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So…that’s rape culture, all right

The normalization of rape continues apace.

Three teenagers face sex assault charges after they raped a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint and posted a video of the December attacks on Facebook, prosecutors said.

Scandale Fritz, 16, Kenneth Brown, 15, and Justin Applewhite, 16, were all ordered held in lieu of $900,000 bail in a hearing today before Criminal Court Judge James Brown, said Cook County state’s attorney spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. The three were charged as adults.

That’s not just dumb, it’s a problem of attitude: now raping a 12 year old girl is something so amusing, something to be proud of, to the point where rapists are sharing videos of their criminal attacks on facebook.

I’m curious to know if they were surprised when police officers showed up at their door, and I’d love to know what kind of excuses they offered.

Comments

  1. justsomeguy says

    They put the video on facebook in December.
    They were arrested in May.

    5 months from the point where they openly bragged about it until anything was done to punish them.

  2. jimsnider67 says

    They might actually want to go to prison, hoping that doing time for a violent crime will grant them “street cred.”

  3. gaia says

    This is of course horrific, disgusting, and sickening, but I don’t think the posting of videos signals a *worsening* of attitudes. I don’t think kids of this age think it’s more amusing “now” than at some time in the past, but rather just have easier access to better technology. Which is no excuse for what they did, but I don’t think we need to lament that things are getting *worse* based on that.

  4. says

    No, things are getting worse for other reasons, like the ascendancy of a right-wing culture of hate, bigotry, fear, ignorance, and extreme shortsightedness. And the deliberate degradation of public services at all lavels that results from said “culture.”

  5. Russell Glasser says

    The article itself doesn’t include a comments section… Otherwise I’d be placing bets on how many comments deep you have to go before you get to the first one that says “I don’t understand what all the fuss is about” or otherwise tries to explain that it’s not that bad.

    My guess would be fewer than ten.

  6. AsqJames says

    They might actually want to go to prison, hoping that doing time for a violent crime will grant them “street cred.”

    A lot of things “might” be the case. We have no evidence one way or the other for almost all the scenarios which are possible – including this one.

    On the other hand, many of those scenarios (again including this one) are highly unlikely given other known facts about the world – e.g. the fairly well-known attitude to, and treatment of, those who are convicted of sexual abuse against minors in the prison system.

    Aren’t the known facts and what they say about society outrageous enough for you? Do you have to imagine further widespread depravity?

  7. nowimnothing says

    @gaia, true back in my day it was a vhs video camera in the high school girl’s lockeroom. The perps were dumb enough to show it off at a house party with 20 some people, including some of the girls present.

    @Raging Bee, I understand the vitriol, and I agree that it is bad and needs a lot of improvement, but are you actually trying to say that these issues are worse now in 2013 than they were 20-30 years ago? Reporting of these types of crimes may be up but I like to think that is because our overall tolerance level has decreased.

    Certainly there is a right wing intolerance backlash against the progressive movement of the culture as a whole but when we look at absolute percentages of the population that think in these ways I think we are moving in a slow but generally positive direction.

  8. mildlymagnificent says

    I certainly don’t believe that the actions are any worse or more frequent than they were 40+ years ago at surf clubs in Australia. The word about such events was simply spread separately by “gossip” among the blokes and the women involved separately seeing as they had no easy filming process available. I have no idea what the culture there is like nowadays. I’d expect (hope) it would be better now that women are involved directly as lifesavers themselves, but my hopes have been dashed before.

  9. Randomfactor says

    I’d love to know what kind of excuses they offered.

    Silly question. They’ll blame the girl, of course.

  10. blf says

    There is the solution being used in Afghanistan, Number of Afghan women jailed for fleeing abuse soars (my emboldening):

    More women imprisoned for ‘moral crimes’ as fears grow that hard-won rights are at risk as western troops head home

    The number of Afghan women jailed for fleeing forced and abusive marriages, and other “moral crimes”, has soared since 2011, according to Human Rights Watch.

    About 600 women and girls are in prison for offences including running away from their husband or family, even though fleeing abuse is not a crime under Afghan law. Eighteen months ago, 400 women were being held for such “crimes”, the rights group said, quoting figures from the ministry of interior, which runs the country’s jails.

    The report was released days after Afghanistan’s parliament failed to pass a landmark law protecting women from violence, because religious conservatives rejected key provisions, including a minimum marriage age of 16 for girls.

    More than half of Afghanistan’s female prisoners are in jail for “moral crimes”…

    Prisoners interviewed by HRW said the women had fled their homes in a bid to escape abuse, including underage marriage, beatings, stabbings, burnings and forced prostitution. Often they were subjected to unscientific virginity tests after their arrest, which the report said amounted to a cruel and degrading form of sexual assault.

    Rape victims are also imprisoned for “forced adultery” because sex outside marriage is a crime in Afghanistan, and judges and prosecutors ignor [sic] questions of consent.

    In all but a handful of the cases there was no investigation of the abuse that prompted the women to flee, while prosecution or punishment were even rarer.

    The article also mentions that “a landmark law protecting women from violence [failed to pass], because religious conservatives rejected key provisions, including a minimum marriage age of 16 for girls.”

