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Mar 02 2006

On Jailing Rape Victims

The Twisty Inbox roils this morning with multiple reports of this rape-tape thing, wherein some Illinois judge has threatened to throw a rape victim in the clink for contempt of court if she continues to refuse to watch a video—there’s always a convenient video—of her gang rape. Since the first reports, the judge has reversed himself, but the patriarchy-blaming outrage marches on.

Mine is a brilliant legal mind, so naturally I have an opinion, and here it is: that the Establishment’s contempt for rape victims dovetails so brilliantly with its love for porn that this prurient subhuman slug of a judge simply could not resist the opportunity to combine torture with titillation in his courtroom. The woman, who was 16 and unconscious at the time of her assault, won’t have to watch the tape after all, but a courtroom screening is still planned, so that everyone else can still get off on her drunken teen slut film debut. I add, for the sake of the big picture, that this court has already found the tape to be child pornography.

If the rule of law demands that women watch videotapes of men humiliating, assaulting, and raping them, the rule of law is inexorably, excuse my French, fubar.

UPDATE: Feministing has a bunch of links referring to this repellent episode.

66 comments

3 pings

  1. LL

    Oh sweet deep-fried Jesus. I can’t even rant.

  2. Jodie

    That is the best explanation I’ve heard of why any judge would require a victim to sit through something so traumatic.

    It would only violate her AGAIN. But, hey, since she’s not a virgin anymore, it doesn’t matter, right? ugh.

  3. SneakySnu

    Excuse my sick mind, but I’m trying to imagine what the cross-examination of the woman while watching the tape would have been like. I don’t know who the worse fucking Sadist is here–the judge or the defense attorneys?

  4. Laura Bora

    You know — just when I think I’ve become desensitized and jaded when it comes to the patriarchy they sneak up and kick me right in ovaries.

    I felt SICK reading that report. If I had to RELIVE my sexual violation in front of THE VIOLATOR and a room full of people I think I would end up in a rubber room.

    I know I shouldn’t be stunned about the lack of ANY compassion, but I am. I wish I could rape that judge, write dirty words on him and film it and show it to everybody and make him watch it but that would probably really turn him on.

  5. Janeen

    LL, I think they serve that at the local county fair. If not, I’m going to get me a booth and start serving it up myself.

  6. That Girl

    She’s guilty until proven innocent so anything that shows her not being innocent is fair game.

  7. Sharoni

    Why aren’t they showing that film in chambers, or clearing the courtroom of all non-essential persons???? They can do that, but no, they’re just going to show it in the open court and humiliate her even further??? So she’ll be out of the room when they show it. Are they going to bring her back afterward? What, to sign autographs for her adoring fans? I have to go retch now, but I blame the patriarchy for this.

    Twisty, I hope your day is delightful.

  8. ginmar

    That Girl, you’re silly. No rape victim is ever proven innocent.

  9. zz

    I’m watching the clock and waiting to see how long it takes before someone pops in to comment about how horrible it is for a man to be accused of rape and how they should be able to use everything in their arsenal to cope with the fact women, you know, really *do* file false rape charges.

  10. Q Grrl

    ZZ: or better yet, when the post comes in about how women *can* protect themselves by not doing A, B, or C.

  11. SneakySnu

    zz: Go check the comment thread at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Dave has got you covered.

  12. katie

    and why has it taken FOUR YEARS to prosecute these assholes?

  13. LL

    I’ve been reading that thread over at Lawyers,Guns, and Money and I’m still baffled about something. I understand that the tape is an important piece of evidence, and should be viewed by the jury and judge, but why is it necessary for the defendant to view it? How does that affect the defense’s case? Maybe I’m slow, but I just don’t get how threatening a woman with jail time unless she views a tape of her own rape does anything *other* than traumatize the woman and make the judge look like a chafed asshole.

    It’s been brought up that she also refused to answer any questions about the tape, and that was the real issue. Which, if that’s true, makes me hate the judge only *slightly* less.

  14. LL

    Whoops – I meant why does the plaintiff have to view it – sorry. And how does it affect the defense’s case if she does/does not. This is what I get for posting from work – I’m even less clear than usual.

  15. Tony Patti

    Well, the whole fucking trial is a violation. I have nothing but awe for any woman who has the superhuman strength to go through the whole gauntlet of sexist, male-dominated patriarchal crap that a rape trial entails. Any woman who endures that to serve us all by putting these men behind bars should be heroes. Heroes! They should never have to work again, or at least, buy a drink while I’m anywhere nearby.

