’t want to be That Guy, I specifically do not want to be Paul W.

    4. I am amazed that Chas wasn’t banned then and there; Chris is a lot more lenient than I would be.

    5. Is it wrong that I took the concept of enforcing a male curfew, suggested sarcastically in one of the branched links, as a serious suggestion and agreed with it? The the point where I was nodding my head and thinking “gee, that would be pretty inconvenient, but it would probably work”? (Reminder: I am male.)

    6. I had a similar reaction to Jadehawk #119 to the Rape Axe link; if, as most agree, rape is about power, not sex, then by stopping the sexual aspect the Rape Axe wouldn’t actually solve the problem. (For that matter, it won’t help male rape victims at all, although a partial solution would beat no solution at all.) And, as someone on the sales site points out, it wouldn’t help if there are multiple assailants, either. What we really need is a way to instantaneously swap people, via teleportation, with identically-appearing crash-test dummies which happen to be loaded with beartraps and/or angry bees. (This would also be effective against muggers, school shootings, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.)

  99. says

    BJ Survivor
    I’m sorry about what happened to your friend and it is sickening that her not remembering (paging Prof. Landsburgh) and there not being evidence is the fucking best case scenario.

    brine 1987

    If part of that pragmatic strategy is responsibility to watch out for wolves then I also (now) understand the danger that actual abuse can be destructively and errorously percieved to be a “failure” in keeping such “defences” up..

    Problem is: rapists ain’t wolfs. Wolfs are dumb animals who (if the legends were true about them being such murderous beasts) would still be blameless. And we would have to look out for wolfs.
    Look, I can understand your concern about your daughter. I have two of them myself, although they are still much younger.
    Here’s something you can do. Ask yourself a few questions:
    Was her bodily autonomy always paramount to you? I understand we cannot always ask them is fthey want to be touched and heed their wishes. But we can ask ourselves whether we’re justified in ignoring them. There’s no excuse for keeping to tickle a child who said “stop”.
    Have you ever pressured her into giving hugs and kisses? And that includes emotional pressure of “I’m sad if you don’t”)
    Do you pay attention to whether she’s “enthusiastically consenting” to your parental affection? I know the term looks out of place here because we usually use it to talk about sex. That’s not what it means here. But a child who lean into your arm and lays their head on your shoulder is enthusiastically consenting to being held by you. A child who sits as straigh as they can as far away as they can without “hurting your feelings” isn’t.
    If you feel like you didn’t always respect her bodily autonomy like that, talk to her. Apologize. A lifetime of internalizing that your comfort about being touched isn’t as important as somebody else’s wish to touch you can fuck up a mind.
    Make sure she can trusts you even when she’s fucked up things. Regardless of context. If she comes home and tells you about a bad grade she mustn’t be afraid to do so. If something bad happens because she broke a rule*, she mustn’t be afraid to tell you. Say something bad happens to her at a party. And she was drunk. But she broke the boundaries you set because she was only allowed to have one beer and she fears your reaction if you hear that she had 3 beers and a cocktail. Do you think she’ll tell you what happened and seek your support?
    Here’s the thing:
    We cannot protect them from the assholes.
    Do you allow her to ride a bike on the street? Yes you do, although there’s no possibility to keep her safe from reckless drivers and drunk drivers. Campaigns to reduce those incidents are aimed at drivers. You teach her behaviour that reduces her risk of causing an accident. Like traffic regulations and stuff. That’s the reasonable boundaries you set for all children on bikes, not just the ones with the pink bikes. And that’s teaching about consent and her respecting her boundaries. Because a lot of sexual abuse isn’t violent rape by a drunk stranger. It’s the boyfriend coercing her into things she doesn’t really like or want. It’s the boyfriend who tells her how sad she makes her because she doesn’t allow his dick in her mouth the same way Auntie Mabel told her she’s breaking her heart by not letting her kiss her.
    And it’s not something you can do by you setting rules about her body.

    *A little story to illustrate what happens when teenagers fear daddy too much.
    This guy’s parents had gone on a holiday and the teenage son was allowed to use their big and expensive car. But, resonably, daddy set the limit of “within 50 km”. Of course the boys decided one night to go for a longer trip and, as it must happen, they run over a wild boar.
    At this moment, the fear of admitting they’d broken daddy’s rules overran any other thought, they packed the dead boar into the back of the car and drove back. Yes, they commited a crime because they were afraid of telling daddy. Unfortunately the boar wasn’t dead but only stunned, woke up in the back of the car and went berserk. They made it safely out of the car and called the police who shot the boar. That’s what happens when their children are afraid of you.

  100. says

    Three points strike me relating to this case:

    1) These “boys” will do it again. They very probably even have done it again in the time since the incident. We know that people who do this kind of thing are often quite conscious about it, deliberately use alcohol or other factors to ensure plausible denial, and they do it over and over again. Mandatory reading.

    2) Worse than the perpetrators themselves is the fact that a case like this can only occur when the whole community backs up around the rapists. Students, teachers, parents, police; everybody judged that this was normal, decent behavior, at least to the degree that they didn’t report it or did anything about it.
    Some people presumably had a problem with it, but never got to the point of making a big stink about it, probably because they knew that it wouldn’t lead anywhere, as indeed it proved not to. This is rape culture in a nutshell.

    3) The double-standard with regard to police investigation. Let’s say we had a case where a picture was circulating of a marijuana growing set-up: twenty plants, professionally installed with lamp, hydroponics, ventilation; the whole nine yards.
    Does anybody actually think that the police would toss out the case just because they couldn’t prove exactly who was holding the phone at the time? Not a chance. They would have pulled in the boys and scared them until somebody said the wrong thing and gave them an opening.

    This is old news around here, but it still gets my goat; rape simply isn’t treated as any other crime. It’s in a category all by itself. I don’t entirely get why, but it’s very clear that it is.

  101. ekwhite says

    Tony @103

    I will NOT take my anger at these rapists elsewhere. I am tired of reading about young women who are raped and slut shamed while the rapists get off scot free. I am sorry if I hurt your sentiments, but you do not own this thread or my anger about this injustice. These bastards raped a woman and drove her to suicide. If my sentiments about them are too harsh for you – tough shit.

  102. says

    If my sentiments about them are too harsh for you – tough shit.

    that’s not how pharyngula works. You will not find your commenting here particularly pleasant if you continue expressing such violent, counterproductive, and vengeful sentiments.

  103. zb24601 says

    Simple rule of thumb… if you see that someone has drank enough to pass out, it is an invitation to help (get medical attention, help them get home without further harm, etc.) it is NOT an invitation to abuse that person in any way, sexually or otherwise.

    I find it interesting that the article names the victim, but none of the rapists/child porn producers.

    How is it “he said, she said”? The rapists confessed by photographing their crime and distributing that photograph. If taking that kind of photograph of a 16-year-old is not illegal child pornography, then shame on Canada.

    If the police cannot recognize this incident as a crime (documented by the criminals themselves) and arrest the rapists, then they are not competent to do their jobs and should be fired. I guess cops are mostly the same everywhere… motivated by some combination of ego, fear and laziness. (There are exceptions of course.)

  104. birgerjohansson says

    “If the police cannot recognize this incident as a crime (documented by the criminals themselves) and arrest the rapists, then they are not competent to do their jobs and should be fired. ”

    Word.

    — — — — — — — — —
    Too many rapists and bullies.
    Too little Soylent Green.

  105. mildlymagnificent says

    ekwhite

    I’m a bit different. These are young men, they may live another 70 years or more. What I want for them is to get a moral compass, measure themselves against it and find themselves wanting.

    And then I want them to feel remorse forever. I want them to shiver with apprehension every time they hear a woman’s name that is the same as those of the women they’ve done these things too. (I’m pretty sure they’ve done this before and will do it again, so there’s several names to choose from.) I want them to feel an occasional frisson of self-horror when they see their little daughters grow into young women.

    I wish them sorrow and anxiety and nightmares. Not all the time, just enough reminders to keep that remorse alive. for. the. rest. of. their. lives.

    I wish the same for those RCMP clowns. The mob of persecutors should get their own version of lifelong remorse.

    And among that legion of miserable moral wastrels, there might just be a few who wake up and do something to stop this happening again. Sooner rather than later would be a very good idea.

  106. says

    I will NOT take my anger at these rapists elsewhere

    It’s not your anger that’s being objected to, but your expressed desire that people die.

  107. says

    As a pacifist, I just love when anger against the majority is interpreted as an actual call to violence. Disproportionate attention is always paid to minority anger, I suppose.

    On the actual topic, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  108. says

    BJ Survivor 115, Jadehawk 119:

    I read about the Rape Axe some time ago, and find it…problematic. Jadehawk’s concerns are, sadly, spot on: in theory mah vag should be mah bizness, i.e. I have the right to put into it, and to refuse to allow into it, whatever I want. But this isn’t actually true in the real world — see e.g. Gonzales v. Carhart, a.k.a. the so-called “partial birth abortion” ban, which makes this explicit, and also all abortion restrictions ever. It would not surprise me if the victim were blamed, charged and imprisoned for deploying the device (“she seduced him so she could do that on purpose!”) and the rapist/murderer were perceived as the Real Victim™, as we have seen in so many other cases.

    I harbor no sympathy for the man who finds himself in the ER after attempting (and necessarily succeeding at, in order for the device to work?) rape. But in the broader context, this is just one more piece of shit on the ginormous shitpile that makes stopping rape the responsibility of women. And some significant number of us would have to insert into our bodies a contraption with “teeth” on a regular basis in order to accomplish that? Just…no. NO.

    Still, I’d like to see some good data on whether it actually works as a deterrent. Because less rape is a good thing, full stop. But I just flat out refuse to accept that “rape or Rape axe” are the only choices.

    Peter Weal 127: Thanks for the link – signed.

  109. says

    I haven’t checked her facebook page, but it ought to be fairly easy to figure out what schools were in the area, then use google-probes like “name” “school” to home in by seeing which one hits. Then look for classmates on facebook using “site:facebook.com schoolname” and start scrolling back timelines. I’d guess there are a lot of nervous people cleaning up facebook pages right now. I did a bit of google image searching and it looks to me like there’s been a concerted effort to suppress imagery. Also, of course, there’s the police chief’s name, which can be used to tighten down geolocation of the incident. If you can triangulate on a few potential classmates, the next step would be to start hypothesizing dates for when the rape took place, and scroll back their timelines. Make a map on a wall with post-it-notes, then start to cluster them. At that point, an unscrupulous investigator would start dropping spears* using friend’s names and remote-control trojans so that a facebook account or two could get taken over. From there, start social-engineering the web of trust among the students. A good social engineering technique would be to send private messages saying “I hear anonymous is going to find out who did it and dump dossiers on them, delete anything you have” then look for who’s deleting stuff for a giveaway. Whoever did it will probably have already tried to scrub themselves,** but their classmates will know.

    Anyhow, that’s some basic investigative technique. Going after the local cops’ systems would be the next level up. Depending on how stupid they are, there might still be emails, some of which could be explosive. By the time anyone got that far, they’d already have dates/times and names to search for so targeting would be tight.