  11. says

    jimsnider67: A more likely guess is that they neither wanted nor expected to go to jail. If they were thinking that far ahead at all, they were probably thinking the grownups would make excuses for them (because they’d already heard such excuses from their elders),and they’d get off with a slap on the wrist, or nothing at all.

    And no, I’m not saying there’s been no net progress made. I’m just saying we’re currently moving a bit backward, and there’s some rather powerful interest-groups who are making concerted efforts to drag us as far backward as they can.

  12. Eurasian magpie says

    Hmm. Given that Fritz and Brown already have a rather serious criminal record (go click the link in OP) it is unlikely that this is a case of privileged guys thinking they can get away with anything.

  13. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    That’s even the sort of rape Right-Wingers know is wrong, and these three put it on FB?

  14. Eurasian magpie says

    Correction: it is not clear if they have received convictions yet. From the article:

    Fritz and Brown, also of the 400 block of West 60th Place, are co-defendants in a previous, unrelated robbery and aggravated battery case, according to prosecutors. Brown also is on 18 months probation in a Nov. 28, 2012, unlawful use of a weapon case, prosecutors said. Brown is due back in court on that case May 22

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

    @Jimsnider67 #3
    referencing Eurasian Magpie #16

    They might actually want to go to prison, hoping that doing time for a violent crime will grant them “street cred.”

    And yet, there is no mention of posting video of or even filming at all the alleged robbery/aggravated battery or other crimes.

    in fact, I don’t remember *EVER* hearing about an armed robber filming the crime and posting it on the internet with self-amused commentary.

    This is about rape culture unless and until it is more common to create and disseminate incriminating film of other crimes than it is to create and disseminate such film of sexual assaults.

    Seriously, they might just have wanted to go to jail for street creed? How far are you willing to go to create some explanation other than rape culture?

  16. tbtabby says

    I’ve seen a guy on World’s Dumbest Criminals who taped himself committing robbery and doing drugs and even using his parole officer’s business card to do it.

  17. Gregory Greenwood says

    That’s not just dumb, it’s a problem of attitude: now raping a 12 year old girl is something so amusing, something to be proud of, to the point where rapists are sharing videos of their criminal attacks on facebook.

    That is one of the worst things about this. The attitude probably isn’t anything particularly new – rapists of a certain stripe have bragged about their crimes to their peers for as long as their have been clueless dudebros – modern technology simply makes it easy for them to broadcast their monstrous actions to a wider audience. The sick part is that rape culture continues, with seemingly no end in sight, to create the attitude in some quarters that the commission of a rape is some twisted badge of honour. Something to be proud of, a mark of the most toxic form of ‘masculinity’ imaginable, and all the while the humanity and suffering of the victim doesn’t even register on either the rapists themselves or their target audience of braying dudebros.

    They either tell themselves that she ‘wanted it really’ or was ‘asking for it’ in some fashion or other, or it simply doesn’t cross their minds at all – their victim is simply a collection of wet holes to them, not a human being at all, and they spare no more thought for her personhood than they do for that of a car, a pizza, or any other inanimate object that they make use of.

    Our society’s attitude toward women – the mentality that they are essentially disposeable and interchangeable sex objects and/or incubators and little more – does not exist in a vacuum. It is mass producing people like these arrogant little rapists, who have marinated in such attitudes from birth, to the point that they are proud of their crimes against women, and perhaps posted a video of what they had done because they genuinely didn’t fear any consequences for their actions, a perspective that may not be as stupid as it initially appears, given how few rapes are reported, how few reported rapes are actioned by police, and how few prosecutions result in convictions. It is quite possible that they know other people who have gotten away with this, and that knowledge emboldened them. They may even have gotten away with it themselves in the past.

    So long as this attitude of objectification of women remains predominate in our society, horror stories like this – the ones that we become aware of – will remain common, and they will only be the tip of the iceberg of rapes, the bulk of which will never become widely known.

    I want to believe that we are moving, however slowly, in the right direction when it comes to attitudes toward women, but stuff like this makes it hard to hold on to that hope.

  18. quidam says

    Posting incriminating videos to the Internet isn’t so much a normalisation of rape as a strange phenomenon of the intersection of the real world with the anonymity of the Internet.

    Videos of all sorts of crimes are routinely posted to the Internet and numerous people have been convicted as a result. The number of people posting themselves riding motorcycles at insane speeds for example. Some construction workers in Calgary, convicted after recording themselves tossing tools around high above a city street.

    I don’t remember *EVER* hearing about an armed robber filming the crime and posting it on the internet with self-amused commentary.

    Here’s an example

    For some strange reason people think that things posted to the Internet cannot be traced back to themselves – even when they show easily identifiable things – like their own faces!

    The data seems to indicate that rape is decreasing

  19. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Crip Dyke

    And yet, there is no mention of posting video of or even filming at all the alleged robbery/aggravated battery or other crimes.

    in fact, I don’t remember *EVER* hearing about an armed robber filming the crime and posting it on the internet with self-amused commentary.

    And that’s the issue here. Kids take videos of themselves vandalising and underage drinking and other small petty crimes all the time. They think it’s funny and they know they won’t get in that much trouble if caught. That’s the issue: they saw this as a petty crime. And that’s what’s scary about this, at least to me.