    Note well that MEN never have the balls to prosecute rape. If there’s one thing worse for the serene expression of smug male privilege than the patriarchy doing what it does best to a woman, it’s when it does it to the shocked and bewildered straight man, exposing the whole filthy system as being just as vile towards men who are found on the wrong end of a rapist’s dick.

    PS Castrate the rapists!

  16. Twisty

    They probably wanted her to give a play-by-play. Men can’t watch TV without announcers telling them what’s going on.

  17. LL

    Twisty – HEE. Yes, but in that case, who holds the remote??

  18. zz

    SneakySnu: Thanks for the link (I think?). Looks like Dave had a few buddies backing him up, too. Typical.

    Q Grrl: Your responses in that same thread rocked my world!

  19. Q Grrl

    Eh, ZZ, I lack the Twisty-cool. Stuff still brings me up and over the boiling point.

  20. Q Grrl

    … for which I blame the patriarchy.

  21. Hysterical Woman

    Actually, Dave was too stupid to realize that one guy (Scott) was backing him up.

  22. Sam

    These are fruits from the pornography industry’s tree. Our rape culture is an overgrown orchard of rotting fruit and despite the buzzing sound of gluttonous flies and sickly-sweet smell of decay most people still can’t see the forest of pornography trees suffocating the wildflowers.

  23. evil_fizz

    katie: it’s taken four years because the defendants fled to the Balkans. The defendant is recently back from Serbia. One of the others is still in Albania.

  24. Ed Anger

    Oh for Christsake, a few days ago you’re yammering (and rightly so) about Utah’s contempt for women manifested in its new parental notification law that does not make an exception for incest or rape. Now you’re saying the Establishment’s contempt for rape victims dovetails brilliantly with its love for porn. While this particular case would seem to validate your conclusion, I’ve yet to see any compelling evidence that woman-hating societies are universally porn-loving. Utah hates porn. The only thing preventing the State of Utah from conducting a wholesale confiscation and purification campaign in the name of stamping out porn is the US Constitution. Utah would rather direct millions of dollars to controlling porn than use that same money to address the immediate needs of its poverty-stricken citizens. Why is it necessary to incessantly pound that square peg of pornography into the round hole of woman-hating as if the two must by definition be inextricably linked?

  25. Kat

    Sometimes you just don’t have any (non-expletive) words.

  26. jaye

    http://talkleft.com/new_archives/014170.html

    Here is another fine example of the legal system–women required to give birth in shackles in the prison system.

  27. manxome

    By being conveniently unconscious, this woman clearly denied her attacker’s penis-given right to get off on her reaction to the assault. What better venue than open court to grant him that which was denied? Alas, this fight has been lost. Oh, patriarchy, I feel your pain. If only women had a videotape of this defeat to view for our sadistic pleasure. I am left to merely snark. Fuckwits.

  28. LMYC

    You know what I love? When people tell me that “you can’t let this sort of thing or its ubiquitousness make you bitter about men!”

    Oh yeah? Watch me.

  29. Twisty

    In #25: “Oh for Christsake, a few days ago you’re yammering (and rightly so) about Utah’s contempt for women manifested in its new parental notification law that does not make an exception for incest or rape. Now you’re saying the Establishment’s contempt for rape victims dovetails brilliantly with its love for porn. While this particular case would seem to validate your conclusion, I’ve yet to see any compelling evidence that woman-hating societies are universally porn-loving. Utah hates porn. The only thing preventing the State of Utah from conducting a wholesale confiscation and purification campaign in the name of stamping out porn is the US Constitution. Utah would rather direct millions of dollars to controlling porn than use that same money to address the immediate needs of its poverty-stricken citizens. Why is it necessary to incessantly pound that square peg of pornography into the round hole of woman-hating as if the two must by definition be inextricably linked?”

    Since I am no longer conducting feminism lessons, I respond to this comment only to remark that your “argument”–which appears to be that my “yammering” about Utah’s love for incest somehow invalidates my position that porn is wildly popular— is like unto a sieve. In the first place, I do not “yammer.” In the second place, you confuse me with Amanda Marcotte; yes, we both have vaginas, but–and I know this is difficult to fathom–we are nevertheless two distinct entities, and she is the one who wrote about the parental notification law, not me. In the third place, as all society is patriarchal, and therefore woman-hating, and, because pornography is its most popular product, porn is by extension of a woman-hating character.

