There is so much good commentary going on about the Duke rape case that I would be remiss to not point it out. Bloggers have gone at this case from all angles, and it’s been really interesting to read what they’re saying. Head over to their blogs and check out the posts in their entirety.
First, from AngryBlackBitch:
This is an opportunity to address some shit. A bitch is deeply troubled by the lack of coverage being given to the separate incident of racial harassment that happened in association with that same house on the night of the alleged gang rape. A student called 911 and reported being shouted at and taunted with racial slurs while passing the house in question. So, mayhap there is something amiss in the house of Duke? And, rather than fall into public relations fuck up move number 2 (pontificating about what you have done right rather than point out how you will address all the fucking shit you have done wrong), Duke might want to take the opportunity to discuss it’s role in the community, the expectations of student behavior and what appears to be an outbreak of tired assed Strom Thurmondesque ‘black women sure are hot & I bet they really like it’ sexualized racism.
My thoughts are with the victim and she doesn’t need an indictment or a conviction for this bitch to have her back.
Lawd, a bitch is fed up with seeing Rape 101 pop up in college course guides year after year.
Maybe someone should address that with the same enthusiasm they put behind recruiting a motherfucking lacrosse team.
AngryBlackBitch further writes, “If a bitch had a dollar for every motherfucking ‘white boy’ and ‘black man’ reference that pops up in the press my ass would own Duke.” Pinko Feminist Hellcat touched on this issue in her expansive coverage of the Haidl OC rape case, where Greg Haidl was routinely characterized as an innocent little boy who was victimized by a lying slut (who liked being passed out and penetrated vaginally and anally with a variety of objects, including a pool cue and a bottle, and having a lit cigarette held to her vulva).
Rachel also points to problems with the coverage of rape cases, depending on who the perpetrators are.
The Duke Lacrosse team rape case has really touched a nerve with me, and one of the things that bothers me most is the discrepancies between how White men’s crimes and black men’s crimes are covered in the popular media. Since it is no longer politically correct to use blatant racist language or explicitly racial terms in these cases, we have to look beyond the surface. Black men who are accused of committing crimes against Whites, especially White women, are not directly labeled “scary Black men” but everything about the way the story is told promotes the “scary out of control Black man persona.” One of the most troubling ways this is done is by the use of special terms coined in honor of Black men’s crimes or criminal involvement.
The trend of giving special labels to Black men’s bad behavior (or in some cases alleged bad behavior) makes it seem as if Black men invented gang rape or the code of silence that prevents snitchin. If the young wealthy White men can hide beyond their attorneys and say they are not “snitchin” on advice of counsel, the outcome is the similar—the crime is harder to solve. If a group of these White guys decide to have a party where they invite strippers and engage in wilding, the outcome is similar–another woman is sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, most people(especially White folks) in American culture don’t see these behaviors as similar. They think that one Black person’s bad behavior is somehow representative of all Black people, not the individual Black person or people involved. They think subconsciously or consciously that Black men are dangerous and White men are the innocent boys next door. So next time you hear a special lable for Black men’s bad behavior. Please think twice.
Yes. Of course, some men are still happy believing that “some of the ladies don’t mind it” (no idea why HuffPo filed this under Ariel Sharon).
Amanda writes a short but compelling post on gang rape as the essential scene of patriarchy.
Instead, I’d like to talk about the act of the gang rape itself, because I reread an article recently that really gets to the heart of why it happens and why it’s possibly the most socially acceptable form of rape. It’s called “They don’t see it as rape. They see it as pleasure for them.” It’s about the growing problem of gang rape in England and it’s an evocative look at why gang rape exists and why it’s tolerated–to put it bluntly, in a male dominated society, gang rape is a version of fox hunting, a sport of sorts. It’s the patriarchy in its essence, where the leaders of male dominance are active sadists but their followers have managed to convince themselves they do like women, they aren’t evil, etc. In the article, it’s noted that often in a gang rape, some participants will help the victim clean up, give her money, even walk her home (presumably to protect her from rape). Accusations of effeminence are used to keep unwilling participants in the game. The victims are objects of male bonding.
I’ve joked in the past that the states that are lining up now to ban abortion after South Dakota reminds me of a gang rape. It does. The psychology is exactly the same–ganging up to show off who’s the most masculine, who can hurt the victims the most. And the victims are always, always pegged as guilty.
I agree. I also think that gang rape is interesting because it calls into question the idea that rapists are all “bad apples” or nutcases. These men are acting out male bonding over a female body. Have a cursory look at some internet porn and then tell me that gang-rape isn’t eroticized as a bonding experience for hetero men, and that even consensual group sex isn’t portrayed as one big power kick for men. I’m not trying to say that all men are rapists, but it’s dangerous to portray gang-rape as something that only men who are easily identifiable as “bad” would do. Violence against women is too regularly condoned and eroticized to believe that.
Some people have asked about statistics regarding rape and race. Here you go. A few that are worth pointing out:
-Only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned. Similarly, the false reporting rate hovers around 2%, just like most other crimes. Kind of makes all the hand-wringing about lying rape victims and all those falsely imprisoned men seem a bit disengenuous, doesn’t it? Consider, of course, that this concern for falsely accused men is coming largely from law-and-order conservatives who otherwise have a consistent mentality of, “lock ‘em up and throw away the key — and if you can, execute ‘em!” That isn’t to say that convicting innocent people isn’t a problem with every crime. But rape certainly gets singled out as the crime in which the most doubt is laid on the victim.
- Reported rape victimization by race is: 34% of American Indian/Alaska Native; 24% women of mixed race; 19% of African American women; 18% of white women; 8% of Asian/Pacific Islander women. Keep in mind that these are the number of reported rapes. I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that women, but particularly women of color, would be very hesitant to report their assaults to white male police officers who, for various reasons, they might not trust.
- 22% of females raped are under the age of 12 years; 32% are 12-17 years old; 29% 18-24 years old; 17% over 25 years old. 83% of those raped are under the age of 25 years old.
- 1 in 12 male students surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape.
- In a survey of college males who committed rape, 84% said what they did was definitely not rape.
- More on the Duke Rape Case by zuzu March 30, 2006
- “Don’t jump to conclusions, let’s just wait and see if… OMG SHE’S A LIAR JUST LIKE TAWANA BRAWLEY LET’S PROSECUTE HER RIGHT NOW” by Jill April 11, 2006
- Your Body Is A Crime Scene by Jill April 7, 2006
- Third Indictment in the Duke Rape Case by zuzu May 15, 2006
- Take Action for Jamie Leigh Jones by Jill January 13, 2008