I am appalled by the news from Boston yesterday afternoon, but I will leave the analysis on that until we get some info on the bombers. For now, I will share some further news in the Audrie Pott case.
Awakening in a friend’s bedroom after drinking too much at a sleepover, 15-year-old Audrie Pott looked down and realized she had been sexually assaulted and her attackers had written and drawn on intimate parts of her body, her family’s attorney said Monday.
Over the next week, she pieced together one horrifying detail after another. She went online and tried to confront the three boys she had known since junior high who she believed had done it.
The police report also says witnesses told investigators the three suspects took the drunken Audrie to sleep in an upstairs room then assaulted her.
The report says the attackers pulled off her shorts and partially removed her bra, exposing her breasts, the newspaper reported. Markings were found on her chest, legs, back and near her genitalia.
“They wrote ‘Blank Was Here,’ on her leg,” said family attorney Robert Allard, not using the actual name because the suspect is a juvenile. “They marked her.”
There are two thing that stick out here.
One is that the assailants were known, trusted quantities to Audrie. She didn’t just meet these random boys at a party and fail to stop them from taking advantage. She knew them since middle school. They abused and humiliated a girl they’d known for years, and who thought they were okay.
It’s not enough to tell girls to keep themselves safe by sticking with guys they trust. Sometimes, the rapist uses the victim’s trust against her.
The other is that they had no problem with making themselves identifiable as her attackers. They put their names on her body AND circulated a photo of her unconscious, graffiti-laden body to their friends. Which means they believed they would not be punished for what they did to her, even if everyone knew they were the perpetrators.
If they thought they weren’t doing anything wrong, we should be asking why.
If they thought nobody else would think they’d done anything wrong, we should be asking why.
If they thought Audrie wouldn’t object to being stripped, penetrated and marked while unconscious, we should be asking why.
I suspect it has something to do with all those people who jump straight to pointing fingers at the girl who got drunk, rather than at the boys who betrayed her trust.
I see around the leftosphere that someone named Steve Stockman is showing off a bumper sticker that says:
If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.
Our first reflex is to sputter and point at that womb-controlling, gun-pushing asshat and insist to him that if a fetus shot a gun through its mother’s abdomen, that fetus would be screwed, and besides, babies are already born so stop calling fetuses babies.
That’s not the point. This slogan isn’t about us. We’re not supposed to picture a scenario that actually makes sense. This is about combining anti-choice with pro-gun sentiment. It’s about selling the anti-gun-control position to womb-controllers.
I suppose this message is supposed to evoke the image of a fetus shooting its tiny gun at the abortion provider when he dilates the woman’s cervix, rather than threatening the pregnant woman with a bullet wound if she chooses to abort.
Considering that abortion providers already have to wear bulletproof vests to work, this rhetoric is irresponsible, but it’s not surprising. The anti-choice movement has long demonstrated that it sees nothing wrong with being pro-war, pro-death-penalty, anti-environmental-protections, anti-public-assistance, and anti-universal-healthcare. Why shouldn’t they also be anti-gun-regulations? This is just more of the same.
Oh yes. Oh fucking yes. Here we go, in the comment section.
Girls, in the 1850′s when you passed out drunk at a party with a bunch of boys present, they would have to do copper engravings of you being assaulted. Tedious and time-consuming. Now, you can be instantly humiliated world-wide. Think about it.
Yes, everything was so much better for women back in the days when we couldn’t vote, own property, access contraceptives, and public knowledge of one act of non-marital sex could ruin our lives.
Everyone knows that this shit keeps happening because WOMEN HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
Think Progress is on the case. The article is fine, the comments are mostly good, but of course we can’t have any discussion of a gang-rape of an incapacitated teenager without the predictable hand-wringing:
She’s getting rightly dogpiled over there. How about this: instead of shaking fingers at the girl’s parents for having failed to keep her under lock and key, why not scrutinize the assholes who RAISED THE RAPISTS?