    (* the minute you do that, you’ve crossed a line)
    (** there are probably some very very nervous rats right now. not so proud of their actions now that they’re under the shadow of the hammer that’s coming down on them)

  110. danielimms says

    There are too many messages to read through them all, so I don’t know if anyone has made comments along similar lines… but probably not.
    I feel very sorry for the girl and her family. It’s a tragedy what happened and the behaviour of the 4 boys and others involved is pathetic.
    However:
    “After a year of investigations, the police told her it was a case of “he said, she said,” without enough evidence to press charges.”
    Maybe they are right. What exactly was the photo of? It wasn’t a video like another recent case, so it would be much harder to tell if she was passed out or posing or whatever. Were the boys in the photo too? Such details would make a big difference to the case.
    Can she actually remember having sex with the boys? If not, the boys might claim the gave consent, or they didn’t have sex with her, depending on what’s in the photo. We don’t know.
    She went to the police several days later. Is that too late to be tested for the boys dna? Did they check her for injuries or dna?
    Were there other witnesses?
    I don’t know about the whole underage aspect, but there is very little information in your post and the link about the case. Without more information there is no way you can get so riled up about it all. It’s tragic, but the police may really not be able to lay any charges for rape.
    You can’t act so hysterically every time someone claims rape, especially when they may not even remember it. You all know some cases are not rape. This one most likely was, but may not have been. Unless you have the right evidence for it, you don’t know and the police may be powerless.

  111. Lofty says

    danielimms, bitchez be lying, eh? That’ll go over well around here. And of course the victim committed suicide over this so she must have been imagining it.
    You’re another pathetic wanker that needs a metaphorical 4×2 around the intellect.
    Fuck off.

  112. says

    You can’t act so hysterically every time someone claims rape, especially when they may not even remember it.

    [3 post rule... deep breath... 3 post rule... deep breath... 3 post rule... deep breath... 3 post rule... deep breath... 3 post rule... ]

  113. says

    Unless you have the right evidence for it, you don’t know and the police may be powerless.

    Do you really think that? If there were pictures being passed around online, there’s timestamps (and if it was from a cell phone) there would be geotags and cell call registers. Once you localize one phone, then you audit the other phones in the vicinity. It’s a certainty that the owners of the house where the attack took place are known. It’s a certainty that the attackers’ identities are known – if pictures were being shared within a wide circle of friends, you can be sure that a lot of people know a great deal and kept quiet. To me, that’s one of the most horrifying aspects of something like Steubenville or this: its the online equivalent of Kitty Genovese, but with the added maliciousness of cowards making fun of Kitty as she bled out. The RCMP aren’t incompetents (at least not the ones I’ve worked with) though perhaps the local police are, or blundered by pulling the investigation short of where it could have gone. It’s absurd to say “we don’t know if there was really a rape” when we’ve already been told that at least 5 people were there at the time, one of whom was taking pictures Competent investigators deal with situations like this all the time – you have to break the perpetrators apart so they can’t collude, and flip one of them. The one taking the pictures would be the lychpin to the whole thing. Or, if one of the kids was a resident of the house where the assault took place (I.e.: it was their parents’ place) there’s a whole lot of leverage there. The whole student community there are leverage – the situation amounts to 4 guys who were stupid enough to brag about what they did, keep and distribute photographic evidence of it, and transmit that evidence over a geolocated auditable medium.

    Unless a bunch of drunken, stupid kids suddently started exhibiting professional-level tradecraft it’s a virtual certainty that the police know who did what and didn’t pursue the investigation far enough for some reason.

  114. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    I want to know why “he said she said” isn’t enough to at least merit further investigation. I mean if someone steals my car, it’s my word against his that I didn’t loan it to him. If someone breaks into my house, it’s my word against his that he wasn’t invited in, especially if they picked the locked and did no physical damage to the structure. If someone assaults me, it’s my word against his that I didn’t consent to being hit.

    All of these warrant investigation, normally, and even prosecution. But rape? Oh no, “he said she said” is just NOT ENOUGH all of a sudden, because he said > she said a priori.

  115. says

    I want to know why “he said she said” isn’t enough to at least merit further investigation.

    Exactly. Because it’s not “he said she said” it’s “4 guys said, she said” and those 4 guys would have to tell a consistently coordinated story in the face of any evidence to the contrary. They’d have to avoid the prisoners’ dilemma and they’d have to either be innocent or demonstrate the self-discipline of mob hitmen* That does not align at all with bragging to friends and passing around pictures.

    In other words, it’s not “he said she said” – there is a small parade of fellow students who could say, “so-and-so sent me pictures of her, and said they had sex with her when she was drunk.” Like in Steubenville, there are a lot of people who are skulking in the shadows, who know a whole lot more than they’re telling.

    My accountant used to say “there are only 2 kinds of people in hell: those who were caught in the act, and those who kept records or photographs.” In this case, there was a witness with a camera. A witness who distributed the pictures. There’s no “he said, she said.” There’s “he distributed evidence, who did he distribute it do, and when and what did he say to the people he distributed it to – and, yeah, what did she say.”

    (* which is really more a justified fear of retaliation – which wouldn’t hold in this case – than self-discipline)

  116. The Mellow Monkey says

    Pyra

    Also, I make sure they come to me with anything that happens to them. My oldest is vulnerable, as a very smart, small, non-athletic boy. I feel like he can be abused as well as I was. I want to keep him from abusers with all my might. The flipside of teaching him others’ consent is knowing others could try to victimize him. The instinct to ensconce him from the world is strong. I can’t do that. I can’t stop others. But I want to.

    This is back a ways, but goddamn, did it need to be highlighted.

    The kvetching over keeping daughters safe is such a huge part of rape culture. Not only is it part of victim blaming and leads to violations of women’s autonomy, but it also feminizes victimhood. It makes it harder for male victims to step forward, and it makes it far easier to victimize and silence them. Teaching consent to everyone and recognizing that everyone can be victimized is how you start to break this self-reinforcing rape culture.

    Good luck, Pyra. I’m glad you recognize both that your son could be victimized and that you can’t hide him away from the world.

  117. says

    danielimms
    Because it’s not as if there’s a cultural problem of not properly investigating or prosecuting cases like this. No, that’s never happened before.

  118. says

    well, tell us danielimms, how much evidence does therehave to be before there’s even a real investigation? Tell all the rapists out there what they can do without fearing the slightest repercussions.

  119. danielimms says

    Lofty – danielimms, bitchez be lying, eh? That’ll go over well around here. And of course the victim committed suicide over this so she must have been imagining it.
    You’re another pathetic wanker that needs a metaphorical 4×2 around the intellect.
    Fuck off.

    Don’t be a pathetic piece of shit by misrepresenting people’s words. Either learn to read or think, or both.
    I never said she was lying, I said she might not have remembered it. If you can’t accept any possiblity that the evidence you haven’t even seen doesn’t show she was raped, then you’re an idiot. She could as well have committed suicide over the public photo or bullying. I don’t give a shit about what goes over well here. I care about the truth and simply said you don’t have the evidence to say much about the case at all. Obviously the police couldn’t either.
    Get a fucking brain.

  120. blitzgal says

    You can’t act so hysterically every time someone claims rape

    Now explain to me why the behavior of her peers, who went on to mercilessly bully and harass her for TWO YEARS, is justified. People like you continue to gloss over that part, because you have no defense for it.

  121. says

    danielimms

    You can’t act so hysterically…

    “Hysteria” is a gendered insult, danielimms. We don’t do that shit here.
     
    It’s a teensy tiny thing compared to your screaming about having to be absolutely positively 100% sure there definitely was a genuine rape before calling it a rape case, but still, even small steps are steps.

  122. says

    Isn’t it odd that whenever there’s the slightest bit of doubt or lack of information, apparently we have to assume the best about the rapist and the worst about the victim? Somehow, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the accused.
    And (just to preempt that incredibly tedious and predictable objection) I’ll point out that this is not a court room and we’re not sentencing anybody.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you can’t accept any possiblity that the evidence you haven’t even seen doesn’t show she was raped, then you’re an idiot.

    Unless you can produce said evidence and present it here you are nothing but asshole rape apologist. That’s the truth. The truth can hurt.

  124. says

    If you can’t accept any possiblity that the evidence you haven’t even seen doesn’t show she was raped that the accused are not only rapists, but also murderers, drug smugglers, cannibals, bank robbers and secret agents working for Mossad, then you’re an idiot.

    Alternatively, we could just agree to stick to the information we have, rather than inventing whatever evidence is convenient.

  125. glodson says

    I never said she was lying, I said she might not have remembered it. If you can’t accept any possiblity that the evidence you haven’t even seen doesn’t show she was raped, then you’re an idiot.

    Funny how people want to doubt the word of the victim, want dissemble her account, and want to have “reasonable” objections to her story when we talk about rape. It is almost like there is some culture around rape that allows for rapists to gain the benefit of the doubt.

    If she was in a state in which she cannot remember, a blackout state, then she is not in a position to give consent. As such, she was raped. So even your rationalization for JAQing off contains the accusation of rape. Way to defend the incompetent police and write a great piece of rape apology.

  126. blitzgal says

    Isn’t it odd that whenever there’s the slightest bit of doubt or lack of information, apparently we have to assume the best about the rapist and the worst about the victim? Somehow, the benefit of the doubt always goes to the accused.

    This. And there is also a refusal on the part of a large contingent of people to admit that this behavior you’ve described is exactly why most people do not report their rapes at all.

    Troll’s use of the highly gendered term “hysteria” to describe our anger over this case is pathetic. A significant portion of sexual assaults are never reported to the authorities. And the behavior of Rehtaeh’s peers is a huge part of why that’s the case.

  127. mythbri says

    @danielimms

    Can she actually remember having sex with the boys?

    No, she can’t.

    Reason being, she’s fucking dead.

  128. chigau (ouch) says

    There are too many words in danielimms’s comments to read through them all, so I don’t know if anyone has made responses along similar lines… but probably.
    Anyway, to repeat, “Fuck off danielimms”.

  129. danielimms says

    Nerd of Redhead – “Unless you can produce said evidence and present it here you are nothing but asshole rape apologist. That’s the truth. The truth can hurt.”

    God, you’re stupid. I am not denying it was rape. I do have an asshole though, so what? I bet you do too.
    It’s not up to me to produce any evidence of anything. I am pointing out how hysterical you are about something you seem to have no evidence for? You are like a Christian fundy claiming they ‘know’ god exists because they ‘feel’ it to be true.
    The facts as I know them are a young girl claimed she was raped. Then it’s up to the police to determine whether that actually happened or not, and whether anyone can be charged for the crime, if it happened.
    Do you dispute this?
    For the police to determine the facts, they need evidence, as should we all. Do you know what evidence the police have? That was my original post. If the police had that evidence, don’t you think it likely they would arrest someone?
    The police said it’s a case of her word against theirs. Do you think it more likely they don’t have enough evidence of rape, or that they are covering it up? I think it more likely they don’t have the evidence, so where do you get the idea it MUST have been rape? How do you KNOW that to be true?
    I am not an ‘asshole rape apologist’ any more than you are an asshole bigfoot apologist. If you don’t have evidence for something, don’t claim it to be true. Do you disagree with that? Someone’s claim that something is true is not enough for it to be believed.

    So, if you can answer the questions from my first post or this, please do. Do you know of any evidence of rape, and if so what is it?

  130. glodson says

    This. And there is also a refusal on the part of a large contingent of people to admit that this behavior you’ve described is exactly why most people do not report their rapes at all.

    Exactly. Ignore the overwhelming number of people who don’t report the rape for various reason, including the bullying attached to the crime and the lack of care many police seem to show the rape victim, and the very low rate of conviction as well.

    It produces a toxic mess in which the rapist feels he can act with impunity, confident that people will blame the victim and the even the victim will blame the victim at times. And in the wake of this young woman’s suicide, there are still people wanting to talk about how she could have not been raped because the incompetent and complacent police didn’t give enough of a shit.

  131. WharGarbl says

    @mythbri
    #155
    Or you know, there’s a fucking photo showing her being raped.
    Okay, MAYBE she gave consent in her drunken state (not sure about law in Canada on whether someone being drunk can legally give consent). But she’s underage! That along should be enough to press statutory rape charges!

    Regarding the police/prosecutor, EVEN if you can’t punish them for the full extend of the crime, at least TRY! Sure, you might fail, but at least the victim will know that SOMEONE cared enough to try. Charge them with distribution of child pornography if there’s nothing else you can charge them with!