  20. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Well #21 is stupendously unclear. My thought process:

    – Crip Dyke’s right, no one ever films themselves doing other crimes
    – No wait, that’s not true, how many videos have I seen of vandalism, underage drinking etc? I’ve been in a few.
    – But they’re all petty crimes no one cares that much about
    – *lightbulb moment*

    I hope that’s a little clearer :)

  21. DLC says

    What in the name of all that’s good in life made these . . . words fail me…. think they could do this, brag about it on the internet, and then not get caught for it?
    It’s beyond the pale. There’s not even any punishment suitable. 15 years in prison, plus 10 for weapons charge plus registered sex offender. It seems almost trivial compared to the horror they inflicted on a 12 year old girl.

  22. Gregory Greenwood says

    quidam @ 20;

    Posting incriminating videos to the Internet isn’t so much a normalisation of rape as a strange phenomenon of the intersection of the real world with the anonymity of the Internet.

    Videos of all sorts of crimes are routinely posted to the Internet and numerous people have been convicted as a result. The number of people posting themselves riding motorcycles at insane speeds for example. Some construction workers in Calgary, convicted after recording themselves tossing tools around high above a city street.

    As pointed out by Thumper; Atheist mate @ 21 and 22, these videos are mostly of petty crime that the offenders do not think is that big of a deal, and that they will not get into that much trouble over it if they are caught, thus the posting of such videos relating to rapes demonstrates the continuing (perhaps even spreading) mentality that rape too is somehow a ‘petty’ crime that is not overly important.

    For some strange reason people think that things posted to the Internet cannot be traced back to themselves – even when they show easily identifiable things – like their own faces!

    It is equally possible that they don’t particuularly care if it is traced back to them, since they do not think they will get into much trouble over what they think of as a minor crime, and so they don’t bother taking any precautions.

    The data seems to indicate that rape is decreasing

    The study you link to itself explains the trouble with making such claims about the level of rape in society

    The measurement of rape and sexual assault presents
    many challenges. Victims may not be willing to reveal
    or share their experiences with an interviewer. The
    level and type of sexual violence reported by victims is
    sensitive to how items are worded, definitions used, data
    collection mode, and a variety of other factors related to
    the interview process. In addition, the legal definitions of
    rape and sexual assault vary across jurisdictions.

    It attempts to compensate for this problem with the use of National Crime Victimization Surveys, but the fact remains that many rape go unreported, and many victims are unwilling to discuss their experience for fear of the vitriolic social stigma that attaches all too easily to rape victims in our society. I think it may be premature to suggests that we have the problem of rape on the run, so to speak.

    But even if we accept the idea that rape levels are decreasing, they are still horrifyingly high, and the social attitude of objectification toward women is an ongoing obstacle to the further reduction of rape rates, and could easily contribute to the reversal of any gains that may have been made.

    Frankly, I am somewhat confused by your point here – rape levels may be dropping so… what? Is it that rape is being reduced, so anti-rape campaigners should push on full steam ahead with what they are doing? Are you claiming that social attitudes toward rape are changing demonstrably and substantially for the better? Are you endorsing the current anti-rape measures of society and the police, contrary to the concerns of many rape survivors here who have experienced that system in action? Are you saying that the issue is unimportant? Or that we shouldn’t be talking about it? Are you saying that rape culture is a fading social force?

    What is your point here?

  23. md says

    Glad to see they are being tried as adults at least. Too bad it wasn’t the same in Stuebenville.

  24. quidam says

    - Crip Dyke’s right, no one ever films themselves doing other crimes
    – No wait, that’s not true, how many videos have I seen of vandalism, underage drinking etc? I’ve been in a few.
    – But they’re all petty crimes no one cares that much about
    – *lightbulb moment*

    I hope that’s a little clearer :)

    It’s a plausible hypothesis, but it’s not supported by the data. One person’s recollection is an unreliable dataset.

    A quick Google search brings up criminals found guilty after posting incriminating imformation to the Internet for many serious crimes e.g.:

    conspiracy to commit murder, assault, weapons possession and sales, and narcotics possession
    Planting lethal booby traps on a hiking trail
    siphoning gas from a cop car
    Women violently assaulting hairdresser

  25. Bernard Bumner says

    Rape culture, no doubt. Also gang culture. Also a culture of violence and fear. Also gun culture. All parts of the same thing, I suppose.

    How do 15/16 year-old children become so inculcated to all of that, so brutalised, that they can inflict such terrible treatment on a young girl? There is nothing in my own childhood which allows me to comprehend the process leading to that sort of depravity.

  26. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Given facebook’s well-documented pro-misogyny stance, I imagine the rapists thought that facebook would be totally cool with their video, which doesn’t seem to be an erroneous thought.

  27. quidam says

    As pointed out by Thumper; Atheist mate @ 21 and 22, these videos are mostly of petty crime that the offenders do not think is that big of a deal, and that they will not get into that much trouble over it if they are caught, thus the posting of such videos relating to rapes demonstrates the continuing (perhaps even spreading) mentality that rape too is somehow a ‘petty’ crime that is not overly important.

    I also included a link to a video made by armed robbers. Please see above for more examples of serious crimes posted to the internet which suggest that this hypothesis is not correct.

