[Lounge #413] »« Nightmare fuel: Kermit Gosnell exposed

But…but…those boys’ lives will be ruined!

Just another 15 year old girl getting gang-raped by some of her peers, just a few boys proudly taking photos of their rape victim and passing them around on their cellphones, just another episode of bullying and torment, and just another girl killing herself. Tragic, but we’re done now — she’s dead and not complaining any more. Those boy rapists need to get on with their lives.

But wait. What’s this? The police actually arrested three high school boys who perpetrated the crime? Think of the potential being lost! Those boys might have grown up to become investment bankers, used car salesmen, or Boy Scout troop leaders, and now they’ll have a few years as wards of the juvenile court system, and will probably have their records locked away when they turn 21…oh. I guess they can still fulfill their destiny then. But the inconvenience!

That girl, Audrey Pott, though…she would have just grown up to be a woman. Don’t we have enough of those already?

I have to say, though, that I can still hope the recent high-profile cases that all sound so tragically similar might someday have an effect on the culture. Boys might, after a few years, learn not to take cell phone pictures of their rapes.

What? You thought I’d suggest that boys might learn not to rape? Silly optimist. Get real.

(Please note: Sarcasm turned up to nearly lethal levels in the above post. I’m now dialing it down to tolerable levels before the sarcasmal lobe of my brain melts.)

Comments

  1. glodson says

    Just maybe, maybe, some people will get it through their heads to talk about the problems with the rapists and not try and talk about what the victim could do differently.

    Yet somehow, if by magic, when one suggests the onus is on the rapists to not rape, there’s going to be people wanting to talk about what the victims could do better.

  2. blitzgal says

    In the thread about Rehtaeh Parsons, a troll kept trying to argue that “obviously the photo wasn’t graphic” because otherwise the guys wouldn’t have taken and shared it. How many of these cases do we have to see before rape apologists finally admit that’s bullshit? There was that gang rape outside of a homecoming dance (I believe that was also in California) that was photographed and recorded and witnessed by dozens of people, and no one did a fucking thing to stop it. There was a gang rape in Canada at a rave that was photographed and recorded and witnessed by dozens of people, and no one did a fucking thing to stop it.

    Those are just two more that I can remember off the top of my head. The bragging and celebration of the crime is an integral part of the degradation of the victim. Of course they’re willing to photograph and videotape it.

  3. thumper1990 says

    I’m trying desperately to see a silver lining here and be happy that these three little pricks actually got arrested…

  4. glodson says

    Those are just two more that I can remember off the top of my head. The bragging and celebration of the crime is an integral part of the degradation of the victim. Of course they’re willing to photograph and videotape it.

    And if they believe they aren’t going to be punished for it, they have no reason not to. The sickening part is that this attitude is somewhat justified with the horrible failures of our legal system in dealing with rape.

  5. d.f.manno says

    Obviously they weren’t athletes. Being able to throw, catch or kick a ball confers immunity from sexual assault charges.

  6. says

    It must be a bit nerve-wracking to live under the shadow of the hammer that’s (hopefully) about to fall on those boys. On the other hand, their actions summoned that hammer. So, as the “demotivation” meme says:
    Failure: Perhaps the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others

    I’ve been rather closely following the anons’ investigation of Rehtaeh Parson’s killers and apparently they’re so comfortable living under the shadow of the hammer that they’ve actually been talking back to the Anons and acknowledging the situation. They profoundly Do Not Get It, in other words. If there’s a “social darwin award” these guys are candidates.

  7. mudskipper says

    Comment left on the CBS news site for this story, which shows a picture of Audrey Pott:

    Dayumn thats her? I would of hit it too….what a waste of beauty killing herself like that….”

  8. says

    blitzgal: brings to mind this post at yesmeansyes, which makes a very good case for exactly what you’re saying [TRIGGER WARNING FOR DISCUSSION OF GANG RAPES AT THE LINK]:

    One other thing they have in common: nothing about them seemed like they were oriented around physical sexual stimulation for the boys. The key, driving dynamic was a shared group experience of sexual humiliation of the girl.

    I’m nauseous. I want this shit to stop, but sometimes it feels…hopeless.

  9. burgundy says

    You know things have gotten bad when I start reading posts/articles about situations like this and think “oh, I’ve already read this” and then see the girl’s name and realize that no, I haven’t, this is a new one.