  132. glodson says

    I am not an ‘asshole rape apologist’ any more than you are an asshole bigfoot apologist.

    If you aren’t an asshole rape apologist, why do you insist on writing rape apology in a thread about a young woman who was gang raped and bullied into suicide?

  133. danielimms says

    chigau (ouch) – Do you have an opinion? What do you have to back it up with?

  134. mythbri says

    @danielimms

    I think it more likely they don’t have the evidence, so where do you get the idea it MUST have been rape?

    So….not enough evidence = it wasn’t rape?

    Really?

  135. WharGarbl says

    @danielimms
    #157
    I understand that you’re trying to excuse the law enforcement/prosecutor for not doing anything. But the fact of the matter is, there’s at least a photo of the rape (OR sex act, whatever you want to call it). At the very least the police could’ve investigate into it a bit more (a press distribution/production of child pornography. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in Canada, if now… WTF?). Maybe she can’t get justice for her rape (or that her “rape” isn’t classified as rape under Canadian law or something), but at least she can get some justice or know that someone in position of power is fighting for her.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am pointing out how hysterical you are about something you seem to have no evidence for?

    There is plenty of evidence for a rape. There is none to say otherwise. You presented nothing, all you gave with perhaps. Hypotheticals are for rape apologists. Scientists like myself deal with the evidence as is. Your words let those who commit rape off. That makes you an apologist. Either put up the evidence, or shut the fuck up. You have nothing cogent to say whatsoever.

  137. WharGarbl says

    @danielimms
    #157

    I think it more likely they don’t have the evidence, so where do you get the idea it MUST have been rape?

    There’s a difference between a “legal definition of rape” and “what should be considered as rape”.
    The legal definition may be more stringent in that certain cases that should’ve been rape is not defined as such legally (for example, “rape” that occur when the victim shouldn’t be in any state of mind to give clear consent).

    Going slightly bit off topic, but still on topic of sex obtained while the victims are impaired. How would one handle the case where both parties are impaired?

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What do you have to back it up with?

    What do you have to back up your apologies with? Nada, zip, zero, zilch, nothing. Nothing but your opinion. Which is evidenceless, and *floosh* dismissed as fuckwittery and rape apologism.

  139. says

    But she’s underage! That along should be enough to press statutory rape charges!

    Then use that to pull in all the boys that might be involved, separate them and squeeze them. That’s what you’d do in any other case, so why not here?

    Oh right, because with rape, it’s the victim who’s on trial. Even in the Steubenville case where the rapists were dumb enough to take video of them committing the crime, even then you had people claiming that she wanted it and it wasn’t the fault of those poor boys and it wasn’t really rape because they only used their fingers. *shudder*

    So, as for this:

    If the police had that evidence, don’t you think it likely they would arrest someone?

    I’ll have to answer: what fucking planet do you think you’re on?

  140. WharGarbl says

    @LykeX
    #169

    If the police had that evidence, don’t you think it likely they would arrest someone?

    I’ll have to answer: what fucking planet do you think you’re on?

    Not to excuse their behavior, but suddenly I have this thought that their thinking process could go something like this.
    “What’s the point. Given what we know so far, those boys are going to get nothing worse than a slap on the wrist. Why waste our effort on this?”
    Which, of course, still contributes to the vicious cycle.
    1. Rape occurs.
    2. Police/Prosecutor don’t prosecute rape because most rape don’t get successfully prosecuted.
    3. Add another statistic point (official or unofficial) that rape don’t get successfully prosecuted.
    4. Go to 1.

  141. UnknownEric is GrumpyCat in human form says

    Goddamn it, do we have to deal with this kind of rape apologist bullshit in every single fucking thread? Perhaps PZ should put some blinking red text at the beginning of any thread involving rape saying, “If you’re going to play devil’s advocate, or victim blame, just fuck off now.”

  142. says

    WharGarbl
    Well, that’s the really horrible thing about rape culture, as opposed to simply “people who are rapists”. When it’s part of the culture, even relatively decent people are sucked into it. The whole social structure is arranged so that any attempt to do the right thing is punished and it’s just easier to go along and not speak out. It’s like a kind of social inertia.

    If it was only the rapists we had to deal with, it wouldn’t be nearly as big a problem, but we do in fact have to deal with everybody. Hell, we even have to deal with ourselves and be on the lookout for vestiges of rape culture lurking in our unexamined thought patterns.

    Goddamn it, do we have to deal with this kind of rape apologist bullshit in every single fucking thread?

    Experience says “yes”.

  143. Pteryxx says

    If the police had that evidence, don’t you think it likely they would arrest someone?

    No, it’s not likely. Police and prosecutors indulge in rape apologia and dismiss evidence too. Multiple survivors in this very thread have first-hand experience where police refused to even collect evidence or take statements at the scene; in some cases they flat-out accused the victims to their faces of lying. There’s also research demonstrating the phenomenon, mentioned here by Stephanie Zvan.

    These examples are why we can’t trust raw law enforcement numbers, which provide the citations for “women lie” arguments. If a police force doesn’t know what is and isn’t rape, how can it decide which rapes are falsely reported? If a police force decides that in he-said, she-said situations, “she” is arbitrarily not to be trusted, how can we trust their decisions on whether or not she lied? If a police forces continue to endorse rape myths, why would we trust their reporting numbers uncritically?

  144. danielimms says

    @166 Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls – Are you really asking me to put up evidence that nothing happened? Isn’t the burden of proof on the one saying something happened? I haven’t denied a rape happened and I’ve even said I believe it happened. I’m asking what the evidence is. What’s that?

    @167 WharGarbl – Thanks for that. That might be right and I don’t know what the exact legal definitions of rape they use there are. But still, all I’m asking for is to be told what evidence exists, that anyone here knows of, that she was raped?

    @ all you over-the-top-psycho-fools-who-are-too-emotional…. I’m just trying to get more information. Many of you seem to ‘know’ a rape happened. My questions are for more information. None has been provided. Please provide it if you can. This is not rape-apology, this is just trying to learn more about the facts. Is that a bad thing?

    And by the way, studies have shown activity in the emotional pathways of the brain to inhibit the more rational pathways. So try not to get worked up. Think about what I’m actually saying.

  145. danielimms says

    @174 myeck waters – That is pretty bad. Anyone on FTB and living there should be demanding more resources to work on that, rather that posting here.
    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

  146. WharGarbl says

    @myeck waters
    #174
    The article is a fairly “happy” story all things considered.
    “The city of Houston’s backlog of untested rape kits – decades in the making and numbering more than 6,600 – will be erased within 14 months through a $4.4 million plan to outsource DNA testing, Mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday.”
    It looks like they are getting serious about testing those.

    Also a somewhat mitigating circumstances.
    “Parker said the 6,660 backlogged kits have not been tested because no investigator requested it, because other evidence was sufficient to charge the offender, the offender was known to the victim, the victim was not willing to prosecute or other such factors. Many of the cases, she and HPD officials said, have been closed or adjudicated.”
    So it looked like at least some of those backlogs stem from the fact that they’re not needed afterward.

    A bright spots in that story.
    “A 2011 change in state law requires police agencies to test all such kits in their possession, but Parker said the city’s policy had evolved in that direction anyway, partly because the offender’s DNA may be linked to other crimes, and partly to honor the victims’ decision to undergo the invasive evidence-collection process.”
    So at least there are people serious about this. Plus the wording might make for a good argument in that it’s sort of saying “Hey, even if you don’t care about rape victims, processing this kit might solve crime you asshats care about.”

    Yes, in the article the problem exist. But the article was talking about a city that looks serious about addressing that problem instead of sweeping it under the rug.

  147. chigau (ouch) says

    danielimms
    There were a number of comments upthread from where you stumbled in that are far superior to yours.
    You should go read them.

  148. glodson says

    This is not rape-apology, this is just trying to learn more about the facts.

    You are denying the claim of the victim, and the best you have presented is that she might not remember having sex. Which, again, means she must have been impaired to the point of blacking out. Which means she was raped.

    It has been shown, in this thread, that the police are awful at enforcing rape claims, and to deny the accusation of rape based on the failure of the police is to ignore the evidence that the police often fail at handling rape cases.

    If you are trying to learn the facts, stop posting and find them. Then present them. You are JAQing off in your hyperskeptic dome. You are being a rape apologist by means of your words in this very thread. Rape victims are put on trial when they make the accusation.

    The available evidence says she was black out drunk. Then she was raped. She was not in a position to give consent, as such, she was raped. Period. There’s photographic evidence which was the lynchpin of the bullying directed at her.

    So, take your bullshit and fuck off unless you have something of substance.

  149. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are you really asking me to put up evidence that nothing happened?

    Either put up the evidence or drop the asinine claim. Both are postition of honesty and integrity. Othewiser, what you are presupposing is that the available evidence be ignored. Neither a position of honesty or integrity, and the evidence says there should have been a thorough investigation with evidence turned over the the prosecuters for final decision on whether to prosecute. The evidence says the police ignored the material evidence in the case. Show otherwise, or shut the fuck up.

    I’m asking what the evidence is. What’s that?

    if you don’t know, why are you asking? This is apologist tactics 101. You aren’t making your inane and full of shit point.

  150. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    The power of denial in these cases is indeed strong.

    Last week someone in my extended family was accused of sexual assault. He won’t go to prison (on account that there was no rape as such, but touching and indecent behavior, first time he got caught, and the victim is not a minor) but will be placed on the sexual predator list for 10 years.

    He’s been known to exhibit these tendencies for decades – he is after all the women who cross his path, no matter what age they are. He may have raped some, including his own daughters.

    But his wife, daughters and mother in law have dismissed it for years. Even when women from the family complained about him doing this, and not feeling safe being, or leaving their daughters, around him. Having to lock their doors at all times to avoid having him stalk them early mornings in their own bathrooms.

    “There is one in every family” they say. “He’s a good guy. Telling would bring shame on the family”

    Even now they are doubting the accusations.

    Le sigh.

  151. glodson says

    That is pretty bad. Anyone on FTB and living there should be demanding more resources to work on that, rather that posting here.
    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

    Do we even have to explain how stupid this is? I mean, ignoring the fact that we can post here, which does help educate people about the issue, and we can also help in the mean time as well. Not to mention that several people in this fucking thread have responded negatively to the idea the rapists should die.

  152. WharGarbl says

    @danielimms
    #175
    I have to say that you’re somewhat deserving of the backlash you’re getting. I can sort of understand the point you’re trying to get across (you want to excuse/figure out the police/prosecutor behaviors based on legal constraints). But the way you phrase your arguments REALLY stink of victim blaming.

    No one is perfect, but try to read the posts you’re making.

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My questions are for more information. None has been provided.

    Typical fuckwitted apologist who must be spoon-fed information. You see fuckwit, there is this thing called Google. YOU MAKE USE OF IT, then you get back to us. Which is why everything you say is *floosh* dismissed as unevidenced fuckwittery and rape apologism.

  154. WharGarbl says

    @Danielimms
    #176

    That is pretty bad. Anyone on FTB and living there should be demanding more resources to work on that, rather that posting here.

    Who says people here aren’t doing that in addition to posting on FTB?

    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

    That’s… a really bad idea.
    With that, what’s the disincentive for those rapists not to escalate to outright murdering their victim to guarantee silence?

  155. David Marjanović says

    It might be an inability to comprehend the human race.

    Welcome to the club.

    Because rape is a force of nature, not an intentional act.

    Funnily enough (get your ear close enough to a USB port, and you can hear me laughing), that’s what lots of people actually thought when Stalin had one of their family members snatched and sent to Siberia or shot. They did not become angry at Stalin, let alone at the Party or communism in general.

    Earlier today I was laughing at the absurdity of the “fuckmuffin” desired-but-contemptible concept.

    It seems less than funny now.

    Bingo.

    Even worse: it seems to be a common theme among serial murderers.

    Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Man. Some trolls will just say anything to get any bit of attention! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    “The Women Men Don’t See” comes to mind.

    *wikipedia*
    Oh… wow.

    Calling Rehtaeh’s death a tragedy because we’ve lost a beautiful young woman is a joke – seriously, what bearing does her appearance have on how sad her death is? And since Landry is refusing to open an official review into how the RCMP handled this, isn’t he basically saying, “I think she was lying about the rape, but gosh, she sure was hot”?

    QFFT!!!

    Actually, a person’s body is that person. My body isn’t a possession, it isn’t an accessory and it isn’t something I have the luxury of taking off and putting on, or tossing away and getting a new one (I wish!). Duality thinking doesn’t help.

    QFT.

    To this day, I just do not get how the bystanders could just ignore that a fucking crime was occurring. They knew it was wrong or they would not have been so cagey with me, yet not a single person, male or female, did a single fucking thing to stop it.

    Fear of peer pressure? Fear of being reminded of one’s place in the pecking order?

    (This would also be effective against muggers, school shootings, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.)

    FTW.

    Were there other witnesses?

    And if so, why haven’t they all been charged with shirking the duty to rescue… oh… because common law is sociopathic. That’s why. *rageflail*

    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

    Oh, so you’re painfully short-sighted on other topics, too.

  156. says

    This is not rape-apology

    Yes, it is. Your insistence on finding any reason to doubt the story is rape apologetics. Your insistence on being told what the evidence is, while also utterly refusing to look at the evidence already mentioned, is rape apologetics.
    Your bullshit is a transparent as it is tedious. Been there, done that, tried to wipe it off, but it sticks to your shoes like dog shit.

    The available evidence indicates that she was raped or otherwise sexually assaulted, that it was done is a fully conscious and deliberate manner and the photos leaves a clear trail that should make it quite easy to find out who exactly did it.
    Baring any other evidence, we have every reason to think it was rape.

    Anyone on FTB and living there should be demanding more resources to work on that, rather that posting here.

    My, that sounds almost as if you’re telling us to shut up about it. Is there any particular reason why we can’t do both? If not, why did you make that last comment?
    Also:

    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

    I know you think that should give you some kind of credibility, but it doesn’t. It’s quite common for rape-apologists to talk about how much they’re against rape and how harsh the punishments should be… for “real” rape. And then they go on to explain how this case doesn’t qualify.

    If you’re not a rape apologist, you’re sure doing a spot on impression of one.

  157. danielimms says

    @164 – WharGarbl
    “I understand that you’re trying to excuse the law enforcement/prosecutor for not doing anything. But the fact of the matter is, there’s at least a photo of the rape (OR sex act, whatever you want to call it). At the very least the police could’ve investigate into it a bit more (a press distribution/production of child pornography. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in Canada, if now… WTF?). ”

    (sorry, I don’t know how to link)
    That’s not what I’m doing at all. I’m not trying to excuse anyone. All I know is the police investigated for a year and said even though she was underage, it was not enough to produce criminal charges.
    Now, I don’t know what was in the photo. One person? Two? Sex act or not? Clothed or not? I don’t know and I don’t want to see it. If the photo is terrible but there was nothing criminal in it, people should be demanding changes to the law. If there was nothing criminal because it wasn’t terrible, it’s poor evidence of rape. If it was in fact criminal and the police didn’t do their job, they should be sacked and charged with whatever will stick (maybe hindering a police investigation, involuntary manslaughter, accomplices in a criminal act?)

  158. omnicrom says

    Danielimms, Shut the fuck up.

    It pisses me off to no end that angry prediction of the inevitable Rape Apologists came true. You’ll excuse me for being extremely angry but EVERY SINGLE THREAD ABOUT RAPE ONE OF YOU FUCKERS COMES OUT OF THE WOODWORK! And EVERY SINGLE TIME it’s the same old shit. Danielimms you aren’t being intellectual or skeptical, what you are is a small-minded graduate with honors from the “Bitchez be lying” school of rape apologia, and your fellow alumni have harmed society in a big way. Why do you think that the police did nothing danielimms? It’s because they were thinking just like you that “Bitchez be lying”. It’s why you and they are scum.

    I’m sure you’re close to fainting from my bad language, but carry on a little more and let’s do a logic exercise: Why only rape? Why is rape the ONLY crime that people don’t trust the victim on? Why do we trust women when they say they were mugged or defrauded or injured, but not raped? Why do people only really bring out the old standby dismissal of “Bitchez be lying” when it comes to rape? Why has culture decided that women can be trusted except when they’re raped? Why indeed is a woman who comes out and says they were raped not only dismissed but HOUNDED UNTIL THEY COMMITTED SUICIDE?

    Once you answer that question honestly, danielimms, then you will stop being a scum-sucking piece of shit. Fuck you.

  159. David Marjanović says

    “There is one in every family” they say.

    Which isn’t even true.

    “He’s a good guy.

    Evidently not.

    Telling would bring shame on the family”

    +++ OUT OF CHOCOLATE ERROR +++

    Rebooting.

  160. glodson says

    Why is rape the ONLY crime that people don’t trust the victim on?

    As pointed out, we don’t do that with theft. “How do we know it wasn’t a loan that the person didn’t remember? That person could have loaned out that cash, and given the items away as charity but then regret it.”

  161. says

    danielimms
    On the principle of giving the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume that you’re simply expressing yourself poorly. In that case, here’s what you do:
    1) Stop talking. Right now, shut the fuck up. Don’t even respond to this.
    2) Start reading. When you read, don’t allow your mind to fill up with a thousand objections; listen to what’s being said.
    3) Understand that your perspective is very limited and that other people may have very, very different experiences from yours.
    4) When you done all of the above for a period of at least a month, start posting again. Don’t post your opinions; post your questions. If you have no questions, then chances are you haven’t done the previous three steps properly: Return to 1 and start again.

  162. danielimms says

    @187 LykeX
    “Yes, it is. Your insistence on finding any reason to doubt the story is rape apologetics. Your insistence on being told what the evidence is, while also utterly refusing to look at the evidence already mentioned, is rape apologetics.”

    1. No, it’s not. Because I’m not looking for reasons to doubt the story. I want to know why you are so sure of yourself. I would accept any evidence.
    2. You haven’t told me what the evidence is, so I’m not refusing to look at it, I just can’t see it. I would love to know what it is. Really.
    3. Yes, insistence on being told what the evidence is, while also utterly refusing to look at the evidence already mentioned, is rape apologetics. But again, I really don’t know what the evidence is. I don’t see where it has been provided. I would really like to know it. And you’re not providing it.
    If you know more than is in the original blog post, please tell me. If you don’t, please admit you don’t. Anything else is pointless as far as I’m concerned.

  163. says

    My questions are for more information. None has been provided.

    I don’t think you’re arguing in good faith. Perhaps you overlooked my comments @#137 and #140 – they point to the obvious fact that more evidence and information must exist. It’s not possible, when such evidence must exist, to say “it’s he said/she said.”

    More importantly, you’re intellectually dishonest by asking us for more information. What – do you think we’re privileged and have access to the police’s files? Absurd. Some of us might be capable of doing our own investigations but, again, do you demand that of us? You’re really bending over backward to preserve your precious ignorance, aren’t you? Why aren’t you asking (as I did up-thread) why the police weren’t able to crack the case, rather than, “where’s the evidence?”

    By all means accept the police’s narrative that it’d be “he said, she said” in spite of what appears to be multiple individuals self-incriminating to circles of friends, including exchanging what might be evidence possibly using mechanisms that would be traceable. If you’re intellectually lazy (or willing to bury/overlook a rape) like the police appear to be, why not stop pretending to want information, entirely?

    The police have capabilities that people like me don’t have if we’re working inside the law. The police can go to facebook and find out who was posting abusive comments to her, then interview them and ask them “who told you she had sex with so-and-so?” until they get to so-and-so and then they can ask “which of you took the pictures?” etc. We, on pharyngula, can’t send Facebook a subpoena or an information request. Asking us for more information is kind of insulting, in that context, because you’re asking us to make a case you know we cannot make. What you should be asking is “why didn’t the police pursue this case more effectively?”

    Let me put it differently: do you think the victim didn’t tell her mother who she was out drinking with? I bet the mother could give names and dates, and I bet she’s already given them to the police. The information is out there – and has been for years – why didn’t the police pursue this case more effectively?

  164. says

    You might be a rape apologist…

    …if you come in to a thread on a blog about someone being raped and insist on the presumption of innocence for the accused rapist.

    A blog comment thread is not a court of law. No one is being sentenced.

    Being a Vulcan who shows no emotion in the face of a tragedy but rather demands ‘just the facts’ contributes to rape culture. It provides tacit cover for would be rapists who know that if they shame or intimidate their victim in to not getting a rape kit done right away, or not tell anyone about it right away, their chances of getting away with it go up exponentially because of shit heads like you who exist at every level of government and in their social circles.

    Rape accusations can often exclusively rely on “he said she said” as evidence. A lack of physical evidence pointing to rape vs consensual sex DOES NOT MEAN THAT A RAPE HAS NOT OCCURRED!

    People who understand enthusiastic consent do not spend an inordinate amount of time worried that they will be falsely accused of rape, which is what you are doing when you immediately start defending the accused because of a supposed lack of evidence.

    False rape accusations do happen, but very rarely in comparison to unreported or unprosecuted or unconvicted cases of actual rape.

    Eyewitness testimony is very often the only evidence available in a criminal trial, but only in rape cases do you find douchebags who immediately want to jump to the defense of the accused. You might want to think about why that douchebag is you.

    If I say John Doe broke in to my car and I saw him do it, a prosecutor isn’t going to insist on fingerprints or DNA or that the accused be found in possession of my stolen items. A prosecutor is going to charge the individual and let the system work it’s self out. Maybe my testimony is enough for a conviction, maybe it isn’t. That’s for a jury to decide. But you, you douchebag, would presume the thief innocent without further corroborating evidence right? No, you wouldn’t because that’s not a rape case, and you don’t envision yourself ever breaking in to a car, so it’s not your problem, right?

  165. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    danielimms – why are you so testerical, irrational and quick to insult? Kinda shows us that you don’t have real reason to post, except to get in some testerical victim blaming and rape apologetics because it was oh so missed. Why is it so important for you to find a way to blame the victim? You should probably examine your testerical, need to defend rapists. Says something not great about you. Your sexism is more than obvious.

  166. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Because I’m not looking for reasons to doubt the story. I want to know why you are so sure of yourself. I would accept any evidence.

    So, you are looking for a reason to doubt her story, but just aren’t brave enough to admit it. Once again, why are you so quick to doubt her, and so incredibly quick to defend 4 gang rapists? Why is rape the only crime where the victim is the main suspect?

  167. vaiyt says

    (trigger warning?)

    Now, I don’t know what was in the photo.

    There was an actual photo of the guys sticking fingers into the Steubenville victims, and people like you were still treating it as poor evidence! You don’t want evidence, all you want is excuses, like the good rape apologist you are. Sod off.

  168. danielimms says

    @192 Lykex

    1. Sorry, but I have to reply because you’re wrong about number 4.
    2. Pretty arrogant of you to think you know how I read.
    3. Again pretty arrogant to think you know my perspective is limited. I’m pretty damn confident I know people with much more varied experiences than you (myself included), though I don’t know you so I could be wrong.
    4. Obviously you haven’t read my posts. I have been asking lots of questions, and giving few opinions. I’m asking questions so I can form an opinion. Unfortunately only a few people are giving any information. Thanks to those ones.

  169. glodson says

    If you know more than is in the original blog post, please tell me. If you don’t, please admit you don’t. Anything else is pointless as far as I’m concerned.

    Did you read the article?

    There is a fucking picture, it circulated. It was graphic. Relevant quote: “They told the family that though she was underage, the photographs were not a criminal issue.” The picture must be sexually explicit, otherwise the underage part wouldn’t make sense. That’s part one.

    Part two: “In 2011, Rehtaeh Parsons attended a party where she consumed enough vodka to not remember most of the evening. ” If she had sex in this condition, she was under no condition to give consent by means of impairment. By the standards of the law in Canada, having sex with the young woman in this state is rape.

    So, we have an explicit photograph and a teen too drunk to give consent. Both are sufficient causes to accept her side of the story. Both were highlighted in the original article, and multiple people have explained how the police routinely fail rape victims.

    Let’s not forget the third part, the circumstantial evidence, that being the bullying she faced in light of the rape. Even before she had a chance to report it. All of this points to her being raped. She was raped.

    Now, what is your line of reasoning for dismissing this in order to question the validity of her accusation?

  170. Pteryxx says

    This is not rape-apology, this is just trying to learn more about the facts. Is that a bad thing?

    Because I’m not looking for reasons to doubt the story. I want to know why you are so sure of yourself. I would accept any evidence.

    Is that so? Then justify your assumption that the police investigation was sufficiently rigorous and its results credible. (Hint: evidence to the contrary given above, in those posts you’re conveniently ignoring such as glodson @165 and mine @173.)

  171. says

    erikthebassist
    No problem. He seems like the kind of guy who needs multiple repetitions.

    danielimms
    Thank you. Now I don’t have to waste any more time thinking you might be a decent person.

  172. WharGarbl says

    @glodson
    #191

    As pointed out, we don’t do that with theft. “How do we know it wasn’t a loan that the person didn’t remember? That person could have loaned out that cash, and given the items away as charity but then regret it.”

    My experience is that the theft of sufficiently small amount of cash, the police won’t believe you either (or don’t bother investigating).
    Happened to my family member once. She hired a housekeeper to help out around the house (mainly to help her father who was ill). Some cash went missing. Called police, the first thing they asked was “Are you sure it’s stolen? Maybe you misplaced it.”
    Granted, it’s just a few hundred dollars apparently.

  173. says

    One of the elements of the story is abuse – people who were not involved in the rape, tormenting the victim. Does that not tell you that someone told those people about the crime?

    So, we have a situation in which:
    - the victim says she was raped
    - the perpetrator’s circle of friends also says she was raped
    In other words they agree.

    Gosh oh gosh dee diggity that sounds like a flippin’ tough case to crack. It’s “he and his circle of friends and a camera and a bunch of facebook postings said, she said.” Cops that can’t crack that case couldn’t find a fucking Peanut M&M in a yellow bag labelled “Peanut M&Ms” if they had a spotlight shining on it!!!!

  174. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now, I don’t know what was in the photo.

    Then shut the fuck up about the photo. Your deliberate ignorance isn’t evidence, nor is your OPINION. Rape apologist opinion. How do you stop being a rape apologist? Shut the fuck up.

  175. glodson says

    @ WharGarbl

    That’s nice. But the relative rates of convictions for both crimes paint a very different story. Individual cases vary, but what is of interest is a trend. This case at hand is a great example. If this was just a failure that was isolated, it would be shocking and tragic, but indicative of nothing more. However, when we see a systemic problem with a crime, like rape, these individual cases highlight the overwhelming problem in the culture and system in which these crimes occur.

  176. WharGarbl says

    @glodson
    #202

    The picture must be sexually explicit, otherwise the underage part wouldn’t make sense. That’s part one.

    I’m… a bit confused here. If it’s not a criminal issue, won’t that imply that the photograph isn’t sexually explicit (at least sexually explicit enough to be a problem)? Because if it is, won’t it be a criminal issue just by virtue of someone making an underage pornography?

  177. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    How do you stop being a rape apologist? Shut the fuck up.

    Actually, I would say that in order to avoid being a rape apologist, stop fucking telling blog commenters that they aren’t allowed to talk about something because there’s no “evidence” (in the hyperskeptical sense)

    bullshit. This isn’t a court of law. We aren’t in charge of deciding the fate of four gang rapists. Oh, sorry, “alleged” except for the photographic proof gang rapists.

    while danny doesn’t seem to care he’s insulting and condescending to rape survivors on this very thread, it does make it clear that his only real motivation is wanking sexist in public.

  178. WharGarbl says

    @glodson
    #210
    I agree with you on those point. I was just thinking that maybe theft is not a good analogy (theft in general is a fairly minor crime compared to rape).

  179. says

    Happened to my family member once. She hired a housekeeper to help out around the house (mainly to help her father who was ill). Some cash went missing. Called police, the first thing they asked was “Are you sure it’s stolen? Maybe you misplaced it.”

    I think that’s more of a case of an overburdened police force and justice system that can’t be bothered with petty crimes. I don’t want to derail with a whole discussion about what we can or should about that, but suffice it to say that we don’t need to assume a “petty theft culture” that conspires, consciously or unconsciously, to make it easier for petty theft to occur. It’s petty, people don’t want to be bothered or just don’t have the resources to be bothered.

    Rape is the only serious crime in which the victim is blamed, shamed and assumed to be lying. That is rape culture, and people like danielimms perpetuate it by engaging in rape apologetics.

  180. danielimms says

    @197 – Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Funny. Though ‘hysterical’ may have originated in reference to women, it doesn’t these days. It is used commonly to refer to behavior by men and women and has no sexist undertones. Pick 1,000 people at random in the street and tell me 1% know where the word comes from.
    On the other hand, you are using the word ‘testerical’ to be sexist. By using that, you are sexist. I wasn’t being sexist, but that says something not great about you. Your sexism is more than obvious.

  181. says

    If it’s not a criminal issue, won’t that imply that the photograph isn’t sexually explicit (at least sexually explicit enough to be a problem)?

    Or it could be a case of boys will be boys / let’s not make a fuss / she probably consented to it, and then regretted it later / stop bothering us about your slutty daughter’s antics.

    The picture was certainly interesting enough to be circulated and apparently used in connection with a story about her having sex with the boys, which was credible enough to cause complete strangers to call her up and ask for sex and form the basis for long term harassment.

    If we could rely on the police to properly investigate such cases, you could make an argument that the picture probably wasn’t too bad, but since we know the tendency of police to dismiss cases like this, I don’t think we can conclude any such thing.

  182. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    While they’re at it they should give the death penalty to the worst (not all) rapists. Society shouldn’t be forced to look after such people.

    WTF?!?

    Death penalty is a disgrace to any state which practices it, and is absolutely useless as a deterrent.

    What I’d like is to see rapists get punishment and public shaming commensurate with their acts so that this behavior stops.

    I’d also like to see public support, understanding and compassion for victims rather than this absolutely disgusting and pointless examination of what they might have done wrong.

    Or the demeaning questionning of the veracity and even the goddamn motive for the accusation, as in, “she is looking to extract money from him” – which some have advanced in the sexual assault case that implied one of my relatives, despite the inconvenient fact that a condemnation in a criminal court will not bring a fucking cent to his victim.

    What I’d also like to see is proper education on the matter of consent.

    And in some cases, such as my relative who definitely has a severe problem with his sexuality, recognizing that there is a fucking problem, that this is definitely not acceptable behavior, that there is absolutely nothing ah-ah funny about it, and that such people should get treatment.

  183. glodson says

    I’m… a bit confused here. If it’s not a criminal issue, won’t that imply that the photograph isn’t sexually explicit (at least sexually explicit enough to be a problem)? Because if it is, won’t it be a criminal issue just by virtue of someone making an underage pornography?

    Why would you report the picture to the police if you didn’t think it wasn’t criminal? Why would they include the descriptor of underage if there was nothing sexual about it? They could have just said “this picture isn’t illegal” and left it at that. The fact that they said it wasn’t illegal despite the young woman being underage is indicative that it was explicit.

    It is possible it wasn’t, but hell, the fact there are pictures used is still circumstantial. However, if I cede the point, I still have the fact that we have a teen who was heavily intoxicated and who four boys had sex with in that state. No one disputes this. Has such, she was raped given her state at the time.

  184. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Danielimms

    1. No, it’s not. Because I’m not looking for reasons to doubt the story. I want to know why you are so sure of yourself. I would accept any evidence.

    We are so sure that it’s rape because this has fucking happened to many of us. The whole shebang – police not investigating properly (if they even allow you to open a case in the first place and investigate at all!), not “finding enough evidence” (what evidence would they deem sufficient to at least start a proper investigation, including interrogation of the suspects and witnesses?), the community shaming when word gets out that you “allowed” yourself to be raped, tha fact that you’re no longer “pure” so you must be trash, that you’re broken, that you’re damaged because someone hurt you so what does it matter if we damage you more, the rapists getting away with it time after fucking time after fucking time – some of us actually LIVE THAT REALITY. It’s happens to us, our sisters, our friends, our cousins, our nieces, our mothers, our grandmothers, our aunts, our loved ones and we see it happening from a time before we are old enough to actually understand what the fuck is going on.

    2. You haven’t told me what the evidence is, so I’m not refusing to look at it, I just can’t see it. I would love to know what it is. Really.

    The evidence is there was a photograph taken and subsequently distributed online that showed enough of “sexual acts” going on that random doodz would facebook the victim and tell her to have sex with them since she’d had sex with their friends. That shows enough, that’s fucking humiliating enough, that a teenaged girl is harassed to suicide over it even after moving away from her town and school to try to escape her tormentors.

    Then follows glodson’s comment upthread:

    If she was in a state in which she cannot remember, a blackout state, then she is not in a position to give consent. As such, she was raped. So even your rationalization for JAQing off contains the accusation of rape. Way to defend the incompetent police and write a great piece of rape apology.

    And voila.

    So, danielimms, your ball.

    What makes you think there’ wasn’t a rape? No, seriously now. You must have SOME reason. Or do you demand evidence whenever someone tells you they’ve been robbed, or defrauded, or their car was stolen before they are allowed to call something robbery, fraud and theft/hijacking?

  185. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    given all we know about police incompetency vis a vis rape cases, rape culture, victim blaming and the Just World Fallacy, is it really confusing why a sexually explicit photo of an underaged girl being gang raped isn’t considered criminal enough or evidence enough

  186. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still waiting for DL to stop wanking and present evidence to back his claims. Funny how apologists never, ever, back up their claims.

  187. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Though ‘hysterical’ may have originated in reference to women, it doesn’t these days. It is used commonly to refer to behavior by men and women and has no sexist undertones. Pick 1,000 people at random in the street and tell me 1% know where the word comes from.

    here’s a shocker, Sexist danielimms, YOU don’t get to declare something isn’t sexist. Especially not by invoking argumentum ad populum.

    On the other hand, you are using the word ‘testerical’ to be sexist. By using that, you are sexist. I wasn’t being sexist, but that says something not great about you. Your sexism is more than obvious.

    I get that you’re unintelligent, sexist and painfully clueless. There was no need to give us more proof of that. My use of testerical was intentional. Yes, it is sexist. So is hysterical. Because, despite your complete bullshit lie about it being applicable to both sexes, reality proves otherwise.

    Your painful stupidity and sexism is now more obvious.

    Total fail.

  188. Pteryxx says

    2. You haven’t told me what the evidence is, so I’m not refusing to look at it, I just can’t see it. I would love to know what it is. Really.

    At this point I would LOVE to see some evidence that danielimms is actually considering any of the evidence presented in this thread.

  189. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    is it really confusing why a sexually explicit photo of an underaged girl being gang raped isn’t considered criminal enough or evidence enough

    Especially since being uneraged is statutory rape, and all one needs is that penetration took place and the victim is underaged. That should be slam-dunk with the alleged photo….