    If your argument is that porn is a gal’s best friend, you’re reading the wrong blog and have my leave to go. Ditto if you just wanted to make a joke about holes.

  30. Luckynkl

    Well Ed, let’s see if I can explain it all to you. I can’t find the exact quote so I’ll paraphrase it for you.

    Conservatives consider women private property. Liberals consider women public property. Feminists claim that women aren’t property at all.

    Get it now?

  31. Hattie

    Ah, there’s no point in explaining all this stuff to anti-feminists. They just don’t think women are human individuals. We always symbolize something. Virgin, whore, loving mom, etc. etc.

  32. jezebella

    Seriously, any dude that gives his name as “Ed Anger,” the ranting right-wing columnist for the Weekly World News, is just an ass and I will henceforth scroll right past anything he types.

    Just in case anyone isn’t placing the “Weekly World News” it’s the home of Bat Boy, Bill-Clinton-is-an-Alien, and other tall tales masquerading as journalism.

    Twisty, I bet you’re right: he just wanted to make a hole joke.

  33. LMYC

    I really need to absent myself from these sorts of blogs. The stupid quotient makes what’s left of my already thin patience dry up like spit on a griddle.

    Some of you people need to study some basic topology and mathematics before you’re allows to argue anything EVER AGAIN, okay? You’re not allowed to OPEN YOUR MOUTHS until you do. Now STFU and go get a textbook. We’ll be here when you get back.

    To wit: A porn-loving society can connect its love of porn to the hatred of women. In fact, they all do.

    NO, this does not mean that EVERY woman-hating society will do this. Will you please go away and look up the phrase “necessary and sufficient” before you blow any more air through your piehole?

    Many societies that hate male homosexuality also hate women. The grandpappy society that LOVED male homosexuality (a narrow slice of it, at least) also hated women. Is your brain incapable of seeing that you can’t just look at the existence of one logic node and infer the entire structure from it?
    Or do you think that because a bookcase is built with wood screws that everything that includes a wood screw must of necessity be a bookcase?

  34. LMYC

    Oh, and BTW — sorry, Twisty. I know I’ve been a little incendiary lately, and I think I will be taking a break. After a while, the continued presence of brick-stupid numbskulls in the world gets a little depressing, and I need to focus on something better. Like my friends, my cat, and knitting.

  35. Luckynkl

    Or do you think that because a bookcase is built with wood screws that everything that includes a wood screw must of necessity be a bookcase?

    **chuckle** Yeah, that about sums up the logic this boy uses.

    Don’t stay away too long LMYC. I’ll miss your humor.

  36. littlem

    I already ranted over at Feministe, but WTF happened to statutory rape?! She was 16!!! I know what I learned in fed jur about the Constitution trumping everything, but surely there’s a compelling state interest that could stand the hell up to this weak-ass “right to confront the accuser” argument the defense has mounted.

    Nausea.

  37. kate

    Mr. Ed speaks:

    “I’ve yet to see any compelling evidence that woman-hating societies are universally porn-loving. Utah hates porn.”

    Oh yeah oh yeah! Says Mr. Ed and with that valiant apropo of proof, he offers up Utah as his example. And how does he know that Utah hates porn?

    Because the godbags there want to outlaw it. Contrary to your assumption Mr. Ed, they want to outlaw it because the Christian Right doctrine is shame. They can’t stand the shameless way in which the porn industry flaunts sex for the fun of it, for pure pleasure and even sometimes revels in showing women enjoying all the action.

    See, the godbags you speak of hate women so much that they would prefer they had absolutely no informatin about sex and hope they never contemplate engaging in such for fun or money or whatever besides babies and the love of their husband.

    This of course, as any godbag will tell you, helps in their efforts to keep women in their place. The issue of porn as degradation seems difficult for many men to understand, as well, porn is made basically for their enjoyment. Therefore, women are presented as mere accessories to the goal; to fantasize, masturbate and feel manly, its all about the dude.

    I don’t think its reaching too far to assume that since rape is a popular them in porn, that men get off seeing women degraded and humiliated by such activity. Then go from this to the courtroom wherein a rape defendant’s attorney submits a video of the rape in question and asks it to be viewed by the victim and the entire courtroom what can we infer?