This is Psychology and Neurobiology 101 right here: Kids don’t think about the consequences of their actions before they act. Why not? Because they’re young, their brains aren’t fully developed and they’re short on life experiences. The people who are learning from these experiences will be adults in a few years. The people who will be teenagers by then are just little kids now. No matter how much shit goes through our culture, kids’ brains don’t get any older.
Yeah, of course, blame us feminists for telling girls it’s not their fault if other people hurt them.
We must never, ever try to MAKE REALITY A BETTER PLACE by advancing the cause of women’s rights to their own bodies, and it’s SO MUCH BETTER to tell girls to lock themselves in their bedrooms by sunset every night than to try to shift the discussion over to the actions of sexual abusers.
Furthermore, of course it’s SO MUCH MORE REALISTIC to ask girls to never, ever let their guard down, never have fun, never relax around other teenagers, than to get those same teenagers to look at rape as a crime against the victim rather than a fun thing to laugh about on Twitter. It’s SO MUCH MORE FEASIBLE to punish teenagers for failing to behave like buttoned-up adults than to demand that rapists pay the consequences for their actions.
Everyone knows it’s totally realistic to expect teenage girls to treat every moment like a potential attack against themselves, but it’s not the least bit realistic or evidence-based to observe that rapists will find a way to rape, no matter how hard women and girls try to protect themselves.
Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Liz Calkins. Keep telling yourself that you’re so much tougher and stronger than those silly feminists, so nothing could possibly happen to you.
In an otherwise very good piece on Audrie Pott, Eve Vawter unfortunately goes there in the comment section.
Points 1 and 3 are good. 3 is especially cogent. Her inclusion of 2, however, unfortunately undercuts the others.
Her head is 99% in the right place, but I can’t pretend this 1% isn’t happening.
It’s not that I think Ms. Vawter is holding Audrie Pott responsible for her rape, or that she lacks sympathy for her or other girls who are victimized while intoxicated. Her article makes it clear that she knows the problem is with the people who commit rape and that victims need compassion and sympathy. So, with that in mind…
WE NEED TO FUCKING STOP TALKING ABOUT RAPE IN THE PASSIVE VOICE.
We need to stop telling young people that victimization is an inevitable consequence of heavy drinking. It’s not alcohol that makes rape happen. The presence of sexual predators is what makes rape happen. How about, instead we tell growing adolescents: if you can’t be around a drunk and unconscious person without violating her bodily orifices, then DON’T GO TO A PARTY where alcohol may be served. If you feel inclined to commit sexual violence, then don’t put yourself in the position where you might be tempted.
Every minute we spend talking about what girls can do to protect themselves from predators is another minute we don’t spend teaching impressionable minds about the importance of sexual boundaries and bodily autonomy. Every minute we spend telling girls don’t do this, don’t do that so you don’t get raped, we’re sending the message that if girls let their guard down, then boys just can’t help themselves, and that if a girl didn’t want to get raped, she shouldn’t have had so much to drink. We are sending the message to potential rapists that if the victim was drunk at the time, they will get away with attacking her. This is where victim-blaming comes from.
I would like to propose a moratorium on so-called “safety tips” to shield young women from sexual violence. If we successfully convince all girls not to drink around boys, then people who want to commit rape will find other ways to incapacitate and isolate their victims. We’ve been discussing these “safety tips” for decades, and holy shit, rape still happens and victims can’t get justice.
Fuck that noise. Rape isn’t something that just happens to girls who get wasted. Rape is a decision that one human being (or several) makes against another. It’s well past time we focused on that decision and stopped talking about violent crime as something the victim allowed to happen to her.
The incinerator hasn’t even cooled off from cremating Rehtaeh Parsons’s body, and now we hear of yet another girl who has committed suicide because some boys raped her, took pictures, and the Internet joined in treating her like shit.
Eight days after allegedly being sexually battered while passed out at a party, and then humiliated by online photos of the assault, 15-year-old Audrie Pott posted on Facebook that her life was ruined, “worst day ever,” and hanged herself.
“The family has been trying to understand why their loving daughter would have taken her life at such a young age and to make sure that those responsible would be held accountable,” said family attorney Robert Allard.
