If you don’t want to be treated like one…

Raw Story offers the top five rape apologist responses to the Steubenville verdict, so you don’t have to go looking for them and evaluating them.

1. CNN: “Those poor boys’ lives are ruined”

CNN correspondent Candy Crowley responded to the verdict by bemoaning the sad future of two rapists who traumatized one young girl for life but would never get to live out their football dreams.

3. Author/blogger Michael Crooke: “It’s just buyer’s remorse”
Author/blogger Michael Crook, who additionally claims that “rape doesn’t exist,” won the race for most-likely-to-be-poorly-executed satire, at least until he took to his Twitter feed to demand that the survivor be “held accountable”, tell women that “skimpy clothing is pretty much implied consent” and encourage every woman to not “dress like a whore if you don’t want to be treated like one.”

Those are my top two from Raw Story’s top five. Not at all, don’t mention it.


  1. Martha says

    I can understand that a lot of women want to believe that rape can never happen to them, making them insensitive to rape victims. I can understand that men are scared of miscommunication. I don’t really like either of those things, and I’m glad people are working to change them. I can still remember the moment in a college workshop in which I came to understand that dynamic– and to realize how lucky I was to learn this by conversation instead of trauma.

    CNN should be utterly ashamed of themselves and I hope an outraged comment or two will make someone there think about that behavior. As for Michae Crooke, there are no words. There is just no way to understand that a human being who behaves like that. None at all. He certainly serves as an example of the claim that a belief in human dignity is sometimes a leap of faith.

  2. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Martha, I don’t think men are as afraid of “miscommunication” as much as rapists like to use that as an excuse to. Rape is not an accident. Enthusiastic consent is pretty easy to recognize.

  3. Martha says

    I definitely agree that predators aren’t afraid of that. I do think there are plenty of good guys, who have nonetheless bought into the culture in which we all live, who are. They need to educate themselves, but that’s different from the predators and misogynists who use that red herring to blame victims– and frighten decent guys into thinking there’s a good chance they could be unfairly blamed. So I blame the predators and those who what to silence women’s voices for all of that.

    I concede that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference in conversation between the clueless and the criminal. Perhaps it comes down to educable/ineducable?

  4. ekwhite says

    Neither response surprises me. Candy Crowley is pure evil. I have never heard of Michael Crooke, but his comment sounds like standard victim blaming to me.

    Those boys committed rape, and got a year in Juvenile Prison for it? That sounds like a slap on the wrist to me. They should be shamed for life. I am sick of those who apologize for rapists and blame the victim in this country.

  5. midorime says

    It still depresses me that people can simultaneously say that women should “realize that there are consequences” or “be held accountable” for doing things like drinking, dressing in (pretty much any) manner, or existing while female, but that men (or boys) should not face consequences or be held accountable for rape. I can’t get my head around the idea that they must believe that sexual abuse is an appropriate “consequence” for behavior they disapprove of that hurts no one, but conviction and being labeled a sex offender is an inappropriate consequence of rape.

  6. hjhornbeck says

    For those pissed off at CNN, there are petitions sprouting up all over the place, and gaining signatures at an amazing rate. I love the writing on the former one:

    While reporting on the verdict and sentencing of the two Steubenville rapists, the CNN news personalities told us repeatedly how difficult it was to watch these boy’s lives being destroyed. How their crime will haunt them.

    These criminals destroyed their own lives, when they decided to repeatedly rape an incapacitated girl. When they decided to film and share their horrific crime.

    Not once did CNN mention the person whose life was most destroyed by their crime, who will also be haunted for life by their crime… their victim. The young girl who they violated and raped.

    Not once while they discussed the pain and humiliation these vicious and cruel criminals now face, did they acknowledge that her life was also destroyed, by them. That she would have to carry around the pain, humiliation, self doubt and self loathing, the stigma of rape, for the rest of her life. Not once did the CNN pundits mention the pain and humiliation these criminals repeatedly inflicted on their victim.

    Not once.

    The media, and it’s personalities have a huge rule to play in shaping public opinion and public perception. With that role comes an equall responsibility to ensure they use that role for the good of society.

    CNN’s coverage of that story failed to meet that responsibility. Failed miserably. The on air personalities did nothing more than promulgate rape culture in America. A culture that leads to someone being raped or sexually assaulted every two minutes.

    Every Two Minutes.