    Considering the evidence of porn’s popular direction, is Twisty too far to consider that the male portions of the courtroom might secretly find this video tittilating? Am I reaching too far to consider that the defendants won’t feel some kind of special thrill in watching their once passive victim now squirm as she is humiliated all over again?

    And you still don’t get the linking of porn/mysoginy/rape case? Here’s a formula:

    Feminism Workshop I:
    Formula: PORN(ASSHATS)=MYSOGINY
    MYSOGINY COURTROOM(RAPE PORN) ASSHATS
    MYSOGINY-RAPE-PORN = 0

  38. Luckynkl

    I’m told the Mormons pretty much own Las Vegas. Interesting. By day they’re preaching fire and brimstone, and by night they’re soliciting and peddling female flesh. Hyprocritical fuckwads.

  39. Lorenzo

    Well, I was going to post the public property/private property thing to Ed but Luckynkl beat me too it, so instead I’ll talk about something else!

    Twisty,

    the Establishment’s contempt for rape victims dovetails so brilliantly with its love for porn

    I’d never quite thought about it in exactly this way, but I think you’re dead right. The rape culture shares with porn the construction of women as existing for the sexual gratification of men and the social construction of them as enjoying it or being responsible for it.

  40. lindsey

    I’m too angry to really rant, but rape trials are always where it’s so obvious the patriarchy definitely needs blaming…patriarchy LOVES to always say it is the victims fault in some way.

  41. cinder

    When will feminists stop wishing the legal system would be less patriarchal? The law and the thugs that uphold it are the very structure of patriarchy and it will NEVER be otherwise. Why does it suprise any of us when one judge happens to be a little more obnoxious than another? Judges are the very pillars on which the Patriarchy rests it’s enormous weight. Of course they are going to act like the fucking pigs that they are.

    To demand (beg) for legal reform is to utterly submit while maintaining the illusion of opposition. The Patriarchy thrives on the illusion of opposition because such meaningless activity gives it the appearance of being not so bad, really, while not having to make any substantial ideological shifts. To ask Authority for protection and recognition is to accept that one is an inherent victim.

    As for these rapists, castrate the fuckers. And that judge? Him too.

  42. mythago

    I already ranted over at Feministe, but WTF happened to statutory rape?!

    It would be rather patriarchal of the prosecutor to let these asshats off with the greatly-reduced sentence that goes along with sex with a teenager.

  43. Sharoni

    A Mormon in a neighborhood in my town owned a “lounge” that had regular pole-dancing nights! Of course, he made money off the enterprise and tithed and all, but he didn’t want his fellow Mormons to know about it. Finally the neighborhood he was in (an upper-middle residential neighborhood) made him shut down the pole dancing, chair-shots, wet-T-shirt type bar and turn it into a pizzeria. Now, I’m not real sure who to cheer for here? The defeat of a pole-dancing enthusiast in right-wing godbag disguise, or the middle-class, middle-of-the-road, right-winged neighborhood that censored his money-making, “free sex” environment???? My head hurts.

    Twisty, I don’t have a lot of time for checking in lately, but it cheers me that you valiantly continue the blaming.

  44. The Fat Lady Sings

    OK two things. First, because I just HAVE to do it:

    “Hello, I’m Mister Ed”

    A horse is a horse of course of course,
    And no one can talk to a horse of course.
    That is of course unless the horse
    Is the famous Mister Ed!

    Go right to the source and ask the horse.
    He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mister Ed!

    People yakkity-yak a streak
    And waste your time of day,
    but Mister Ed will never speak
    Unless he has something to say!

    A horse is a horse of course of course,
    And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
    You never heard of a talking horse?
    Well, listen to this…

    ” I am Mister Ed!”

    Ahhhhh – That’s better! Every once in a while it’s important to give in to an irresistible impulse.

    Now – about that horrific rape. I was living in that area when it happened. The circumstances were appalling (objects were used as well). The CHILD who was gang-raped was purposefully set up as the victim. Her rapists were rich boys who at first were going to get clean away with it because the local authorities were ready to ignore the whole thing. Only after a hue and cry by the public were charges even filed, and the rapists were let out of jail on their own recognizance. Of course uber-wealthy mommy and daddy spirited them away. And I’ll have you know the poor girl has had to endure additional verbal and character assaults since the rape.

  45. Ed Anger

    kate:

    Can we really draw a generalized conclusion about each and every “Establishment” vis a vis porn from this specific case, or has the conclusion already been drawn and this case merely serves to confirm what we already believe?