“After an extensive investigation that we have conducted on behalf of the family, there is no doubt in our minds that the victim, then only 15 years old, was savagely assaulted by her fellow high school students while she lay on a bed completely unconscious.”
Allard said students used cell phones to share photos of the attack, and that the images went viral.
You know what the onslaught of stories like this makes me feel?
Vicious, maniacal, bloodthirsty glee, in looking forward to a fresh round of supposedly well-meaning Netizens talking about what the girl should have done differently, and how of course no one should be raped, but this wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t gone to the party, or had so much to drink, or associated with those boys, or, or, or…
I am so looking forward to tearing all those people apart.
By the time this one cools off—and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more teen suicides following rape and online humiliation in the meantime—my teeth will be so sharp.
Bring on the victim-blaming, muthafuckas! You will all be my chew toys!
Mmmm, yeah. I don’t want to hear anything about how everyone’s an asshole at age 16. If I hear you say that, I assume YOU were an asshole at that age, you hung out with assholes, and you brought out the assholery in everyone around you. These kids here? Better than we expect of adults.
Two Norwegian teens returned 467,200 kroner (some 62,000 euros, $81,500) they found left on a train by an elderly passenger, Norwegian media reported Thursday.
The pair found the treasure Wednesday in a bag left on the seat of a train running between Oslo and a small town in southeastern Norway.
“When I opened the bag, the first thing I saw were these wads and wads of bills,” one of the teens, identified as 16-year-old Bendik, told local daily Vestby Avis.
“My first thought was to call the police,” he said.
After looking in the bag more closely, the good samaritans found the passport of its owner, a man in his 70s who was expected to pick up his money from the police on Thursday.
Police said they did not suspect any foul play behind the man’s huge quantity of cash, and said they did not know if the two teenagers had been rewarded for their honesty.
I dropped my wallet on Sunday and got it back from the police that evening. I assumed that whoever picked it up would give it back, and they did. However, there was no cash in my wallet at the time. To come upon a huge sack of money in these circumstances, and turn it straight over to the authorities with the assumption that it will get back to its owner, is to do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing.
Personally, I was a much nicer person at 16 than I am now. If someone left a huge sack of cash on the DC Metro, it probably wouldn’t get stolen by another passenger because we’d assume there was a bomb in the bag and be afraid to look inside. The bomb squad might consider it their lucky day, however.
I am very sorry to hear about this case of sexual assault in Toronto:
Over the weekend a young man came forward to the police to file a report of a sexual assault that occurred early on March 31. The 19 year old told police that he had been out and upon leaving a club in Toronto’s Entertainment District he was offered a ride from four women. Instead of dropping him off, the four women took him to a parking lot and each sexually assaulted him. The police are looking for four white women between 30 and 36 around 5’4″ and between 190 and 200lbs who were out in a Honda SUV on the night of March 30.
And I am utterly unsurprised to see that social media is chock-full of people behaving like utter shitbags to this poor kid.
It’s not often that we hear about a case of a guy being raped by a woman (or several women), and with attitudes like these, is it any wonder that male rape victims are generally not interested in reporting their assaults? A male victim of female assailants can expect to be told that there’s no such thing as female-on-male rape (because men are always open to sex, donchaknow), that he’s probably gay and therefore should be ashamed (because it would be okay for those women to force themselves on a straight guy?), that the important thing is not that he didn’t consent but that the women were fat (because it would be impossible for him not to consent if the women were skinny?), that he’s reporting the rape to cover up that he cheated on his partner (because women can never be aggressors and men can never be victims), and that he should be embarrassed about this happening to him and should not bother anyone with his complaints.
In case you’re confused about the mechanics of female-on-male rape: it is possible for a guy to get an erection and ejaculate in response to non-consensual stimulation. It happens all the time. That he got it up doesn’t mean he wanted it.
I see from a friend that this is going around Facebook:
It seems like Jon Hamm’s penis has enjoyed its literal moment in the sun. Much to the chagrin of the man behind the appendage, photographs of his bulge have made the rounds on entertainment websites and tumblr blogs. While his displeasure is understandable, it takes away from the greater point. Jon Hamm needs to stop dressing like a total slut.