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  1. usckitty
    usckitty May 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

    “Because of her stupidity, she could ruin the life of a talented person.”

    Let’s face it…What we have here is the new rape apologist credo…


  2. thinkindifference
    thinkindifference May 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm |

    This kind of attitude – among journalists, among intellectuals, among political elites – is very much a prevailing norm in Eastern Europe. I am reminded of a recent case when an ‘expert’ in criminal activity and university professor said that women are bringing rape onto themselves because of how they dress and because they are bimbos. Some (if not many?) women, long known to be among the most fierce defenders of patriarchal systems and values, are also embracing this attitude. I am happy to see this guest post here!

  3. Sasha
    Sasha May 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm |

    Those hipster p*icksters remind me of this dynamic duo.

  4. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm |

    My heart is completely broken over this.

  5. Sarah
    Sarah May 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm |

    Whenever these cases come up, I lose a little more faith in humanity.

  6. anodyne lite
    anodyne lite May 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm |

    As a woman who’s been sexually assaulted multiple times, I will never- not for as long as I live- understand why so many women effectively defend the men who assault and rape women by blaming victims.

    I’ve heard the rote explanation millions of times; a lot of these victim-blaming women were assaulted themselves, and never fully got over the idea that they could’ve stopped the whole thing. But this just doesn’t resonate with me, at all- not only was I incapable of stopping it each time, nobody else around (there were plenty of witnesses and bystanders, each time) seemed very concerned with trying to stop it, either.

    What’s even worse than victims who learn to victim blame, though, is the general slut-shaming that (all too often) passes for feminism. When “feminists” slut-shame, they aid and abet rape culture on the most pernicious of terms.

    The way I tend look at the world now is: I can’t control everything and everyone, but I can call out “feminists” who slut shame when I see it happening. This is the only way I’ve found to avoid feeling completely powerless against violence-on-women. I’d suggest it as a strategy to anyone dealing with these issue.

    Now if we could get more men on board, we might make some real headway…

  7. g_whiz
    g_whiz May 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm |

    I’ve heard and read some ugly justifications of date rape over the years…but this is beyond vile. Nothing makes me more furious than when a young woman internalizes the status quo when it comes to date rape. Oh its YOUR fault a man can’t control his impulses when he sees you. In a universe where smug politicians are consumed with “personal responsibility” its baffling how rape cases almost invariably try the victim instead. We officially live in a sick, sad world.

  8. Natalia
    Natalia May 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm |

    thinkdifference – Considering the huge outpouring of support from Western creative types for Polanski (even Milan Kundera signed that damn petition), I’d say this is pretty much a “norm” in these circles as well. The closing of ranks, etc.

    I think in Moscow in particular, people in general (I’m not just talking about those that go “but he’s talented!”) don’t sweep pro-rape sentiment under the carpet if they agree with it, they’re rather blunt about it – and that’s what used to shock me. Not anymore. And date rape in particular is seen by many people as a “lesser” offense or a “chance to learn a lesson about how the world really works,” etc. Considering the (regrettably justifiable) cynicism most people have toward law enforcement in this part of the world, the attitude toward such crimes is almost automatically harsher. People don’t think the cops will be useful at all, so it’s a matter of: a) get your male friends or relatives to beat the perpetrator up, or b) just learn to deal with what happened to you and try to remember that it’s not the end of the world. Obviously, not all people think this way, but based on the comments I have read and read over the last few weeks – I’d say about half do.

    anodyne – I’m very sorry that this happened to you, love. I think some people learn to cope with a combination of disassociation and a kind of hazing of “the latest batch” of victims (when Korsarova’s comments came up, that’s what a bunch of people said – she had an attitude like they do toward new recruits in the army). It makes me very bitter to read these statements as well.

  9. May
    May May 11, 2010 at 12:29 am |

    This is revolting.
    I’m reminded of the case involving the lead singer of a very famous French Rock band, Noir Desir. In 2006-7, he killed his girlfriend and only got a 4 year jail sentence- and there was an incredible uproar of ‘solidarity’ towards him, saying “he’s a passionate artist” blablah.
    About Polanski, check out this article about how, in his film Tess, he actually changes the plot written by Hardy to make the rape victim sound guilty:

  10. Natalia
    Natalia May 11, 2010 at 2:12 am |

    Wow, fuck. I listen to Noir Desir.

  11. Hel
    Hel May 11, 2010 at 3:31 am |

    Perhaps other women blame the victim because they feel more safe. If you think that a girl has been raped because she is a bimbo, or she doesn’t take care of her security, or she is stupid or careless or drunk, you can feel safe, because you are not a bimbo, you take care of your security, and you are not stupid, careless or drink too much.

    I think it’s the same when a person has a cancer, if you think that it’s his or her fault, because he or she has unhealthy habits (not eating vegetables, drinking, smoking etc), then you feel safe because it is not going to happen to you.

    They don’t think that the raper is the only reponsible, because then you don’t have control of your life, and horrible things can happen to you.

  12. usckitty
    usckitty May 11, 2010 at 4:58 am |

    Hel, it’s the Just World theory…they want to believe that there are rules that govern who gets raped and who does not. It’s comforting to know that if you do everything right, that you won’t get raped. However, rape apology leaves out the fact that the rapist does not feel the need nor the desire to abide by such rules. I find it irritating and extremely frustrating that they seem to believe that rape will be a thing of the past if women just followed their rules. Countless stories have proven otherwise, but they would rather have the victims examine themselves to see “what they did wrong.” The attitudes contribute to our permissive condoning of rape and our rape culture and thus endanger women and men.

  13. anodyne lite
    anodyne lite May 11, 2010 at 10:12 am |

    I think the Just World theory makes a lot of sense… perhaps it’s also a way of telling onerself that it won’t happen again, if you’re sure never to dress up, wear makeup, walk down the wrong street, etc.

  14. James Davis
    James Davis May 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm |

    I’m not surprised that “ЖЖ” is involved with getting the word out on this.

    It is somewhat worrisome though. It appears that a desire to allow “freedom from censorship” in art has morphed into a ridiculous desire to allow “immunity from the law”.

    I seriously hope that the victim in this case (for those playing the home game: hint, it’s not Ilya) finds justice.

  15. Shai
    Shai May 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm |

    So we’re caught between the “Just World” hypothesis and the “Some animals are more equal than others” scheme? No. Screw that happy horsepucky. I don’t think intelligence is a moral handicap and if this guy’s behaviour is related to his art, then I’m tempted to liken his art to Mengele’s science.

  16. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig May 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm |

    Well, in cases like this, police around the world are worthless. Doesn’t matter if it’s Moscow or Podunk USA. I hope someone puts a mob hit on RoPo’s and Ilya’s asses.

  17. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig May 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm |

    Should’ve read “in rape cases, police are worthless.”

  18. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable May 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm |

    @Shai, because his art requires mass numbers of people to die for it to be furthered because they look or were born a certain way?

    This guy’s a douchebag, but he’s not a key player in the Holocaust. Not everything is like the Holocaust. His art is like Polanski’s in that it doesn’t make him a special little flower that’s above the law.

    That said, I think understand what you’re saying. The Just World Hypothesis is an attempt to explain why rape apologism exists – I don’t think the commenters who bring it up are suggesting that everyone subscribes to it – least likely are visitors to a feminist blog.

  19. Natalia
    Natalia May 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm |

    I think there’s also the idea of rape not really being “that bad”. Sure, it’s a bad thing if it happens to you or someone you know (oddly enough!) – but in the “grand scheme” of things, as people are fond of saying, rape is “natural” or else it “makes sense based on evolution” (anyone remember A Natural History of Rape?) or any number of things. Many people entertain such views in all seriousness.

