Last week, I wrote about some disturbing Internet comments posted in the wake of the Richmond gang rape that blamed the victim for drinking alcohol. The post inspired some really positive responses . . . and more disturbing Internet comments.
Alex makes the case for victim-blaming—-at least girls will now know “the possible consequences of decisions.” Decide to have a beer, maybe you’ll get gang-raped: A valuable lesson for young girls:
In all fairness, just pointing out that she did not act in the most intelligent manner is NOT the same as saying she deserved it. You’re right, no one deserves to get raped, however, there IS the lesson here which is to be aware of your surroundings and of the possible consequences of decisions you make. Why SHOULDN’T this be used as a lesson. If one less girl decides maybe she shouldn’t have another drink or walk home alone because of this story, then at least we have gotten something out of this awful situation.
Joe commends Alex for his bravery, and agrees that one high school gang-rape ought to inspire women everywhere to stop drinking and never walk alone:
Yeah, I agree with the one brave person who pointed out that there is a difference between excusing criminals and blaming victims, on the one hand, and pointing out how to be safe, on the other. And you are not required to view everyone who comments as either feminist enough for you, or a hateful victim-blaming rapist-defender. Where is real life in this? In real life, unfortunately, we can’t just rail against the bad things people do and hope they will stop, we also have to conform our conduct to our knowledge that people do those bad things and are probably not going to stop. It is not excusing muggers to suggest someone stay out of the alley at 3 a.m. It is not excusing abusive cops to suggest someone cooperate with the police even when they have done nothing wrong. And it is not excusing rapists to suggest someone behave according to their knowledge that there are rapists.
Watch as BakinCookies inserts enough qualifying phrases to attempt to slide his or her victim-blaming past the censors:
Men need to learn how to respect Women better and with that said, Women also need to learn how to have respect for themselves and their bodies! This applies to this article in so many ways, im doubting it was consensual because she was beaten and robbed Therefore men should respect women more! But she could have been Flirting a little and tempting the men to force themselves on her. Either way someone or all of them were lacking respect in some way which totally sucks for the girl. But we will never know the whole truth cause people fabricate stories to fit their needs. Im not makin excuses for the boys im just sayin, Ladies respect yourselves And maybe men will respect you too. Either way rape is rape and its not right!!
Jane, for one, doesn’t see the difference between blaming the victim and blaming the perpetrators. Also, something about racism?
It’s funny how all the people who chide those who opportunistically use this terrible misfortune to lecture women on how to ‘behave’ themselves don’t hesitate to use this terrible misfortune to lecture others on how to raise boys, respect another gender, etc.
However, maybe this event had little to do with gender and respect for women. Maybe it had more to do with race. Maybe the attackers saw the victim mostly as a white person upon which to vent their hatred of whites. Likewise, maybe all of the people who walked by without care for the girl did so because they had no affinity with nor sympathy for a white person.
Maybe the lesson here isn’t how women should behave, or how boys should behave, but how minority groups (including whites among predominately black and latino persons) should be wary of those who aren’t their kind—because it’s all too for majority gangs to treat minorities as sub-humans unworthy of the most basic consideration and respect.
Of course, unlike the other moral instructions people are retrofitting to this event, one of race consciousness and caution isn’t a particularly trendy sermon to preach. So people instead will preach the sermons that will get them gold stars pasted on the foreheads by either their right-wing cohorts or their women’s studies professors.
Sarah suggests that rape can be solved with more rape:
I don’t know about anyone else, but at 15 I was drinking (mind you, at home, with my gal pals and my parents around). I don’t see anything wrong on her behalf. If these men (or were they her age?) get away with this, there is something seriously wrong with society and the judicial system. I hope (since I don’t pray) that she gets the best of mental health care to overcome this. And I hope those guys are anally raped by huge 12 inchers in prison thrice a day (:
B thinks the victim wanted it:
Rape is a crime, but girls are getting wild and boys will be boys no matter what. I know by fact that is part of the deal to be raped by all the gang member before you can get in!. Girls are playing strong games and now someone got hurt very bad and the news are not working with real facts. LETS GET THE FACTS FIRST! IS SHE CAPABLE TO SPEAK OUT AND FIND OUT MORE IF SHE WAS GOING TO BE PART OF THE GANG!! Our society is allowing to much violent shows on Television and part of that is the imitation of tv in real life.
And Johnny is sick of all of you people:
Why do you guys comment on this stuff? Why write long paragraphs about your supporting or differing opinions? It doesn’t do anything, it’s just a waste of time.
Photo via stevechasmar, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0