  10. thumper1990 says

    And in the story PZ links to, obviously there’s a woman asking why the parents didn’t know where she was and why she chose to “drink herself into oblivion”. After making clear that the rapists are primarily to blame, obviously.

    Ugh. I’ve had a word, who wants to take bets on what reaction I’ll get?

  11. Pteryxx says

    In the thread about Rehtaeh Parsons, a troll kept trying to argue that “obviously the photo wasn’t graphic” because otherwise the guys wouldn’t have taken and shared it. How many of these cases do we have to see before rape apologists finally admit that’s bullshit?

    About that… (this is about Rehtaeh)

    Not everyone who saw the photo thought it was a joke, said former Cole Harbour High student Victoria Boutilier, who was friends with Rehtaeh in middle school.

    When asked if she and those she knew thought they were looking at an image of a rape, she nodded emphatically: “Yes.”

    “It’s horrible,” said the 16-year-old. “Just the fact that no one actually took it seriously just, like, pisses me off.”

    She said she’s not entirely surprised by the alleged sexual assault or the reaction to it in the community.

    Boutilier said she knows of one other person who had a similar experience to what Rehtaeh described.

    Chronicle Herald quoted in ThinkProgress

  12. blitzgal says

    I’m nauseous. I want this shit to stop, but sometimes it feels…hopeless.

    Yes, the social bonding aspect of it is indisputable and horrifying. I think that we still need to dismantle this cultural attitude that men are people and women are not, and that sex is something that men “win” or “take” from women, who as passive participants are tasked with “protecting” themselves from it. People keep wanting to pretend that’s no longer part of our culture, but it SO fucking IS. And every anti-feminist who sneeringly misquotes Andrea Dworkin need to take another clear look at what she was actually saying about how sex is framed in our culture.

  13. says

    It’s sickening that women and girls are so undervalued in this society that boys are growing up thinking that this is acceptable behaviour. I opened this thinking that it was about Rehtaeh Parsons; I was horrified when I realised it was another almost identical case. Shit like this is why it’s so important that we teach children (especially boys) about consent.

  14. says

    THis shit is disgusting. Hopefully the news doesn’t lionize these rapists like it did the Steubenville ones, given that there’s a identified victim to talk about. Then again, that victim was a woman, which means she’s not as important.

  15. says

    It’d be nice if some high-powered prosecutors would pro-bono some civil suits against these clowns. The standards of evidence for a civil suit are different (and passing around pictures might do the trick) – that’d change the situation from “you get a criminal record that is expunged when you become an adult” to “you, and the people who hosted a party with underage drinking and rape are financial grease-stains for the rest of your lives.” In the case of the Steubenville rape, the coaches who said they’d fix things ought to be under the shadow of the hammer if there’s civil suits. I live near Penn State (State College) and from the little bits I hear (I generally ignore football) the financial punishment from the Paterno/Sandusky case is going to be devastating and long-lasting. I wonder if long-lasting financial devastation might get through to people a bit better than seeing someone get “disappeared” into the criminal judicial system? It’s certainly one way of getting people to understand that it’s not just the guys who committed the rape that are under the shadow of the hammer.

  16. moarscienceplz says

    Those boys might have grown up to become investment bankers, used car salesmen, or Boy Scout troop leaders,

    or Congressmen.

  17. says

    Those boys might have grown up to become investment bankers, used car salesmen, or Boy Scout troop leaders,

    They still might, as long as their identities are protected. That’s one thing valuable I think Anonymous’ involvement brings to these situations – it may counteract the fact that it will be impossible to google “Rehtaeh Parsons” without learning about her horrible abuse and death, but (and I am sure this is temporary) a prospective employer or voter could still google the rapists’ names and find out that they’re football stars, or whatever – not that they’re the creeps who destroyed another person and laughed while they were doing it.

  18. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’d love to be glad that at least this time the rapists got arrested, but I can’t help being horrified and repulsed at the message these cases could be sending to young rape victims.

    “We only care after you kill yourself”

  19. WharGarbl says

    @Maureen Brian
    #21

    The fact that once in a blue moon the prosecuting authorities – this time in the UK – get it right and even increase a lenient sentence proves that it can be done. Next question: why is it not always done?

    Assuming good motives, I say they’re doing the right thing and should push for this more.
    Although reading a bit into it… their motives might not be too… positive.
    From the article: “The Iranian immigrant was ordered to sign on the sex offenders register on sentencing and faces a deportation application on release.”
    So… worst case motives, the reason this is pushed is because it’s a near equivalent of a black on white rape in US.
    Rape is fine, unless it’s a black/hispanic/red man on their precious white woman.

  20. frog says

    Those boys might have grown up to become investment bankers, used car salesmen, or Boy Scout troop leaders

    –>Don’t be ridiculous. They were clearly headed for either the priesthood or being a sports coach.

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

    “We only care after you kill yourself”

    And after we receive enough negative public attention that it makes us look really bad, and, despite our best efforts, it just doesn’t stay swept under the carpet.
    -

  22. frog says

    WharGarbl @23: “Rape is fine, unless it’s a black/hispanic/red man on their precious white woman.”

    Indeed. I often wonder if the only reason the Steubenville case went forward was because one of the boys was black. I wonder how many ways the prosecution had to stand on their heads trying to figure out how to target just him, but ultimately couldn’t unless they went after the white guy, too.

    I also couldn’t get past wondering if the Sandusky case would have been as thoroughly prosecuted if the victims had been girls.

  23. blitzgal says

    Although the rapists identities in the Nova Scotia case do not appear to have been made public just yet, I have seen a lot of racist commentary in certain circles because it appears that they are black. People in the community obviously know who they are because many people have seen the image taken that night.

  24. WharGarbl says

    @frog
    #26

    I also couldn’t get past wondering if the Sandusky case would have been as thoroughly prosecuted if the victims had been girls.

    You know, I never thought about that.
    Although I would still guess yes, adult male preying on younger people appears to be pursued fairly often (fairly often compared to other rape cases). Of course, I don’t have exact statistics.
    Not sure about the adult female on younger male rape thou (the “You’re one lucky boy” thing).

  25. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    It’s funny how when kids make noise in a movie theater or act rude in public you often hear the refrain about how “parents just don’t raise their children right these days.” But when they commit rape, the way they were raised is suddenly completely irrelevant. The implication being that proper parenting could be used to address the former, but (heaven forbid) not the latter.

  26. WharGarbl says

    @Uncle Ebeneezer
    #29

    But when they commit rape, the way they were raised is suddenly completely irrelevant.

    Because that’s the right way to raise kids (at least boys)? They need to assert their dominance against them whiny bitches.
    [/snark]

  27. theoreticalgrrrl says

    When the victim is black, do the same thing and you get a scholarship. Look up Genarlow Wilson.
    Remember Zerlina Maxwell, the woman who got into an argument with Fox News over women using guns to prevent rape? She is a huge supporter of Wilson.
    http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/waod/2013/3/18/zerlina-maxwell-and-ebony-magazines-hypocrisy-on-steubenvill.html
    Genarlow Wilson also won an NAACP Award. The guy who was convicted of participating in the gang rape of an unconscious 17-year-old black girl. The victim matters even less if she’s black it seems.

  28. Maureen Brian says

    No, sorry Whargarbl, we’re nowhere near as knee-jerk racist as some I could think of.

    If he’s described as an Iranian immigrant that means he’s one of the many thousands of people from all over the place who are here perhaps without permanent residence rights – for instance to work or study.

    Signing the sex offenders register is standard after conviction for any sex crime. Being considered for deportation after being in prison if you’re not a British Citizen is standard. He wouldn’t just be bundled into a van in the middle of the night. When the time comes there’ll be a proper court hearing where he gets to make a case for staying, and appeal that decision if it goes against him, and appeal to the ECHR in Strasbourg if he still doesn’t like it. If he had refugee status or was on “leave to remain” the question of deporting him would not arise.

    You came pretty close there to saying, “We’d better not ever convict a black guy of anything lest, however much evidence we have, some idiot sees that as confirming a stereotype.” Which would be bollocks as I’m sure you agree.

    Remember, this is a country which you can enter and leave without meeting Joe Arpaio or his ilk behind every bush. There are effectively no borders between the 27 countries of the EU and we are a natural stopping off point for most of Africa, North America, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

    As Walton would be the first to describe to you, our systems are not perfect but you do not cease to be fully human just by coming from somewhere else.

    My local councillor’s an Iranian immigrant and in his spare time a history lecturer. I have not felt the need to ask him which citizenships he has held or now holds.

  29. No One says

    The dismantlement of rape-culture needs to become part of the educational system. That’s the only way it’s going to happen.