    CNN, We are sure the 97% of rapists who will never spend a day in jail appreciated your sympathetic coverage of these two criminals.

  7. ladyatheist says

    They did interview the girl’s lawyer soon after the verdict came down but first they had to show sympathy for the boys — who were not charged as adults! A few years in juvie is a small price to pay for what they did.

  8. George Yong says

    I find the reporters on CNN frequently focus on selective parts of a story.

    However it seems that the clips generating the outrage are edited versions, the originals do not (completely) ignore the victim: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hallq/2013/03/fact-checking-some-outrage-over-news-coverage-of-the-steubenville-case/

    Their coverage can be quite frustrating, so I’m heading over to change.org to sign the petition.

    Michael Crooke has definitely crossed over into impossible-to-parody land.

  9. sawells says

    Would the phrase “If you don’t want to be treated like a rapist, don’t be one” be a simple enough response?

  10. says

    Well, clearly, if 16 year old boys just can’t help themselves and are blamelessly driven by their hormones to put their fingers into an unconscious girl’s vagina, they should be put down, just like we do it with dogs who can’t help themsleves and bite people.
    Yes, the above is sarcasm. But it’s also the logical conclusion of Crooke’s position. While the girl needs to take responsibly for everything from dressing like she did to drinking to being carried around while unconscious (!), the boys were blamelessly driven by their hormones…

  11. dab says

    Fuck. I have thought about the following, and I cannot people use it as an arguing tactic with a straight face. I just ranted the message below onto my Facebook account with its pathetic handful of ‘friends’ who will probably never read it anyway. But I’d rather the writing didn’t go completely to waste, so here it is. And please, if this is methodical enough that it might get through to some of these absolute morons, feel free to copypasta it wherever you want.

    Let’s take this argument aimed at trivialising rape, “Don’t dress like a whore if you don’t want to be treated like one”, to its logical conclusion, shall we? What you’re saying is either (A) prostitutes deserve to be raped, which is an evil notion if such a thing as evil exists, or (B) prostitution is equivalent to rape, which is blatantly untrue as the prostitute must agree to whatever is being purchased, which equals consent and therefore makes any talk of rape a total non-sequitur; by the way, this is analogous (get it?) to how ‘asking for it’ is completely irrelevant to rape since, as I would hope is obvious, asking for sex constitutes consent.

    Oh, wait, what’s that? You weren’t wanting a reasoned response to your silly catchphrases because you’re just a brainless sloganeering moron who is happy to make nonsensical comparisons in order to trivialise an epidemic problem so that you don’t have to question your own complicity that helps to keep it going? Oops! My bad. Keep teaching people valuable life-lessons and making hilarious jokes, in that case!

  12. theoreticalgrrrl says

    When they say “asking for it” they don’t mean actually asking someone to have sex, they mean she needed to be punished for flaunting her femaleness in public, and rape is totally righteous punishment. They’re saying they’re glad she was raped, not that she wanted or asked to have sex.

  13. dab says

    Well, obviously, that’s evil bullshit.

    But more so, if these ‘people’ like to seem to be righteous purveyors of ~liek ttly harsh but troo lfe lessonz~, then one would think they might at least put on a facade of being accurate with their vocabulary. That’s the angle I was coming from.

    Ah, who am I kidding. Trying to use intellectual honesty as a tactic against those for whom the opposite is their fuel: a futile pursuit.

    Disingenuity is all they have.

  14. brianpansky says

    I just wanted to pop in here quick to point out that not too long ago (2 months?) we had totally ‘on our side’ Reasonable People (TM) suggest that women use guns or martial arts or whatever to deal with rapists.

    now to my point: I’m not sure if it is happening here (no time to read!) but I have elsewhere seen Reasonable People go on about ‘but how can anyone not feel sorry for the rapists? so the reporting is fine, everything is fine, so stop complaining!’

    they probably aren’t the same people. but still, so many attempts to sound reasonable, so little reasonableness.

  15. says

    America, there is no hope for those obsessed with your football.

    I cannot have words for how furious I am at the moment.
    It is all about the perpetrators as victims and not about the victim.

    There’s nothing about what she suffered. Nothing about what her family and friends have suffered.

    Is anyone drawing the parallels with how Islam treats woman yet? I’m thinking of the attitudes that how a woman dresses / acts defines how you can treat her.
    One day some of these people might develop the self awareness of what they have supported in defending these guys.
    On that day, may each and every one of them be public about it or die in shame.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *