Do you guys want to talk about Amanda Knox?

I don’t really want to, but maybe you do? So feel free to do that.

Author: has written 5285 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

100 Responses

  1. BlackHumor
    BlackHumor October 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

    On the one hand: great, obviously innocent people were acquitted!

    On the other, I feel like the only reason I cared about this was a variation on Missing White Woman Syndrome, and it annoys me that I STILL haven’t managed to shake it.

    So, yay, and I hope now I can FINALLY quit following this case.

  2. Angry Black Guy
    Angry Black Guy October 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

    My thought: why do we in America have this on our radar?

  3. Angry Black Guy
    Angry Black Guy October 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm |

    BlackHumor:
    On the one hand: great, obviously innocent people were acquitted!

    I think that is right and a fair admission. I am the same way.
    On the other, I feel like the only reason I cared about this was a variation on Missing White Woman Syndrome, and it annoys me that I STILL haven’t managed to shake it.

    So, yay, and I hope now I can FINALLY quit following this case.

  4. Manju
    Manju October 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm |

    I’m withholding judgment until Nancy Grace weighs in.

    However, I’m going ahead with my satanic ritual sex party. After all, Janet Reno and Martha Coakley have already RSVPed, but that might be because they mistook Sr for Jr when I said Harry Connick plans to show.

  5. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm |

    I never followed the case because I pretty much avoid mass media outlets. As far as Internet media is concerned, users are more capable of choosing what “news” stories s/he wants to be exposed to. Thus, I never “clicked” on any Amanda Knox stories. Also, I never clicked on any stories about that woman who supposedly killed her kid but was acquitted. I mean, I know the very basics of the case, but I never follow these stories as if they’re soap operas (which is what TimeWarner wants me to do).

  6. Alexandra
    Alexandra October 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    Not really. But it would be nice if y’all would stop calling us “guys,” please.

  7. Sarah
    Sarah October 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

    I never followed the case at all, but I’m a female American college student in Italy for the next few months, so I keep hearing about it not of my own accord. Oh well.

  8. BlackHumor
    BlackHumor October 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    I suppose if we’re going into that derail I should say that I use “guys” a lot out of habit from back when I was pretending it was gender neutral.

    Then I read an article that kind of smacked me in the face with the fact it wasn’t and now I try not to use it so much.

  9. Tei Tetua
    Tei Tetua October 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    I always wondered if this ridiculous yet tragic case was pursued in an attempt to get the US to own up to the CIA having people kidnapped in Italy to be tortured elsewhere. Its tough for Hillary Clinton to make a fuss about Amanda Knox when the Italians are likely to respond “She had a fair trial, and by the way, what about Hassan Nasr?” But maybe they just decided enough was enough. Hey, Amanda Knox can be thankful it didn’t happen in Georgia.

  10. Aelphaba
    Aelphaba October 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

  11. Florence
    Florence October 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    Aelphaba</a:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    Win.

  12. Amarantha
    Amarantha October 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    I don’t care so much about the is-she-or-isn’t-she-innocent angle; we’ll never know. But I am kind of interested in understanding how the Italian justice system works. It seems so different from ours, where nearly every person can recant their testimony in the Troy Davis case, but he still is executed. Meanwhile, two murder convictions were completely overturned there?? Do they have different presumptions of guilt/innocence at different stages of the process?

  13. speedbudget
    speedbudget October 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

    I’m just confused why THIS is topping the national news today when Occupy Wall Street has been steadily growing and spreading across the country. I really couldn’t care less about these court room dramas, but I am INTENSELY interested in our country coming to terms with the robber barons who have been bleeding us dry.

  14. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

    Aelphaba:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    Kinda depressing. I was just about to let myself discover Monty Python.

  15. Effy
    Effy October 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

    I’m just confused why THIS is topping the national news today when Occupy Wall Street has been steadily growing and spreading across the country.

    I think you will find that this is top news precisely because of Wall Street occupation and the spreading of protests. Keeps the masses distracted.

  16. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm |

    speedbudget:
    I’m just confused why THIS is topping the national news today when Occupy Wall Street has been steadily growing and spreading across the country.I really couldn’t care less about these court room dramas, but I am INTENSELY interested in our country coming to terms with the robber barons who have been bleeding us dry.

    Talk about lack of coverage. I didn’t even know New Yorkers were still pushing on Wall Street. I had to dig around to find a news story about it. This Knox story, by way of comparison, was frontline material complete with photographs and minute-by-minute updates.

    Gosh, I wonder why…

  17. Irene
    Irene October 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm |

    Having read The Monster of Florence, I was interested in te outcome of this trial as once it’s over the prosecutor will be on trial for corruption in the Monster trials, and the story he spun regarding the events that AK took part in are quite similar to the final trials outlined by Douglas Preston, with the cults and demonic sex parties.

  18. figleaf
    figleaf October 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    Since she’s from here I can totally see why this would be a local/Seattle story. That she’s an American citizen who got the full on over-the-top-outraged she-devil/slut treatment from the prosecutors and now that’s been overturned I can see that it would be mentioned in the national press. If the national press is making more out of it than that then I think they’re being silly than conspiratorial — Knox has a page-filling face, Occupy Wall Street, at least so far, doesn’t yet have any, and given a choice the nets always go for a face.

    What I’m idly curious about is why the Knox case kept making headlines all over the UK tabloid press. Unless it was because the way “Foxy Knoxy” rolls off the tongue was just too tempting for them.

    It seems unlikely that she did it. Both the conviction and the acquittal seemed pretty capricious. Glad she’s coming home. Wish we had more certain justice either in the U.S., the U.K, or Italy.

    I’m very sorry Meredith Kercher won’t be coming home. It would be nice if they find who really did it now that they’re over their little side show.

    This is the most frustrating thing about justice systems: you finger someone, give him or her a trial, and if they’re found not guilty based on actual cause rather than technicalities you… don’t start looking for the actual perpetrators. (In Troy Davis’s case I guess you could see why prosecutors would be reluctant to reopen the case. But the decision not to has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with avoiding soul-withering guilty consciences.)

    figleaf

  19. peggyluwho
    peggyluwho October 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |

    I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Do I really have to go look up AK on Google News?

  20. peggyluwho
    peggyluwho October 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    peggyluwho:
    I have no idea what you guys are talking about.Do I really have to go look up AK on Google News?

    And yes, I did it again.

  21. djf
    djf October 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm |

    Aelphaba:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    Say what you want about “guys” but don’t you dare take pot shots at Monty Python!

  22. Cait
    Cait October 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    It’s just a REALLY slow newsweek (two weeks?) without covering the @OccupyWallstreet stuff.

  23. alice
    alice October 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm |

    figleaf:

    What I’m idly curious about is why the Knox case kept making headlines all over the UK tabloid press.Unless it was because the way “Foxy Knoxy” rolls off the tongue was just too tempting for them.

    Because Meredith Kercher was British, perhaps?

  24. andie
    andie October 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

    Aelphaba:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    HEY! EFFYOO MAN! MONTY PYTHON IS AWESOME.

    /overreaction

  25. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    The most perplexing aspect of the original trial was the lack of any actual facts from the newspaper coverage either here or in the UK, even in The Guardian, the one paper I read every day, which covered the case pretty extensively. In fact, I remember when the trial was going on, I interviewed Nina Burleigh about her book Unholy Business and we called her in Italy where she was following the Amanda Knox trial for an upcoming book, and I thought ‘is there any question of her innocence?’ And when my British co-host Dany said ‘what’s the Amanda Knox trial?’ and after Nina briefly explained, I said to Dany ‘In the UK it’s known as the Meredith Kercher case’ and she’s like ‘oooh of course.’ (The book is either just out in hardcover or will soon be.) We didn’t discuss it further, as we had her on to talk about her book on religious relic fraud, but I did try to do some research on the American response to the case, and the ones supporting Knox all seemed to be bigoted rants about how you can’t trust the Italian police as if the American police are known for their 100% success rate, whereas the ones condemning her were exercises in slut shaming.

    The fact that I just re-read my own paragraph above and am not sure if it even makes an ounce of sense, shows how confusing and schizophrenic the coverage of this case was. (And maybe proves that person right who scolded Jill for asking “guys” to give opinions.)

  26. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm |

    Aelphaba:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    NEE!

  27. Lyndsay
    Lyndsay October 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm |

    Jill: Maybe i’m missing something, but who’s not covering Occupy Wall Street? It’s been all over the NYTimes for the past week.

    This blog? Well, you did once over a two-week I suppose. I have seen it reported from quite a few sources now. I’ve also seen their attempt at writing what they are against.

  28. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    It bothers me the way that she’s being shrugged off. Her case was just like the West Memphis Three, and I don’t see anyone saying, “Meh, so what” about them.

  29. zuzu
    zuzu October 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm |

    figleaf: What I’m idly curious about is why the Knox case kept making headlines all over the UK tabloid press.

    The victim was British.

    Lyndsay: This blog? Well, you did once over a two-week I suppose. I have seen it reported from quite a few sources now. I’ve also seen their attempt at writing what they are against.

    If the selections on offer at this blog are not to your liking, there is a whole wide internet for you to discover.

  30. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm |

    Jill:
    I’ve written about Occupy Wall Street twice in the past week. That’s more than I’ve written about any other single issue in the same period of time, and accounts for more than 10% of all the posts I’ve written since Sept. 27th. So your criticisms are a little misplaced.

    I must admit that I walked by the protest around 9pm at night, in what must have been the first few days and it wasn’t until I came home later and read Jill’s first post about it that I realized what I had walked by. That was actually after I spent some time googling trying to figure out what the protest was about. It’s possible that I’m just bad at googling, but really what confused me was the chant that was being cried was ‘NYPD Shame’ so I assumed some cops had shot another innocent person or two and was doing searches for NY police incidents. Nothing that I saw or heard that night made me think ‘they’re protesting bankers,’ but I suppose ‘Wall Street’ has all sorts of connotations that you don’t think about when you have just locked yourself out of your house and your wife tells you to meet her in the lobby of the Andaz on ‘Wall and Water,’ where her firm has rented out the conference room to plan for a pro bono trial.

  31. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

    zuzu: If the selections on offer at this blog are not to your liking, there is a whole wide internet for you to discover.

    Gothamist won’t stfu about it.

  32. Lyndsay
    Lyndsay October 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    Well, I’m just giving my impression. It was two posts almost a week ago, one written by you, and one was you posting a link about it. It was more of an observation than a criticism. I generally enjoy reading this blog and just this morning was wondering if any bloggers here had anything to say about what’s happening because I thought it’d be interesting to read.

  33. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable October 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm |

    Hahaha. I have thoughts. I’m thinking they’re largely unwelcome.

  34. Alexandra
    Alexandra October 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm |

    Jill: Yay, here’s an argument we’ve NEVER HAD BEFORE.

    I guess that makes it invalid, is your implication? Unfortunate, but okay.

  35. Athenia
    Athenia October 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm |

    Earlier today I was happy for Amanda Knox, but right now I’d like to take a moment for Meredith Kercher.

    This case really makes me angry because it says a lot about how foreign women are viewed and treated. When I went to France for the first time our program leaders had to get it through our skulls that the Europeans thought we were there for sex. We were slutty, slutty American girls. (Thanks SATC!)

    Then, when I went to Japan, a British teacher was raped and murdered by a Japanese man—he escaped the police’s grasp. I just googled it and it looks like he was convicted just this year.

    This whole idea that foreign women are sluts and disposable doesn’t just affect certain women—it affects all women.

  36. Irene
    Irene October 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm |

    Athenia:

    This whole idea that foreign women are sluts and disposable doesn’t just affect certain women—it affects all women.

    This.

  37. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm |

    I guess that makes it invalid, is your implication? Unfortunate, but okay.

    Searching for “you guys” isn’t terribly helpful, but I am fairly certain that there was a Feministe post about this very topic around the time I started reading. In 2006.

  38. xenu01
    xenu01 October 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm |

    Irene: This.

    And that sluts are disposable!

  39. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm |

    Alexandra: I guess that makes it invalid, is your implication? Unfortunate, but okay.

    FashionablyEvil: Searching for “you guys” isn’t terribly helpful, but I am fairly certain that there was a Feministe post about this very topic around the time I started reading.In 2006.

    Perhaps I can settle this. I looked up the definition of ‘guy’ and found the following:

    Noun
    guy (plural guys)
    A support cable used to guide, steady or secure something.

    Perhaps I can’t settle this.

  40. Millicent
    Millicent October 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm |

    Two great sets of Occupy Wall St. constructive critiques:
    disoccupy.wordpress.com/
    http://www.racialicious.com/ (doing a series!)

  41. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig October 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

    Pretty girl helps her boyfriend murder non-pretty girl, cries on the courtstand and gets away with it. Next?

  42. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm |

    Alexandra: I guess that makes it invalid, is your implication? Unfortunate, but okay.

    I just read the article you linked to in your name, (which for those of you who didn’t read it, made some good points about the politics of ‘guys’) and found it very thought provoking, but not at all relevant to this thread which solicited comments about Amanda Knox. That is not to say the argument is at all invalid, this just unfortunately happens to be a site at which an inordinate amount of derailing topics occurs.
    Instead of just getting upset with Jill for not wanting to discuss it in this thread, why not write a piece explaining your views about the term ‘guys’ as a gender neutral plural, perhaps linking to the article linked to your name, and submit it to Feministe?

    Or politely ask where the argument could be continued rather than be like ‘oh well, I’ll just take that as an f-off then.’
    I’m relatively new here, but Jill’s responses leave little ambiguity that she has been down this territory many times, starting as far back has 5 years ago (2006 was mentioned, but for all I know could be 5 more.) thus her argument on the subject is well documented enough that she shouldn’t have to repeat it again. Doesn’t mean she is claiming to find the conclusive answer for all of us.

  43. BlackHumor
    BlackHumor October 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm |

    I’m very sorry Meredith Kercher won’t be coming home. It would be nice if they find who really did it now that they’re over their little side show.

    They did that months ago. Rudy Guede left marks all over the room.

  44. Caisara
    Caisara October 4, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    Athenia:
    Earlier today I was happy for Amanda Knox, but right now I’d like to take a moment for Meredith Kercher.

    This case really makes me angry because it says a lot about how foreign women are viewed and treated. When I went to France for the first time our program leaders had to get it through our skulls that the Europeans thought we were there for sex. We were slutty, slutty American girls. (Thanks SATC!)

    Then, when I went to Japan, a British teacher was raped and murdered by a Japanese man—he escaped the police’s grasp. I just googled it and it looks like he was convicted just this year.

    This whole idea that foreign women are sluts and disposable doesn’t just affect certain women—it affects all women.

    …And then your foreign male coworkers belittle and dismiss you when you comment on the White Woman Whore Stigma. (Or my personal favorite, think you’re upset because you just “haven’t gotten laid.”) Fucking pricks.

  45. Georg
    Georg October 4, 2011 at 12:19 am |

    Amarantha:
    I don’t care so much about the is-she-or-isn’t-she-innocent angle; we’ll never know. But I am kind of interested in understanding how the Italian justice system works. It seems so different from ours,

    It is.

    Do they have different presumptions of guilt/innocence at different stages of the process?

    No. They have inquisitorial trials, as opposed to the adversarial trials the US has. In an inquisitorial trial, the judge is not just a detached referee, he or she is supposed to actively investigate the case, interview witnesses, and question evidence. The court can even hire their own experts if they feel they can’t trust the expert witnesses nominated by the parties. In many cases it’s actually the court-appointed neutral expert and not the prosecutor who actually runs the trial.

    This helps defendants in many ways, especially poor defendants.

    1. A guilty plea does not absolve the prosecution from having to present their case before the court, or the police from having to testify – the case is not a contest that a guilty plea could concede, it’s an investigation and the guilty plea is simply one more piece of testimony. As a result of this there is comparatively little plea bargaining. As a result of there being little plea bargaining there is little intentional overcharging. This means defendants are a lot less likely to be bullied into confessing to a crime they didn’t commit, and prosecutors are a lot less powerful in general. (Because extracting confessions is less helpful there also tends to be less police violence in interrogations.)

    2. Because judges are running investigations very much like prosecutors do, there is a lot less psychological distance between the two groups. Prosecutors see themselves more as officers of the court and impartial arbiters of justice than simply as enemies of the defense. As a result of this it is less important to them to “win” the case. This means there is a lot less railroading.

    There are cases in which the prosecution themselves suddenly motion, halfway through the trial, for the defendant to be acquitted because new testimony or new evidence has convinced them the defendant is in fact innocent. This happens quite frequently and is considered perfectly normal and unremarkable.

    3. If you are poor and have a shitty lawyer the court will more or less automatically take of some of the work your lawyer isn’t doing properly. The court is, after all, supposed to actively question the case the prosecutor is bringing, very much like your lawyer is.

    A lot fewer innocent people are convicted, and if an innocent person is convicted the chances of having this conviction overturned on appeal are much higher. Basically, if the prosecution has a substandard case they would have to roll a natural twenty not once but twice.

  46. glitterary
    glitterary October 4, 2011 at 3:12 am |

    Sarah:
    I never followed the case at all, but I’m a female American college student in Italy for the next few months, so I keep hearing about it not of my own accord. Oh well.

    In the UK (in my anecdotal experience) it seems like the warnings female students going abroad get in connection with this case are “watch out, you could get murdered!”. Seeing as the coverage in the US has focused so much more on Amanda Knox’s innocence, do you get “watch out, you could get framed for murder!” instead?

    I’d be interested to know whether the way the different approaches from national media makes people concentrate on different dangers from the same case. Here in the UK the narrative is that Meredith Kercher’s murder was the most horrible aspect of the case; I’ve read one or two US accounts, though, that seem to focus on Amanda Knox as more of a victim because of the miscarriage of justice, almost ignoring the murder (whoever committed it) that led up to it.

  47. glitterary
    glitterary October 4, 2011 at 3:13 am |

    Sarah:
    I never followed the case at all, but I’m a female American college student in Italy for the next few months, so I keep hearing about it not of my own accord. Oh well.

    In the UK (in my anecdotal experience) it seems like the warnings female students going abroad get in connection with this case are “watch out, you could get murdered!”. Seeing as the coverage in the US has focused so much more on Amanda Knox’s innocence, do you get “watch out, you could get framed for murder!” instead?

    I’d be interested to know whether the way the different approaches from national media makes people concentrate on different dangers from the same case. Here in the UK the narrative is that Meredith Kercher’s murder was the most horrible aspect of the case; I’ve read one or two US accounts, though, that seem to focus on Amanda Knox as more of a victim because of the miscarriage of justice, almost ignoring the murder (whoever committed it) that led up to it.

  48. shel
    shel October 4, 2011 at 3:43 am |

    I’m so glad Amanda and Raffaele have been proven innocent and will soon be home with their loved ones.I knew this case was a fraud and a frame up from the very beginning.It was a lot like the Duke Lacrosse case where a corrupt prosecutor made up a phoney gang rape story but this time it was a female perpetrator,a crime I’m sure has never happened.Besides Amanda and Meredith were friends.She should never have been considered a suspect in the first place.

  49. Georg
    Georg October 4, 2011 at 4:03 am |

    glitterary:
    I’d be interested to know whether the way the different approaches from national media makes people concentrate on different dangers from the same case.

    In Italy much of the reporting was along the lines of COME ON IT’S OBVIOUS THE NEGRO DID IT HE IS A HARDENED CRIMINAL AND ALSO HE IS BLACK STRING HIM UP ALREADY. There was enormous pressure on the courts from certain quarters to find the pretty white girl innocent. I suspect this may have added to the mistaken resolve of the prosecution’s side in this case, although it certainly doesn’t explain everything that went wrong here. Some of those involved may have thought that in insisting it was her they were taking a stand against bigotry.

    People tell me parts of the British public used to think along similar lines (“This is what immigration gets you! Support the BNP!”). In your opinion, is this true?

  50. chava
    chava October 4, 2011 at 4:30 am |

    Given as Mr. Lumumba was both cleared and awarded 80,000 Euros by the court, I’m not sure that the “blame anyone but the poor white girl” legal defense applies here. With an equal amount of money thrown at his defense, Guede might have gotten off as well (although from what I’ve seen, it seems that he was the most likely perpetrator)

    However, her nationality and race definitely helped get her acquitted.

    As far as being a foreign student (I’m in France right now), I’ve always held that the best principle is stay the fuck out of the way of the legal system and avoid anything, ANYTHING that might make you look suspicious. Not so much a fear of being framed for murder–but a general wariness of a legal system you don’t know squat about.

  51. chava
    chava October 4, 2011 at 4:33 am |

    It would help if 1) the media didn’t constantly portray us as such and 2) young Americans freshly arrived abroad didn’t insist on acting like their goal in life is drinking and sex. I do not know what it is about expat men, but damn if they don’t treat expat women worse than whatever culture you’re in.

    Athenia:
    Earlier today I was happy for Amanda Knox, but right now I’d like to take a moment for Meredith Kercher.

    This case really makes me angry because it says a lot about how foreign women are viewed and treated. When I went to France for the first time our program leaders had to get it through our skulls that the Europeans thought we were there for sex. We were slutty, slutty American girls. (Thanks SATC!)

    Then, when I went to Japan, a British teacher was raped and murdered by a Japanese man—he escaped the police’s grasp. I just googled it and it looks like he was convicted just this year.

    This whole idea that foreign women are sluts and disposable doesn’t just affect certain women—it affects all women.

  52. glitterary
    glitterary October 4, 2011 at 5:37 am |

    Georg: There was enormous pressure on the courts from certain quarters to find the pretty white girl innocent. I suspect this may have added to the mistaken resolve of the prosecution’s side in this case, although it certainly doesn’t explain everything that went wrong here. Some of those involved may have thought that in insisting it was her they were taking a stand against bigotry.

    People tell me parts of the British public used to think along similar lines (“This is what immigration gets you! Support the BNP!”). In your opinion, is this true?

    I think white people often have a tendency to obsess over whether or not they look racist, but how that actually plays out in their actions is complicated. In many cases, holding off on calling someone guilty out of fear of being seen as racist doesn’t actually afford the accused any more time during which their guilt is doubted than they would be given in a longer period of skepticism were they white. Like affirmative action, it only equalises the playing field–it doesn’t give an unfair advantage. I doubt the exceptional scrutiny Knox faced (when compared to the men accused) was a result of prosecutors trying to look not-racist, though there may have been some intersectionality involved.

    There is a section of the British public and media–tabloids, mostly–that I find horrendously offensive and is prone to spout every kind of prejudice and misinformation. (Here’s screenshots from MailOnline which accidentally posted their alternative report of the outcome of the appeal, complete with made-up quotes and events: http://tabloid-watch.blogspot.com/2011/10/mailonline-makes-up-events-quotes-from.html) And there is a growing section of people who take the hatred they publish as gospel, so unfortunately I have to confirm that racism-masquerading-as-concern-about-immigration-etc is alive and kicking here.

    As I recall very little attention was given to Rudy Guede in the UK, but I think that’s down to the fact that Knox and Sollecito’s trials were seen as part of the ongoing investigation into a British woman’s death, rather than the prosecution of an innocent American bystander after a perpetrator had already been found (which is the impression I got from US outlets).

  53. samanthab
    samanthab October 4, 2011 at 7:34 am |

    Chava, your notion that American women need to police their sex lives so that Italian men will behave better? It’s a tad fucked up!

  54. Anna
    Anna October 4, 2011 at 8:26 am |

    Irene: Having read The Monster of Florence, I was interested in te outcome of this trial as once it’s over the prosecutor will be on trial for corruption in the Monster trials, and the story he spun regarding the events that AK took part in are quite similar to the final trials outlined by Douglas Preston, with the cults and demonic sex parties.

    Was thinking the exact same thing.

  55. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 4, 2011 at 8:38 am |

    Oh, lord.

    First, foreign women are not necessarily “disposable” if they are White. Amanda Knox was the exception that proved the rule in that regard. You know who is disposable and ignored? Women of color. You do not see Nancy Fucking Grace and the big media machine swinging into action when a Black girl or woman goes missing–and sometimes (major trigger warning in the links) the cops completely ignore missing person reports when they are about Black women or girls while pulling out all of the stops for White women who have been missing for the same amount of time. And you know, that dismissal basically meant that in at least one case, Romona Moore died horribly.

    Yes, it’s outrageous that a foreign woman was raped in Japan. But here’s the thing that no one ever admits or talks about–certainly not the over privileged misogynist dickbiscuits who hide their sexism behind the “that’s just the way it is there” BS–Japanese women are harassed, assaulted and raped at far higher levels than White foreign women. (Anyone who insists that there is no rape in Japan is full of shit.) Though foreign women of color are likely more vulnerable. Foreign White women? Yeah, we catch static, and we are sometimes assaulted, but it is nowhere near the level that other women have to deal with.

    Second, the Knox trial was not a fucking courtroom drama. She was charged because supposedly she was promiscuous and, as the prosecutor said, a “she devil” (WTF? Did he just read Fay Weldon?). There was no evidence linking either her or her then-boyfriend to the crime. She had been badgered, struck and heavily interrogated (over 50 hours) without a lawyer or translator present, and the cops put words in her mouth to implicate her boss, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba (Lumumba is suing or has sued her for damages). The cops picked that guy up and heavily interrogated him and beat him before they found a witness testifying that he was at the bar when the murder was committed.

    So to call this a courtroom drama, like it’s a lawsuit between the Real Housewives over dog carriers is just disgusting. I’m glad her conviction was overturned and I hope they find the people who actually raped and murdered Meredith Kerchner.

    Third, I’ve lived overseas and let me tell you something–those dudes who think American women are all sex crazed harpies? Aren’t any different than the American dudes who are convinced that Asian women will submit to them and walk on their back/Swedish women are all hot sexually free blondes/insert other ridiculous fucking stereotype here. Even with that stupid stereotype, I managed to make a lot of friends and date guys who used more than three brain cells and figured out that stupid stereotypes are stupid and so didn’t think I was a slut by virtue of being American. (And it’s not as if Americans–or any other foreigners–visiting or living in other countries are not beset by their own stereotypes about the country they are living in.)

    Fourth: We’re now freaking out over “you guys”? REALLY? Oh, FFS.

  56. chava
    chava October 4, 2011 at 8:40 am |

    Eh. Italian men won’t behave better if we do–that’s going to take a sea change in Italian culture (and I certainly hope it comes soon).

    Regardless, I’m not talking about “policing your sex life.” I’m talking about the tendency of many young expats (male and female) to disregard both the norms of their home culture and the norms of the culture they are visiting. It’s like since they aren’t at home, no rules apply. That perception of other countries as our “year off” funhouses is both irritating and really freaking privileged. And yeah, that impacts the perception of “American boy/girl=wild!” you see in heavily American*-touristed areas.

    Does sexism play into it above and beyond our behavior? Yep. Being foreign in another culture, no matter how you act, also plays a role–everyone fetishizes the Other.

    *FWIW, I’ve seen Brits do this too. But as I’m not British, I’ll just speak for my own country’s issues.

    samanthab:
    Chava, your notion that American women need to police their sex lives so that Italian men will behave better? It’s a tad fucked up!

  57. Athenia
    Athenia October 4, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    chava:
    It would help if 1) the media didn’t constantly portray us as such and 2) young Americans freshly arrived abroad didn’t insist on acting like their goal in life is drinking and sex.I do not know what it is about expat men, but damn if they don’t treat expat women worse than whatever culture you’re in.

    I’m not sure if things would get better if people didn’t drink/have sex/watch TV. Why? As my French professor told us, and I kid you not, “If you speak to a French man, he will think you want to have sex with him.”

    That’s a pretty low bar. (and pretty accurate from my experience)

  58. chava
    chava October 4, 2011 at 8:52 am |

    In my experience, French people, especially Parisians, interpret casual American familiarity as, yeah, “wanna have a cup of coffee?” Even giving someone your name/remembering their name is a big deal. So yeah, talking to new guys or girls without any particular reason=usually equal to flirting or, at least, really wanting to be friends. In other words, there’s a reason Parisian women seem like ice queens.

    Not to say that the French don’t have their own f-ed up sexism issues! But some of it is just a miscommunication.

    Athenia: I’m not sure if things would get better if people didn’t drink/have sex/watch TV. Why? As my French professor told us, and I kid you not, “If you speak to a French man, he will think you want to have sex with him.”

    That’s a pretty low bar. (and pretty accurate from my experience)

  59. JinianVictoria
    JinianVictoria October 4, 2011 at 9:00 am |

    I suppose I should be interested in the Knox case..but. Aside from the variances in the judicial system in Italy compared to the US; I really did not think about the case at all. I have a lot of other things to worry about closer to home. Sure what happened to Knox was sad but I think the rape of my sister was a lot more interesting (to put it mildly) than what happened to Knox however regretable. Lets worry about our personal lives before trying to mega wail and lament about someone in another country.

  60. Elena
    Elena October 4, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    Athenia: I lived abroad im S America before and during SATC, and I can promise you that many, many men assumed I was slutty because I was a gringa. They also assumed Black women and women from the coast were slutty. Basically, any woman who didn’t look and talk like the women in their family, or any women who were used to a certain degree of freedom and acted accordingly. I take criticisms of how “American women act abroad ” with a HUGE grain of salt, because usually it means American women having fun and trusting no one will hurt them. None of the crazy gringas I knew came close to being as sleazy as the local men.

  61. Angry Black Guy
    Angry Black Guy October 4, 2011 at 10:06 am |

    Just a counter point:

    As a card carrying man I have never heard any of my friends group any particular class of women as slutty in the way being portrayed here.

    I just don’t think it happens in the way that is being portrayed. I think you have men who are morons and men who are not and the men who are morons and think all women are promiscuous are there in every culture, just as in every culture there are white people who believe that all blacks are stupid criminals or straight women who believe that all gay people are really misguided or what have you.

    The way to combat negative stereotypes is not to invoke a entire class of additional stereotypes I would think. The broad classifications (ex pats do “X” or American men do “Y”) just seems completely counterproductive and in direct opposition to the fundamental point:

    Don’t make broad generalizations and stereotypes against anyone that are not based on direct interactions and communications with an individual.

  62. Tim
    Tim October 4, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    Aelphaba: guys

    No it isn’t.

  63. Tim
    Tim October 4, 2011 at 11:20 am |

    Aelphaba:
    I think the “guys” argument is like Monty Python, everyone thinks its awesome when they first discover it and then they move on.

    No it isn’t.

  64. victoria
    victoria October 4, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Tim: No it isn’t.

    Tim, i don’t know if you’re genuinely in disagreement with the Monty Python analogy or if you’re doing an obscure reference to the “argument clinic” sketch (whatever the case, i agree w/ you).

  65. zuzu
    zuzu October 4, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    Can we please stop acting as if SATC is the beginning and end of the portrayal of urban single American women as sluts?

    Guess what? That stereotype existed prior to the show, and it didn’t need the show’s help to continue after the series ended.

  66. Hugo
    Hugo October 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

    Hey y’all (my South Carolina relatives are among the southerners who insist that the term can be used in plural and singular, and is inclusive of all genders), here’s my piece at Good Men Project on Amanda Knox, anti-Americanism, and sexism: Amanda Knox Freed, But the Slut-Shaming Still Goes On.

  67. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

    Tim: No it isn’t.

    victoria: Tim, i don’t know if you’re genuinely in disagreement with the Monty Python analogy or if you’re doing an obscure reference to the “argument clinic” sketch (whatever the case, i agree w/ you).

    That’s not argument, that’s contradiction. An argument is an intellectual process, while contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

    Tim: No it isn’t.

  68. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub October 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  69. LC
    LC October 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

    Marksman2010: Kinda depressing. I was just about to let myself discover Monty Python.

    Oh, Monty Python *is* awesome. It’s just not nearly as awesome as a fresh convert to it thinks it is.

  70. Caperton
    Caperton October 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm | *

    Hugo:
    (my South Carolina relatives are among the southerners who insist that the term can be used in plural and singular, and is inclusive of all genders)

    Your relatives have led you astray. Y’all is gender-neutral, but don’t let the acceptable usages of both y’all and all y’all confuse you–they’re both applied in plural situations. Of course, according to my freshman English teacher, y’all isn’t an acceptable pronoun for the second-person plural in verb conjugations, so I suppose there aren’t any hard and fast rules.

