«

»

May 24 2007

The De Anza case: men really hate drunk teenage girls

The scope of this foul ‘De Anza rape allegations case’ initially caused my obstreperal lobe to throw both its claws in the air, exclaim “That’s it!“, bundle a few provisions in a bindle, and take to the rails. This morning, unexpectedly, it came shuffling back, bruised but vociferant, clutching in its tentacles a slew of reports from San Jose MercuryNews.com. I’ve spent the last hour reviewing these, with increasing nausea.

By now you will have heard a summary of the case: in San Jose, California, at a house party on March 3 of this year, three men gang-raped a comatose teenager while ten jolly spectators whooped it up on the sidelines. On May 21, Santa Clara County DA Dolores Carr astonished the victim, the sheriff’s department, and right-thinking humans everywhere when she dismissed all charges because of ‘insufficient evidence.’

Outcry, both local and blogular, has ensued.

The media lump together the assault and its concomitant juridical circus under the moniker ‘the De Anza case’ because two of the rapists were members of the (San Jose, California) De Anza Community College baseball team. This factoid is significant because the media know a fortuitously sordid sequel to the popular ‘Duke lacrosse scandal’ when they see one, and can’t leave the sports angle alone. It is also significant because DA Dolores Carr clearly had no wish to toddle down the same thorny path as her College Sports Rape Scandal counterpart in Durham NC, old Mike Nifong, whose hubris-y personal ambitions got him busted for concealing evidence favorable to the Duke rapists.

MercuryNews reports are rife with male-dominant vernacular, both from quoted sources and in the reportage itself. This language reveals that, in the popular imagination, in adjudication of rape cases, and in media culture, there flourishes a truly despicable, antifeminist, misogynist zeitgeist. The prominent themes are alcohol-and-consent, the aforementioned irrelevant circumstance that the rapists were college athletes, and the bizarre idea that ‘insufficient evidence’ is now the equivalent of ‘it never happened.’

For your blaming convenience, here’s an overview of the case, compiled exclusively from MercuryNews articles, and viewed through Twisty-colored glasses.

March 4: Gang-rape occurs; spectators cheer; victim is taken to hospital by women from the party. Police captain Steve Angus asserts that “some sort of sexual assault occurred,” but the rape is always described as “alleged”; as we now know, if there is ‘insufficient evidence,’ suddenly there was no assault. This magical thinking omits to consider, you know, facts, as well as the views of the women who took the victim to the hospital after she’d been brutalized (they were never asked to testify before the grand jury), not to mention the victim herself.

Apparently it’s perfectly normal for incapacitated teenage girls to blithely service multiple baseball players while a shitfaced mob yuks it up. Says young eyewitness Megan Keefhaver, whose boyfriend just happens to be a De Anza baseball player, “The people in the room obviously were cheering the guys on or something like that. But I didn’t think of it as a rape situation.” Because she’s from the moon.

March 17: MercuryNews runs a story entirely devoted to the sorrowful heartbreak so unfairly inflicted on — yup, you called it — the baseball team. De Anza has suspended eight players for what reporter Elliot Almond calls ‘questionable behavior’ ; the team is suffering sorely as a result of the inconvenient rape. Laments coach Scott Hertler, “Mentally, none of us are sleeping great. We’re probably not eating right because we just don’t feel good.” He regrets that they didn’t teach him how to deal with rape-based morale-slippage in “coaching school.”

But the “team’s resilience” shines through, and they win the big game! Yay team!

Way to romanticize, via our dudely young athletes, those lofty all-American ideals of character, brotherhood and sportsmanship with which male college sports teams are commonly thought to be imbued.

They aren’t supposed to rape and pillage, though, before they turn pro.

March 19: 20-year-old Steve Rebagliati, host of the rape party and one of the ‘alleged’ rapists, executes a felony hit-and-run just hours before raping the teenager. This tidbit will disappear like magic from MercuryNews reports, but Rebagliati, whose family owns the rape house, will become the Face of the innocent baseball team.

April 9: A second woman comes forward. It turns out that she was raped by the same baseball team in the same house three months earlier. They’d given her shots of tequila and matched her with shots of beer. What sportsmanship!

Like the hit-and-run mentioned above, this allegation vanishes into the mist.

May 16: After testifying before the grand jury, the chivalrous sportsman MercuryNews calls “Freshman pitcher Ryan Kanzaki” is overheard in the hall gleefully reporting to his family that he has been granted immunity. MercuryNews implies that this human stain Kanzaki was one of the cheering crowd urging his teammates on to feats of drunken brutality. Of course! His all-American sportsmanlike team spirit naturally makes him reluctant to rat out his fellow criminals.

Two other uncharged suspects are described in terms of their wholesome sportiness: “sophomore Chris Skinner, an infielder,” and “Spencer Maltbie, who doubles as a pitcher and infielder.” Causing my obstreperal lobe to throb uncomfortably, Maltbie apparently believes that because he doesn’t “drink or smoke” he is above suspicion.

May 22: DA Dolores Carr issues brief statement re: the ‘insufficient evidence.” Mistaking this for vindication, suspect Rebagliati relates his sorrowful tale of woe at having been a “scapegoat.” A reporter actually asks what he would say to the victim if he had the chance. He would, in fact, take the opportunity to lecture the lying slut — because let’s face it; if there was no rape, but she did a baseball team, she has to be a lying slut — on the importance of developing character: “I’d ask her why she chose to put us and herself through so much. My only thought is I hope that she learned a lot, as well as about herself, in the last two months.”

In case you were wondering, he can sleep at night, knowing that “as a team, [we] are innocent and free to live normally again.”

There’s no interviewing the victim, who of course will never be “free to live normally” again, so MercuryNews reports that she’s “disappointed,” but that heavy drinking makes prosecuting sexual assaults “difficult.”

The real reason that prosecuting sexual assaults is difficult — i.e. our culture’s fucking endemic misogyny — is not mentioned.

May 21 In an opinion piece, Scott Herhold demands answers! He wants to know whether the cops flubbed the investigation, sure, but he won’t be satisfied until there has been a thorough and public recap of the actual rape. Presumably this is so he and all the other CSI-poisoned sexperts out there can judge for themselves whether or not the baseball team pronged the victim en masse because they are rapists, or because the drunken little slut just really likes “sex.” He wants details!

What harm could it do? The case isn’t just about a rape victim, he says. It’s “about how our elected law enforcement officials do their job” (no doubt the victim would consider it just peachy if MercuryNews published a play-by-play of her rape, but alas, Herhold can’t ask her to confirm; she’s already moved away to escape the horror and humiliation). And besides, he says, who’s to say there isn’t a “problem with the credibility of the victim herself?” Everybody knows that 17-year-old girls constantly rush around to hospitals and make shit up about how they were gang-raped by baseball teams.

May 22: “Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Tuesday she believes that ‘individuals got away with sexual assault’ at a party attended by members of the De Anza College baseball team, and that ‘at some point, someone needs to speak up for the victim.’” Well, duh.

May 23: This MercuryNews report characterizes the victim as “the girl” and her rape as a “controversy.” Also, readers who are anxious with concern for DA Dolores Carr’s conscience can rest easy. Quoth Carr, “I’m at peace with my decision.”

And once again, the right of mobs of drunken male athletes to relieve their incontinence in semi-conscious teen receptacles has been upheld by law enforcement. This sickening and egregious miscarriage of justice, my young onions, is precisely what the Twisty Consent? Schmonsent! Protocol would address.

274 comments

13 pings

  1. Sylvanite

    I’m officially sick of sports, the people who play sports, and the fans of sports. I would appreciate it very much if men everywhere decided that basket weaving and other arts and crafts were worthy manly pursuits. Preferably to be pursued while sober and miles from the nearest woman.

  2. ashes

    I’m crying. It’s day like this you just hate this whole rotten world.

  3. Amanda Marcotte

    Thank god for Nifong and the immoral media! The hoopla over the Duke case has now made it quite likely that gang rape will be tacitly legal, because prosecuters will be scared to death to prosecute.

  4. Erin

    This is one of those things where my brain just shuts off. If I began to fully grasp the disgusting implications of this situation I think I’d have an aneurism. And I’m loving that ONE quote they are using from a witness throughout all the articles. “I didn’t think of it as a rape situation.” Can we hear from one of the women who took her to the hospital? Or how about the one guy who supposedly tried to stop it.

  5. Kumachka

    Wash’t the idea of team sports to channel male aggression so they wouldn’t run around raping and pillaging? Or was it simply to tire them out so they wouldn’t question The Man?

  6. Twisty

    The idea of team sports is to hone the skills necessary for success in life under a paradigm of dominance and submission.

  7. trailer park

    I just can’t comprehend how this could possibly be seen as anything but rape.

    Some adult gave the victim alcohol, illegally. Three witnesses can testify that she was semi-conscious, vomiting (unable to keep anything down), and that they had to carry her out of the house she was so drunk. They can also testify that the men were holding the door closed. Why would they have to hold the door closed if this was consensual sex? AND SHE IS UNDERAGE! How is this not a crime?? HOW? How much more evidence do they need?

  8. kanea

    there aren’t enough words in the two languages I know to discribe my disgust. I really really hope that some one (perhapse this school’s women’s lib group?) will start protests at sporting events. if this was my school those players would be the one’s who have to leave.

  9. lawbitch

    Why are these guys being treated like real athletes? These guys are on a *community* college team. What’s next? We’ll let the little league team commit larceny? This has absolutely nothing to do with sports.

  10. Shabnam

    District Attorneys are elected aren’t they? Isn’t this problematic? (I’m not American, so correct me if I’m wrong). Is Dolores Carr trying to court the votes of Dude Nation?

  11. badkitty

    Two of the women who rescued the girl have spoken to the press.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/13370961/detail.html

  12. Shabnam

    Or the votes of men who really hate teenage girls. Unfortunately, perhaps that is not such a small constituency.

  13. Joanna

    And I would bet good money that the three young women who rescued this child are now being harassed.

  14. vera

    In her election campaign, Carr had to battle expectations that she would not be independent enough of the police, because her husband is on the police force.

    If I had any hope left, it would go toward the possibility that she will have something more to battle in the next election: an outraged public.

    This morning I sent a letter to the state attorney general, hoping that someone in that office might think an investigation is in order. I don’t know, however, if that’s the correct office to contact.

  15. Twisty

    Shabnam, Dolores Carr is trying to prove that she wasn’t lying when she got elected on a platform of “my San Jose police detective husband will in no way influence my decisions as DA.” True enough; ostensibly she and the cops depart wildly from each other on this case.

    Oh, and she’s trying to court the votes of Dude Nation.

  16. Twisty

    I see Vera has already answered Shabnam’s question. Someday I will understand blogs.

  17. lawbitch

    The Sherriff’s ofice is keeping the case open.

    “Sources told CBS 5 that the Sheriff’s Office was considering a range of options from re-starting the investigation, to re-filing on new, lesser charges against the baseball players for having unlawful sex with a minor, or furnishing a minor with alcohol.”

    I get the impression that the sheriff is watching and waiting for has the rapist who committed the hit/run to strike again.

  18. A.

    Okay, the really devastating quotation for me is from the article linked by bad kitty. Speaking of the victim: “When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said ‘I’m sorry.’”

    jesus god what made her think she should be sorry?

  19. redhead

    badkitty, thanks for the link. The lowlight is this, from one of the gang-rapers: “This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.” She did what – gang-raped herself when she was so drunk she was vomiting and had to be carried out of the house?

  20. Twisty

    “When they lifted her head up, her eyes moved and she said ‘I’m sorry.’”

    I do not have the ovaries to continue reading general coverage of this bullshit anymore, but jesus tapdancing christ. This is precisely why I write this fucking blog; I keep hoping, against all reason, that some parent somewhere will read it and think “Oh! Wow. Maybe I should try to imbue my son with some sense of T & B. And while I’m at it, maybe I should become a feminist.”

  21. redhead

    jesus god what made her think she should be sorry?

    She’s a woman in a patriarchy. She really shouldn’t be out in public, let alone thinking she has the right to drink at a party where there are men without relegating herself to the slut class.

  22. Maryam

    “This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.”

    Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

  23. delphyne

    “jesus god what made her think she should be sorry?”

    A crime has been committed so someone needs to take the blame. As rapists are never to blame it falls on the victim to accept responsibility. That’s why everybody blames the victim too, at some level they know something terrible has happened, but they can’t quite bring themselves to blame men for their crimes against women, so the outrage gets conveniently transferred to the victims.

  24. Twisty

    delphyne nails it, as usual.

  25. lawbitch

    Delphyne, it’s called shame, and all survivors of sexual assault carry it (myself included).

  26. delphyne

    Me too lawbitch. I’m questioning why it happens. It’s just my own theory, but I think if communities were genuinely outraged about rape and supportive to victims that victims would find it easier (not easy though) to recover and not to blame ourselves. I mean if we can’t blame the rapist, it must be our fault, right? It’s the stinkiest of stinky dynamics.

  27. kate

    Reports like these make me want to commit violent acts against men. Hit them, beat them, kill them.

    Yeah, yeah, I know it solves nothing, I guess.

  28. De anza player

    sounds like you sure do buy in to the way the media twists a case in a girls direction…ever thought about what happened before the girl went in that roo…what she was doing…..saying….acting….perhaps when the truthful story comes out after all this dies down you will lower your chin a bit and look in the mirror…..the media is not the accurate source of info. they were not there in that room…i was….justice has been served

  29. SimonJericho

    This is completely beyond the fucking pale. Insufficient evidence??? I was apparently under the mistaken impression that eyewitness accounts were still admissable in court and that even our present batch of misogynist fuckwits in the legal system included “Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the
    accused (taken directly from the California Penal Code),” in their definition of rape. Absolutely nauseating. There should be violent vigilantes for this kind of situation.

    I don’t know why I’m so surprised, really. Even community college athletes are obviously worth far more to the community than some stupid, drunken slut, right? After all, where would we be as a country if we let a little thing like a brutal gang rape interfere with the capacity of witless virile evolutionary events to hit leather wrapped spheres with crude phallic objects, to the adoration of thousands (okay, probably closer to dozens; this is community college, after all) of equally witless but less virile asshats with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Fuck all these people.

  30. lawbitch

    I’ve been working on shame. Shame has a psychological function. Shame allows the victim to believe that she had control over her own life.

    In my case, I suffered sexual abuse as a child. I clearly understand on an intellectual level that I was in no way responsible. I *needed* to feel like I had some control over my own body, even when that control did not exist. As an adult, I’ve even thought that it was my fault for not telling. My DH called me on that and reminded me that I would have been beaten for telling the truth. He is absolutely right. I did what I had to do to survive.

  31. Twisty

    Well, well, well. ‘De anza player’, since you were there, by all means enlighten the group. We await ‘the truthful story’ with bated breath.

    Just kidding! Banned!

  32. kanea

    re kate.
    “Reports like these make me want to commit violent acts against men. Hit them, beat them, kill them.

    Yeah, yeah, I know it solves nothing, I guess.”

    I think most sane people feel like that after reading new like this; at least a little bit. logic comes in and reminds you that you’d get arrested and it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.

  33. Laura

    De Anza rape apologist,

    ever thought about what happened before the girl went in that roo…what she was doing…..saying….acting…”

    No, because it’s entirely irrelevant to what they (you?) did to her.

  34. H

    “I’d ask her why she chose to put us and herself through so much. My only thought is I hope that she learned a lot, as well as about herself, in the last two months.”

    Gang rape lovingly recast as an exercise in self-for the victim. How well our young have absorbed the art of spin and denial from our leaders, media and corporations.

  35. H

    “I’d ask her why she chose to put us and herself through so much. My only thought is I hope that she learned a lot, as well as about herself, in the last two months.”

    Gang rape lovingly recast as an exercise in self-improvement for the victim. How well our young have absorbed the art of spin and denial from our leaders, media and corporations.

  36. Kwillz

    Does anyone have the DA’s Phone Number and address? When Shaquanda Cotton was sentenced to 7 years in prison (at the age of 14), people literally harassed the judge until she was free. Sharpton didn’t even get a chance to protest. Perhaps we can start a similar movement.

  37. srastro

    I always get chills when I see some talking head (e.g. Scott Herhold) blithely questioning the “credibility of the victim herself” in a rape case. In the Duke scandal, the media gleefully reported that the victim had once had a nervous breakdown, so could not be trusted. (She was also a sex worker–enough said!) I suffer from depression, so it was too easy to imagine myself reporting an assault and having no one believe a word I said.

    In the De Anza case, not only the victim herself, but her two rescuers insist a rape occurred! This suggests an unpleasant thought experiment: would the DA prosecute the case if the rescuers/eyewitnesses were male and not female? I probably don’t want to know the answer.

  38. Twisty

    “How well our young have absorbed the art of spin and denial from our leaders, media and corporations.”

    And how poorly they have absorbed grammar.

  39. SusanM

    “Justice” will begin being served when some savvy lawyer convinces her to sue all their asses.

  40. lawbitch

    I doubt that the victim wants more attention. Perhaps you didn’t notice the discussion of shame?

  41. lawbitch

    Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any worse, I discover this about the “bondage webmaster.”

    http://news.com.com/Police Blotter Bondage Webmaster fights abuse conviction/2100-1030_3-6185920.html?tag=html.alert.comp

    I

  42. Lucija

    Savage morons like the DeAnza rapists, everyone at the party who was aware of the rape(except for those three courageous girls), Judge Carr, and the Mercury people are the reason I hate this world. They’re the reason why I dread staying alone in a room with men. The reason why, the two times I allowed myself the luxury of getting drunk, I checked my clothes multiple times afterwards for signs of somebody messing with it and interrogated all my friends if they had been with me at all times(I suffer from blackouts when I get drunk, even a little drunk). They’re the reason why, even after being reassured by my female friends that they never left my side, I suffered from retroactive paranoia for months after each of those drunken experiences. And hated myself for allowing the drunkenness to happen. Hated myself, even though both times I got drunk accidentally – cause I was a 15-year-old kid who didn’t know her limit. Hated myself, despite the fact that everyone around me was drunk too. The fear. The guilt. It was unbearable. Still is, when I remember it. If I had actually gotten raped, I don’t know how I would have survived the guilt. I know there would have been no reason for me to feel gulty, but I also know that I still would. And I also know that I would have never, ever reported it. Not in a world like this. IBTP.

  43. lawbitch

    Ooops. Read about it here:

    http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/

  44. tinfoil hattie

    I just don’t know what evidence anyone needs of how much people hate women as a group. I am so exhausted with being called “shrill,” “strident,” “angry,” and “overreactive” about feminism and women’s lot in life. Exactly what other option besides anger does one have? Sorrow and despair, I guess.

    I have two sons and I want to go upstairs right now and scream at them pre-emptively that women are NOT their personal sexual receptacles.

    Of course, since they’re 6 & 10 years old, they will have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.

    But believe me, by the time the oldest one is 12, he will know. In the bluntest terms possible.

    And really, the motivation, the hatred, the attitude, the entire sickening culture behind this and other similar events: how far are we, really, from a society that practices “honor” killings?

    Not far, I think. Not far at all.

  45. wildandfree

    Well, I’m left speechless and crying. I feel gutted for this poor girl, and terrified that my 13 year old daughter could someday be in the same situation. I can only hope that my time here at IBTP (long time lurker, infrequent commentor) has enabled me to instill in her the values we need for the revolution!

    Luckily, De Anza college has a workshop on a timely topic.
    http://www.deanza.edu/eventscalendar/main.php?view=event&eventid=1178210887823

  46. abyss2hope

    ever thought about what happened before the girl went in that roo…what she was doing…..saying….acting….perhaps when the truthful story comes out after all this dies down you will lower your chin a bit and look in the mirror

    De anza player, it’s high time YOU looked in the mirror. Where did this child get the alcohol which made her act in a way that you felt justified men having sex with a nearly comotose child?

    Just because so many other men are no better than you doesn’t excuse you.

    If you and your buddies had killed her through alcohol poisoning could you live with yourself so easily? She didn’t just happen to have alcohol in her system. Her vomitting may have saved her life. We both know the alcohol was your weapon of choice used with premeditation. You as a group used it as bait and you used it as a weapon of incapacitation. You did what you did because you could and because you wanted to. If you had sex with her you are a rapist, if you watched or stood guard you aided and abetted a felony whether you are ever convicted or not.

    Anything else is just bullshit.

    But if you looked at yourself in a mirror without the bullshit, you’d see more than is comfortable seeing. Denial and victim blaming are easier and those who go for the rape are all about taking the easy way no matter who it hurts as long as it isn’t you.

  47. Dawn Coyote

    SusanM said what I was on my way down here to say. Even if that girl walked in the room, kicked off her pants. laid spread-eagled on the bed and offered to take all comers, the boys in the room are in the wrong and ought to pay for it. The fact that she was drunk, barely conscious, and regurgitating the contents of her stomach will only serve to render void and null any release they had the girl sign.

    What, no release?

    Surely the owner of the home in which the party took place has a duty of care toward those in attendance, particularly minors, even more particularly minors who have consumed alcohol on the premises. If bartenders and bar owners can be sued for accidents their patrons cause after consuming alcohol in their establishment, surely the host is liable for the harm that befell this girl, regardless of whether at any point she actually agreed to have sex. Bar patrons agree to consume alcohol, and voluntarily get in their cars and drive, and they are typically not minors, nor semi-conscious when they leave the bar.

    She should expect fair compensation for the host’s negligence. His house, for a start.

  48. norbizness

    Those two young ladies in the linked article above (badkitty’s link) need to be on a witness stand in front a jury, and soon, or pretty much everybody, elected or otherwise, in that law enforcement community needs to be looking for a new job. Kwillz has approximately the right idea.

  49. CannibalFemme

    I’m not that far away. For reasons that should be obvious, I’ll have to wait for the media attention to die down a bit. After that, I’ll see what I can do. It will be my pleasure.