    “Because the godbags there want to outlaw it. Contrary to your assumption Mr. Ed, they want to outlaw it because the Christian Right doctrine is shame. They can’t stand the shameless way in which the porn industry flaunts sex for the fun of it, for pure pleasure and even sometimes revels in showing women enjoying all the action.”

    Your description seems oddly divergent from what I can only imagine must be the dynamics at play in the theoretically ubiquitous rape-porn scenario.

    Are you saying they don’t really hate porn, but the guilt and consequence-free way it’s presented?

    “See, the godbags you speak of hate women so much that they would prefer they had absolutely no informatin about sex and hope they never contemplate engaging in such for fun or money or whatever besides babies and the love of their husband.”

    I absolutely agree with you, as far as you go. I won’t go into length about this because I imagine it violates the cardinal rule of the board, but the Mormons discourage young men from learning anything about sex as well, demonizing masturbation, its precursors, and its abettors with steaming piles of shame. By the time they return from their masturbation-free proselytizing missions they’re dying to get married and start a family just to cure their blue balls.

    I think the goal of these porn censors is the control of everyone, women *and* men, the better to keep them all lost in the fog of a quack religion.

    “Considering the evidence of porn’s popular direction, is Twisty too far to consider that the male portions of the courtroom might secretly find this video tittilating? Am I reaching too far to consider that the defendants won’t feel some kind of special thrill in watching their once passive victim now squirm as she is humiliated all over again?”

    No, I agree with that. It’s the dovetail thing, as if the relationship is as immutable as the law of gravity, with which I disagree.

    “And you still don’t get the linking of porn/mysoginy/rape case? Here’s a formula:

    Feminism Workshop I:
    Formula: PORN(ASSHATS)=MYSOGINY
    MYSOGINY COURTROOM(RAPE PORN) ASSHATS
    MYSOGINY-RAPE-PORN = 0″

    If we assume the premise that all porn-loving/porn-tolerant societies (PT) hate women, does it not logically follow that all porn-loving/porn-tolerant societies are also women-hating (WH) societies, and that this relationship can be expressed mathematically as (WH)=(PT)?

    I’m just asking how it is you can simultaneously sustain belief in this dogma and account for all the women-hating societies (e.g., any Muslim nation, the state of Alabama, et al) where the objective evidence would lead to the conclusion that (WH) ≠ (PT)?

    You probably explained that already, but I didn’t get it.

  46. sybil

    Mr. Ed, why do you need to lump all these societies together? The USofA is unique in its degree of materialistic consumerism, although its certainly doing its best to infect the rest of the world with it. A peculiar confluence of American entrepreneurship and worship of the almighty dollar have led to an unprecedented porn industry. Again, it’s become a global commodity, but America is the bastion of porn and porn-chic. And trafficking of women and children is also global, but a surprising (?) number of end-users is American, whether at home or abroad.

    Let’s be generous and assume you’re just asking these questions to get a really clear understanding that you can then share with the other men in your life, and which will enable you to stand up for women’s rights. Otherwise, just as Cinder so eloquently summarizes it, you’re just part of that vast patriarchal power structure.

    Special appreciation to Luckynkl #31 and LMYC#34 for clarifications.

    I know, maybe Mr Ed can submit a piece of the Blogging for Sexism day.

  47. Teenagecatgirl

    Remember the ‘sport’ where misogynistic businessmen get to go and hunt down naked women with paintball guns?
    Anyone think we should start our own version, with running rapists and real bullets?

    I do.

  48. Twisty

    Didn’t that naked paintball thing turn out to be a hoax?

  49. Teenagecatgirl

    I have no clue. I just like the idea of shooting rapists.

  50. ginmar

    I’m surprised will isn’t here. He’s been protesting the right of the accused to be presumed innocent elsewhere, to the point where he says that the tape should be presumed to depict consensual intercourse.

    I don’t like the idea of shooting rapists, even though I’d be very good at it. I like the idea of pounding it through their heads what they did, and how bad it is and what they made their victims suffer. I want them to see that and suffer.

    Of course, I believe in Santa Claus, too.

    Ed, guys how nitpick and get anal on feminist boards aren’t usually interested in clarifying shit. They’re usually just interested in baiting.

