The naysayers that constantly deny that racial stereotypes are an inherent part of our culture and how they are used to value a non white woman’s (or girl, as is the case here) worth, should look no further than this case.
In April 2008, a 14 year old Latina girl was raped by her teacher. She committed suicide as a result of the ongoing trauma. Five years later (FIVE) there is finally a sentence for this crime. While the prosecutor had asked for 20 year in jail, the judge deemed 30 days to be a fitting punishment because the child was “in control of the situation”. This rapist (no alleged because he has been found guilty) was expelled from the sex offenders program he was attending because he had remained in contact with several minors in spite of being forbidden to do so.
The offender’s lawyer, not content merely doing his job had to go beyond the call of duty and remind us who was really hurt in this situation:
Rambold’s attorney, Jay Lansing, argued Monday for the suspended sentence. He said Rambold lost his career, his marriage and his home and has suffered a “scarlet letter of the Internet” as a result of publicity about the case.
A 14 year old Latina child was raped and committed suicide, the criminal is given a slap on the wrist but of course, we should be sorry for “the scarlet letter of the internet” that he is going to carry from now on.
Unlike the humanity denied to his victim, he gets to be treated as a subject with rights.
ETA: And I just saw Jezebel’s coverage of this case. Predictably, there isn’t a single mention of this child’s ethnicity. As I said on Twitter, this way of white washing the case erases the long history of racialized misgonynist violence and removes all context of the ways in which Latina women and children (and Women of Color in general) are dehumanized and sexualized. Yes, this could have happened to a child of any ethnicity or race, however, more often than not, these very specific stereotypes about oversexualized girlhood are applied to girls and women of color. Purposefully erasing this context only helps perpetuate the violence which remains unexamined.
our culture is so fucked up that necrophilia carries more of a social taboo than rape.
PEOPLE ALWAYS LOOK AT ME LIKE I’M NUTS WHEN I SAY THAT NECROPHILIA IS NOT THAT HORRIBLE
LIKE IT’S GROSS AND UNSANITARY AND I GUESS “DISRESPECTFUL” TO THE CORPSE BUT LIKE
NO ONE’S GETTING HURT (except the necrophile if they… contract something)
i don’t know how to respond to this other than to say…why are you so excited about defending necrophilia?
……………………….you literally made the first post and i was agreeing with you?
like i said, necrophila is gross and disrespectful to the body but like
it’s not some horrific thing like rape, pedophilia, or murder
i just get pissed that people say it’s WORSE than someone living being ACTUALLY HURT
i’m glad that your response to me agreeing with you is to imply that i’m “excited” about defending necrophilia
this is such a bizarre perspective
if someone is murdered and their body sexually assaulted after they have died, do we disregard the latter act because “nobody was hurt”?
if we can reasonably assume someone would not want have someone to have sex with their dead body, wouldn’t having sex with their body be a violation of their consent, or does the notion of a living person’s consent lose all value when they die?
what about those who fetishize necrophilia because they like the idea of a nonresisting, totally malleable target who cannot fight back or say no? I mean, I’ve seen magazines where people make dummies that look like the corpses of celebrities and pose them sexily, ffs. Dehumanization/fetishization of the dead cannot occur without some dehumanization/fetishization of the living. Do you not see how intimately this is tied in with rape culture, a real thing that hurts actual living people? The OP was merely pointing out that act, separated from its context, is more stigmatized, not that it never hurts anyone ever.
I am going through a friend’s notes for a workshop on “transformative justice/sexual assault”, and I want to beat the shit out of the workshop leaders holy fuck, it’s just a big mess of “if you hold rapists accountable you are supporting the prison-industrial complex and are also responsible if they get arrested and convicted and raped in prison, btw their feelings are just as important as those of the people they raped, haven’t we all done bad things after all?”
harm happens and we don’t condemn anything
I’ve never asked anyone to reblog anything before, and I probably won’t again. But I am now - because this matters.
The Steubenville rape victim, when offered money for her legal expenses or counselling, asked that people donated to a shelter for abused women and children in her county, Madden House, instead.
Her attorney spoke in a local news article on why the family wanted this, and said they hope very much that “the attention … can help other people that have been victimized by this type of crime,” Fitzsimmons said, “and give them some strength and some assurance that people are there to help them when that happens.”
You can donate as little as $2 via your Paypal account to Madden House. (You can also navigate their website from that link, to be sure it’s a charity you can also believe in.) When I donated back in January, they had a message up that said, “Every single cent says, ‘We believe you, and we care.’” They had to remove it almost at once. I’m sure you can deduce the reasons why, in a case where even her status as “victim” was challenged before the trial.
The best way to show you support Jane Doe is to make a donation, however small and leave a Paypal note when you do saying “In the name of Jane Doe, Steubenville.” They are telling her how many people donate in her name so it’s a direct way of letting her know. Even if all you can afford is a dollar, a thousand Tumblr users donating that is a thousand dollars for abuse victims. And it’s also a thousand people telling her directly that they, unlike the likes of CNN and her erstwhile “friends”, care about her, support her, and believe in her. It’s what she has actually asked people to do. In a case where she has been so effectively silenced and sidelined, I think acknowledging she’s been heard is particularly important.
I think it says so much about this girl and her parents, that when met with offers of serious money they immediately asked that it went to a charity that helps other victims of violence instead. They are extraordinary people in my opinion, and that’s why she had the strength to come forward. Images of two other girls, naked and face down on that basement carpet, were found on a phone. The boy insisted he’d never seen them before, and had no idea who they were of. Jane Doe may well not have been speaking up only for herself. She has very possibly saved others with her courage. She deserves so much more respect than the mainstream media have given her.
If you can’t donate, I really do understand. I’ve been broke before too. But please, do reblog. Get the message out. There is a genuine, positive way to support the victim, in the way she has asked for, and this is it.
Sorry it’s so long. There are so many scams online that I wanted to provide ample links, so there can be no doubt this is legit. Please, if you can, donate/reblog. Show Jane Doe what you think of her.
This unholy marriage of rape culture with the cult of forgiveness means that some people forget that actions should, and do, have consequences for very good reason. Certainly, there are issues with the American criminal justice system (alternatively, the prison-industrial complex). No doubt, forgiveness on the part of victims of horrendous crimes is sometimes helpful to them in their healing process. None of that erases the need to hold people accountable for their actions, and in the case of Steubenville, there is no dearth of documentation proving that a great wrong did not simply occur, but was actively committed by people sure that their actions would never be taken to task. How else to explain the lack of shame, the creation and sharing of evidence proving the crime, the sheer arrogance expressed in said evidence?
Though punishment is not always a deterrent at all, let alone the best deterrent, allowing for the forgiveness narrative to allow people who commit staggeringly heinous crimes to walk away does not exactly send the right message to those who believe themselves to be above the law, or even basic respect for others’ humanity, agency, and bodily autonomy. Most people behave with common decency because they are commonly decent, but they’re not the ones about whom we have to worry.
Rape Culture Rules:
1. you’re not attractive and thus you should be thankful anyone wanted to fuck you
2. you’re so ugly we feel sorry for your rapist
3. you’re so disgusting you are not human and thus your assault is absurd and comical
which all revolve around the notion that the rapist is the real human and rape the humanizing force, therefore when rape occurs to people who are marked as less-than it’s not a crime, it’s charity (and how dare you be revulsed by charity?)