The Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex has all but shut down by ice and snow, the week before Ben Roethlisberger (and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers) will play in the Super Bowl here in
If I were a Christian Right self-righteous preacher, I'd tell you this snow/icestorm happened because God hates rapists.
The topic of rape has been all over Twitter, and the news, this week, because of HR3, a bill that wanted to "redefine rape." Because we have such a loose, willy-nilly interpretation of the act already, we clearly need to put some restrictions on it. We don't want all these silly women jumping up and saying they were raped, now do we? Next thing you know, people might start believing them!
The other day I mentioned something about Rapistberger, and about him being an alleged rapist, to a group of (female) friends. The first response was something along the lines of, "Whenever I hear about someone accusing [someone rich and famous] of rape, I have to wonder if they're saying it just to get the guy's money."
Another person asked why the woman hadn't charged him with rape, why the guy hadn't been taken to court.
"Because of what she said!" I responded, pointing to First Responder.
This was a roomful of women, y'all. You'd think sisters would have each other's back.
"Why didn't she report it?"
"Why did she wait [so long] to report it?"
"She's probably lying, trying to get his money/ get media attention."
These are not uncommon reactions.
You wanna know why the victim didn't report it? Because she didn't want to be called a liar and a whore.
You wanna know why it took her "so long" to report it, why she didn't go to the authorities immediately? Because she didn't want to be called a liar and a whore, but she was lucky enough to have friends who supported her and helped her eventually build up the courage to confront her attacker.
Or because she was drunk or drugged, and wasn't sure what had been done to her.
Or because she knows she can't afford lawyers that can compete with the ones her attacker's money can buy.
Or, in Roethlisberger's alleged victim's case, because she knows she doesn't have a case that can be proven in court because one of the bodyguards that allegedly helped Roethlisberger commit the alleged crime was, according to some sources, an ex-cop (or off-duty cop) who made sure Roethlisberger covered his tracks well enough, so her lawyers could not build a case against him. (This is info I got from Freddy, who got it from the sports radio show he listens to. And you know how pro-woman those guys tend to be... so, if anything, this is the "light" version of the events. I shudder to think of what the non-macho-friendly version is... Or see here, where they state Rapistberger's bodyguards are there to make sure there aren't any witnesses, or here, which quotes the victim's friends saying the bodyguards kept them from going to check on -- or rescue -- their friend. But I don't really need to give you details of this particular story; pick any report of a famous/rich guy raping a girl, the media's reaction is always the same.)
Rape culture is so ingrained in our lives and our mindsets that we don't even think twice when we victim-blame; we're not even aware we're doing it. It's second nature to react by questioning the victim instead of the attacker.
Funny how we don't do that in any other cases, huh? "I was shot!" "Well, were you standing in front of the bullet? You were asking for it." "Are you sure you were shot? Maybe that's just ketchup." "What were you wearing? You know red makes people angry, you shouldn't have worn that color." Or, as Laura Anne Stuart points out,
I feel pretty confident that following Vick's case, no one accused those skanky, gold-digging dogs of "asking for it" or opined that drunk slutty canines really want to be beaten. However, those are just the sorts of things that are routinely said about women who accuse professional athletes of rape. We are far more sympathetic to animals than we are to women.
(Before I go off on another rant, please read her article, The Roethlisberger Payback, and consider participating in the pledge.)
A few months ago, it was Assange, who obviously couldn't be a rapist because he came up with a cool idea for a website. Roethlisberger, well, that happened a while ago (over the summer?) and he must not have done anything wrong because the girl never formally brought charges in court, and, anyway, he had to sit out six -- no, wait, four -- games. Four games! Can you imagine the agony?? What the poor guy must have gone through!
When cis women report being raped, they face hostility; they're called liars and sluts; and if the guy is rich/famous, they are attacked and mocked by the rapists' fans.
We discuss whether it was "rape-rape." Was she drunk? What was she wearing? Was she asking for it? Was she flirting? Did she change her mind? Is she just looking for a big settlement? To get her name in the news?
It wasn't really rape if...
HR3, a big waste of time that accomplished nothing other than making it look like John Boehner is "doing" something to "save teh babiez," attempted to limit funding to abortion. Yes, exactly what the Hyde Amendment already does. But, you see, the Hyde Amendment includes a provision for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. So Boehner and his buddies wanted to make sure we're not getting out of hand with this "rape" thing, calling every little assault "rape." In order to be raped, you needed to have bruises and broken bones, according to these people. Public uproar made them remove the language that attempted to redefine rape, or further limit its definition.
Feminists got all up in arms about a cis man telling them what was and what was not rape. Because, seriously, honestly -- how dare anyone tell anyone "your rape wasn't rape-y enough?"
The irony in all this, is that... cis women do it all the time. Not to each other (well, sometimes. See the above conversation), at least not as much as they do it to trans women.
In order to be raped, our cissexist society says you must have been born with a vagina. Trans men can be raped (because, donchaknow, they're not really men -- they're really women, being eccentric, right?), because they have a vagina. Or at least were born with one. Trans women? No. That's not real rape. Not "rape-rape."
Remember what it felt like to have a cis man deny your assault experience? Now that we know what it feels like to have it done to us, let's not do that to each other anymore.