  51. Violet Socks

    ginmar, I like you an awful lot and I don’t want to fight with you, so just take this for what it’s worth:

    Will is a lawyer. His reaction was almost identical to HappyFeminist’s, who is also a lawyer. I know from lawyers — been married to one, am related to a couple — and that’s lawyer talk. They don’t like to commit without knowing the facts first-hand, they fall back on procedure (well, it’s the judge’s job to make a call on probative value, blah blah), they invoke standard rules of evidence. It’s heartless but it’s heartless the way doctors look at your body as a machine and don’t even think twice about the human suffering. It’s lawyer-think.

    Over at my site, when Will took the time to read through the thread, he ended up saying that if the girl was unconscious on the tape and the tape was admitted in evidence for the jury, he couldn’t see why the girl had to watch the tape. But he also explained that it would make sense for a judge to insist she view the tape if the judge felt the probative value outweighed the negative effect — for instance, if there was any question on the tape that the girl might be conscious. And I note that that is EXACTLY what Happy Feminist said (which kind of surprised me, I admit).

    I don’t mean to sound like the big Will supporter, but I kind of know him and there’s no doubt he’s committed to at least some feminist causes. You have every right to call him out on bullshit — I have, and will again — but I don’t think he’s some kind of sneaky troll.

    But I will shut up now.

  52. Violet Socks

    one more thing, ginmar — you are right that Will did speak too hastily and too callously about the rape-tape at first, without reading through the case and thinking about it. I and Trish and Manxome got very pissed at him this morning. But I think that was thoughtlessness, not trollishness (as I understand the word “troll”).

  53. flea

    Not Guilty.

    Let that be yet another lesson to all of us – DON’T FUCKING BOTHER PRESSING CHARGES.

    Christ.

  54. Teenagecatgirl

    Why do they even bother pretending rape is illegal? It’d at least be more fucking honest if they actually just came out and said men could rape anyone they wanted and no other man would ever punish them for it, because after all that’s what the bitches are there for.

    You know what, I was thinking guns, now I’m leaning more towards baseball bats with nails driven through them. They like forcible penetration; then they should like one of those shoved up their arsehole.

  55. Ron Sullivan

    Violet Socks, I realize that was just a f’r instance, but I fail to understand how making that women watch the rape tape would have any effect of proving she was conscious, or consenting, or any other probative value. The judge (and jury, if there is one) and maybe the lawyers involved, maybe but anyone else, including the plaintiff? Would they look for the expression on her face or some such superstitious thing?

    And Ed, porn does not equal sex education or shamelessness… for women. (Think about what the industry and what it’s actually producing in, say, the USA, since a lot of us live here actually teaches girls who see it — and it’s hard to avoid.) Who bans it is completely irrelevant. If you thought all beer tasted like Coors you probably wouldn’t care if Prohibition returned. OK, I wouldn’t. Fortunately I’m shacked up with a usedtabe homebrewer.

    Me, I’m not so much an antiporn crusader because I see it as a symptom, not a cause, and sometimes a distraction. (There’a another Prohibition analogy.) Will there be feelthy pitchurs in the Equality-for-All Utopia, just with more naked guys and less fashion judgment and more fun for all? Dunno. I’d sure like to make the experiment. I like fucking (for rather varied values of “fucking”) and I like pictures of fucking and most of what I run into by way of talking about/advertising/advising about fucking makes me want to cross my legs for a week. It took me years to figure out that I’m not shy or repressed.

    Patriarchies make patriarchal porn. Patriarchies make patriarchal laws. Patriarchies make patriarchal religions. That they can be patriarchal by means that differ on the surface is hardly a surprise. You know that gang thing where you can get shot for wearing either red or blue on the wrong block? Doesn’t exactly make the gangs substantially different from each other.

  56. Violet Socks

    Ron Sullivan, I didn’t understand either what could possibly be gained by making the girl watch the tape. And I argued vehemently that it was just bullshit. My only point was that a couple of lawyers — one of whom is an undisputed feminist — noted that judge may have had legitimate reasons.

  57. Luckynkl

    Why do they even bother pretending rape is illegal? It’d at least be more fucking honest if they actually just came out and said men could rape anyone they wanted and no other man would ever punish them for it, because after all that’s what the bitches are there for.

    You’re pretty close. Only 1% of rapists see the inside of a courtroom, and only 1% of that 1% ever see the inside of a jail cell, even tho the DOJ reports that 98% of women that report rape have indeed been raped. According to their statistics (last I looked), only 2% of women falsely accuse. But to listen to the media and all their woeful tales about men being falsely accused of rape, you’d think it was the other way around. The public is being intentionally led to believe the opposite of what is actually occurring. Which unjustly and despicably influences and affects the legal system’s and public’s attitudes towards women who claim they have been raped.