  50. lawbitch

    Take care of that sick S&M bastard while you’re at it.

  51. Lucija

    tinfoil hattie,

    you would be surprised how patriarchy-brainwashed little boys can be. A few days ago I was walking past an elementary school when suddenly these two ten-year-olds(at best) run up to me and grab my butt, and then proceed to slap it, calling me a dirty whore. No, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.

    Besides, it’s enough to remember my own elementary school days. The first mysogynist sexual verbal assaults by my male classmates started in the first grade. From then on, it only got worse. But I was lucky – my class was normal, at least measured by patriarchy’s standards. I observed so many other girls throughout elementary school going through HELL, starting wt roughly the age of 11. For many of those girls having their classmates poke their crotch with umbrella or squeeze their breast painfully were routine events.

    So, if I were you I’d probably speak to the older boy about it. I’m not trying to tell you how to be a parent or anything. I’ve just seen too much shit inflicted upon little girls in my life.

  52. Shell Goddamnit

    “Just kidding! Banned!”

    And the gratitude flows like a tinkly little mountain creek: cool, clear and full of trout.

    Not such a great metaphor, perhaps. But heartfelt.

  53. goblinbee

    DA Dolores Carr: “It’s interesting that during the election some questioned whether I could be independent from law enforcement. This is an indication the answer is yes.”

    I found this chilling. Carr seems as concerned with this point as with anything else. This was her test case, exploited for political gain. May it come back to bite her in the butt.

  54. Rainbow Girl

    May 24th: Rainbow Girl suffers rage-induced brain anyeurism.

  55. Artemis

    A woman who was on the scene says:
    “The people in the room obviously were cheering the guys on or something like that. But I didn’t think of it as a rape situation.”

    For fuck sake this makes me sick to my core. I realize that the patriarchy can poison the minds of women as much as men, but it still infuriates me when women will take the side of men over that of women. Women are so used to excusing and explaining and making up for men, it becomes second nature. They can tell themselves complete lies to keep their fairytales intact.

    The fact that three female soccer players were the ones who got the girl out is the only reason I have any hope at all. These women did the right thing and their story needs to be heard by every woman who hears the rest of it.

    All women must be en-couraged [given the courage] to do this any time there’s any question at all about a situation. Much of this shit we can’t do anything about because we’re not present, but sometimes we can do something, sometimes we can intervene, sometimes women have the chance raise hell in the moment to save each other. Doing nothing in that situation shouldn’t be an option that a decent human being would take and then smirk about it later.

    Yes, men hate us and I don’t expect any better of them than this, but a woman sitting idly by while another woman is brutalized in the next room is unforgivable.

  56. MedeaOnCrack

    Porn tells them this is how to be Artemis.

  57. slythwolf

    This reminds me of an acquaintance of mine from high school choir. She was at a party and a group of boys (I think there may have been three of them) raped her and videotaped it. I didn’t know her well; I think she was two or three years younger than me, although when we had been children I had used to babysit her little sister sometimes.

    I remember the trial taking a long-ass time, not being in the media at all, and the rapists getting a really light sentence–possibly probation. I think they were on the baseball team, in fact, although they may have been cross country/track and field boys.

    I was only seventeen that year. One of the rapists had been in my social studies class in the seventh grade, and I remember thinking I had thought he seemed like a decent guy and resolving never to assume that again.

  58. tinfoil hattie

    Lucija,

    WTF??? GRABBED YOUR ASS AND CALLED YOU — I have no words.

    And good point. My sister started being molested in school at age 10 — boys would prod her very large breasts and say, “Who’s Gumby’s pal? POKEY!” while the teacher sat there, oblivious.

    I will find a way to talk to my older son about this. I have hope for him, because once when I pointed out some (relatively) innocuous patriarchal bullshit, he said, “If I were a girl I’d be the most bitter feminist in the world.” After I patted him on the back I said, “You don’t have to be a girl to be a bitter feminist.”

    But enlightening my already-pretty-decent son feels like putting out a fire with a watering can. What good will it do against this mountain of vicious rage against women?

  59. josquin

    Here’s a another side of the shame issue:
    There are cases of childhood abuse where the child actually feels a degree of physical pleasure during the abuse episodes.
    The child seeks to reconcile this physical sensation with the knowledge that what is being experienced is wrong, unwelcomed, and repulsive. The result is deep shame.
    The body has its own responses to physical stimulation which may or may not reflect a person’s will, desire, or intention. The fact of the victim’s possible experience of physical pleasure can never justify the rape or abuse.
    Thus, the men who claim “oh, she gets into it once we got going” as a justification of force are in fact still guilty of rape, just as the pedophile who abuses a child without causing physical pain is still guilty of sexual assault.
    For a child, the experience of physical pleasure as a result of abuse is profoundly, insidiously damaging, as it causes extreme confusion, self-doubt, self-blame and abiding shame which can be pervasive and permanent.
    So many forms of shame heaped on innocent women and children.
    I’d love to shove the rapists’ face in it. I join the commenters here who are sickened, enraged and fed up.

  60. msxochitl

    tinfoil hattie: “And really, the motivation, the hatred, the attitude, the entire sickening culture behind this and other similar events: how far are we, really, from a society that practices “honor” killings? Not far, I think. Not far at all.”

    Absolutely right! Patriarchy infests the whole globe. There are different varieties of this infestation in different parts of the world, which, on the surface, look completely different. But if you look closer, you see that it’s the same damn thing. Men hate us, and if they know they can get away with it, they will destroy us.

    I only hope that women in the US will be rioting in the streets. None of this peace vigil stuff. They need to feel threatened.

  61. msxochitl

    Sorry, just to clarify: When I said “they should feel threatened” I meant anyone complicit with this rape.

  62. Myself

    Twisty and others: it is through this blog that I have found the courage to confront my own situation–that the fact that one reason I have been unhappy for so long is that I accepted my position in the patriarchy from the patriarchy. Your ability to clarify and lift the veil from the eyes is truly important. And freeing. Please don’t ever doubt that.

    And that goes to all the blamers as well. I have learned more from all of you than I have in long years of life lived by the rule of shame.

    And I thank you every day.

  63. PaloAltan

    Kwillz asked about the contact information for the DA, Dolores Carr. Here you go:
    Dolores Carr
    70 West Hedding St.
    San Jose, CA 95110
    (408) 299-3099

    Also, I found another number for her office: (408)299-7500. I called this number and left an irate message. You just have to wait through a very long message in many languages (yay multilingualism!) before you hear the beep.

    If you happen to live in Santa Clara county (hi neighbor), make sure you mention that you are a constituent and will remember this case the next time she runs for public office. Your call will make an even bigger impact if you leave your address and ask for a written response to your concerns.

    Happy dialing!

  64. Shy Girl

    I’m sure that someone has already gotten around to this, but contact information for DA Dolores Carr is as follows:

    Office of the District Attorney
    70 West Hedding Street, West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110
    Phone: (408) 299-7400
    Email: webmaster@da.co.santa-clara.ca.us

    Website http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/da/

  65. pisaquari

    Perhaps the title of this thread could be altered a bit (not to correct Her TF):

    “Men hate *really* drunk teenage girls”–
    because nothing is worse than the sexually assaulted victim being so boozed she cannot even mutter her NeverEffingEver-consent, nor kick or scream or any of that other hot stuff women do.
    Or maybe it’s just that the De Anza players have not finished reading their copy of “How to Perpetuate the Rape Culture” just yet. Because it’s a cardinal rule in Rape Culture that if one’s victim is not tearing in defense of her natural-bornless-unright that the Rapist is not going to reap the benefits of a full-fledged rape fantasy (insert “thought police” defense here). Also in said book is -2 pts for using a roofie and -10 if your fellow rapists are not surrounding you in chants of glory.

  66. Bubbas' Nightmare

    Twisty:

    This is precisely why I write this fucking blog; I keep hoping, against all reason, that some parent somewhere will read it and think “Oh! Wow. Maybe I should try to imbue my son with some sense of T & B. And while I’m at it, maybe I should become a feminist.”

    You succeeded. So, there’s one.

  67. Hattie

    Once the Duke guys were able to get away with rape, as Amanda says, gang rape became legal.

  68. thisisendless

    I’m sorry but I have not had time to read all the comments just yet as I have a very huge final at 8 in the morning tomorrow.

    But I just want to say that I saw this on the local news this morning (I live in San Francisco so I am in the Bay Area so perhaps this is getting more coverage.)

    And they had an in depth interview with the two girls who took the raped and battered victim to the hospital.

    It was absolutely horrifying. I actually started crying. I am starting to cry again right now with the pure rage I am feeling. This is completely outrageous. Nay, beyond outrageous. It is appalling and disgusting. In fact there are no words that can accurately portray how disgusting this is. I am so tired of this sh*t.

    Since I will be done with school tomorrow I am going to write a letter to the DA. When I saw the DA was a woman I was even sicker in a way.

    I am glad you posted this twisty. This is crazy. If there is going to be any organized protesting for this, you will bet your patoot I will be there yelling my head off. And I don’t usually go to demonstrations. In fact if anyone in the Bay Area wants to start one, please let me know.

  69. Catherine Martell

    So much of what is wrong with the world in one single case.

    I just noted this on another thread, but it seems appropriate to reiterate it here: rape and its attendant hate crimes are male terrorism against women. The principal victim in this case is the 17-year-old, but the act doesn’t end with her. When some men do this, they are, consciously I think, sending a message to all the women in the world, which is exactly the same message sent by all terrorist organizations to their targets: It could be you next. Be afraid.

    Even were this not the case, we would all need to support this woman as a victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice. But the reality of this situation is that we are all, to a degree, victims of it. We are all scared reading it, for ourselves, for our sisters, for our daughters, for our lovers. Not just because we know it can and will happen again, but because we know that, if it happens, there is no possibility of justice. In the last couple of thousand years, we haven’t moved on at all from the Old Testament definition of rape: that if a woman is raped in a town and is not heard to cry out, it is she that must be punished.

    We are all victims of the campaign of male terrorism against women, and this DA has just made herself a supporter and abetter of terrorist activities. Until rape, its concomitant crimes and those who support or abet it are treated exactly like other forms of terrorism, the patriarchy will endure.

    This is the front line.

  70. RadFemHedonist

    “I’ve been working on shame. Shame has a psychological function. Shame allows the victim to believe that she had control over her own life.

    In my case, I suffered sexual abuse as a child. I clearly understand on an intellectual level that I was in no way responsible. I *needed* to feel like I had some control over my own body, even when that control did not exist. As an adult, I’ve even thought that it was my fault for not telling. My DH called me on that and reminded me that I would have been beaten for telling the truth. He is absolutely right. I did what I had to do to survive.”

    This is an interesting thing, one I’ve never heard before, I personally don’t feel shame, so far as I know, I don’t do guilt. So this is hard for me to get to grips with.

  71. RadFemHedonist

    “Wow. Maybe I should try to imbue my son with some sense of T & B.”

    What’s T & B?

