You Say Tomato, I Say Toma-toh, You Say Accuser, I Say Victim, So Shut Your Victim-Blaming Rape-Excusing Mouthhole

shutterstock_103659515The Steubenville gang rape case, or what some victim-blaming, rape-excusing gentlemen wish us to refer to as the “Case Of The Girl Who May Have Been Sexually Promiscuous And May Have Gotten Drunk At A Party And May Have Consented To Being Allegedly Penetrated And Photographed While She Was Allegedly Not Really Passed Out And Being Lugged Around Like An Alleged Dead Body So She Obviously Allegedly Deserved It” have requested that we stop referring to the 16-year-old Jane Doe in this case as the “victim” and instead refer to her as the “accuser.”

Are ya’ll familiar with this thing that people say lately when they are confronted with something unpleasant and they want to comment on it but because it’s either offensive or they feel that if they start discussing it they will never be able to stop discussing it because it is that objectionable or infuriating or otherwise soul-poaching, so instead they simply reply:

I just can’t.

I just can’t. I get to use that term now. I just can’t. I have a root canal scheduled today. I hardly slept last night. Yesterday I spent all day conducting an amazingly sad and terrifying interview that will be on Mommyish soon that basically broke my brain and it seems like every single day I have to deal with yet another episode in the story of my life which is “Fuck you and your thinly veiled attempts at victim blaming.

From the Daily Mail:

A lawyer for one of the two Ohio high school football players accused of raping a 16-year-old girl has sparked outrage by claiming she should not be called a ‘victim,’ it was revealed today.

Walter Madison, who is representing Ma’lik Richmond, has asked Judge Thomas Lipps to order all parties to refer to the teenage girl as the ‘accuser’ and not the ‘victim.’

‘The ultimate question in this case is whether a crime was committed. Only after any such determination can a person be declared a ‘victim,’ Madison wrote in papers that were filed on Friday in Steubenville.

 

As I have stated a million times before, none of us know the entire facts in the Steubenville gang rape case. When the case goes to trial, hopefully justice will be served. We can read as much as we can about the case and draw our own conclusions. I believe Jane Doe is a victim. She is a victim of nonconsensual sexual activity and and she is a victim of cyber-bullying. She is a rape victim, because in my opinion, rape isn’t limited to intercourse involving penetration by a penis into a vagina. The boys allegedly involved in this case are also victims, victims of intense public scrutiny and from what I have witnessed, victims of extremely bad parenting. It is also my opinion that all boys can understand that when a girl is vomiting all over, she probably isn’t in the right mental, physical or emotional state to agree to a sexual encounter.

So that’s that. Feel free to express your opinions on this, because right at this moment, I just can’t.

(photo: Rob Stark/shutterstock)

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    • Everybodhi

      You are not the only woman that is regularly dealing with rage over this. We can’t shut up, we’ve let this slide for far too long. The abusers are all over every comment board of every rape story, defending their bullshit. Mother Jones has an article, “A Rape a Minute, 1000 Corpses a Year”, the women are handling the rape apologists beautifully over there. Never shut up until we change the culture.

    • K.

      Um, you know, I am very much a feminist and even *I* have to disagree with you here.

      The lawyer’s request is reasonable. First of all, he is speaking to the Court and referring to the context of the court proceedings–so yes, she is a victim of cyber-bullying and media frenzy and all that, but he’s really just concerned about the rape and the use of terminology in the courtroom. And at the end of the day, as you say yourself, we don’t know what happened. I love people who say, “But I believe…” Well shit, if you “believe” it then, why have trials at all? No matter how many news reports you watch, we don’t know if the girl was, in fact, raped and the information we get is media-filtered. It will not be the same as the case presented to the actual jury.

      I don’t begrudge a lawyer’s request to use terminology that doesn’t prejudice the jury. Using “victim” in that Courtroom is as fair as using “perpetrator” or “rapist” to refer to the defendants–both are terms that suggest foregone conclusions. And in this case, the very fact of whether or not she IS a rape victim is what’s being disputed. It’s a difficult problem in this case because while the boys are always “defendants,” the girl in this case is NOT the prosecutor, as it is a criminal trial–the prosecutor is technically the State. So “accuser” seems to me the best option, unless you can think of another one.

      Look, I want justice, the same as anyone, but I don’t want it if it’s achieved by misleading a jury.

    • Monica V.

      so, on the note “accuser”. In the event the “accuser” died as a result of these actions.. then what.. and for that matter, a murder victim period. any person who has had to endure torture, rape or any sort of violent act against them is IN FACT a victim of those acts. this constant “political correctness” is a waste of air. the trial will be fair regardless. if the facts and the evidence point to these two “accused” then they will be found guilty. i feel that this is a complete waste of time. this crime does not end with the “victim”. all involved should be charged with accessory to a crime. we were all this age at one point… can any of you sit back and remember when it was OKAY to drag an unconscious person around, allow multiple people have their way with her and then at the end of the night, urinate on her… well i cannot.. this is a crime, there needs to be justice. in these cases there is was too much sympathy for the accused than the victim.. enough already..

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