    Even when rapists get up on the stand and cockily admit that that they have raped and assaulted a woman, it’s not uncommon for judges to act as tho they didn’t hear what he said or else pretend it’s about as big of a deal as stealing a cookie out of the cookie jar. I know cuz I sat right there in a courtroom and watched it.

    In a Colorado courtroom, a rapist admitted to the rape he was accused of and the judge let him walk out of the courtroom a free man. The judge stated that since the rapist had told the truth and said he was sorry, there was no reason to punish him any further. I wish I was joking, but I’m not.

    In still another case, a dear friend of mine went to court to finalize her divorce. Her husband didn’t show up. The divorce should’ve been automatic. There were no children or property involved. There was nothing to challenge or contest. So my friend was stunned when her lawyer put her up on the stand anyways and demanded that she tell the entire courtroom, which was full of people, how her husband had sexually humiliated and degraded her. She just stared at him in disbelief. The judge asked her did she want the divorce or not? If she did, then answer the lawyer’s question. She refused to and got up and walked out of the courtroom. The judge did grant her the divorce but that’s not the point. Why was it demanded that she degrade and humiliate herself in front of an entire courtroom when there was no reason to? Other than to provide the males in the courtroom with some new porn material for that X rated movie they constantly have going on in those warped little heads of theirs

  58. Char

    I’m a lawyer, and I can’t think of any reason she should be forced to watch the tape, regardless of issues of consciousness or unconsciousness.

    I’m not a criminal lawyer, so maybe I’m missing something. OTOH, for most lawyers the fallback position *is* “maybe there is a good reason, I need to know all the facts.” The only thing this does is create another barrier to attacking the patriarchal basis of law, especially rape law. If you don’t know all the facts — STFU. Especially if you’re a laywer. Because speaking in defense of the law from a privileged position as part of the law makes changing the law even more difficult. It entrenches the status quo. *You’re* entrenching the status quo by defending the law without all the facts while simultaneously admonishing those who are attacking the law wkithout all the facts.

    As for the acquittal — how suprising is it, really? If anything she said contradicted, or apparently contradicted, what was on the tape she’s automatically a lying slut. And if it’s on tape, it’s pornography. And if it’s pornography she must have wanted to be in it.

  59. mythago

    Why was it demanded that she degrade and humiliate herself in front of an entire courtroom when there was no reason to?

    Because she picked a very, very bad lawyer. No, I’m not blaming her. If her husband did not appear, it should have been a default. IF she lived in a fault-based-divorce state, that’s why you have to go through telling the judge why your marriage was awful, because you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your marriage is farblonzhet. (This is why no-fault divorce is a Good Thing.)

    Violet Socks, I realize that was just a f’r instance, but I fail to understand how making that women watch the rape tape would have any effect of proving she was conscious, or consenting, or any other probative value

    In this case? I don’t know either. A few people over on Feministe seem not to get the idea that if evidence contradicts a witness, that doesn’t automatically mean the witness is lying.

    If you’re asking ‘why on earth would you ever do such a thing?’, because there’s nothing patriarchal about a rule that says “If a witness says X, and some piece of admissible evidence shows they are lying, you can show it to them to attack their credibility’. Sometimes this is a good thing–e,g., the accused rapist swears he had the victim’s consent, and the prosecutor confronts him with a blog post he made where he brags about how hard she fought him.

    From the legal point of view, you don’t shift the rules depending on which side you find more sympathetic. Luckynkl gave some excellent examples of the kind of things that happen when lawyers or judges blow off the rules because they don’t like the people they apply to.

  60. amaz0n

    Mythago, I’d agree with your sentiment (that if a witness says something that is contradicted by evidence, you should confront that witness with it) but in this case, the evidence does not seem to contradict the statement of the victim. People who are blacked out from drinking alcohol are capable of moving around and/or appearing concious, to the point of carrying on conversations or driving cars (my husband is one of those people). That’s why the law states that a person who is intoxicated cannot legally consent to sex.

    That’s one of the many reasons, by the way, that I can’t understand this verdict. Regardless of her state of conciousness, the girl was clearly, extremely intoxicated. All witnesses agreed to that fact. Is this not an open-and-shut case?