    “But enlightening my already-pretty-decent son feels like putting out a fire with a watering can. What good will it do against this mountain of vicious rage against women?”

    Every little helps. I can’t imagine thinking “I won’t tell this person important things”.

    “Yes, men hate us and I don’t expect any better of them than this, but a woman sitting idly by while another woman is brutalized in the next room is unforgivable.”

    Well, I do. I expect men to be non-rights-violating people, which includes sticking up for other people when your body is not threatened by doing so. I agree that women should do as above too, but I’m not letting men off the hook.

  72. Cecily

    Hmm. I hadn’t read the earlier Herhold piece, just the one yesterday where he talked to the young women who intervened, and I thought it was a pretty good column. Maybe talking to the witnesses convinced him of the error of his ways?

    Depressing as the whole thing is, I was heartened by the actions of the three young women. I must confess, on the topic of sports, that it did cross my mind that being on a soccer team together might have helped them forge the confidence and unity with which they confronted the rapists. And I was on the “sports, BAH” side of the recent “women and sports” kerfaffle at feministe.

    I also have an optimistic view of the Sherriff’s comments. While she didn’t name the ‘individuals’, she said something to the effect of “and if they want to sue me for libel, bring it on!” which I fondly imagine to mean she is plotting to lure them into a civil case against her, wherein the lesser burden of proof and non-interference of scaredy-cat DAs will allow her to expose them to the world as rapists. That’s my pretty, Machiavellian little dream.

  73. Bubbas' Nightmare

    RadFemHedonist:

    What’s T & B?

    Truth & Beauty.

  74. Lisa

    This has nothing to do with sports. I blame the patriarchy.

  75. tinfoil hattie

    You misread me, RadFemHedonist. Never did I say that the thought “I won’t teach this person important things” runs through my brain. I expressed my despair and rage through metaphor.

    Also, many people suffer from shame and guilt for not stopping their abuse, for sometimes feeling physical pleasure during the abuse, for being a bad girl who deserved the abuse, etc. You have really never heard of sexual and physical abuse victims feeling shame and guilt?

  76. Twisty

    Bubba’s Nightmare: “You succeeded. So, there’s one. ”

    Woot! I can retire!

  77. msxochitl

    This De Anza case reminds me of statistic I read a few years ago: A survey of college males found that 53% of them would rape a woman if they could get away with. In another study, 60% of the male participants indicated that it was likely that they would rape, if they could get away with it.

    Here’s the source:
    http://www.dianarussell.com/menrape.html

  78. tinfoil hattie

    This has everything to do with sports. Everything. Men are revered for playing sports. Male athletes are little demi-gods who can do no wrong.

  79. Angry Young Femme

    I’ve come to realize that I no longer consider myself part of society. I cannot and will not participate in the fucked-up-riarchy any more than I have to. I see myself as an outsider, looking into this fishbowl of our society/culture. I feel completely alienated. Everything, everywhere I look is produced for, predicated on, women-hating.

    In my class this morning, during a discussion of how Angela Carter challenges gender in her book The Passion of New Eve, no one else seemed capable of understanding the feminist basis of the text. They thought it was “gross,”–but no one questioned why it so disturbed them. My feminist comments were received with looks of doubt and ‘she’s crazy’. It blows my mind that they can’t see it. (Especially since Carter does an amazing job of pointing it all out.)

    Cases like the De Anza one make me wish we could force sex-change operations on men, as Carter does in her narrative, with all of the accompanying plastic surgery. Then spin them around and push them off, randomly, into the patri-sphere and see how they fare as the “fairer” sex. It wouldn’t be long til we’d here them cry: rape! Gang rape! And they’d, naively, expect the rest of us to listen.

    I honestly feel that the only way (the majority of) men will ever gain empathy for women is if they experience what women do. Obviously, forcing sex-changes isn’t a realistic or humane solution (but which of histories social ‘solutions’ really have been, especially in terms of women and children?) Still. Only when patriarchy starts to negatively effect men more than it positively does will we ever see the light at the end of the patriarchal tunnel.

    Sigh.

  80. Antares

    This situation makes me physically ache; theres a pain in my chest and a lump in my throat. I feel so freaking powerless.

    Nothing short of a total revolution will do.

  81. Kim

    Thanks for this overview, Twisty.
    I’m appropriately pissed off.
    God help any sporto who crosses my path today.
    Fuckers.

  82. Vera Venom

    “This situation makes me physically ache; theres a pain in my chest and a lump in my throat. I feel so freaking powerless. ”

    Right there with you. I could barely sleep last night. The evil and hate is just too much.

    It’s times like this where being an atheist seems almost wrong. How I would love to be able to believe in hell for monsters like this, right now.

    But, I can’t. If justice is not served in this life it is never served.

  83. TinaH

    Tinfoil Hattie,

    I have a 3 year old boy and am already watching him like a hawk. “Bitter feminist” I love it. I hope my kid comes up with that. I’ll make sure to enable as much as I can.

    Any sportos cross my path today will probably get treated to a diatribe from a grown up Bitter Feminist.

  84. manxome

    Catherine Martell: “When some men do this, they are, consciously I think, sending a message to all the women in the world, which is exactly the same message sent by all terrorist organizations to their targets: It could be you next. Be afraid.”

    If I nod my head any more vigorously I’ll get whiplash. The entire comment just cuts to the core. Beyond that, I’m having a hard time sorting through the emotional avalanche to come up with something coherent and grammatically correct. There is one thing I have to say above all else, so I’ll throw caution to the wind:

    Thank you, commenters (sans rape apologist shitwad). I was in a similar situation. While I eventually stopped blaming myself in even the smallest way, the sting never goes away. Therefore, I for one can never hear these sorts of comments enough, or for too long. I wish I had heard them at the time, if only just one of them. So, it matters. It matters to me, to this 17 year-old, to the women who came to her aid and who are speaking out about it and to who knows how many others. Thank you.

  85. tinfoil hattie

    Yeah, I am sleepless too. I went to sleep thinking about this and woke up thinking about this and I can’t stop thinking about this. And it increases my strong and immediate distrust of “sportos” — what a great term.

    And I forgot to add, what my son really said was, “I would be the most CYNICAL, bitter feminst ever” — I loved the cynical part too.

    I feel heartsick and soul-sick and I am going away to a river retreat for the weekend with my husband, and I can’t help but feel that in so doing, I am betraying everyone. Because I should be shouting in the streets until I’m hoarse about this.

    The older I get, the more I despair.

    Thank goddess for Twisty and her site and all the commenters here. Except that D’Anza rape apologist upthread.

  86. Jeff

    Fuck. I posted the following on Feministe back in April:

    I think that one of the loudest messages from this case is that, if you’re a district attorney, and you prosecute a rape charge against a white man in a wealthy family, you risk losing your job.

    Now, I don’t know if Nifong was acting in bad faith, or just fucked up. None of us do, including the next prosecutor who gets a case like this. And I think that’s a goal of a lot of people making the outcry: to push the standard for bringing a rape charge to something so extreme that only the most egregious offenses (i.e., only the guy jumping out of the bushes with a knife, not the boyfriend who was “just overzealous”) will ever have a chance of being punished.

    The response I got, of course, was that I was full of shit; that the only message to prosecutors was to do their job properly, that this case wouldn’t have a chilling effect on rape prosecutions, and that an honest DA would have nothing to fear.

    But I did think it’d take longer than six weeks to be proven right.

  87. NickM

    I’m a learning lurker here. My daughter is 2 1/2 years old and to me it seems that truth and beauty are her natural element; I’ve never seen anyone with such joy for life. Reading this blog, I get more and more angry and frightened by a world bound by patriarchy — which I had perceived, but not clearly, before — that is hell-bent on crushing that joy out of her because it views her essentially as an object rather than a human being. I’ve started to notice how patterns of dominance and submission are taught to children all the time. I’ve also noticed how adults simply take such things for granted and chalk up the most artificial arrangements as “natural”. For what it’s worth, Twisty, you’ve helped open my eyes.

  88. Silence

    The thing that really makes me see red is that under the Twisty Law, this wouldn’t have happened. Or if it had happened, if the sick creeps had still gone ahead and stuck their dicks into that poor drunk girl, there would be no question as to their getting a prison sentence.

    And yet in that thread, there were quite a few people sitting back in their armchairs and nitpicking Twisty’s suggestion. And so many cries of dear me, what about the men? And all the while sick shit like this is actually happening to real living women.

    Yes indeed. Better that hundreds of flesh-and-blood women are raped and receive no justice or satisfaction than one hypothetical innocent man be accused of rape. That’s how far the benefits of society are tilted in men’s favor. One completely imaginary man is more valuble than any living woman. Think about that and throw up.

    This is one of those times when I’d like vengeance, as chances for justice seem slim.

  89. Kwillz

    Thanks for the contact info. I’ll be sure to pass this around.

  90. justicewalks

    I know I’m going to make myself unpopular with this comment, but it has been niggling at me since participating in the Marriott Ghetto thread. There is a divide between feminists who want liberation and those who’d rather wish on a star for male benevolence. Women who continue to cater to, birth, and raise men, in expectation of the miracle of male humanity (as in humane), act in direct counterproductivity to the well-being of the women and girls whose only real chance for salvation is separatism. I mean, it’s great that some women have lived charmed enough lives that they’re willing to put up with the possibility (which most definitely is more remote in some places than others) of male violence, but the fact of the matter is, in certain locations and for certain classes of women, the existence of men, at all, guarantees abuse. And I’m not just talking about the kind of abuse that is pressure to wear high heels or veils, either.

    Most heterosocial women are willing to acknowledge this conflict even if they aren’t willing to adapt their lives accordingly. I can appreciate why they wouldn’t be. Maybe they aren’t college-aged women in a college town, or prostitutes, or 9-year-old girls in Afghanistan, so their risk of being assaulted for living while female might not be cause for too much urgency, and certainly not cause to deny themselves the pleasure of male contact. Like most instances of nonchalance, it basically comes down to privilege.

    But, really, is a thread about one of the many, many unprosecuted gang rapes that happen in this country the most tactful place to talk about how many males (potential [gang] rapists, yes) you’ve inflicted on girls and women and are currently raising, under what some feminists (Lorde, for one) would call delusions of grandeur? I mean, I know every mother of a male child (or female, for that matter) thinks she’ll do a better job than the women who came before her, but this just seems like a really awful forum in which to express such unknowables. If Lorde is correct, such women are fooling themselves anyway, in addition to cavalierly adding to the horde.

  91. goblinbee

    Y’all always make me nervous when you talk about making your sons or daughters into radfeminists. Anything that had been shoved down my throat when I was young would have backfired. I did not like being preached to.
    Myself, I noticed gender disparity from a young age. I could never figure out why everyone referred to insects and other animals of indeterminate sex as “he,” and I would ask, “How do you know it’s a he?” Also, being raised to be a Mormon person, I noticed in the Book of Mormon such lines as “And then the Nephites, with their wives and their children…,” and I would say, “But aren’t the wives and children Nephites too?” I sensed an anti-female stance in all of it, and I was not one to put up with being passed over.