  30. eveningchaos says

    When I read Rehtaeh Parsons’ father’s media statement days after her suicide, I was moved to tears. What an absolute travesty. It appears as though the police and school officials did next to nothing to bring these despicable youths to be held accountable for their actions. Still there is no indication that they will be punished. Our illustrious leader, Stephen Harper, has made a vacuous statement about how sickened he is over this tragedy.

    Apparently Canada is the best country to live within the G8 nations with respect to women’s rights and safety. If this is the best we can do, what a shame. We need to do better.

  31. blitzgal says

    Genarlow Wilson also won an NAACP Award. The guy who was convicted of participating in the gang rape of an unconscious 17-year-old black girl. The victim matters even less if she’s black it seems.

    The Genarlow Wilson case was so bizarrely reported in the media. Most people do not even know about the 17 year old girl. They think that this was a “Romeo and Juliet” case of a young man getting a blow job from his underage girlfriend, because that’s how the story was reported by the MSM. That’s how it was reported on Oprah.

    The sad truth is, the prosecution couldn’t get a conviction for the rape of an unconscious 17 year old girl, which happened at the same party. All they could convict him for was for his contact with an underage girl (the 15 year old).

  32. Usernames are smart says

    What? You thought I’d suggest that boys might learn not to rape? — PZ

    The implication being that proper parenting could be used to address the former, but (heaven forbid) not the latter. — Uncle Ebeneezer #29

    I would say that matters a great deal upon home training and how the parents model behavior. In addition to teaching that certain types of behavior are completely unacceptable, as a parent, I see it as part of my job creation to teach my young’un how to resist peer pressure when it becomes grossly stupid and dangerous.

    To lay the blame entirely at the feet of the parents isn’t quite right. As the teens approach the magic number of 18, their parents’ influence drops proportionally until it hits zero. One might hope that one’s lessons and values rubbed off, but if my 18-year old decides to go on a crime-spree, there is nothing I can do, short of some passive-agressive shaming (if he turns out like I was at that age, it won’t work).

    It is a tricky subject, no doubt. From what I’ve read, some teenagers are developmentally unable to discern some actions as being right or wrong, which is why many teens do stupid shit. As their neural pathways continue the finishing process (in the early-mid twenties), they finally get it, which is why most people outgrow Fraternities and Sororities. -> No, I’m not letting them off the hook. Consequences and repercussions are all in play here!

  33. says

    Why are people referring to these incidents as “bullying”? It isn’t bullying, it is criminal acts: rape, sexual assault, and making child porn.

    As Mr. Stephen Harper says:

    “I think we’ve got to stop using just the term bullying to describe some of these things. Bullying to me has a kind of connotation … of kids misbehaving. What we are dealing with in some of these circumstances is simply criminal activity. It is youth criminal activity, it is violent criminal activity, it is sexual criminal activity and it is often internet criminal activity,” said Harper.

    PS
    The BC RCMP did follow up on that rave where many people witnessed a gang rape, and multiple people were charged with crimes ranging from sexual assault to distributing child pornography.

  34. says

    @ Alex Russell

    I assumed that the word bullying was being applied to the other teenagers at school who had seen the pictures and were harassing her (in both cases), rather than the boys who committed the actual assault.

  35. Pteryxx says

    From what I’ve read, some teenagers are developmentally unable to discern some actions as being right or wrong, which is why many teens do stupid shit.

    Uh, no. The research says many teens have poor impulse control, meaning they know the risks of whatever they’re about to do (such as drunk driving) but go ahead and do it anyway. That’s a completely separate issue from moral behavior, which seems a lot more consistent across ages. Teens don’t rape because they’re just confused and don’t know any better – they rape because they know it’s wrong and don’t care. Remember, only some 6% actually commit the rapes, but nearly 100% stay silent about it.

  36. blitzgal says

    @Alex Russell – I hadn’t looked up any followup to that rave case in awhile. Unfortunately it appears that no one was ultimately convicted of raping that girl. The only person charged with the actual assault had charges dropped against him last year. Briefly, this 16 year old girl was drugged and assaulted by multiple men at a rave in Pitt Meadows. Bystanders filmed and took photos of the attack and disseminated the images on Facebook.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/02/21/bc-rave-rape-charges-stayed.html

    A man who posted photos of the assault on Facebook received probation for the distribution of obscene materials, as did a juvenile who did the same.