  61. amaz0n

    Twisty, why does your moderation system loathe me so? Am I being punished for some unknown slight?

  62. Teenagecatgirl

    Luckynkl> I know, it’s terrifying. Here in the UK a guy received a sentence of 180 hours community service following a rape conviction.
    A girl who was absolutely blind drunk and passed out in front of her university dorm room door was raped by the security guard walking her home, and the guy got away, because her unconsciousness was taken as consent (or so they said).

    Rape is basically legal, even if convicted they get a slap on the wrist. At least if they were honest about this, more women would know what the real situation is.

  63. Luckynkl

    That’s why the law states that a person who is intoxicated cannot legally consent to sex.

    I thought it was law, too. Maybe it’s just one of those laws which varies from state to state? Because I know it’s definitely a law in some states. Like Oklahoma. I remember what a big deal some people made out of it when the law was passed. As if there’s some higher law which prohibits infringement upon men’s divine right to porn, misogyny and pussy.

    I remember it wasn’t just limited to intoxication. A sleeping person is also considered to be in an unconscious state. Many women do respond with arousal to stimulation when they’re sound asleep. It’s anyone’s guess what they might be dreaming. So does this now imply consent? Well this case sure sets a precedent for it. And opens up a big can of worms.

    Which brings to mind another case of a woman who was attacked in her bedroom by a stranger who had broken into her house and asked him to put on a condom. The defense outrageously used this to imply that the rapist had been given consent.

    Why doesn’t the state just start issuing licenses to men that can be obtained at their local Walmart? Because it’s obviously open hunting season on women.

  64. ginmar

    Violet Socks, I appreciate you explaining this case, but Will displays too many of the thinking patterns that I associate with far too many trolls. He’s repeatedly mistated my statements, which I’m sure you know aren’t exactly subtle and with that in mind it’s impossible to trust his perspective or judgement.

    That said, making the victim view the tape of her own rape is just calling her a lying slut and doing it with actions instead of words. I read one article where the defense lawyer accused her of just changing her mind afterward and it’s clear he obtained his acquittal in mcuh the same way the cops were acquitted in the Rodney King case—-by divorcing the contents of the tape from the human being abused in it. The thing is, when it’s a matter of race, it’s important. When it’s women, nobody cares.

  65. Teenagecatgirl

    It’s really irrelevant what particular action is now interpreted as consent. It doesn’t matter if we were asking for it because we wear certain clothes, flirt, get drunk, nothing.
    Whether we consented or not is immaterial to men, male sexual entitlement is just being taken to its logical conclusion; that any man at any time has the right to fuck any woman. And no other man will condemn him for it.
    We don’t own our wombs anymore, we don’t own our vaginas, mouths, anuses or breasts.

    This is only going to stop when women start doing worse to rapists than the rapists can do to them.

  1. The Republic of T.

    Sometimes It’s Hard To Be a Woman

    Tammy Wynette had no idea. It’s apparently getting a lot harder, and South Dakota’s abortion bill is only the tip of the proverbial ice berg. I’ve been stowing away links related to women’s issues for the past week or so, and t…

  2. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » The Treatment of Rape Victims

    [...] Oustanding feminist commentary on same comes from I Blame the Patriarchy, where Twisty Faster observed: Mine is a brilliant legal mind, so naturally I have an opinion, and here it is: that the Establishment’s contempt for rape victims dovetails so brilliantly with its love for porn that this prurient subhuman slug of a judge simply could not resist the opportunity to combine torture with titillation in his courtroom. The woman, who was 16 and unconscious at the time of her assault, won’t have to watch the tape after all, but a courtroom screening is still planned, so that everyone else can still get off on her drunken teen slut film debut. I add, for the sake of the big picture, that this court has already found the tape to be child pornography. [...]

  3. Jailing Rape Victims and Other Delights at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] • This CNN headline, sent in by blamers Sandi and bminer, pretty much says it all: “Teen jailed for her own safety, prosecutors say”. A 14-year-old girl refuses to testify against some perv who molested her, so a judge has ordered her jailed “indefinitely” while the perv is free to roam the streets of Akron. That judge has clearly been studying Sharia law. And you know, in Libya, the US’s newest blood brother, they lock up rape victims for indefinite periods all the time, also citing the womens’ “safety.” And who can forget the Illinois judge who threatened to throw a 16-year-old in the hoosegow for refusing to watch a video of her rape? [...]

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