  92. MzNicky

    justicewalks: Should women who have male offspring just drown them at birth, then? What about those of us who didn’t do that, and whose sons, 25 years later, have (just imagine!) turned out to be sweet, loving, decent, caring—dare I say it? humane—individuals? Shall I just take him out back now and shoot him, even though, as far as I know, he’s never raped anyone, as part of a gang or otherwise?

  93. TP

    I blame the patriarchy, yes, but specifically, I blame the porn. Gang rape has become so common in porn, that you can put ten men in a room and not one of them will stop it from happening.

    When I was the age of these boys, there was no such thing as readily-available, widely-disseminated, socially accepted, internet-accessable, normal everyday boring vanilla gang rape porn.

    Back when porn was just becoming legal, the idea that gang rape porn would become one of the standard normal kinds of porn found everywhere, in every bedroom, was inconceivable.

    Pretend, for a minute, that there is no such concept as feminism or women’s rights and that it’s a man’s world and that’s OK. How on earth does it still follow that it’s OK to gang rape teenage girls? Because it’s a common thing that happens every day – in PORNOGRAPHY.

    This is why I would do anything to ban pornography. Bring on the god bags, if they’ll help, fine. Whatever it takes.

  94. buggle

    I’m still freaking out. I’ve forwarded it to tons of people, although I doubt most people will act. Maybe they will. I just feel like god, what will it take for us to change things? I just feel so helpless. I want to go storm that DA’s office and sit there until something happens. I feel powerless. I’m going to keep calling her and calling her and leaving messages, and emails. But who else to contact other than her? Who is her boss? Who else has power in this situation?

    Fucking hell. Bloody fucking hell. My friend just wrote me how “that is so awful and I feel so lucky” I told her she has nothing to feel lucky about-next time she goes to the bar drinking it could happen to her, and there would be nothing she could do about it. But I think her response is typical for feminist woman who don’t actually DO anything about it. That’s awful, glad it’s not me! Glad I have a nice fiance now! Fuckity fuck.

  95. ginmar

    Goblinbee, exactly what should poeple do? Give up? And I hvae to wonder how many gender differences you’d have noticed were they not enforced strictly from birth onward.

  96. Nimbrethil

    To be fair, that’s not quite what they said, Ginmar. She commented on the gender *disparities*. They weren’t referring to artificially enforced gender roles.

    That said, one hardly has to force ideology down a child’s throat to make them into radfeminists.

    Raising someone to be hardcore, or passionate, or radical, or whichever term you prefer, doesn’t require brainwashing or brutal tactics. The fact that anyong thinks becoming a radfeminist can only be the result of a harsh upbringing, just illustrates the bias against feminism in general.

  97. Sara

    What Rainbow Girl said could apply to me, too.

    (sigh) I have to go outside and hack at the dirt for awhile now.

  98. Tigs

    justice walks,
    I didn’t respond on the other thread because I think we have fundamental value differences on some issues and I didn’t think it would be useful to argue about something that clearly neither one of us is going to change our mind about (though if Twisty writes about this, it would be an interesting discussion for this whole community to engage in- so in that sense, I appreciate your bringing it over here). This is particularly so because in my time lurking here and in the short period of time since I’ve been posting here, I have read your words and know them to be well-considered and passionate.

    But no matter what our differences in our views of feminism are (and yes, I think men are human beings, and yes, I think no oppression is better than any oppression, and that this is possible– My mind is not going to be changed on this no matter how misguided you might think this position is, just as your mind is not going to change no matter how counterproductive I think your position is), I take exception at your presumptuousness on this thread and the other.

    “No, I’d say it’s why you’re not a separatist.” — You don’t get to define me. Again, maybe we’re working from different definitions, but I really did think one of the cornerstones of feminism centers around autonomy. Sure, my views don’t lead me to separatism, but you don’t get to tell me why I am or am not a feminist.

    “I mean, it’s great that some women have lived charmed enough lives that they’re willing to put up with the possibility (which most definitely is more remote in some places than others) of male violence, but the fact of the matter is, in certain locations and for certain classes of women, the existence of men, at all, guarantees abuse.” — You don’t know anything about the experience of women on IBTP except for what has been self-disclosed. Nor do you know the genealogy of anyone’s feminist development beyond this blog. Before you start assuming what other people’s privilege is, you might want to ask.

  99. Twisty

    There’s no raising a kid “to be” anything. All you can do is open the door of enlightenment, see that she’s not punished for critical thinking, and let the kid take it from there.

  100. ginmar

    Critical thinking is enough of a rarity these days, Twisty, that for a girl to display it will get her labelled uppity and dangerous. So if I were raising a girl I’d tell her what she’d have to expect.

  101. Nimbrethil

    Ginmar,

    And then you’ve got those clueless assholes who swear that if you tell girl children what to expect, you’re only teaching them to be afraid, as if the only danger is a product of our overreactive imaginations, our paranoia that men are out to get us.

  102. slythwolf

    justice walks, I tend to think advocating separatism is letting men off too light. It’s saying, oh well, they just can’t help themselves, let’s get out of the situation–instead of listen, assholes, stop abusing women.

    They’re human beings too. It’s their responsibility to grow up, get a clue and stop abusing; it’s not our responsibility to prevent them from abusing us.

  103. ginmar

    Meanwhile, they’re the ones who send out those emails that basically say if you’re alone with a man you’ll get raped. And men like those emails because that means women are afraid all the time and that’s easier than having to be nice to women.

  104. LouisaMayAlcott

    On the subject of separatism:

    I am a separatist.

    Nobody who has not identified as, worked for, lived for, dreamed and experienced the passion of female separatism knows what separatism is, what it’s worth, what it stands for or can define it.

    I have been a married mother and heterosexual feminist. (1970). I was a het feminist for less than 6 months before I chucked it for the brilliant separatist energy that was developing in the SF Bay Area st that time.

    I do not believe that there is any female collective, other than that imposed on us by male rule and male terrorism.

    Ther will never ever ever be any danger of separatist females “forcing” or “luring” a male-loving female into any sort of separatist female space.

    I have met females who could be raped and murdered by their own son, and still die loving him and the entire human male population. My mother was one of them.

    Those women will stay with males to their dying days (whatever it is they die of).

    There may or may not exist the faintest hope that any sort of critical mass of separatist females will coalesce that would at some point effect an actual *shift in the balance of power* between males and females.

    If it did coalesce, I can only imagine that it would do so around the prevalence and *increase* in the sorts of atrocities under discussion in this thread.

    At this point, I just have to figure not in my lifetime.

    But I will leave you with this question:

    Why, I wonder, would male-loving females choose to upbraid separatists for wanting to live our own private, or if we are lucky enough to find other separatists, collective lives *apart* from males?

  105. SimonJericho

    “There’s no raising a kid ‘to be’ anything. All you can do is open the door of enlightenment, see that she’s not punished for critical thinking, and let the kid take it from there.”

    I have been ninja’d.

    Kids do tend to rebel against any ideology that is forced upon them without alternative, and of course are free to make their own choices (for good or ill) as they grow. Interestingly, however, even the ideologies they ultimately reject wind up informing their value systems for the rest of their lives (I was raised in a Fundamentalist household, and I still occasionally discover some element of that upbringing within my own opinions, no matter how vehemently I despise the thing).

    Feminism and other philosophical ideologies based upon reason and compassion are far less likely to be thrown off if taught to children in a way that leaves them free to think critically about the issues. They’re less likely to be rejected because they actually do the kids the honor of allowing them their own brains in the matter.

    I was taught about the horrors of racism by my stepfather at the age of seven, and I’ll be forever grateful to him for opening my eyes to how deeply it permeates all aspects of American society. It’s the only thing for which I will ever be grateful to him. The levels of psychological and physical abuse to which my mother, sister, and I were subjected left all of us profoundly fucked up for a long time. But I understood racism at a young age, and was able to recognize and think critically about it. The propositions were based upon reason, and the reason stayed with me, despite the brutality of the messenger.

    Tell your children what they need to know. Don’t indoctrinate (I kept my own lessons despite that, not because of it, and your kid’s mileage may vary), but open the door, as Twisty just said. Allow them to engage the problem as their own problem and come up with their own answers, and I think you’ll raise girls who understand the worth they possess and boys who understand that too.

  106. lawbitch

    Another thought on shame: Shame is what keeps survivors of sexual assault silent. Survivors don’t want to be perceived as vitcims. For me, the key to unlocking shame is to speak out.

  107. delphyne

    Flippin’ heck, does this have to become another divide in femininsm? I’m a separatist and I’m a heterosexual, it’s fantastic. Women have to make their own choices to do what suits them, remembering that as always our choices are severely limited by patriarchy. Louisa, most of the upbraiding here has been by a separatist towards women who haven’t chosen separatism.

    I also can’t quite work out how the human race would survive if men weren’t part of the equation.

  108. S-kat

    “This is her fault. She got drunk and she did this to herself.”

    Sadly, I can tell you this is exactly what they all believe [D'anza apologists comments notwithstanding "She was asking for it, yous should have seen how sexy she was acting before she was so drunk she couldn't speak."] I read a book about gang rape in fraternities and there really is this belief amongst the dudes that any woman alone with so many men should know better, and damn if the bitch doesn’t know yet she’ll learn soon enough. Even in cases where the women were explicitly deceived or drugged to get them alone with the group the rapists reasoning was that she should have known better than to walk around on her own like that. I suppose this is because, as we know, men will take any chance they get to rape if they think they can get away with it. More disgusting proof that they are too often right.

    Where’s the lynch mob when you need one. Oh. I forgot, they’re stoning girls to death in Iraq.

  109. RadFemHedonist

    “And then you’ve got those clueless assholes who swear that if you tell girl children what to expect, you’re only teaching them to be afraid, as if the only danger is a product of our overreactive imaginations, our paranoia that men are out to get us.”

    Did they say you were destroying their innocence too?

  110. RadFemHedonist

    “This is why I would do anything to ban pornography. Bring on the god bags, if they’ll help, fine. Whatever it takes.”

    I want porn banned but I will not have anything to do with the godbags. They are shitheads and if porn is banned it has to be on radical feminist terms, otherwise it’s kind of a master’s tools type situation.

  111. Branjor

    ***What about those of us who didn’t do that, and whose sons, 25 years later, have (just imagine!) turned out to be sweet, loving, decent, caring—dare I say it? humane—individuals?***

    I have heard mothers describe sons in almost those exact words, which sons I have had, shall we say, a different type of experience with. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

  112. ginmar

    Branjor, yeah, every rapist has a mother who thinks her son is the sweetest, kindest boy there is. Alex Kelly had a mother. The rapists in “Our Guys” had mothers. Traditional mothers, to be sure, but mothers who defended their sons against considerable evidence.

    It used to be that if the teachers called home and said Junior had done something bad the parents believed them, because they didn’t assume Junior was perfect. Now they side with the kid no matter what, and the poor dear can do no wrong. So what’s the deal?

  113. lawbitch

    I guess that I should drown my evil spawn in the tub tonight. He’s got a heart of gold, but he could turn evil at any moment.