  37. Azuma Hazuki says

    The rate of this stuff isn’t actually increasing, right? It’s just that we’re hearing about it more, right? Ye gods, my brain hurts…

    What is so hard about “Do not do anything sexual to anyone else without explicit consent, and stop if you are at any time told to stop?” Why is this so fucking difficult to learn?!

  38. Pteryxx says

    The parents of Audrie Pott have publicly requested that her fellow students come forward with information. They also posted a detailed letter about her life on the website devoted to scholarships in her honor.

    On Friday, a post on a Facebook page in honour of the Audrie Pott Foundation asked students to come forward if they had more information about the alleged crime.

    “We suspect that the boys who we believe are responsible for Audrie’s death took deliberate steps to destroy evidence and interfere with the police investigation,” said the post. “If students have information about this crime, if they saw pictures or know anything that will assist in bringing these young men to justice, please come forward.”

    Source: globalnews.ca

    The Pott family wrote an “About Audrie” biography on the Audrie Pott Foundation’s website:

    “Audrie was always one of the most thorough and gifted art students in her class. As far back as kindergarten when given a 10 minute time frame to draw a picture Audrie would always have to negotiate with the teacher for more time as she needed to get the hair or the eyes just right. The others were happy to get the stick-figure just so. Recently, Audrie expressed a desire to continue in art and that she wanted this to be her focus in college.

    Audrie played the viola and the piano and always loved to sing. She used to love performing in front of her family and friends and when she was four she sang a solo in front of over 1,000 in church. (…)

    Biography reprinted at ksbw.com news

    AudriePottFoundation on Facebook (their own website is down from the attention)

  39. says

    I guess I don’t understand how a crime with photographic evidence and so many witnesses as in the case of Rehtaeh Parsons could be dismissed by the RCMP. And then to hear them patting themselves on the back because they did everything right!

    I also thought that “bullying” would refer to harassment by others. Internet bullying is illegal, is it not?

  40. Ulysses says

    Markita Lynda @43

    There’s also the Nova Scotia justice minister who didn’t want to “second guess the police” until he realized that was not the popular thing to say. Now he’s backpedaling furiously:

    I’ve listened to Nova Scotians…I’ve received many comments from across the country and it deeply affected people,” Landry told CTV News.

    “So from a justice perspective, as the minister responsible, it’s very important that I’m listening to people and that I respond to their concerns.

    Source

  41. swooziechick says

    I was just talking about this case with a colleague who has a 15-year-old son. They’ve been talking about Stubenville at home at least two or three times a week. She had asked him “what do you think the young men involved did wrong?” His response “They posted the pictures!”. She stopped him and said “No, they assaulted her. That was the first thing.” I stopped her and said “No, the first thing they did wrong was conspire to assault her, because it was a planned assault.” She looked at me and admitted she had forgotten that part.

    She’s going to have another conversation tonight. Tomorrow is prom. She’s expecting to need to have another conversation tomorrow before he leaves for his date.

  42. timpayne says

    So much talk about parenting, role models, and education – changing the rape culture. Necessary, but they’ll have about the same short term efficacy as will expanded background checks in reducing gun violence. Undiscussed is an immediate means to reduce rape. Orchiectomy (surgical castration) is nearly 100% effective in eliminating recidivism among rapists. And while the deterrent value of most punishments is questionable, this one would get the attention of most young men in a hurry.

  43. DLC says

    Kindly stop making excuses for these criminals by saying they weren’t old enough to know what they were doing was wrong. They knew full well, and simply didn’t care. The teens who aided and abetted this horror further knew that what they were doing was wrong and didn’t care. A promising young life has been snuffed out.
    I don’t have enough words to describe the outrage. Again.

  44. chigau (please don't let me be misunderstood) says

    Not all rapists use their penis.
    Rape is not about sex.

  45. Pteryxx says

    timpayne, this is the subpopulation of rapists your cite refers to.

    Several states have recently enacted laws designed to identify a small group of extremely dangerous incarcerated sexual offenders who represent a threat to public safety if released from custody. These laws are known as the Sexually Violent Predator/Sexually Dangerous Person (SVP/SDP) Acts. The focus on a small group of extremely dangerous sex offenders comprising the SVP/SDP group is illustrated by recent California statistics.1 Over a seven‐and‐one‐half‐year period since the inception of the California SVP Act in January of 1996, approximately 65,000 sex offenders have been released from state prison. Approximately four percent of these individuals were referred for commitment, with two percent being found by clinical evaluators to meet the criteria. As of July 2003, only 422 (0.6%) were committed by a judge or jury as SVPs.