  190. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    You’ll wait forever, Nerd. Sexist danielimms is very very testerically upset that we didn’t fall on our knees and worship his superior manly Vulcan logic skillz and blame the victim like he wanted, so now all we’re going to get is pointless vanity wanking, more sexism, more stupidity and more whining about ‘reverse sexism’.

  191. chigau (ouch) says

    Pick 1,000 people at random in the street and tell me 1% know where the word comes from.

    [citation needed]

  192. glodson says

    Pick 1,000 people at random in the street and tell me 1% know where the word comes from.

    You are justified because a lot of people are ignorant about the origin of the word?

  193. says

    There’s also the fact that “hysterical” is used to denote someone who is being over-emotional; a quality associated with sexist stereotypes of women.

    Pointing out that the word is used to insult men is not exactly a slam-dunk argument against sexism, when the insult comes from the fact that the men are being compared to women.

  194. danielimms says

    Last post.
    It really is a shame how irrational most of you are. You are blinded by something, because you seem incapable of understanding the English language. You seem to love finding hidden, sexist, rape-apologetic meaning in everything. Well, it’s not there.

    For the record, I wasn’t question the events, I was asking questions about the events. It’s a shame you couldn’t understand that.
    I think the girl was raped and that, along with the bullying that went on were horrible and should be punished in accordance with the law.
    I have never tried to claim the boys innocence, as so many of you like to lie about.
    If the police didn’t do their job, they should be punished in accordance with the law.
    If the law isn’t good enough, it should be changed.
    Even though you are all so sure about guilt, no one has been able to answer my question about the actual evidence in the case, so I guess you don’t know. Fair enough. I don’t think you would make good law enforcement officers, scientists or free thinkers if you don’t value evidence, but… up to you.
    Unless someone was a known, persistent liar, I too would believe them if they said they were raped.
    So my advice to you all, don’t be so quick to judge. Though you probably will continue to do so because many of you seem like real tossers.

  195. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Shorter danielimms; I’m not just a sexist, I’m a misogynstic ass stain. And now I’m going to cowardly run away, since I repeatedly failed.

  196. chigau (ouch) says

    A bit like “cunt” doesn’t have anything to do with female external genitalia.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It really is a shame how irrational most of you are.

    Sorry, you are the only irrational one on this thread. Your inability to acknowledge the truth about the rape culture and your place in it is astounding, showing a complete lack of context.

    So my advice to you all, don’t be so quick to judge.

    Who gives a shit about advice from someone who apologizes for rape, excuses the system when if fails the rape victim? Take your advice and park it where the sun don’t shine, cupcake. Nobody sane with listen to your drivel.

  198. UnknownEric is GrumpyCat in human form says

    Jesus fuck, danielimms, you are one disingenuous shit.

  199. says

    I have never tried to claim the boys innocence, as so many of you like to lie about.

    For the record, I’ll agree that you never outright claimed it. You only repeatedly insinuated it and ignored all the facts that spoke against it, in an effort to JAQ off all over the thread.

    You continue to claim that nobody explained the evidence, even though it has been done over and over again and even your own proposed alternative scenario indicated that it was rape.

    Fuck off and good riddance.

  200. glodson says

    Even though you are all so sure about guilt, no one has been able to answer my question about the actual evidence in the case, so I guess you don’t know. Fair enough. I don’t think you would make good law enforcement officers, scientists or free thinkers if you don’t value evidence, but… up to you.

    Fuck you, you arrogant and useless idiot. You were answered by multiple people, with multiple lines of reasoning.

    Then you said this:

    I never said she was lying, I said she might not have remembered it. If you can’t accept any possiblity that the evidence you haven’t even seen doesn’t show she was raped, then you’re an idiot.

    We have reasons to accept her claim, which you do. But you want to ask victim blaming questions, you wanted all the evidence despite the clear indications that a crime happened, and the victim was failed in a egregious manner. You say we are irrational, yet we have evidence for believing the claim. And this evidence is not just limited to this case, but rather we can go further by examining reasons why women are often reluctant to make the accusation.

    Accepting the Null Hypothesis is fine, but once evidence shows the Null Hypothesis necessitates the rejection of said hypothesis, more evidence is not needed.

    Asking why the police failed is a better question than your crappy rape apology as you JAQ off in your musings and demands for even more evidence, all the while you failed to address anyone’s points countering yours.

    So your assertion that we are irrational is among the stupid things you have said.

  201. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Even though you are all so sure about guilt, no one has been able to answer my question about the actual evidence in the case, so I guess you don’t know. Fair enough. I don’t think you would make good law enforcement officers, scientists or free thinkers if you don’t value evidence, but… up to you.

    Jesus grasshopping keerist on a stick, it’s like I (and many others) never even posted, addressing my posts specifically to danielimms to answer his questions about the actual facts of the case.

    Oi Daniel, you know that everyone reading this can see that we did answer your questions while you answered none of ours, right?

    Right?

  202. says

    It’s unclear exactly what happened because Rehtaeh was drinking vodka and vomiting, but according to CBC, a photograph of Rehtaeh being raped was taken during the night and circulated around Cole Harbour District High School three days later. She started getting bullied on social media and from her classmates. That’s when Rehtaeh told her mother about the rape and they contacted the police.

    Someone underage who’s drunk so much vodka that they are throwing up cannot give consent; therefore if someone had sex with her, it was rape. No “he said/she said.” That raises the question: “who provided her the alcohol?” If the picture was circulating 3 days later, it would have been easy at that time to track the fan-out of that photo online; especially if it was moving around on facebook. Law enforcement has all kinds of ways of accessing facebook data thanks to CALEA and the WOT police-state expansion. A competent investigator would expect to be able to build a fairly complete picture of what happened from cell phone records, sms messages, and facebook ‘private’ messages.

    This took place at someone’s residence. So there are some adults that were hosting underaged drinking. Where did the vodka come from? Whose place was it? Like in Steubenville, there is an army of shadowy people standing on the sidelines, watching and lacking the courage to act, while a young woman was raped and abused over and over again. Like in Steubenville we must remind everyone that this event didn’t take place in a vacuum – there were a lot of bystanders and they aren’t innocent bystanders. Some of them went out of their way to rub salt in the victim’s wounds. Some of them were the grown-ups who hosted the rape in their house.

    I call “bullshit” on the “he said/she said” conclusion of the ‘investigation’ Facebook’s law enforcement compliance office could tell you exactly what information the police asked for. There’s plenty of investigating to do, here, including investigating the police. I look forward to seeing what Anonymous comes up with.

  203. says

    Is danielimms gonna stick the flounce?
     
    I mean, either way they’re a douchenozzle, but at least if they stick the flounce they can claim to have been honest about one fucking thing.

  204. chigau (ouch) says

    Has anytroll ever survived starting with “I didn’t read the previous 100 comments but you should listen to mememe anyway.”?

  205. says

    danielmms:

    For the record, I wasn’t question the events, I was asking questions about the events. It’s a shame you couldn’t understand that.

    No, you were using your questions to cast doubt on the testimony of the victim. From your very first post, you attempted to hide your distrust of the victim’s statements behind, “I’m Just Asking Questions.”

    This kind of hyper-skepticism is often used by folks like you to poison the discussion. I don’t know why you insist on 100% proof, when that is not even required for actual science. There are two competing hypotheses: One: she was raped, and bullied because of that rape, and so distraught she eventually took her own life to end the pain. Two: she made the whole fucking thing up, including the bullying and photograph, and eventually killed herself for kicks.

    Of those two competing hypotheses, only one is supported by the evidence as presented.

    I’m sure there’s a global warming thread that needs your super-skepticism. Your razor-sharp intellect will certainly slice through all the lies of those greedy scientists.

  206. glodson says

    Has anytroll ever survived starting with “I didn’t read the previous 100 comments but you should listen to mememe anyway.”?

    At least it gives us a good indication that they won’t really read the 100 comments following their trollish comment as well.

  207. pyrobryan says

    They told the family that though she was underage, the photographs were not a criminal issue.

    Did I miss something? The way I read that it sounds like they took pictures of themselves having sex with an underage girl and subsequently distributed those pictures. How is that not illegal? Do they have different kiddie porn laws in NS? Or perhaps I’m reading too much in to it.

  208. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    THIS THIS THIS! I cannot understand, between victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and abortion-condemning, how people do not understand that a person’s body is inherently her/his own property. This means that she/he can do whatever the fuck she/he wants with it (barring infringement upon another’s bodily autonomy), and only with a person’s express permission does anyone else have a right to interact with that body.
     
    How is this simple concept not understood?

    Why, because history and cultural programming say that it just isn’t so; that it has never been so. A female is the property of her father…her brother/s…her husband…to bestow at their will; this is the essence of it. There’s still a perception, for instance, illustrated in various media, that a man should ask a woman’s father’s permission to marry her. Oh, it’s sloooooowly coming unravelled, but it’s still there. A hero’s fee for saving the kingdom from Some Horrible Monster, in books and movies and television widely considered appropriate for children, is “half of the kingdom and the princess’ hand in marriage“. And if the Handsome Prince rescues the Princess, then she marries him and “lives happily ever after”. Programming.
     
    History states that “to the victors go the spoils”, and that includes any and all grieving widows and now-fatherless daughters, to be raped on the spot, or carried off for more leisurely rapage. Occupying armies may make free with the females among the occupied. Real-life princesses were bartered between kings for trade concessions, or a peace treaty. And those kingdoms were often not inheritable by females, unless there were just no male heirs to be had in preference. At lower social levels, property was often not inheritable by females, either.
     
    Programming. From cradle to grave.
    -

  209. says

    @danielimms

    And by the way, studies have shown activity in the emotional pathways of the brain to inhibit the more rational pathways. So try not to get worked up. Think about what I’m actually saying.

    Where’s your evidence for this?

    Do you have the courage to respond to the people who have explained to you how accusations of “hysteria” and “being emotional” work? Can you show that you understand this?

    All moral reasoning is emotionally motivated. All of it. When you hopped in here to “just ask questions” in order to “form an opinion”, what was your motivation? It was an emotional one. You were dismayed/annoyed/upset because you thought that people were being hysterical without sufficient evidence. Why does this upset you enough to comment and challenge what you think of as hysteria? Why does the specific issue of rape provoke you to respond?

    You admit to not knowing the local laws, so you’re obviously not motivated enough to look into that. But you’re motivated enough to comment here and accuse people of irrational behavior. There was a picture of the crime, and the victim was unable to consent. You don’t consider that enough evidence? Why not?

  210. Joel Pelletier says

    As a long time lurker and reader of the Pharyngula comment section it always pisses me off when people like danielimms insist that everyone is being irrational while continuously repeating an objection that was answered very thoroughly and coherently by several posters multiple times.

  211. WharGarbl says

    @glodson
    #218

    Why would you report the picture to the police if you didn’t think it wasn’t criminal? Why would they include the descriptor of underage if there was nothing sexual about it? They could have just said “this picture isn’t illegal” and left it at that. The fact that they said it wasn’t illegal despite the young woman being underage is indicative that it was explicit.

    I’m just trying to wrap my mind around the fact of this quote from the article…
    “They told the family that though she was underage, the photographs were not a criminal issue.”
    … and then trying to reconcile these two statements.
    1. It’s a photo showing a rape.
    2. It has a photo showing an underage girl being raped (or at the very least engaged in an sex act if it doesn’t legally amount to rape).
    3. The photographs were not criminal (unless I misunderstood what it mean by “not a criminal issue).
    How… how the hell do you have a photograph SHOWING an underage girl being raped without it amounting to child-pornography!
    Unless Canada has some very bizarre threshold for what constitute child pornography, something like “It’s considered an sexual act when it showed orfice penetration and/or genetalia. Dry humping or implied sex under cover doesn’t count.”

