I wanted to expand on my rant about the rape of an 11 year old girl in Texas that I posted yesterday. I also posted this on my journal on my DeviantArt site and one of my dearest friends responded with some thoughts that I was too emotional to appreciate when I wrote it. Here is what she had to say:
I think it’s ok they talk about the how the boys became desensitized and did this – and how they do have to live with this choice forever – b/c it IS odd for gang rape to occur and they are not convinced it was a group of “bad” boys so much as a phenomenea that the town needs to better understand in order to deal with it – and what about the boys too?
Regarding the girl – maybe this one story of the zillion done on it were not about her – and the comments about her dress do not need to mean she asked for it – so much as she put herself out there in ways that can have consequences – and how much of that do we think about when we are thinking of the boys that succumbed to the group deviancy – not necessarily b/c we are focusing on how the girl was “bad _ just this reality of pent up aggression in young men and how sex is an outlet
My response pretty much sums up my thoughts on this without getting into a treatise on the subject of testosterone addled and amoral male youth that fill our soulless communities.
I agree that the boys have to be considered. I should have made myself clearer in saying that my outrage was that no consideration for the girl was mentioned in the article. In a situation like this the causes are varied and run deep in the community. I think the Times could have done a much more balanced job of reporting this.
The fact is that there are these assumptions that we hardly notice that are so anti-female and so sexist. We see them again and again in the media and as long as we allow even the smallest of these to pass uncontested, they will continue to perpetuate in society.
Of course there are always two sides to every issue and often pain on all sides in cases like this. I don’t mean to minimize the causes of desensitization of the boys, but what I have a real issue with here are two things.
First is that the girl was 11. No 11 year old girl I’ve ever know was anywhere near mature or competent enough to even have the slightest clue of the possible consequences of her actions in a situation like hers. This should only have been brought up in the context of poor adult supervision. Perhaps that is what was meant, but it didn’t come across this way in the article.
Second is that victims of sex crimes are perceived and treated differently victims of other violent crimes. Rape is an act of violence, period. We need to remove the sexual component from these crimes and focus on the violence. Women need to be seen as individuals with the same worth as men and until they are rape will always been seen as a sexual crime instead of a crime of violence.
I will call out anything I see in the media or public forum that has even the slightest hint of sexism. I do for my daughter in the hopes that her daughters won’t have to deal with these issues. I do it for every woman I’ve ever known. I do it for every women out there because every time we let these almost unconscious assumptions go unanswered, we are abetting in perpetuating thousands of years of sexism.