    Since the overwhelming majority of rapes are committed by socially competent “boys being boys” who almost never get reported, convicted, or imprisoned, much less involuntarily committed to mental facilities, this supposed solution can’t be generalized. Which you obviously know, since you’re using it to argue that rape culture awareness won’t be effective.

  46. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @blitzgal

    I only heard about this from the blog I linked. I had no idea this is what really happened. The rape victim was disappeared from any coverage. The rapists filmed their assault. Yet prosecutors couldn’t get a rape conviction. And afterwards Wilson is treated like the real victim and is showered with scholarships and awards for what he went through.

    “Here’s a refresher on what Genarlow Wilson and his friends did from a lawyer who was in the courtroom during the trial. HE actually saw the videotape Genarlow Wilson MADE of his actions that evening:

    “The videotape was “Exhibit A” because it depicts a horrific crime: a gang rape of a semi-conscious, 17-year-old girl, followed by a bizarre display of sexual precociousness by a 15-year-old girl. That’s the truth recorded by Genarlow and his friends that fateful night. I suspect that is also why Ms. Bernstein hated it whenever McDade used it to rebut her version of Genarlow’s crime.

    “No matter how much (two glasses of Cognac) the 17-year-old may have had to drink, no matter how much she may have flirted with those boys, she did not consent to having sex with all of them, one right after the other. Yet it never occurred to the “smart” and “spiritual” Genarlow to say, “Stop it. We should not be doing this.” No. Genarlow watched, waited and gladly took his turn. When they were through raping her, Genarlow helped his friends drag the comatose victim to the bathroom. They opened the door, pushed her in, watched as she fell to the floor and closed the door. I guess she wasn’t much fun anymore.”

    Add yet another girl to the list. She deserves justice too.

    It’s interesting that Facebook will censor “obscene” pictures of mothers nursing their babies or breast cancer survivors proudly posting pictures of their post-mastectomy scars, but pro-rape sites and violent imagery against women treated as protected free expression and “speech”. Facebook has a form for reporting hate and bigotry and inappropriate photos, but violence against women doesn’t qualify. Violent hatred and contempt for women is normal but breastfeeding is obscene. Yet we act surprised when boys and men think there’s nothing serious about sexually abusing girls and women, even filming it and sharing it with their buddies.

  47. daniellavine says

    timpayne@46:

    My objection to capital punishment on principle is based on the fact that the judicial system is not and cannot be a perfect instrument of justice — there will always be some rate of false positives — and so it should not be allowed to effect permanent sentences.

    Please understand that this kind of stuff also fills me with white hot rage but if you believe that rape culture is the underlying problem then you also have to accept that in many cases the problem is that the person doesn’t understand what he is doing wrong and can change for the better. (I prefer to use gender neutral language in these discussions but since we’re talking about surgical castration male gender can be assumed.)

    I also disagree with you that changing rape culture would have no short-term efficacy. What do you think it means to change the culture? It means standing up to the sorts of behaviors and attitudes that lead to rape and standing up to those behaviors means stopping rapes right now.

  48. says

    @Azuma Hazuki, #41:

    The rate of this stuff isn’t actually increasing, right? It’s just that we’re hearing about it more, right? Ye gods, my brain hurts…

    It would be nice to think that this is a small silver lining in a mass of cloud, that people who are stupid enough not to report rape (let alone commit it) are also stupid enough to take pictures, and the ubiquity of cameras in cell phones means that they now have the opportunity to do so.

    (On the other hand, it sounds like the photos actually cause even more damage to the victims. So maybe that isn’t a silver lining after all.)

    Unfortunately, AFAIK, although we know rape is vastly underreported, even the best studies can’t be terribly exact as to the question of by how much, exactly — which means we’ll probably never know whether the rates have gone up. It’s even technically possible, although the cynic in me shakes his head even as I type this, that the rate has gone down; there are other crimes where the rate has declined as public awareness has risen (such as child abduction — kids today are much less likely to be abducted and assaulted by a stranger when without adult supervision than for the previous century, but parents are so aware of the cases where it does happen that kids also have less freedom to be left alone, on average, than any time in the previous century).

  49. ck says

    d.f.manno (#6) wrote:

    Being able to throw, catch or kick a ball confers immunity from sexual assault charges.