    It is possible it wasn’t, but hell, the fact there are pictures used is still circumstantial. However, if I cede the point, I still have the fact that we have a teen who was heavily intoxicated and who four boys had sex with in that state. No one disputes this. Has such, she was raped given her state at the time.

    I fully agree with that. I was just… trying… to… wrap… my… mind around the concept that there’s such thing as a photograph showing/implying underage rape without it also being a prosecutable child pornography case.

  212. glodson says

    @ WharGarbl

    Honestly, I don’t know their rationale. Now, we have reason to believe these are explicit photos. But explicit how? Stages of undress or worse? And even worse, part of the justification for not charging could be the bias of the police. Investigators do tend to be biased against claims of rape, and so in their bias, they are already dismissing the claim of rape, and so the photos, even if sexual, aren’t photographic evidence of rape, in their minds.

    But without a full explanation of the rationale behind not charging based on the photos and absent the photos, I have no idea what they were thinking. Other than, I would just chalk it up as another failure.

  213. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    it always pisses me off when people like danielimms insist that everyone is being irrational while continuously repeating an objection that was answered very thoroughly and coherently by several posters multiple times.

    Agreed, but the best part about that is that these sorts of trolls are also pants-pissing cowards who run away after a brief period of losing horribly and embarrassing themselves.

  214. says

    I would guess that it’s a case where it wasn’t clear from the picture that it wasn’t consensual and the whole thing was dismissed with a “she’s just a slut who regretted it in the morning.”
    Even if it was taken seriously, since the perpetrators were the same age as the victim, it may have been judged that it would be difficult to get a conviction.

  215. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    Students, teachers, parents, police; everybody judged that this was normal, decent behavior, at least to the degree that they didn’t report it or did anything about it.

    IMO, not so much that they judged it to be “normal, decent behavior”, as a combination of “done is done; water under the bridge”, “well, boys and their hormones, you know how it is!”, “don’t make waves; it will only show (name of group/institution) in a bad light if it gets out”, and the usual “she asked for it! (by her behavior, dress, presence, etc.)”.
    -

    If the police had that evidence, don’t you think it likely they would arrest someone?

    I find your faith in the police…disturbing.
     
    Make that, “laughably naive”.
    *reading further*
    Ah. He’s (allegedly) left. A positive good.
    -

  216. tariqata says

    LykeX@251:

    As far as I understand Canadian sexual assault laws (and I am not a lawyer, admittedly), any non-consensual sexual contact is defined as ‘sexual assault’; there are three levels of sexual assault depending on the severity of force used to initiate the contact and degree of injury to the victim. the law is quite explicit that a person who is intoxicated cannot consent. I don’t believe that age would have come into it, except that sentencing for the perpetrators would be guided by the Young Offender’s Act if they were under 18.

    I can accept that a photograph might not provide clear evidence that sexual contact was non-consensual – particularly if the victim was passed out – but I can’t accept that apparently, as far as the RCMP is concerned, something more than the victim’s statement that she did not consent is necessary to lay charges. The message that seems to send is that despite having what in my view is a strong statement in the letter of the law that all unwanted sexual contact is criminal behaviour and should never be tolerated, the chances of a prosecution (not even a conviction) are very slim, except in the most violent cases. We need to work on that.

  217. kate_waters : So Vile That I Offer Helpful Advice. says

    I want to add something here that might make that rat-bastard rape apologist who is polluting this thread shut his foul mouth and fuck off.

    I grew up in Nova Scotia. This took place in what I will always consider my home. I know what it’s like there. I know what the people are like, the culture, the values.

    So danielimms, shit the fuck up and listen to someone tell you how it really is down home:

    Nova Scotia is not some liberal bastion of shining moral decency. It’s a bible-thumping, bass-ackwards place. The good ol’ boys network is alive and well. The attitude of “boys will be boys” is not just the norm, it’s ACTIVELY encouraged. You would be hard pressed to find an adult female who HASN’T, at some point, been exposed to assault or harassment which was minimized, hushed up, or outright denied by police, politicians or other authority figures.

    The police there are BEYOND corrupt. That you think they ought to be believed when they state they “investigated for a year” is fucking laughable, you dunder-headed chucklefuck.

    You claim to speak about the place of my birth and he land of my heart as if you know it. Honey, you don’t know jack-fucking-SQUAT.

    That girl was assaulted. The same way girls are assaulted there every fucking day. They see no justice. They’re made to feel ashamed, sullied, broken, unwanted and unloved.

    You think the American South is a bunch of religious nutbags? Ha! They’ve got nothing on good ol’ NS. There’s at LEAST a church on every corner. Sunday shopping was a hotly contested issue until it was finally allowed to happen in 2006. 2006!!!! To this day it’s still frowned upon… at least until after you’ve praised Jesus.

    You think you know what it’s like there, or can say you think you know better than others how it is?

    You have no clue, cupcake. You’re an asshole. You’re a fucking pompous windbag. You’re an idiot of the highest order.

    Glad you fucked off. Hope you stick the landing on your flounce you shitstain.

  218. kate_waters : So Vile That I Offer Helpful Advice. says

    Let me also say this:

    The place I come from is a study in contradictions.

    Grey green ocean against steel grey clouds back by scrub pine and salt marsh. Blue-so-blue skies against rolling, lush hills and dazzlingly bright lakes. Cold winds that could rip the skin off you roaring in over winter breakers that violently toss boulders as large as cars onto the shore and gentle salt breezes over lapping rivulets of foamy waves washing the time-smoothed rocks to a glossy shine in baking summer heat.

    People who are, in some places, so poor that they don’t have electricity or running water without a well pump who would gladly take you in and make you kin, feeding you, clothing you, putting their own roof over your head and loving you as their own for the simple reason that it’s the right thing to do contrasted with people with everything they could ever want who will shoot your ass full of rock salt for stepping over their property line and daring to pollute their manicured gardens, lawns or white stone drives with your unworthy poor-trash feet.

    It has world-class universities and yet there is a fair segment of the population which would be considered functionally illiterate.

    The divide between the haves and the have-nots is HUGE. The divide between liberal and conservative even more so.

    Things there are still done “the old way”. Palms get greased, blind-eyes are turned, and anything thought to be “less than wholesome” is quickly hushed up. You speak out? They’ll burn your house down. Trash your car. Kill your dog.

    Go against the community and you’ll quickly find yourself in a world of trouble the likes of which you only see in crappy movies about the 40′s.

    If you’re a woman who’s been assaulted you had best hope you’re in good standing in the community and that you’re in one of the larger ones. If you’re a man? You’re likely to be further abused, targeted, shunned or outright ostracized because “only faggots and women get themselves raped”.

    Nova Scotia is a heartbreakingly beautiful place. The people there are some of the best people I have ever known in my life, but the culture there has been irretrievably broken from the start.

    What happened to this poor girl is something that happens there all the damn time. Finally, though, people are waking up and at least starting to talk about it.

    I hold out no hope that it’s going to change any time soon. It’s going to take a very long time for it to get measurably better, but as long as people keep talking about it there’s hope.

  219. Gregory Greenwood says

    Well, these events amount to one more reason to be disgusted by my own species. I would like to be able to say that it beggars belief that this can keep on happening in this day and age, but sadly that simply isn’t the case. With the poison of rape culture being so all pervasive as it is, it is no surprise at all that these horrifying rapes keep happening.

    It is equally unsurprising (though monstrously unjust and cause to despair for the future of humanity) that it is the victim that is shamed and humiliated until she commits suicide, but the rapists suffer no consequences for their actions at all. Apprently, ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘she was asking for it’ now amount to absolute defences in the eyes of all too many societies.

    And it is still less surprising that prating, misogynistic arseholes like danielimms practically line up to excuse the rapists and insist to everyone that their endeavour to create the illusion that they hold some twisted pseudo-moral high ground is far more important than the mere rape and subsequent suicide of a woman.

    Can I jump ship to another species with you, PZ? I don’t know if I can stomach the label ‘human’ for much longer when I have to share it with such people.

  220. mythbri says

    @Gregory Greenwood

    One tiny quibble with your otherwise excellent comment:

    Apprently, ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘she was asking for it’ now amount to absolute defences in the eyes of all too many societies.

    Now? Always.

    It’s just that now we’re aware that it’s wrong, and trying to change it.

  221. WharGarbl says

    @tariqata
    #253

    I can accept that a photograph might not provide clear evidence that sexual contact was non-consensual – particularly if the victim was passed out – but I can’t accept that apparently, as far as the RCMP is concerned, something more than the victim’s statement that she did not consent is necessary to lay charges. The message that seems to send is that despite having what in my view is a strong statement in the letter of the law that all unwanted sexual contact is criminal behaviour and should never be tolerated, the chances of a prosecution (not even a conviction) are very slim, except in the most violent cases. We need to work on that.

    I don’t think the bolded part could be solved easily.
    There’s always the argument that “She consented at the time.” or “She was sober at the time and consented.” With that statement, it became an “He said, she said” issue.

    In this case, however, there’s photographic evidence that MIGHT have provided the lack of consent (showing that she was drunk). Even then, the defense can still argue that she gave consent before she got drunk.

    However, there are witnesses. So if even one or two of them are willing to testify that she didn’t give consent, she could have gotten justice.

  222. WharGarbl says

    @Gregory Greenwood
    #256

    Can I jump ship to another species with you, PZ?

    I think rape is common among some other species: ducks, dolphins, chimpanzees to name a few.
    So I don’t think jumping ship to another species would necessarily solve the rape problem.

  223. mythbri says

    @WharGarbl

    Maybe not, but then I’ve never seen a dolphin, chimpanzee or duck claim that she was asking for it.

  224. glodson says

    I think rape is common among some other species: ducks, dolphins, chimpanzees to name a few.
    So I don’t think jumping ship to another species would necessarily solve the rape problem.

    The rape problem will never be solved. The problem is the rape culture that provides shelter for the rapists. We, as humans, actually know that rape is deplorable and yet have measures to ensure protection to the rapist while punishing the victim.

  225. says

    I think rape is common among some other species: ducks, dolphins, chimpanzees to name a few.

    When the chimps start doing it, taking pictures, and mocking the victim on facebook, then maybe it’ll be time to deal with it.

    Chimps can be pretty cruel but I don’t think they’re that cruel.

  226. Richard Smith says

    danielimms (#188):

    Now, I don’t know what was in the photo. One person? Two? Sex act or not? Clothed or not? I don’t know and I don’t want to see it.

    danielimms (#193):

    You haven’t told me what the evidence is, so I’m not refusing to look at it, I just can’t see it. I would love to know what it is. Really. [...] But again, I really don’t know what the evidence is. I don’t see where it has been provided. I would really like to know it. And you’re not providing it.

    “There isn’t any evidence! Show me this evidence! I won’t look at it! I’m not refusing to look at it!” No contradictions there. Nosiree!

    danielimms seems to think that evidence is like the monsters under the bed. If you pretend it’s not there long enough, it’ll go away. It works for monsters because, well, they weren’t there to begin with. It doesn’t work for evidence because reality.

  227. Gregory Greenwood says

    mythbri @ 257;

    Now? Always.

    It’s just that now we’re aware that it’s wrong, and trying to change it.

    A fair point. As you say, this attitude is nothing new, but in some ways it is getting worse rather than better. We should know better now, but the voices of male privilege seem as load and influential as ever. What depresses me is the sheer amount of pushback we are getting – how can anyone see how toxic our society is, how riddled with rape culture and rape apologia, and not only not see it as a gross injustice, but treat those who are simply asserting that women are human too and deserve to be treated as more than disposeable living sex toys as the evil enemies of civilisation? It is simply beyond me that anyone can think like that.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    WharGarbl @ 259;

    I think rape is common among some other species: ducks, dolphins, chimpanzees to name a few.
    So I don’t think jumping ship to another species would necessarily solve the rape problem.