  20. Natalia
    Natalia May 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm |

    Also, it always struck me as interesting how rape is singled out in this instance. For example, it’s perfectly natural to shit in your own backyard. But for some reason, the people who advance the “rape really is OK because our ancestors did it so whatever” theory never quite take it that far. Hmmm. Gee. I do wonder why.

  21. Idari
    Idari May 12, 2010 at 7:28 am |

    Thank you for your article, it’s awesome. I’m Russian and don’t really need to read in English (however I like your writing style in English very much). But the world does.

  22. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub May 12, 2010 at 8:33 am |

    Thank you for posting this, Natalia. This shit just sickens me. It truly does.

  23. Hannah
    Hannah May 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm |

    This makes me want to scream…
    By the by, just last week I was reading Le Monde (big french newspaper, for those who don’t know), and came across this gem by friggin’ Milan Kundera (hey, guess whose book I’m not buying after all…!):

    “The Prison of Roman Polanksi.” Seriously. Kundera has the gall to say that Polanski being held accountable for his crime is “absurd”, he says Polanski’s situation is a “cruel pantomime”, and best of all, he adds that “All the actors have pardoned him!” as some sort of justification, which is just totally fucking brilliant. Yep, if Hollywood says its ok, it’s ok!

    …sorry. needed to get that out.

  24. O
    O May 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm |

    It seems that for many in Russia a woman doesn’t have a right over her body. Only being a part of a male dominant system, like being somebody’s wife, daughter or sister can give a woman a legitimate right over her body. Thus raping a solitary woman is not as bad as raping a married one.
    It’s a good thing that the Trushevsky’s story started a discussion of gender roles in Russian society. I believe that Kolya Nikiforov did the right thing. Being a male from Russia I guess I understand how difficult it was for him.

  25. Rebecca
    Rebecca May 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm |

    It seems that for many in Russia a woman doesn’t have a right over her body. Only being a part of a male dominant system, like being somebody’s wife, daughter or sister can give a woman a legitimate right over her body. Thus raping a solitary woman is not as bad as raping a married one.

    Well, of course. If you rape someone’s wife, you’ve damaged his property. /sarcasm

  26. O
    O May 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm |

    Not you just damaged his property, but you also hit his masculanity, which is worse. Wife can be replaced if needed.

  27. Natalia
    Natalia May 13, 2010 at 12:58 am |

    I think the issue of opportunity also comes into play. If a woman doesn’t have a husband or boyfriend, if she lives away from her parents or isn’t close to them – well, that probably means that her male friends and relatives won’t come after you! I’m fairly certain that most rapists calculate such risks. It’s why someone like Ilya also relied on shaming later – and laughed about how the victim was afraid her parents would find out. He knows that if they do find out – even if they are furious at her for going over to that flat (it all depends on what kind of people they are), they are still going to be out to get him. So it’s important to make it appear as though the situation is too shameful for anyone to know.

    “All the actors have pardoned him!”

    Well, THAT’s a relief! Personally, I seek out Lady Gaga whenever I need to atone for my sins.

    Seriously, what in the hell, Milan Kundera, WHAT IN THE HELL. I was hoping that in his case, the petition was signed because he was looking out for his friend, or something, and didn’t pause to consider the horrific implications of this entire thing. Guess I was wrong.

  28. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig May 13, 2010 at 8:58 am |

    Natalia: I had to give up on Johnny Depp and Ethan Hawke because of this debacle. Ethan’s a small loss, although I hope he loses custody of his daughter, (who’s the same age RoPo’s victim was at the time) but Johnny.. *wails.* Seriously, I thought Depp had more class.

  29. Helen
    Helen May 14, 2010 at 5:04 am |

    Natalya, re your “conversation with a director”: you present it as if to say you lost the round, but thank you, thank you so much for going to bat against that. I never would be so astute (Always the Esprit d’escalier, me.)

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