    Frankly, I am somewhat confused by your point here – rape levels may be dropping so… what? Is it that rape is being reduced, so anti-rape campaigners should push on full steam ahead with what they are doing? Are you claiming that social attitudes toward rape are changing demonstrably and substantially for the better? Are you endorsing the current anti-rape measures of society and the police, contrary to the concerns of many rape survivors here who have experienced that system in action? Are you saying that the issue is unimportant? Or that we shouldn’t be talking about it? Are you saying that rape culture is a fading social force?

    What is your point here?

    My point is that using an example of criminals posting their crime to the Internet is not an indication of “The normalization of rape continues apace”. I don’t see that rape is any more normalised now than it was in the past, any more so than conspiracy to commit murder and assault is.

    I don’t see societal attitudes to rape worsening or even staying the same, they seem to me to be improving, albeit slowly. But they are hugely better than they were in the 50’s and 60’s. When I was a child, sexual assaults were hugely under-reported. So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

  28. timanthony says

    Think of it this way…

    The cell phone has replaced the confessional. Instead of confessing sins in a church, you now record the evidence against yourself, and hand it to the local police! It works so nicely!

  29. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @quidam

    The conspiracy was a gang using FB to communicate and organise using codewords. They did not post video of their crimes to FB. The traps; an officer posted a request on and recieved a tip via FB; the two in question did not post video of their crime on FB. Siphoning petrol is not something I view as a “serious” crime, and I imagine a lot of people would feel the same. The hairdresser is a video which I’m afraid I can’t watch right now as I’m at work, but I will say that a lot of people see beating someone up as something to be proud of and not a serious crime at all.

    That’s what we’re talking about here; how the perpetrator sees the crime, not society at large, and I maintain that people do not post videos of crimes they know or consider to be serious to FB. They do, however, post crimes they consider to be petty, funny or something to be proud of to FB. I maintain that the offenders in this case did not consider what they did to be a serious crime and certainly did not see it as something they ought to be ashamed of.

  30. stevem says

    re 28:

    How do 15/16 year-old children become so inculcated to all of that, so brutalised, that they can inflict such terrible treatment on a young girl? There is nothing in my own childhood which allows me to comprehend the process leading to that sort of depravity.

    Sex was depravity? Boys are still “taught” that to get sex takes a lot of “work”, Girls “always” say no, even when they want it. And even if you believe her “no!”, boys ‘deserve’ sex, regardless.
    That is, what’s even more disgusting than this violent act, what we end up teaching young boys. By NOT teaching that sex is special; from mutual love and respect. Not something to be taken by force or deception. Yes, we live in a rape culture, we need to change it. Actively work to change it, not just shake our heads at horrific acts such as this, while walking away. Why doesn’t ‘sex-ed’ class teach this as well as sex={std|pregnancy}. Teach it young while their brains are still open to learning (not just listening and reciting).

    But, backing up, they posted the video to facebook because they thought it was a “trivial” incident, and “proof” of their “manhood”. Exactly the kind of thing that comes from a “rape culture”.

  31. quidam says

    I maintain that people do not post videos of crimes they know or consider to be serious

    How about Armed bank robbery?

    They do, however, post crimes they consider to be petty, funny or something to be proud of

    Well of course many criminals are proud of their crimes, even if they are serious. In fact the more serious the more cred.

    Criminals’ motives for boasting about their crimes are not particularly logical neither are they new, it has a long history. The Internet has just given them a new venue. But I can’t see that it’s an indication that they do not view the crime as serious. Many serial murderers have left behind clues and taunts to the police, not presumably because they feel that serial murder is not serious, or that they wanted to normalize murder, but because it fed their twisted egos

    e.g. ‘Son of Sam’ taunted police
    The ‘Zodiac killer’ left taunts and clues
    The ‘Beltway sniper’ left a Death tarot card with the words “Dear Policeman, I am God”

    Does that mean they didn’t consider their crimes serious? I think not

  32. JohnnieCanuck says

    I’m going to assume that the delay from December to May in bringing charges had to do with rape culture, one way or the other.

    Either the police or prosecutors had no incentive to proceed quickly or the victim’s family knew how bad it was going to get for her and were reluctant to participate.

    For re-victimising her by broadcasting her ordeal to all her friends and acquaintances, I hope they also get ‘making and publishing pornography involving a minor’ charges.

  33. pschoeckel says

    Re: 34 Stevem
    Your question as to why not teach them young is not really valid for this instance. The Englewood neighborhood and schools are poor beyond description. I know a few CPS teachers and the schools in the area are more concerned with gang violence then teaching. It isn’t that the teachers don’t want to teach or that the majority of students don’t want to learn, it’s in constant unrelenting influence of the gangs in and out of school that take over so many of the kids because they have nothing else. It’s an unfortunate reality that Englewood suffers from extreme poverty and there is little to no hope of escape for many of the residents. Before being able to teach them at a young age, we need to be able to provide a safe, secure and hopeful environment.

  34. says

    According to the article on this incident at Salon.com, the judge even managed to give the usual “if you’re going to do this sort of thing, don’t record video of it” statement to the boys. Because, of course, what was wrong with this wasn’t, you know, the rape, it was that they recorded it.

    When I read that, I had the same reaction that NateHevens @#23 had.

  35. John Horstman says

    This kind of public bragging isn’t actually a new development. Rapists LOVE to brag about their raping, something that surprised early researchers into rapists’ behaviors and attitudes. As long as they didn’t throw the word “rape” out their, the subjects were all too happy to talk about their actions. (For examples, David Lisak’s work is a good place to start.)

  36. David Marjanović says

    For some strange reason people think that things posted to the Internet cannot be traced back to themselves – even when they show easily identifiable things – like their own faces!

    Or, in the case of Fb, their names.

    And that’s the issue here. Kids take videos of themselves vandalising and underage drinking and other small petty crimes all the time. They think it’s funny and they know they won’t get in that much trouble if caught. That’s the issue: they saw this as a petty crime. And that’s what’s scary about this, at least to me.

    They think it’s funny, and they think they won’t get caught; in this case, I think they thought they wouldn’t get caught either because they didn’t think any stranger would look at their Fb pages or because they thought nobody would care – an attitude no doubt fed by experience, up to and including the 6-month delay between deed and charges.

    Glad to see they are being tried as adults at least.

    Please explain.

  37. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The data seems to indicate that rape is decreasing – quidam

    The study you link to itself explains the trouble with making such claims about the level of rape in society – Gregory Greenwood

    But, data indicates that crimes of many kinds have been decreasing since the 1990s in many countries, quite likely due to a reduction in levels of lead poisoning, see here and references therefrom. But whatever the cause, this wider collection of data is hard to explain away. Rape is greatly under-reported, but is this likely to be worse than 20 years ago? We should not let vile examples like this one lead us into an “everything’s going to hell” mindset; rape culture is still prevalent, disgusting and toxic, but more so than then?

  38. JohnnieCanuck says

    Being tried as minors would mean a difference in sentencing severity, amongst other things. The court would not allow their names to be released and the court records would be sealed so as not to mark them as criminals, in years to come.

    For significant crimes, the prosecution can apply to have the case ‘raised to adult court’.

    Obviously, I am not an American Lawyer. Corrections may follow from others.

  39. JohnnieCanuck says

    Nick @ 41, first I’ve heard of the Pb angle. Another explanation frequently given was the demographics of the baby boom bulge. Young males are the dominant participants in crime and in recent years they have become a smaller and smaller proportion of the population.

    Unless birth rates continue to decline, the proportion of young people will rise with the death of the boomers and a rise in crime rates would be predicted to follow.

    Before reading your link, I’m going to say that it is leaded gas that was to blame. Tetra-ethyl and tetra-methyl lead, in fact. That was the cargo that the M/V Chemical Trader carried from near Houston to various Caribbean refineries, back when I was the Radio Officer on board.

    There was a time when they would shut down all traffic on the Houston Ship Channel when she was in transit.

  40. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    JohnnieCanuck@43,

    Yes, demographics are another possible explanation, but the links from the article to scientific studies suggest that the temporal and geographical patterns finger lead – and as you suggest, specifically lead in petrol (as we call it in the UK). But I suggest we don’t go any further along this tangent – I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it on this thread.

  41. md says

    Glad to see they are being tried as adults at least.

    Please explain.

    IMO Rape, like murder, is an adult act. I think there should be leeway in the law for juvenilles and it should be used often, particularly in cases like theft and fighting where injuries are minor. Rape and murder leave much more serious consequences for the victim and IMO should be met with serious consequences for the perpetrator. The ‘at least’ comment means im glad they won’t be let off easy, as I think they were in the Stuebenville case. Its still a nasty situation though.

  42. md says

    Further, one of the perps was on probation for another serious crime. His juvenile benefit-of-the-doubt card is now used up and should face serious jail time.

  43. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    *Trigger Warning* Really. I mean it.

    Bernard Bumner, I’m not surprised in the least. I remember being bullied as a kid and I am sure some of those budding criminals would have happily tortured me to death if they thought they could get away with it. I know some of them were sexual predators by 5th grade. I know, because they came after me. I remember two of the bullies who targeted me (and others) were arrested as young adults for stealing railroad ties and throwing them off an overpass at the cars passing beneath. These were middle class, suburban 20 somethings who made good grades in school. They knew what they were doing could kill people. For them, hurting others was a game they’d played since childhood (with very few repercussions) and they liked that game.

    If anything, children have less empathy than adults. They have less understanding of the effect their actions have. I now do volunteer work with troubled kids and some of the young kids I work with are already sexual predators. We can’t let them go in the bathroom alone with other kids or let them wander off on the playground, because they will try something. (Yes, they attend public schools) A couple of the kids I’ve worked with have sent smaller children to the hospital. One (a teen) from a severe beating with a studded leather belt and one (8 with the face of a cherub) from sodomy with various objects. Some of these young abusers are boys and some are girls. Some are very bright and others not so high functioning. Some have a history of abuse, some are just prone to occasional violent outbursts beyond their control. In these cases involving child predators, usually the children who harm others sexually have been abused themselves. They need help. They need empathy, understanding and direction. If they don’t get it, they will continue to harm others and they’ll probably end up in prison one day. One of the kids I work with will try to stab you with his pencil if you get too close to him in the wrong mood. As he weighs all of 55 lbs soaking wet, it’s hardly intimidating. Still, I keep my face out of his reach if he’s writing. Another kid will threaten to slit your throat in your sleep. As I avoid napping around her I’m not worried. At this age, they still want hugs and attention and to be told you won’t stop loving them, no matter what. They want adult approval, like kids do. But, they will get older, bigger and more savvy. If we can’t help them, they will do some serious damage to others before they’re even grown.

    If anybody read that and they want to help kids like this, please volunteer with CASA, for foster care (respite only positions are available) or with reading, art or equine therapy programs in your area. There really is not enough help to go around. If you’ve got the temperament for it, we need you.

    Please note that not all abused kids abuse others in return and those who have can get better. I know many wonderful people who survived horrendous things as kids. I don’t know why some do and some don’t. But all children deserve love and a chance to grow up to realize their best potential. I don’t know if the teens who did this awful thing could have been reached before they became rapists, but I know somehow they got the message that they could not only get away with hurting this girl, but that they should brag about it. They did not get those ideas in a vacuum. That was rape culture in action. It has to be stopped and dismantled before it can warp another generation of people.

  44. Gregory Greenwood says

    quidam @ 31;

    Thanks for the clarification.

    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG) @ 41;

    It is not my intent to suggest that everything is going to hell, but the problems with under-reporting of rape and sexual assault are well known – the point I am making is that any appearance of a reduction of rape should be viewed with caution because of these factors.

    Also, I think we would be well served by remembering that any progress with regard to the prevalance of rape is always, to borrow military parlance, ‘fragile and reversible’. I fear that slaying theis particular hydra will prove difficult indeed.

  45. yazikus says

    @Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty
    Thanks for that comment, it was important and moving.

  46. Bernard Bumner says

    @stevem #34

    Sex was depravity?

    I’m confused by that question. Sex? No. This was not just sex, was it?

    The details of the entire crime, that is what is literally depraved – morally corrupted, incapable of intuiting the pain they were inflicting. I don’t intend it in any sensationalist sense.

    Actively work to change it, not just shake our heads at horrific acts such as this, while walking away.

    I quite agree, and in an ideal world all boys would be properly taught the concept of consent and would be sufficiently skilled and nurtured to assimilate the lesson. In this case, I don’t think it was merely the concept of consent which was lacking. There are so many of the additions details around the circumstances which bring in all aspects of rape culture; the age and vulnerability of the victim, the violence, the video as a trophy, the lack of apparent empathy, shame, or contrition.

    @ Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty #47

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Thank you for doing the work you do.

    I’m not surprised in the least.

    In one sense, I’m not surprised, because this is the latest example amongst many of this type of crime committed in these sorts of circumstances.

    I suppose that what I was really thinking was that I was a very lucky child, and I wondered whether it is merely good fortune that separates me from them. I recognise that as a rather glib question, but I still wonder how much validity there is in it. To what extent can the potential to do good be crushed from children and replaced with capacity to commit acts of extreme harm?

  47. ck says

    stevem wrote:

    re 28:

    [...] There is nothing in my own childhood which allows me to comprehend the process leading to that sort of depravity.

    Sex was depravity?

    Rape is not sex. It may involve sex, but it is about control, power and domination, and bragging about it after the fact is part of it. You mentioned part of it when you noted that boys are often given the impression that they are “owed” sex by women, and rape is one of the ways they “take” what they are “owed”. Add to that the toxic narratives about power and manhood, and you’ve got a perfect little storm that can turn all sorts of people into rapists, ranging from the powerless to the power hungry.

  48. stevem says

    re ck et al:

    Sorry, I forgot the ‘snark’ tag for my first paragraph. I was just trying to “channel” the minds of the rapists when they videoed and posted the video of their rape exploits. I just hoped it would be too obvious to need the tag. But I also agree that it is very difficult to assume anything about comments at this blog. Apologies.

  49. quidam says

    Nick Gotts @ 48
    It is not my intent to suggest that everything is going to hell, but the problems with under-reporting of rape and sexual assault are well known – the point I am making is that any appearance of a reduction of rape should be viewed with caution because of these factors.

    Caution certainly – especially when looking a absolute numbers of rapes, but it’s unlikely that reporting has changed so consistently over the years. But it would be perverse to reject the data completely and claim that it’s the reporting rate that has changed while rape rates have stayed the same.

    I would be very surprised to learn that rape was becoming consistently less reported now than the 90’s, especially since all violent crime rates in many countries reflect the same trend. That would be good-news denialism.

    I was sexually assaulted as a teen and I never told anyone until I was an adult. I get the impression that is it easier now than then, when a complaint against a respected, church-going scout leader would be unlikely to believed or acted upon.

    There certainly seems to be less shame associate with the victim now even if it’s not where it should be.

    Thanks for the lead poisoning link. I’d not heard that, but it sounds persuasive. Thomas Midgley has a lot to answer for.

  50. klatu says

    That’s it. I’m done. I don’t think I can continue identifying myself as male anymore, at least not in the way our culture at large propagates the word.
    Not when being male entails that showing any form of vulnerability is a sign of weakness.
    Not when being male entails outright contempt for all things feminine.
    Not when being male entails an obligation to (violently) exploit and dominate other people.
    Not when being male entails a callous disregard for other peoples’ boundaries, autonomy and consent.
    Not when being male entails a willingness to violate, torture and humiliate other human beings.
    Not when being male entails that raping a 12-year old girl is excusable or something to brag about in any way.
    Fuck male. It’s not even an identity anymore. Male is something you do to other people.
    You broke the word, dear rape-culture. You can keep it. I don’t want it anymore.

    I can only admire this girl’s strength and bravery in reporting what was done to her.

  51. ekwhite says

    klatu@55

    I understand your frustration. Sometimes I want to deny being the same species as these people, no less the same gender.

  52. quidam says

    That’s it. I’m done. I don’t think I can continue identifying myself as male anymore,

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    How about identifying as a human.

  53. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @quidam

    Clearly that girl did not consider what she did as something to be ashamed of, but something worth bragging about. It was her way of hitting back at the system that took her baby.

    Clearly I’m not explaining myself well. The perpetrators of this rape did not see what they did as something to be ashamed of and/or that they would be punished for. And that is the problem. It is rape culture that made them think that what they did was not a serious crime that they should be ashamed of committing, but instead something that they should be proud of and probably would get away with. Do you disagree? If not, what are we arguing about?

  54. quidam says

    it is rape culture that made them think that what they did was not a serious crime that they should be ashamed of 

    Using the phrase “rape culture” is implying something unique about rape that doesn’t apply to other crimes. As we can see criminals of all kinds often publicise their crimes. So unless we also have a violent assault culture, an armed bank robbery culture or serial murder culture, this act of self incrimination is more likely to be related to a common psychology of criminals than to society condoning or excusing rape.

    Many books and films have been made glorifying bank robber and violent criminals where the antihero is presented in a sympathetic light. I haven’t seen that for a serial rapist

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

    @quidam

    conspiracy to commit murder, assault, weapons possession and sales, and narcotics possession

    Not remotely comparable. No video of them committing the crime, much less with the smug, self-amused commentary I specified.

    Planting lethal booby traps on a hiking trail

    Not nearly enough info, but posting “about the traps” is all that’s alleged. Not even video of any kind.

    siphoning gas from a cop car

    Getting closer, though this is still without video AND this is not a violent crime. Further, his testimony is that he merely made it appear as if he was siphoning gas, but did not actually do so.

    So, despite the smug self-amusement, we still don’t have anything remotely comparable – and for the second time it’s a still picture.

    We now have 1 with no images, just coded facebook messages that by their coded nature are a far cry from documenting one’s crimes; 1 with language about “posting on Facebook” without any indication of whether the crime was documented pictorially, much less in video, though we can’t completely rule it out there was no actual violence, merely reckless disregard as to whether or not people were hurt if they came into the crude shelter claimed by these guys; & 1 with at least one still photo [and it appears only one] but no video and no violence.

    Let’s check out #4.

    Well, #4 looks much more comparable. Multiple perps, violent, video, there’s no indication that this was a laughing matter from the articles I read – can’t watch video just now & a lot of the coverage is in TV segments.

    Will check in later, but 75% of your candidates aren’t even candidates. We’ll see if the last is smugly self-amused when my move to the new house is done.

  56. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @quidam

    Using the phrase “rape culture” is implying something unique about rape that doesn’t apply to other crimes. As we can see criminals of all kinds often publicise their crimes.

    What on earth is your definition of “often”? I have a feeling it does not match mine. You’ve given 5 examples, one of which was acually confirmed as someone videoing their own crime and voluntarily placing it on the internet without a shred of shame or compunction. One. How many incidents have we seen reported just on Pharyngula of rapes and sexual assaults being videoed or photographed by the perpetrators and then bragged about afterwards?

    And this is merely one facet of rape culture. The bullying of the victims afterwards etc. is also widespread and that definitely doesn’t happen with other crimes.

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

    Using the phrase “rape culture” is implying something unique about rape that doesn’t apply to other crimes. As we can see criminals of all kinds often publicise their crimes. So unless we also have a violent assault culture, an armed bank robbery culture or serial murder culture, this act of self incrimination is more likely to be related to a common psychology of criminals than to society condoning or excusing rape.

    Shorter quidam:
    Queer culture? No such thing exists, unless you want to say that there’s European culture and hip hop culture and Laotian culture – which is patently ridiculous.

  58. klatu says

    @quidam

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    The fuck are you on about? Care to clarify?

    How about identifying as a human.

    I don’t see how not male implies not human.

    So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

    And yet you are doing your hardest to shift the focus away from a discussion of rape in each of your posts in this thread (“What about theft? What about assault? What about murder? Why don’t we talk about those instead?”).
    You would do yourself and the rest of the commentariat a favour by familiarizing yourself with the meaning of the term rape-culture before critizing it.

  59. klatu says

    [I guess FTB swallowed my post, if not, then sorry for the double post]
    @quidam

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    The fuck are you on about? Care to clarify?

    How about identifying as a human.

    I don’t see how not male implies not human.

    So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

    And yet you are doing your hardest to shift the focus away from a discussion of rape in each of your posts in this thread. “What about theft? What about assault? What about murder? Why don’t we talk about those instead?”
    You would do yourself and the rest of the commentariat a favour by familiarizing yourself with the meaning of the term rape-culture before critizing it.

  60. klatu says

    [FTB keeps swallowing my comments]
    @quidam

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    The fuck are you on about? Care to clarify?

    How about identifying as a human.

    I don’t see how not male implies not human.

