Posted by: Kevin | September 15, 2006

I Should Have Been Raped and Murdered by Now

A few weeks back I saw this story on Feministe and found it very thought provoking.  First off, there is the horrible story itself.  I won’t go into the grisly details, but a young woman found herself alone and drunk in NYC and ended up raped and murdered.  As terrible as that was, I was really surprised to see the comments.  By the second comment the victim is already blamed, and this was on a feminist site.  She was stupid to get drunk, she should have stayed with her friend, she should have done this, she should have done that, she should have stayed home, hid under her bed and sucked her thumb.  On and on it went, and that’s not even counting the trolls.

At numerous points in my life, especially between the ages of 18 and 25, I was at least as stupid as this girl.  In a couple of cases, I was much stupider.  In my freshman year of college I made the mistake of telling a bunch of frat brother that I’d never been puke drunk before.  They set about correcting that gap in my education.  I can only say that I somehow made my way across the entire city of Boston, vomited in my dorm room and lost my pants.  I can only say that because I have no actual memory of the events after, oh, about 7 that evening.

Now if you’re Ann Coutler, then in your eyes I would have deserved whatever I got that night.  After all I was stupid, right.  I forfeited any right to safety by being young, drunk, alone and good looking (had to throw that one in there).  It wouldn’t have been the mugger’s fault.  It wouldn’t have been the rapist’s fault.  Hell, I wasn’t dating at the time so I might have been gay for all they knew.  It would have been all me.

That’s just the best example of many from the tales of my misspent, though thoroughly enjoyable, college years.  However, It turns out that you don’t even need to be drunk and stupid in order to get blamed.  This blog entry features a mother documenting an act of domestic violence against her daughter.  Amidst the outpouring of sympathy and well wishes in the comments sections, there are still people who blame the woman.  Including this gem:

“There is a certain type of woman that is attracted to scum. The men that have the aura of excitement and danger. These women tend to not even notice the scores and scads of men that are looking for nothing more than a companion to love and cherish. It is relatively easy to find such men if you care to…one tip: they typically are not members of something called a “beast band”.

It is also my experience that women who are attracted to men of that nature tend to repeat their mistakes over and over again.

Perhaps the problem isn’t that “men are scum until proven otherwise”, perhaps the problem is that some women just have very poor taste in men.

I pray that your daughter has learned from this event; but, based upon my experience, I don’t hold out much hope. If I were you, I’d steel myself for continued and repeated adventures of this nature in the life and times of your daughter.” 

 

For the record, the daughter in question is pressing charges and the piece of filth has spent several days in jail. 

 

In my opinion, no discussion of blaming the victim would be complete without including Kobe Bryant.  Most everyone should remember the story.  Kobe allegedly raped the desk clerk at a resort in Edwards, Colorado.  The charge where dropped during jury selection because the alleged victim refused to continue.  Her name had been inadvertently released and she was receiving death threats. 

This was sited in many subsequent instances where victims refused to come forward out of fear of blame and abuse.  Despite the impact of this case, numerous sports columnists saw no problem in cheerleading for Bryant, and questioning why the case went on as long as it did.  After all, why should the victim matter when free agent season is coming up?

It’s truly amazing that some people are still willing to come forward under these circumstances.  Like Jane Doe (warning extremely graphic language), of Orange County, California.  In addition to being subjected to a disgraceful amount of victim blaming by the defense attorneys, associates of the defendants actually harassed her throughout the trial.  She was forced to change schools several times as a result.

This is the world we live in.  Smart sober women have to worry about being blamed should they be assaulted.  While drunk meatheads like myself continue to waltz through life oblivious.  So here is my proposal to anyone reading this.  It’s for the next time you hear about something horrible happening to a women caught in a bad situation.  When you start saying, “This is horrible but…”, just stop there.  Can the rest of the BS.  We all know what comes after the “but…”.  I think we can safely say that women and most men realize it’s a bad idea to be drunk, alone and vulnerable.  I suspect the victim realized it too.  So save the obvious lessons for your kids and add this one while you’re at it.  No matter what happens to you I’ll still love you. 

Update:  Edit – Why oh why wordpress do you keep messing with my formating and inserting trackbacks in where I didn’t want them?  Curse You!

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