  114. ginmar

    No, lawbitch, what you could do is actually consider what we’ve said, or else you can just go on ignoring the fact that rapists have mothers, too. So how do you tell? Do you want to talk about that or just ignore it in favor of blind loyalty to your kid? If he did rape somebody, would you believe her or would you believe him? It’s as simple as that.

  115. buggle

    I think the point is, not that mothers should go kill their sons, but that even your son, yes, even yours, is part of patriarchy. There is no way to avoid it-no matter how hard you work, he will still get messages from the patriarchy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but I think it’s naive to say “Oh no MY son could do NO wrong-I raised him right!” It’s kind of like saying “no man in MY life could be a rapist, I KNOW them too well.” That’s just silly. Of course you don’t want to think of your sons out there perpetrating stuff, and that’s why you are teaching them differently. But they are still susceptible. Just like your daughters will still get harassed and raped, your sons will play some part in this too. None of us are immune. To suggest that 8 year old boys are somehow immune is just not wanting to face the problem.

  116. Nimbrethil

    Lawbitch, no one is advocating wholesale slaughter of boys or men.

    And, as has been pointed out to you, every rapist has a defender, whether a mother, sister, brother, father, or good friend, who talks about what a good, sweet, upstanding young man the rapist is.

    Rapists don’t give off vibes, don’t wear symbols, don’t have any physicalities that scream “I’m a rapist, avoid me”; and women, contrary to widespread opinion, are NOT psychic.

    Up till the moment they’re being raped, women CANNOT tell the difference between rapists and men who don’t rape.

  117. RadFemHedonist

    “It’s times like this where being an atheist seems almost wrong. How I would love to be able to believe in hell for monsters like this, right now.”

    I don’t care about that, if hell doesn’t exist it doesn’t exist. These people should be in jail for ages, but I’m not going to make up an imaginary place of torment.

    “Also, many people suffer from shame and guilt for not stopping their abuse, for sometimes feeling physical pleasure during the abuse, for being a bad girl who deserved the abuse, etc. You have really never heard of sexual and physical abuse victims feeling shame and guilt?”

    Yes I have, I’ve known about that since I was 9 or so but not the thing about the psychological function of shame as giving a sense of control over the situation.

  118. therealUK

    Y’all always make me nervous when you talk about making your sons or daughters into radfeminists. Anything that had been shoved down my throat when I was young would have backfired. I did not like being preached to.

    Whereas I’d prefer that all (children and adults) were taught empathy, humanity and respect for other people’s basic human rights – as a matter of priority – and risk any backfire from the few that would decide to be a raging sociopath instead on account of the “preaching”.

  119. Vera Venom

    “I don’t care about that, if hell doesn’t exist it doesn’t exist. These people should be in jail for ages, but I’m not going to make up an imaginary place of torment.”

    And in the very next sentence of that post I agree with you.

    However, my point was that while of course they should be in prison – they won’t be, because this country cares fuck-all about prosecuting rape. Therefore, I wish there were some sort of post-life punishment for them to suffer through for eternity, since in this life they’ve gotten a free pass to rape.

    Apologies for not being clear.

  120. justicewalks

    Oops, I originally posted this on the wrong thread:

    Tigs, I didn’t question your feminism. I took your comment, “I don’t want a world that looks like that [women free from the risk of rape due to an absence, or drastic reduction in number, of men]… You might say that’s why I’m a feminist,” to mean you were challenging mine, since I DO want to live in a world that looks just like that. My comment was intended to express that the point on which we differ isn’t feminism, per se, but separatism. We’re both feminists – your position merely means that you aren’t a separatist one. That was all I meant by that.

    And as for presumption, any woman who is aware of her options and their consequences, yet still chooses to act in accordance with the dominant power structure, as it suits her, is without doubt acting out of privilege. It would be same as a white person aware of the perniciousness of racism, yet who fails to ever speak out against the racist remarks of their friends and family. It’s behavior born of privilege (either that, or the misguided hope that simply *knowing* about the problem will be enough to affect change, which is just stupidity). And I don’t need to know any more than I already do about the private lives of Blamers to deduce this.

    What about those of us who didn’t do that [drown male infants], and whose sons, 25 years later, have (just imagine!) turned out to be sweet, loving, decent, caring—dare I say it? humane—individuals? Shall I just take him out back now and shoot him, even though, as far as I know, he’s never raped anyone, as part of a gang or otherwise?

    Well, gosh, I’m sure there are mothers of known and convicted rapists who, as far as the mothers care to be aware, were simply wrongly accused. A mother’s confidence does not an innocent man make.

    My real point, though, was that a thread about an unprosecuted gang rape might just be an inappropriate forum for congratulating yourselves on having created brand new additions to the oppressor class. Saying, “gosh that’s awful, but at least MY son(s) won’t be participating in any of that kind of behavior,” seems a bit insulting in this situation. We’re talking about men who HAVE done those things, men whose mothers, I’m sure, have made similar proclamations on their behalf. I guarantee you those mothers never INTENDED to raise the rapists they raised, but yet, here they are. What good does it do to pretend as if those mothers simply made mistakes raising their boys that you yourself would never make?

  121. LouisaMayAlcott

    lawbitch & delphyne,

    It’s not about making other women’s choices for them.

    I have never, and will never, exhort any woman who wants to be heterosexual or to raise a son not to do so.

    If (like, .000001% probability) a critical mass towards separatism ever developed, it would and could only ever be because the women who created that mass had freely and passionately made the choice(s) to do so.

    In no way shape or form would it be possible, let alone, desirable for any other women to be part of that mass.

    Delphyne & Lawbitch, none of us knows what the future holds. We all know what we want at this point in time, and work in the best ways we can imagine and energize to achieve that.

    I applaud and thank both of you for the support that you have given and continue to give to radical feminist consciousness raising. I am energized and delighted by the posts that I have read written by each of you.

    At this point we (like all other women) have different senses of what may or may not be possible in the future.

    I wish you well.

  122. lawbitch

    Since I’ve been raped, I think that I know something about rapists. Rapists get off on the power to cause another person terror. Been there.

    I’m saying that I have an attached, empathetic son. He cries when he sees the AIDs orphans on tv. Then again, so do I.

  123. therealUK

    Porn tells them this is how to be

    Yes, exactly.

    Why is it that anyone would think that girls and women “want” to be violated and degraded like this ? Would the scum filth male creatures that perpetrated these acts, would they under any circumstance imagine themselves wanting to be treated like that poor girl ?

    Of course not.

    Yet women are supposed to want it, because this is the script, this is the hate speech of pronography that has taught them how to view women and how to behave.

  124. lawbitch

    LouisaMay,I’m glad that you’ve found something that works for you. Just because I’m a het mom doesn’t mean that I don’t respect your choices.

  125. delphyne

    I wish you well too LMA (particularly because of your name). My reference to women’s limited choices was really directed at justicewalks, as is this -

    “And as for presumption, any woman who is aware of her options and their consequences, yet still chooses to act in accordance with the dominant power structure, as it suits her, is without doubt acting out of privilege. It would be same as a white person aware of the perniciousness of racism, yet who fails to ever speak out against the racist remarks of their friends and family. It’s behavior born of privilege”

    So women are situated to sexism the same way white people are to racism? I think what you are talking about is fighting heterosexism, in which heterosexual women definitely are privileged, rather than sexism where all women, including heterosexual women are oppressed. There is no privilege being attached to a man or bearing his sons. Marriage is one of patriarchy’s fundamental structures and one of sexism’s front lines. Weird how a radical feminist could see marriage as a privilege. I feel lucky I avoided it.

  126. MedeaOnCrack

    Yes he does, lawbitch, because he can empathize with that child. Sees that child and himself as one. Which is exactly what he’ll do when he’s 17. And 26. And a full fledged member of the patriarchy. And likely, his mother will never know he’s not still like he was at six. To admit this is to some extent to admit the cardinal failure, to admit we have not succeeded at the one thing, the main thing we are supposed to do, be good mothers.

  127. lawbitch

    The point that I’m trying to make is that a person who is kind, decent and empathetic cannot rape someone. Empathy exists only when a man perceives himself like a woman and puts himself in her place. Granted, this is not the norm in the patriarchy.

    Is it possible that some men are empathetic in our society? I certainly hope so, or our work is futile.

    If my son grabbed some a girl’s ass or boob, that kid would be in so much trouble. I can’t imagine him doing that, but he’d face consequences at home.

    Obviously, there are boys out there doing such things, but I’m not their parent.

  128. MedeaOnCrack

    I don’t mean “you” lawbitch, or your son, or any particular little boy and his mother. I think little boys are very much like girls. I find both very easy to love. Then. The Patriarchy.

    I have to crawl into bed now an cry for a couple hours. This world.

  129. lawbitch

    Medea, I understand. I’m more optimistic than you are. And I’ve been through the worst that the patriarchy can dish out. That alone is a miracle.

  130. buggle

    Medea-I’m with you on that last post-I’m just counting down the minutes until I can go hide in my bed and cry and rage. I did want to say thank you (you are pony, right?) for your help with my porn troubles. You really helped a LOT. You made a difference in my life, and I thank you for that.

    I think that I would be so much more insane if this blog wasn’t here. Thanks Twisty, for keeping this space.

  131. justicewalks

    So women are situated to sexism the same way white people are to racism? I think what you are talking about is fighting heterosexism, in which heterosexual women definitely are privileged, rather than sexism where all women, including heterosexual women are oppressed. There is no privilege being attached to a man or bearing his sons. Marriage is one of patriarchy’s fundamental structures and one of sexism’s front lines. Weird how a radical feminist could see marriage as a privilege. I feel lucky I avoided it.

    I actually didn’t say “sexism” anywhere in the paragraph. I said “dominant power structure,” which could have been interpreted in many ways, including heterosexism. I admit, my comparison with racism could have been improved by leaving the race of the person in question undefined. If I had said, “a person aware of the perniciousness of racism,” instead of “a white person…” it would have conveyed my meaning more clearly. Minorities are just as guilty of leaving racist remarks unanswered as white people. They do so because, yes, there is privilege associated with not rocking the boat, even if it is only the privilege of not being the proverbial protruding nail that gets hammered. Women are as susceptible to this kind of privilege as other minorities are.

  132. delphyne

    “Minorities are just as guilty of leaving racist remarks unanswered as white people. They do so because, yes, there is privilege associated with not rocking the boat, even if it is only the privilege of not being the proverbial protruding nail that gets hammered.”

    This isn’t privilege. It’s stretching the very real idea of privilege to the point of meaninglessness.

    Marriage is oppressive and damaging to women. It’s only been about fifteen years in the UK where I am, since rape in marriage was made illegal. Women are still routinely beaten and murdered by male partners who think that once they marry a woman, they own them. Married wommen still work the double shift of full-time employment then coming home and doing the majority of domestic work whilst their male partner reaps the benefit. So really, I’m not seeing the privilege.