    So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

    And yet you are doing your hardest to shift the focus away from a discussion of rape in each of your posts in this thread. “What about theft? What about assault? What about murder? Why don’t we talk about those instead?”
    You would do yourself and the rest of the commentariat a favour by familiarizing yourself with the meaning of the term rape-culture before critizing it.

  61. Bernard Bumner says

    @stevem #53

    Understood. I was very aware that tabloids often use the word depraved not only to describe rapes which not only labels the perpetrators, but which also causes damage to victims. I thought, perhaps, you sensed some sort of anti-sex moralising in my comment. It is all too common to see anti-sex prejudice wrapped up with victim-blaming when rape is discussed. It is difficult to sincerely discuss such terrible things without becoming very (sometimes overly) sensitive to how we each use language.

    @quidam #59

    To add to comments of others:

    In this case, it is not merely a video of a crime – the video is part of the act of violent humiliation and sexual exploitation of the victim. It is an intrinsic element of the crime in the way that a video of robbery isn’t necessarily so.

    I would also speculate as to whether the rapists thought of this video as a documentary of the crime of rape, or rather whether they thought of it as some sort of pornography.

  62. quidam says

    Shorter quidam:
    Queer culture? No such thing exists, unless you want to say that there’s European culture and hip hop culture and Laotian culture – which is patently ridiculous.

    I agree that if that’s what I said it would be ridiculous. However saying that dancing is proof of queer culture would also be foolish, given that that dancing is by no means limited to one group.
    You’ve given 5 examples, one of which was acually confirmed as someone videoing their own crime and voluntarily placing it on the internet without a shred of shame or compunction. One.

    How many incidents have we seen reported just on Pharyngula of rapes and sexual assaults being videoed or photographed by the perpetrators and then bragged about afterwards?
    Three, that I’m aware of. Ain’t selection bias wonderful.

    Criminals boast of their crimes all the time. It’s a well known phenomenon in criminal psychology and numerous books have been written on the topic. Criminals seek to promote themselves at the expense of their victims… they seek power for its own sake.

    So all in all, I think that posting pictures or videos of their rape is more likely to be an example of this well documented criminal characteristic, than that it is some new phenomenon that now they feel their crime will be well received by society.

    Please note that I’m not disputing that there is a rape culture, and more importantly that there is still a stigma attached to being a victim of sexual assault.

  63. quidam says

    Where’s the Doctor? I need him to take me to an alternate universe… now.
    The misogynist Doctor is hardly a feminist ideal. Even if Joanna Lumley briefly occupied the role, with (etheric beam locators.)

  64. klatu says

    [FTB keeps swallowing my comments...]

    @quidam

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    The fuck are you on about? Care to clarify?

    How about identifying as a human.

    Unless you are implying that not male equals not human (which I doubt you are doing), what is your point?

    So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

    And yet you are attempting to shift the focus away from a discussion of rape in each of your posts in this thread. “What about other crimes? Let’s talk about other crimes. Here are a million links about other crimes. ”

    So all in all, I think that posting pictures or videos of their rape is more likely to be an example of this well documented criminal characteristic, than that it is some new phenomenon that now they feel their crime will be well received by society.

    Please note that I’m not disputing that there is a rape culture, and more importantly that there is still a stigma attached to being a victim of sexual assault.

    Rape culture is not a new phenomenon.
    You would do yourself and the rest of the commentariat a favour by familiarizing yourself with the meaning of the term before dismissing it as a reduntant concept.

  65. klatu says

    [Ugh,... why aren't my comments showing up..]

    @quidam

    You’d rather identify as Michele Bachman, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schafly, Hannah Sabata?

    The fuck are you on about? Care to clarify?

    How about identifying as a human.

    Unless you are implying that not male equals not human (which I doubt you are doing), what is your point?

    So we should indeed continue to not only talk about it, but also offer support to victims and punish the perpetrators appropriately.

    And yet you are attempting to shift the focus away from a discussion of rape in each of your posts in this thread. “What about other crimes? Let’s talk about other crimes. Here are a million links about other crimes. ”

    So all in all, I think that posting pictures or videos of their rape is more likely to be an example of this well documented criminal characteristic, than that it is some new phenomenon that now they feel their crime will be well received by society.

    Please note that I’m not disputing that there is a rape culture, and more importantly that there is still a stigma attached to being a victim of sexual assault.

    Rape culture is not a new phenomenon.
    You would do yourself and the rest of the commentariat a favour by familiarizing yourself with the meaning of the term before dismissing it as a reduntant concept.

  66. David Marjanović says

    data indicates that crimes of many kinds have been decreasing since the 1990s in many countries, quite likely due to a reduction in levels of lead poisoning, see here and references therefrom

    That’s impressive!!!

    I first read “lead affects precisely the areas of the brain ‘that make us most human.'” (on the second page) as “[...] ‘that make most of us human’.” :-)

    IMO Rape, like murder, is an adult act.

    …But this isn’t about the act, it’s about the perpetrators. They’re juvenile.

  67. Bernard Bumner says

    IMO Rape, like murder, is an adult act.

    …But this isn’t about the act, it’s about the perpetrators. They’re juvenile.

    From everything I’ve read, juveniles tried as adults are more likely to be vulnerable to violence, sexual violence, and suicide, and are more likely to reoffend and sooner. It seems no great victory for justice or for society if juveniles are tried as adults.

    I wonder how much comfort it gives to victims?