    But I do think “Do y’all want to talk about Amanda Knox?” would have been an excellent title for this post.

  71. EG
    EG October 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    I dunno, I always think that “y’all” sounds affected when the person using it is not a southerner. Jill lives in NYC now, right? But I don’t know where she’s from–the west coast? Anyway, the vernacular of NYC would definitely be “you guys.”

  72. igglanova
    igglanova October 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    EG:
    I dunno, I always think that “y’all” sounds affected when the person using it is not a southerner.

    Ditto. Obviously everyone can say ‘y’all’ if they want and I won’t really care, but I would feel so dirty and uncomfortable if I was forced to use it as a replacement for my own idiom.

  73. Jadey
    Jadey October 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

    Fat Steve: NEE!

    I believe you’ll find that the correct rendering of the term is, “NI!”

    At least until it was replaced with the considerably more exhilarating, “Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptangya Ziiinnggggggg Ni!”

    /needless pedantry over absurdist neologisms in pop culture

  74. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

    Obviously everyone can say ‘y’all’ if they want and I won’t really care, but I would feel so dirty and uncomfortable if I was forced to use it as a replacement for my own idiom.

    I am an Atlanta transplant and while it will never sound quite right coming out of my mouth (it sounds more like “you all”), I do use it because it isn’t gendered. Alternatively, I use “folks” or “friends,” depending on context.

    Having made an effort to remove “guys” from my everyday vocabulary, it now sounds strange when I say it.

  75. preying mantis
    preying mantis October 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

    Caperton: Your relatives have led you astray. Y’all is gender-neutral, but don’t let the acceptable usages of both y’all and all y’all confuse you–they’re both applied in plural situations. Of course, according to my freshman English teacher, y’all isn’t an acceptable pronoun for the second-person plural in verb conjugations, so I suppose there aren’t any hard and fast rules.

    You know what’s never okay, though? Youse.

  76. EG
    EG October 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

    I definitely prefer “youse” to “y’all.” It’s closer to my native tongue.

  77. Athenia
    Athenia October 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    Sheelzebub:
    Oh, lord.

    First, foreign women are not necessarily “disposable” if they are White.Amanda Knox was the exception that proved the rule in that regard.You know who is disposable and ignored?Women of color.You do not see Nancy Fucking Grace and the big media machine swinging into action when a Black girl or woman goes missing–and sometimes (major trigger warning in the links) the cops completely ignore missing person reports when they are about Black women or girls while pulling out all of the stops for White women who have been missing for the same amount of time.And you know, that dismissal basically meant that in at least one case, Romona Moore died horribly.

    Oh I don’t disagree with you that white privileged women are treated differently than WOC. Although, I imagine a woman of color who is working abroad or going to school abroad might have class privilege.

    It’s just the whole concept of a “foreign woman” is a category of Other as opposed to the ‘native’ woman.

    And you’re right, ‘native’ women also get shat on as well, but I just think the category of foreign woman is important to keep in mind as well.

  78. Athenia
    Athenia October 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

    zuzu:
    Can we please stop acting as if SATC is the beginning and end of the portrayal of urban single American women as sluts?

    Guess what?That stereotype existed prior to the show, and it didn’t need the show’s help to continue after the series ended.

    You’re right. My bad.

  79. preying mantis
    preying mantis October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

    EG:
    I definitely prefer “youse” to “y’all.”It’s closer to my native tongue.

    Nooooooooooooooooo! /newDarthVader

  80. Andie
    Andie October 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

    preying mantis: Nooooooooooooooooo! /newDarthVader

    I’ve decided to forgo guys, gals, ladies, gentlmen, folks y’all, youse and stick with the simple but decisive “Motherfuckers”

    “Gather round, Motherfuckers!”
    “Do you Motherfuckers want to talk about Amanda Knox?”

    See? So versatile.

  81. Caperton
    Caperton October 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm | *

    Andie: I’ve decided to forgo guys, gals, ladies, gentlmen, folks y’all, youse and stick with the simple but decisive “Motherfuckers”

    “Gather round, Motherfuckers!”
    “Do you Motherfuckers want to talk about Amanda Knox?”

    See?So versatile.

    This.

  82. groggette
    groggette October 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

    Andie: I’ve decided to forgo guys, gals, ladies, gentlmen, folks y’all, youse and stick with the simple but decisive “Motherfuckers”

    butbutbut… WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!?!

  83. Andie
    Andie October 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

    groggette: butbutbut… WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!?!

    *shrug* None of them were hatched from eggs, AFAIK

  84. zuzu
    zuzu October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

    preying mantis: You know what’s never okay, though? Youse.

    My working-class, ex-BIL from Queens would beg to differ on that. Though he’d say “youse guys.”

  85. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

    Andie: ck with the simple but decisive “Motherfuckers”

    butbutbut… WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!?!

    Surely you mean ‘womenz’?

    I always thought that ‘Motherf—ers’ was a masculine noun. It certainly seems less gender neutral in normal usage than ‘guys’. To leave out anyone who has had intercourse with a mother seems as sexist as a form of address can get.

  86. BlackHumor
    BlackHumor October 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm |

    I think the implication with “motherfucker” is supposed to be that the target has fucked THEIR OWN mother.

  87. preying mantis
    preying mantis October 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    zuzu: My working-class, ex-BIL from Queens would beg to differ on that. Though he’d say “youse guys.”

    I know. You pretty much never hear “youse” without the follow-up of “guys.” My best youse-guys came from my stepfather, while he was complaining about how incorrect “y’all” and “ain’t” are. It was like a mobius strip of incorrect contractions.

  88. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 October 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

    Jill:
    Maybe i’m missing something, but who’s not covering Occupy Wall Street? It’s been all over the NYTimes for the past week.

    CNN coverage has been spotty. They finally did run a story on protestors who dressed up like corporate zombies. That was pretty cool.

    They also had an opinion piece by Jessica Ravitz on a dumb question that was asked during the Miss Universe Pageant.

    I think they asked something like, “If you could change one of your physical characteristics, which one would it be and why?”

  89. andie
    andie October 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm |

    Fat Steve: Surely you mean ‘womenz’?

    I always thought that ‘Motherf—ers’ was a masculine noun. It certainly seems less gender neutral in normal usage than ‘guys’. To leave out anyone who has had intercourse with a mother seems as sexist as a form of address can get.

    Assuming only guys can be Motherfuckers is pretty Heteronormative, Fat Steve. Tsk. Tsk.

  90. Camilla Peffer @ Girls Are Made From Pepsi

    I love how this post has gone off topic and onto the gender neutrality of slang language. If I’m referring to people collectively, I usually like to call them amazing humans, beautiful people, etc. I’m very Pollyanna like that.

    As for Knox, I feel as though she’s framed as an innocent bystander in US media, and as a evil seductress by the the UK media. Just take a look at the images they use with their articles. I’m afraid I don’t know much of the case, or enough to make an informed opinion, but obviously the media had already decided well before any real evidence came to light.

  91. Glove
    Glove October 5, 2011 at 9:21 am |

    shel: I’m so glad Amanda and Raffaele have been proven innocent and will soon be home with their loved ones.I knew this case was a fraud and a frame up from the very beginning.It was a lot like the Duke Lacrosse case where a corrupt prosecutor made up a phoney gang rape story but this time it was a female perpetrator,a crime I’m sure has never happened.Besides Amanda and Meredith were friends.She should never have been considered a suspect in the first place.

    shel: shel

    Erm…being the victim’s friend in no way exonerates you from suspicion. At all. As for your certainty that the case was ‘a fraud and a frame,’ you kinda need to give a bit more background to that. Were you involved in the case? Are you a friend or relative of anyone involved? Are you an Italian legal expert.

    But the real point of this reply is this. I could be totally misreading (or you’d messed up your grammar), but I think you’re saying that a woman or group of women could never gang rape someone. If you believe that you need to examine your beliefs very closely, and ask yourself why you feel you can erase the experiences of victims of female rapists.

  92. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

    Camilla Peffer @ Girls Are Made From Pepsi: If I’m referring to people collectively, I usually like to call them amazing humans, beautiful people, etc

    Clearly you’ve missed a few comments around here… ;)

  93. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve October 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    Glove: But the real point of this reply is this. I could be totally misreading (or you’d messed up your grammar), but I think you’re saying that a woman or group of women could never gang rape someone. If you believe that you need to examine your beliefs very closely, and ask yourself why you feel you can erase the experiences of victims of female rapists.

    At least you could argue that a gang of women gang-raping someone makes up a small percentage of rape convictions. But this is a case of (allegedly) two men and a woman killing a woman in a sex game, of which there are numerous public cases you can point to, so his comment is doubly ignorant.

  94. BlackHumor
    BlackHumor October 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    Glove:
    Erm…being the victim’s friend in no way exonerates you from suspicion. At all. As for your certainty that the case was ‘a fraud and a frame,’ you kinda need to give a bit more background to that. Were you involved in the case? Are you a friend or relative of anyone involved? Are you an Italian legal expert.

    I followed the case, and I can say with confidence that the chance that Amanda Knox killed Meredith Kutcher is at very most no greater than the chance that any murder victim’s roommate killed them.

    In fact I think it’s really a good bit less, considering Knox would’ve had to have some pretty impressive ninja skills to be able to murder someone and leave NO evidence of her presence when Rudy Guede left traces all over the room.

    But the real point of this reply is this. I could be totally misreading (or you’d messed up your grammar), but I think you’re saying that a woman or group of women could never gang rape someone. If you believe that you need to examine your beliefs very closely, and ask yourself why you feel you can erase the experiences of victims of female rapists.

    Well, [TW SO MUCH] I’m pretty sure no female rapist has left semen inside her victim.

  95. Kelsey
    Kelsey October 6, 2011 at 10:45 am |

    shel:
    I’m so glad Amanda and Raffaele have been proven innocent and will soon be home with their loved ones.I knew this case was a fraud and a frame up from the very beginning.It was a lot like the Duke Lacrosse case where a corrupt prosecutor made up a phoney gang rape story but this time it was a female perpetrator,a crime I’m sure has never happened.Besides Amanda and Meredith were friends.She should never have been considered a suspect in the first place.

    Wellllll technically they hadn’t been friends for that long. Amanda had only moved in the beginning of October I believe, which means they knew each other less than a month. I could see her being a suspect, especially since she lived with her and didn’t express a strong alibi (which is probably in part due to her being questioned so long and tediously by the police). But how this entire thing was done was so unnecessary. Obviously none of us will ever know 100% if she did it or not, but chances are she didn’t. I’m glad she’s finally able to move past this nightmare too, but I don’t like at all how much attention she got when the victim received hardly a fraction of it. I get sucked into cases like this and hate myself for it at the same time. Haha.

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.