  133. CannibalFemme

    This moment of threadmelt: I am the child of a hippie, first-wave feminist Mother. And my peers, when I had any, were also children of feminist Mothers, who were friends with my Mother.

    And when my boundaries were crossed, and when the grownups came running because I had stood up for myself either verbally or physically, there and then all feminist mothering went out the window. I remember, after I had bloodied one boy’s nose when he and his friends tried to hold me down and stick their hands in my pants, that his Mother screamed at me, and at my Mom, about what a monster she’d raised. It’s the first time I remember someone calling me that.

    But that’s not what I’m trying to get at, which is: I’m not a mom, but I’m firmly (and probably unsurprisingly) in the boat with Justicewalks on this–it feels like not-my-Nigelism to me at best, all the way through to creepy at worst. Creepy, because there’s the whole issue of: do you blame the mothers of rapists for the fact that their sons are rapists? Because that, IMO, is some messed-up shit. Now, if you wanted to blame the *fathers* of rapists for the fact that they’ve spawned rapists, we could have an interesting conversation.

    And for the record, no, I do not advocate wholesale slaughter of males. I also don’t advocate childbearing, but that’s a whole different pair of pants, which I will refrain from unzipping at this time.

    Finally: LMA and Justicewalks, a bouquet of virtual tacos to you.

  134. justicewalks

    You don’t have to see it. The people bowing and scraping for the crumbs are the only people who have to see those crumbs as a privilege. Whether you, from your perch of enlightenment, would choose to bow and scrape for those crumbs is irrelevant. Whether, for you, those crumbs would be sufficient to betray others like you is irrelevant. If a woman believes that a crumb of “romance” or “love” or “male benevolence” is worth bowing and scraping for, it is a privilege to her. She knows she’d rather have it than live without it. You might say that being Thomas Jefferson’s slave mistress was no privilege, but I guarantee you Sally Hemmings would have considered herself more privileged than the other slave women on the plantation. She would have been right, despite the fact that her circumstances are in no way desireable by current standards. Privilege in exchange for the self-debasement of the oppressed may not be the unabashed privilege oppressors enjoy, but it is real.

  135. delphyne

    Yeah, being raped by Thomas Jefferson was a real privilege for her. Find another word for it justicewalks becauase at the moment you are calling one oppressed person who has slightly better circumstances than another oppressed person privileged, which makes no sense when you look at the very real privileges that being white, being male, being well-off or being heterosexual give someone in our society. The situations are not comparable.

    Although I’m still trying hard to see how a married woman is more privileged than me.

  136. S-kat

    I’d love to see a study done on how many rapists were raised by feminist mothers.

  137. ginmar

    A lot of rapists are raised in intact two-parent homes. Good, traditional homes where Mommy was a good non-feminist mommy and Daddy was boss. Look at any of the recent and not-so-recent gang rape scandals.

  138. MzNicky

    Branjor, ginmar, justicewalks: I’m sorry you’ve had bad experience with someone’s son, but it wasn’t mine, and I’ll thank you and anyone else to refrain from generalizing to the population at large and, in the process, implying that my son is a rapist. Just, don’t. How dare you put ALL mothers of sons on the defensive like this? Holy shit.

    Speaking of which, how interesting that suddenly, fer the luva christ, the way a child turns out is all “mommy’s fault”? WTF?

  139. justicewalks

    Find another word for it justicewalks becauase at the moment you are calling one oppressed person who has slightly better circumstances than another oppressed person privileged

    I don’t need another word. That’s how privilege works. It trickles down. The people in charge know that they have to extend certain privileges down to certain strata of the oppressed in order to maintain the heirarchy. A severe divide between the haves and have-nots, with no gradation of privilege for cushioning is a very unstable system indeed.

    Have you ever read Frederick Douglass? He knew he was privileged to have been a light-skinned house boy, despite the fact that he was adamantly opposed to slavery altogether.

    Like I said, it isn’t the unabashed privilege of the elite, but it is privilege.

  140. LouisaMayAlcott

    *enjoying my virtual taco here*

    Priviledge: it’s a continuum – what else can it be?

    We all have it to some degree, and we all, except for Bill Gates, suffer a deficit of it to varying extents.

    I am wary of using the term privilege as a whip. It’s a lot of things – most importantly, I think, a dynamic.

    And yes, *of course* there is privilege involved in being heterosexual, where the choice to not be heterosexual is an option that doesn’t result in almost instant death. Even then, one could make the case (I suppose) that being alive is a privilege over being dead. That we pay for the privilege of being alive (in some places and times) by acceding to heterosexuality.

    Likewise, there is privilege in being the mother of a male child *relative to* the status of having a female child and no male children. Selective abortion and infanticide, anyone?

    It benefits us to understand the dynamics of all forms of privilege and oppression in the patriarchy.

    What we do with that understanding is, again, a choice that each of us will make.

    I “abandoned” heterosexual privilege when I left my husband and became disassociated from males. I am aware through my own lived experience of the difference of the two situations.

    When my daughter was pre-school age, I cut her hair short and dressed her as a boy for her protection. I referred to her as Kore (the Goddess name) in public, and people thought she was a little boy named Corey. Can you guess the rest? The difference in approval and privilege that i experienced as the mother of a male, rather than as the mother of an insignificant little girl?

  141. justicewalks

    And, also, since all of the other women on the plantation were likely being raped as well (either by Jefferson himself, an overseer, or a fellow slave), I’d say that Sally Hemmings probably didn’t see not being raped as an option. The only option was to accept the “male benevolence” offered in return for being raped by the master, or to be raped by an overseer or a fellow slave for nothing at all.

    If you were a woman on the plantation being raped by fellow slaves and overseers instead by the master (which often precluded you being raped by the overseers or other slaves, in addition to certain Big House perks, like confections and actual meat instead of fatback), you might also have seen the privilege inherent in her arbitrary “chosen” status.

  142. delphyne

    I think I’ll just reiterate what I said already. Marriage is a site of oppression for women, not a site of privilege. Married women often subsume their identities to their husbands and are expected to do the majority of the work in the marriage – domestic, reproductive and emotional. Many suffer from violence at the hands of their husbands including violent assault and rape, right up to murder – husbands who continue the tradition of male ownership of women that marriage is based on.

  143. ginmar

    You know the drill, Miznicky; if it doesn’t apply to you, don’t take it personally. If you’re nervous, that’s your problem. Fact is, Alex Kelly had two parents. Fact is, the Our Guys boys had both parents at home—-one of them was the son of a cop, if that doesn’t make you feel better. The kid in the OC rape case was the son of a sheriff, although he was divorced. The kids in Lakewood also came from relatively normal families—you know, the ones where mommy stayed home. It’s a fact. And nobody’s blaming moms, except maybe the blind ones. It ought to be pretty obvious that in a house where the male is dominant sons get taught some pretty poisonous lessons. Where do they get ‘em from? Well, thanks for asking, Miznicky, because for quite a while now I’ve been blaming the dads, older brothers, coaches, friends, cousins, and uncles of those boys. Like I said, thanks for asking for that clarification! Appreciate it!

  144. delphyne

    The point is justicewalks that unmarried women are not in the position of slaves who weren’t up at the big house. Unmarried women escape some parts of male oppression – that’s why patriarchy tries so hard to marry us all off.

    This is beginning to smack of misogyny to me. I hate it when women start getting blamed. Point the finger at the blokes who created this mess.

  145. lawbitch

    It’s not taking something personally to calling you on your blindness to the fact that there are some women out there who have reared well-adjusted sons. I know that you may find this hard to believe, but it is possible for a women to have an healthy, attached relationship with a male child.

    My sons also have a very involved father who is teaching them how to treat women.

    I think my sons would laugh at the suggestion that dad is in charge at our house.

  146. lawbitch

    Married women are the light-skinned biscuit bakers in the big house? I had no idea that I was so opppressed.

  147. Amy

    Horrible, just horrible.
    I am, yet again, somewhat speechless. Sickened.

    The trial shouldn’t be fucking biased in the baseball team/rapists’ favour. But, it was, because that’s the way these things go down.

    “Apparently it’s perfectly normal for incapacitated teenage girls to blithely service multiple baseball players while a shitfaced mob yuks it up. Says young eyewitness Megan Keefhaver, whose boyfriend just happens to be a De Anza baseball player, “The people in the room obviously were cheering the guys on or something like that. But I didn’t think of it as a rape situation.” Because she’s from the moon.”

    Sounds somewhat similar to when my mate got raped last year. I wasn’t there at the party, so I don’t know if she was unconscious, but be that as it may, she was raped. I hate how people undermine cases of rape just because alcohol was involved. Rape is still and always will be rape. Sober, drunk, stoned, whatever.

  148. buggle

    Ok, but how old are your sons? Are they 21 and off at college? ;If they are young, then yeah, they are probably lovely. And hopefully they will stay that way. But why is it so crazy to think that maybe the patriarchy might actually influence your boys, just as much as it influences everyone else? Again, to say that your boys are IMMUNE to patriarchy is silly. No one is questioning your mothering, I’m sure you are all awesome moms. Your sons are lucky, because they have a chance.

  149. SunlessNick

    I can’t find the right words to describe my feelings for this case, so I’ll content myself with saluting the three brave women who saved the victim.

  150. Dawn Coyote

    Irrelevant little point follows:

    My highschool boyfriend was in a head-on collision in which the other driver, drunk, had been driving on the wrong side of the road. He (BF) got out of his car, and when he saw that the other driver (who, coincidentally, was one of the boys who harassed me mercilessly in school from the time I was twelve*) was bleeding from a broken nose and several lacerations to the face, BF, also in shock and with a broken nose, exclaimed, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” The other driver’s lawyer tried to use this to say BF was at fault.

    Which is all by way of saying, I imagine the girl being raped in the story was expressing her regret at being the cause of so much trouble.

    *actually, the bullying by boys started around age 8, it became sexual at 13, and significantly more menacing at 14. No wonder I learned how to beat the shit out of the little fuckers early on, and have seldom been afraid of them since.

  151. buggle

    Hey there-I have an online buddy who was raised in this area-and she has several contacts there, including people in the police department. I’m pretty new to this activism stuff-I vote and send emails, but I’m feeling the need to do a lot more. But, I have no idea what to do-can someone help?

  152. justicewalks

    Yes, delphyne, I know that if women were all enlightened, and not brainwashed by the patriarchy, marriage would be seen for the bondage that it is. However, despite this, there are real-life advantages to just going along with the societal narrative. Women who pair off with a person of the appropriate sex (especially if they have children) are seen to have achieved a maturity, a level of adulthood that is unattainable to single (especially childless) women. On a global scale, single, childless women, even those as accomplished as Condoleeza Rice, are ridiculed and dismissed. There are international heads of state making the same ludicrous remarks about Ms. Rice that are made about feminists, despite the fact that she probably isn’t one: that she needs a good stiff dicking, she needs a man in her life, she’s overbearing so she needs a man and some children to bring her down a notch. She could certainly avoid most of the harping she’s dealt with if she’d just find herself a man to marry. For some women, unenlightened women, the thrill of the second class adulthood and social credibility granted to them by marriage is extremely important.