    As pointed out by other posters, other species rape, but none of them have entire cultural systems dedicated to excusing that rape and shaming and tormenting the victims.

    No other species has a rape culture, and it is the problem of rape culture that (I hope) can be solved one day.

  228. kate_waters : So Vile That I Offer Helpful Advice. says

    @Chris # 262:

    Oh my. Yes. Well then. *ahem*

  229. WharGarbl says

    @Gregory Greenwood
    #265

    As pointed out by other posters, other species rape, but none of them have entire cultural systems dedicated to excusing that rape and shaming and tormenting the victims.

    Um… I don’t think you need rape culture if rape is considered perfectly normal activity.
    I don’t think those species known for rape punishes rapist either.

  230. shala says

    I was livid when I saw this in my local newspaper this morning. As a resident Nova Scotian, I believed that even though our province’s culture is absolutely awful in some ways, that nothing this rotten could ever happen.

    I knew our school system was full of bullying thugs who would never, ever be reprimanded. I just didn’t know how vile they could really get.

  231. says

    Here’s Wikipedia’s entry on Canada’s child pornography law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography_laws_in_Canada Short version: Any visual image depicting a real or fictional person under 18 engaged in explicit sexual activity is child porn unless artistic, medical, scientific, or educational justification can be provided and accepted by a court. So it doesn’t matter whether Ms. Parsons consented or not, a photo of her involved in sex is child porn. I doubt you could provide an artistic or other justification for a cell phone picture of teens having sex not being child porn under the current law.

  232. AtheistPowerlifter says

    I live in Halifax, where this happened. There hadn’t been a whiff of this in the news until Rehtaeh took her own life.

    This is a link to a letter Rehtaeh’s Dad sent to our local paper, the Chronicle Herald.
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1122650-rehtaeh-parsons-was-my-daughter.

    I got about half way through it, and couldn’t read anymore.

    On a positive note – at least on the news comments and radio talk shows (where this story has dominated the past few days) – the community seems to overwhelmingly support the family…I haven’t heard any victim blaming. The police have been condemned for their apparent incompetence in handling the initial rape allegations and subsequent bullying.

    There’s also a CBC news article about our Justice Ministers (Landry) cowardice and ineptitude…he at first refused to sanction a public inquiry into the lack of action by law enforcement to lay charges in the rape (it was treated as “moderate bullying”)…after a public outcry he changed his mind (practically overnight):
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/04/10/ns-reteah-parsons-father.html.

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1122616-landry-it-s-never-too-late-to-do-the-right-thing.

    I am embarrassed and horrified by these events.

    AP

    And @Kate Waters #255

    Things there are still done “the old way”. Palms get greased, blind-eyes are turned, and anything thought to be “less than wholesome” is quickly hushed up. You speak out? They’ll burn your house down. Trash your car. Kill your dog.

    Go against the community and you’ll quickly find yourself in a world of trouble the likes of which you only see in crappy movies about the 40′s.

    Hmm…yeah I’m not sure we live in the same province…or at least I have never visited where you live. Nova Scotia is no different than anywhere else where “small town/small cities” dominate the landscape. But hey maybe I need to get out more (I’ll keep my dog inside…yeesh).

  233. unclefrogy says

    look one who searches for facts up above there was a photo of a group of young people I take it that they were connected to this rape case. It takes no great genius in criminal law to understand that if these are the people involved including the deceased victim her self that they new that for obvious reasons that are plainly visible in the faces that the police and the prosecutors new it would be a hard case to win. go take a look and then you might find another aspect with rape prosecutions there are some victims who are believed and some rapist who believed and some that are not.
    this case seems a very good example of how bad it really is.
    “stop the world let me off there are too many pigs in the same trough”

    uncle frogy

  234. says

    This is a link to a letter Rehtaeh’s Dad sent to our local paper, the Chronicle Herald.
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1122650-rehtaeh-parsons-was-my-daughter.

    I got about half way through it, and couldn’t read anymore.

    I read the whole thing. Very powerful. I hope danielimms reads it too, so he can realize what fucking scumbag he is for defending these rapist assholes.

    Go read that danielimms, go read the words from her own father about how the justice system failed his daughter. Go argue with him about the evidence in the case. FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING SCUMBAG!!

    I am so fucking pissed right now.

  235. mythbri says

    @AtheistPowerLifter

    Thank you for linking to the letter from Rehtaeh’s father.

    I cried. What a tragedy, and what a failure of the people who were supposed to get her some semblance of justice or protection.

  236. AtheistPowerlifter says

    @ Erik #273

    Sorry Erik I apologize – I should have warned that his letter would affect people.

    It absolutely crushed me that her Dad is calling for vigilantes (ex: anonymous group) to back off.

    That he is still able to have compassion speaks to his integrity. I would find out who these boys were and burn their fucking world down.

    AP

  237. AtheistPowerlifter says

    Thanks @Mythri #274

    The community at large seems stunned by the apparent incompetence in the handling of this case.

    I hope there is some measure of justice in the future for her family.

    AP

    PS – As a dog lover, I was moved to tears by the family’s insistence that any donations for the family be redirected to the SPCA where Rehtaeh volunteered…in reading about this remarkable young woman it seems the care and well being of abandoned and neglected animals was a priority for her. It would have been a fine thing to have met and known her. My wife and I are making a small donation in her name tomorrow.

    Cheers.

  238. says

    From AtheistPowerlifter‘s link:

    How is it possible for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime? What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t enough?

    Imagine that a some white, godfearin’ businessman had got drunk at a xmas party and that group of youths had thought it funny to mug him and post the whole thing on the internet. Would the RCMP be crying over “he-said she-said” lack of evidence? Or brand it a case of minor bullying? Would the perpetrators get let off with a chuckle and a pat on the back?

  239. Pteryxx says

    Reviews may be happening:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/04/11/ns-rehtaeh-anonymous-hackers.html

    Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has appointed four government departments to look into the death of teenager Rehtaeh Parsons, who was taken off life support following a suicide attempt after she was allegedly bullied for months.

    The 17-year-old died Sunday, and her mother, Leah Parsons, alleges Rehtaeh was raped by four boys who took photos of the incident, which she says sparked bullying and harassment.

    No charges have been laid.

    Dexter has promised a timely and thorough response and review of the events surrounding the 17-year-old’s death.

    “I will do everything in my power to create a community that is equipped to prevent these situations, rather than a community that struggles to find a way to deal with them,” said Dexter.

    Initially, provincial Justice Minister Ross Landry said his department couldn’t second-guess every police investigation, but late on Tuesday, he said he was giving officials in his department approval to review the case, and present him with options by the end of the week.

    Also in that article, some statements from Anonymous.

    —-

    What can we all do about rape culture?

    http://feministing.com/2013/04/10/rehteah-parsons-is-dead/

    Organize your neighborhood or school against rape culture: run consent education workshops and recruit participants to pledge their stance against violence. March, demonstrate, to publicly prove to all that those who inflict violence on others will not be supported or included by your community. Every time a publication runs a piece promoting rape culture, write a letter in response. Reject slut-shaming and victim-blaming of all forms. Loudly. Model respect for others’ bodily autonomy and stand up for your own in everyday situations to promote a culture of consent. Intervene if you see a dangerous situation developing, and teach others to do the same. Combat the transmission of rape culture from one generation to the next: teach kids to be better than we are. Don’t invite rapists to your parties (I can’t believe I even have to say that, but I do). Make sure survivors in your area have somewhere to turn for justice and support, and to stop their rapists from re-offending. If this resource doesn’t exist, create it. Refuse to tolerate speech that promotes rape; speak up even–no, especially–when to do so would be rude. Listen to a survivor when no one else will.

    What do you do to stop rape culture? How will you honor Rehteah Parsons and create a world without violence?

    Links to an article on bystander intervention training: http://feministing.com/2013/03/26/who-are-you-bystander-intervention-as-another-means-to-end-sexual-violence/

  240. says

    AtheistPowerlifter
    Horrid or not, that was a great opinion piece. I think it might work well as an introduction for people who aren’t familiar with these things. E.g.

    We treat individual cases like that of Steubenville’s Jane Doe as if they happen in a vacuum, failing to recognize that these assaults are symptomatic of much greater societal flaws. We do not recognize the larger problem; we tell women not to walk alone at night while failing to address the circumstances that make it unsafe for them to do so.

  241. Pteryxx says

    Following up on bystander intervention resources – here’s a very readable summary of campus bystander training.

    http://savp.vassar.edu/facts/bystander-intervention.html

    4. Attempts to Help (See Tips for Intervening and Bystander Playbook below)

    Whether this is to help the person leave the situation, confront a behavior, diffuse a situation, or call for other support/security.

    The best way bystanders can assist in creating an empowering climate free of interpersonal violence is to diffuse the problem behaviors before they escalate.

    Educate yourself about interpersonal violence AND share this info with friends
    Confront friends who make excuses for other peoples abusive behavior
    Speak up against racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes or remarks

    Tips for Intervening

    In a situation potentially involving sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking:

    Approach everyone as a friend
    Do not be antagonistic
    Avoid using violence
    Be honest and direct whenever possible
    Recruit help if necessary
    Keep yourself safe
    If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police

  242. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    “Ross Landry’s reversal of his decision [to] not investigate this case after a media blitz is clearly an indication that his sudden interest is purely an act of public relations damage-control,” the release said about Nova Scotia’s justice minister.

    Prexactly. Why get all excited about it…unless it starts to smell?
    -

  243. Pteryxx says

    WTF! Another?!

    DAMMIT…

    “The family has been trying to understand why their loving daughter would have taken her life at such a young age and to make sure that those responsible would be held accountable,” said family attorney Robert Allard.

    “After an extensive investigation that we have conducted on behalf of the family, there is no doubt in our minds that the victim, then only 15 years old, was savagely assaulted by her fellow high school students while she lay on a bed completely unconscious.”

    Allard said students used cell phones to share photos of the attack, and that the images went viral.

    The article says the family decided to go public. (Also that suspects have been arrested.) I would guess, because rapes like this are so bloody common, that this case would’ve just been part of the background noise if not for Rehtaeh’s story gaining attention at the same time.

  244. says

    Caine @113:
    I’ve mulled this over throughout the day. Your comment, as well as rereading what Brive1987 initially said, have given me pause. I know that I am capable of making snap judgements. I know that I can be, and frequently *am*, wrong. I have wrestled with his response, as well as mine, and yours. I have not come to a firm conclusion, as there is still uncertainty in me. I do feel, having given it some thought, that I should state, unequivocally:

    brive I apologize for saying you are sick.

    That was uncalled for and categorically wrong.

    There is much I may not comprehend about the specifics of your desire to protect your daughter, but given several of your comments, I have no grounds to doubt your sincere desire to protect her. Given my lack of confidence in what I previously thought, I withdraw everything I stated @ #102.

  245. tariqata says

    The RCMP is re-opening the case: “The news came after the hacktivist group Anonymous claimed police have been provided with an incriminating statement from someone alleged to have committed sexual assault against the teen who hanged herself last week following months of bullying.”

  246. thumper1990 says

    @AtheistPowerLifter

    Fuck, that letter was difficult to read. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Thanks for sharing, though.

    Fuck, those little bastards had better end up in jail.

  247. says

    Really, what’s the point of a police force if average citizens can do their job better?

    Depends on what you think their job is. If you believe that the police exist to investigate crimes and pursue criminals, then you’re right, they don’t do that very well. If, and I must say the evidence strongly suggests this, the job of the police is to make sure nobody interferes with the lives of the very rich, then this particular crime is totally irrelevant to them.

    Heck, it sounds from outside New York like the N.Y.P.D. is basically a street gang with training and state licensing, just as the C.I.A. — from every single thing they’ve ever been revealed to be involved in — is basically a Mafia family with funding and protection from the state.