    Not necessarily. It’s only primarily the manly, manly sports confer that benefit. American football player in North America = fully immune. Figure skating = no more immune than any other person with equivalent fame.

    On another note, I hope Azuma is right, that the rates haven’t changed, and that we’re just hearing about it more now. That would be a very good sign that things could improve. Sadly, I have no reason to believe that the rates haven’t changed. Certain aspects of culture have become much more toxic or misogynistic in the last decade or so.

  50. echidna says

    Certain aspects of culture have become much more toxic or misogynistic in the last decade or so.

    I don’t think so. It was more toxic before. In my lifetime, there have been some big changes for the better. It used to be considered legally impossible to rape a prostitute, because she, by her very profession, had automatically consented to anything that anyone did to her (no matter how violent). It used to be considered legally impossible to rape one’s spouse, for the same reason of automatic and continuing consent.

    We are now seeing the continuation of this change: it is only now coming to be considered that consent is not automatically given if one is passed out. There is some toxic backlash from people who have been indoctrinated to believe any woman is “fair game”, especially if vulnerable. But I do think that the general trend is positive – we are hearing more about it because society’s values are changing for the better.

  51. says

    There was that gang rape outside of a homecoming dance (I believe that was also in California) that was photographed and recorded and witnessed by dozens of people, and no one did a fucking thing to stop it.

    That was three or four blocks from my house.

  52. Pteryxx says

    @Azuma Hazuki, #41:

    The rate of this stuff isn’t actually increasing, right? It’s just that we’re hearing about it more, right? Ye gods, my brain hurts…

    In absolute terms, we’ll probably never know; but gang rape as a form of male bonding isn’t new at all. There are some survivors’ accounts on the Internet going back to the 60′s. Also, consider the Tailhook scandal in 1991:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Coughlin

    She attended the Tailhook conference in September 1991, organized by former navy aviators at the Las Vegas Hilton. Many of the attendees got raucously drunk. Coughlin was one of the first female attendees who reported being indecently assaulted by male attendees. Coughlin testified she feared being gang-raped when she was forced to “run the gauntlet”.[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_the_gauntlet#Military_custom

    In one Tailhook Association convention for Navy and Marine Corps pilots, female participants were allegedly forced to run the gauntlet in a hotel hallway as male participants fondled them.[11]

  53. ekwhite says

    At least in this case, the rapists are being prosecured. It is still depressing to read about how many times the rapists walk away scot free.

    On the Raetaeh Parsons case, I am glad to see that Anonymous has become involved. Maybe their pressure will have positive results.

    PS: few days ago, I made some egregious commrnts about what I hoped would happen to Parson’s rapists that offended some people here. I apologize for my offensive comments. As Ghandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”

  54. Pteryxx says

    latest: The sex assault case for Rehtaeh has been reopened, considering new evidence: not via Anonymous, who are actually warning the net community not to jump to conclusions.

    Source: The Toronto Star

  55. says

    As Ghandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”

    He also said, “If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British. ” and itler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife.

    He was quite a quotable guy.

  56. says

    ekwhite @59:

    PS: few days ago, I made some egregious commrnts about what I hoped would happen to Parson’s rapists that offended some people here. I apologize for my offensive comments. As Ghandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”

    Thank you.

  57. Ulysses says

    NateHavens @61

    Damn there are some incredibly ignorant rape apologists making YouTube comments.

  58. theoreticalgrrrl says

    “He also said, “If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British. ” andHitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife.”

    Wha??? Man, there are no heroes anymore. That’s a lesson I need to learn.
    Next you’re going to tell me Mother Theresa wasn’t a nice lady…

  59. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve listened to Nova Scotians…I’ve received many comments from across the country and it deeply affected people other than me,” Landry told CTV News.

    “So from a justice perspective, as the minister responsible, it’s very important that I’m listening to people and that I respond to their concerns. This press conference is that response. Now, please, don’t do anything to interfere with my ability to get elected to higher office of work as a high profit attorney, y’know, like pass photos of me around on the internet and make uncomplimentary remarks about me. Because that is deeply, deeply wrong, and just the kind of thing this press conference is designed to prevent.

    I think some of his sotto voce words didn’t make it onto the transcript.

  60. Useless says

    At least you realized how these boys lives are completely ruin. That car salesman may have to stoop to used cars. Such a pity for simply taking a girl’s life.