    Unmarried women escape some parts of male oppression – that’s why patriarchy tries so hard to marry us all off.

    It’s true. Marriage only offers privileges in exchange for self-debasement. That’s the difference between the unbridled privilege of the oppressors and the trickled down privilege granted the buffer layer of oppressed middle(wo)men. For some women, the privileges are worth the debasement. For others, they aren’t. The fact of the matter is, married women, having followed societal dicta, are free from the pressures of “patriarchy tr[ying] so hard to marry us all off.” Those pressures include calling unmarried women ugly, undesirable, deserving of rape or mutilation, disgraces to their families, selfish, dirty, whores, spinsters, etc. For some women, that alone is worth the debasement of marriage.

  153. Twisty

    Lest this discussion descend into chaos, cast ye not aspersions on blamers who have given birth to male children and are unwilling to kill them, or who are reluctant to wholeheartedly agree “My son? A rapist? You betcha!” Rapists are the result of an oppressive patriarchal paradigm. On this blog we may examine the role of motherhood in perpetuating women’s oppression, but we will not admit ad feminam attacks into discussion.

    Also, a couple more things:

    Class and race intersect all over the place. Privilege does not accrue in a strict vertical hierarchy. It is a vast oversimplification to declaim that because sexism came first, its importance, as the ur-oppression, must be more dire. Racism, sexism — they’re all on the same continuum; primacy is, at this stage of the game, irrelevant. Surely, if this blog advocates anything, it advocates the revolution that would topple the social order predicated on dominance and submission wherein all these isms flourish.

    I have found that, in mixed company, the person with the most valuable insight into the nature of a given instance of oppression generally turns out to be a member of the oppressed group.

    Using the word ‘minority’ to describe people of color is inaccurate. People of western European descent, i.e. honkys, are a minority on this planet.

  154. Lorelei

    I’d love to see a study done on how many rapists were raised by feminist mothers.

    It’s no study, obviously, but I can say that the sociopath who abused me for two years and raped me started when he was sixteen and was raised by a radical feminist. I’d thought about telling her before what kind of person her son really is, but I have no heart. It isn’t her fault at all that her kid turned out to be a monster. I mean, there’s really so much you can do, I guess.

    But I assume she wouldn’t believe me anyway. You know, ‘not my Nigel!’ syndrome, which is unfortunate, but oh well.

    To blame mothers for the way their kids turned out, though, unless they actively taught them to disrespect women, is totally ludicrous. Mothers aren’t the only people raising their kids, and I don’t even mean the fact that fathers exist.

  155. randombinary

    *enjoying my virtual taco here*

    Priviledge: it’s a continuum – what else can it be?

    We all have it to some degree, and we all, except for Bill Gates, suffer a deficit of it to varying extents.

    I am wary of using the term privilege as a whip. It’s a lot of things – most importantly, I think, a dynamic.

    And yes, *of course* there is privilege involved in being heterosexual, where the choice to not be heterosexual is an option that doesn’t result in almost instant death. Even then, one could make the case (I suppose) that being alive is a privilege over being dead. That we pay for the privilege of being alive (in some places and times) by acceding to heterosexuality.

    Likewise, there is privilege in being the mother of a male child *relative to* the status of having a female child and no male children. Selective abortion and infanticide, anyone?

    It benefits us to understand the dynamics of all forms of privilege and oppression in the patriarchy.

    What we do with that understanding is, again, a choice that each of us will make.

    I “abandoned” heterosexual privilege when I left my husband and became disassociated from males. I am aware through my own lived experience of the difference of the two situations.

    When my daughter was pre-school age, I cut her hair short and dressed her as a boy for her protection. I referred to her as Kore (the Goddess name) in public, and people thought she was a little boy named Corey. Can you guess
    the rest? The difference in approval and privilege that i experienced as the mother of a male, rather than as the mother of an insignificant little girl?

    LMA

  156. thebewilderness

    “So really, I’m not seeing the privilege.”

    It is the privilege of survival. The quality of your survival is entirely dependent on your interaction with the dominant group. One of the reasons that parents and society favors male children over female children is because they recognize a member of the dominant group and behave accordingly.
    If and when people are convinced that children are human, and treat them accordingly, I think we will see a glimmer of the end of patriarchy.

  157. LouisaMayAlcott

    Just testing to see if LMA has been banned

  158. therealUK

    Empathy exists only when a man perceives himself like a woman and puts himself in her place.

    When men realise and accept and live with the fact they are human, just like women are then maybe we will get somewhere.

  159. ginmar

    I actually read a study where they blamed everything on the moms—-and the fathers were ex-POWS! Obviously the fathers had no problems nohow!

    I frankly blame sexist fathers for raising sexist, rapist sons. It seems perfectly obvious. They raise them to believe that women are worthless and that that applies to Mom, too. So much for her influence. After all, don’t Dads get praised for every damned little things the brats do well? About time they came in for some of hte blame, too! Especially seeing as how it makes a lot less sense for mothers to raise sexist sons than to raise feminist ones.

    Fathers can undermine mothers, even when there’s no obvious hostility there. I read of an overheard conversation on a street: a little boy said ‘Shit.’

    “Don’t say shit. Shit is what your mother does. It’s not nice.” And here’s this mom being undermined without even knowing it. Who does the little boy look up to?

  160. justicewalks

    Oh, and CannibalFemme, thanks for the virtual taco. I appreciate it. It’s hard sometimes to express an opinion you know to be unpopular. It’s nice to know there are people who agree.

  161. justicewalks

    MzNicky,

    I certainly didn’t call your son a rapist. I simply drew your attention, and that of other mothers of sons, to the fact that he is a potential rapist, and that even if he were a rapist, you’d probably never know it.

    Speaking of which, how interesting that suddenly, fer the luva christ, the way a child turns out is all “mommy’s fault”? WTF?

    No, that wasn’t the point. The point was that no mother raises her son to be a rapist. That you somehow think you possess a secret all the mothers of rapists lack or otherwise failed to employ seems more like mother-blaming to me than pointing out that men rape regardless of their mothers’ aspirations for them.

  162. delphyne

    “It is the privilege of survival. The quality of your survival is entirely dependent on your interaction with the dominant group. One of the reasons that parents and society favors male children over female children is because they recognize a member of the dominant group and behave accordingly.
    If and when people are convinced that children are human, and treat them accordingly, I think we will see a glimmer of the end of patriarchy.”

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean by the privilege of survival with regards to marriage. Women are more likely to be raped, beaten or murdered by men if they live with them than if they don’t. How come people are finding it so hard to see that? It’s not like we as feminists don’t know these facts. What exactly does survival mean in that context? And what is the significance of male children being favoured over female children with regards to women marrying? Women as women are not members of the dominant group.

    Up until 1991 in the UK if a man raped a woman he was married to he hadn’t even committed a crime.

  163. Branjor

    Sorry if I make anyone feel “defensive” by my little post up there, but that is the problem of those who feel that way, not my problem. All I have said is the truth – I have heard mothers (and other women and men even) describe males who have done terrible things in glowing terms. I will not have my voice silenced, and on a radical feminist blog of all places, by anyone, just because it makes them uncomfortable.

  164. delphyne

    If you follow the logic of some of this thread it’s possible to blame women who have children for pretty much everthing humans (men) do. Don’t give birth – no rape, no murder, no war, no poisoning the planet, no destruction of nature. Give birth and you’re supporting all of those.

    Of course by not giving birth the human race would disappear after about a hundred years, but I guess that’s patriarchy done away with too isn’t it?

  165. Virago

    justicewalks, I am coming in late, but I do, as they say, have a dog in this fight.** You said what needs to be said. Thank you.

    Privilege is the cookie in the great jar of the patriarchy and we pups (even we unmarried, childless pups) are expected to sit when told–even if it means that we only get the tiniest crumbs out of that damn jar.

    **This in no way implies a support of dog-fighting.

  166. Virago

    I guess, delphyn, that the privileges of marriage may not include the freedom from rape or abuse. However, there are still privileges associated with being married, for example, one has easy access to tax breaks, access to affordable health insurance (welcome to the US!), the glowing praise of the vast majority of people in this country, freedom from judgment in re: being childless, the privileges associated with an adequate income, and so on. One can, if one plays one’s cards right, also lord it over poor, poor unmarried spinster aunts like myself.

  167. delphyne

    Well I can see from the US point of view that the healthcare issue is very important, but the rest, I dunno, I think I’ll take my reduced risk of suffering from male violence and not having to live with a member of the oppressor class over the rest any day of the week.

    I mean separatism is usually seen as something very positive in radical feminism – the idea that we women direct our energy towards ourselves and other women and away from men – I’m surprised it’s being painted as such an unprivileged oppressed option here.

  168. Kwillz

    I think we can all blame society for rapist. For both encouraging it in every facet of the media, to spreading disinformation about the nature and definition of rape. There are still people who think porn reduces the amount of rapes by giving men a sexual outlet. And that was on a message board about stopping rape. As sad as it might sound, we might have to congratulate women who raise sons who aren’t rapists.

  169. S-kat

    “I frankly blame sexist fathers for raising sexist, rapist sons. It seems perfectly obvious. They raise them to believe that women are worthless and that that applies to Mom, too.”

    Yeah, this seems so obvious. But then again we have an entire sexist society raising these kids too (it takes a village!) so it’s impossible to pin point where it is learned. [And I think we can all agree that it is learned and not innate male behavior.]

    My folks raised me to be a feminist, but that didn’t stop my brothers from molesting me. On the other hand, it did mean that I wasn’t blamed for it when I finally found the guts to expose them.

  170. S-kat

    delphyne,

    I’m in your corner. I have yet to see what’s so great about marriage. However, our society does still view it as a “privileged” position. Society, sadly, is often horribly wrong.

  171. ginmar

    The patriachy has everything to offer men who want to be dominant; power over other men but especially over women. Which is why real male feminists are rare and I’m not holding my breath. Too often they seem to think that sexism makes a wonderful low bar to measure themselves against.

  172. Lisa

    This has everything to do with sports. Everything. Men are revered for playing sports. Male athletes are little demi-gods who can do no wrong.

    Replace “athlete” with politician, lawyer, docor, businessman, firefighter, police oficer, etc. When men do these jobs they are revered. Women – sometimes but not as much. You know, the old “work twice as hard to be thought half as good.” This is sexism, this is a patriarchy. The problem is not sports (or medicine or law or business). It’s patriarchy.

  173. Dana

    justicewalks: Another angle on women who congratulate themselves that their sons turned out (they think) to not be rapists, or to be sensitive, or woman-loving, or whatever: This just buys into the mother-blaming going on in the patriarchy that says it’s Mama’s fault if the kids turn out badly, particularly the sons. Meanwhile the dad gets the praise if they turn out well, particularly the sons. If a mama does her best to impart the idea that women are human beings and that men should respect us as such, fine, but that’s all you can take credit for doing. Children are individuals fully capable of thinking for themselves, and they will make decisions separate from what their parents may desire. Or as Gibran said (paraphrased): Your children come from you but they don’t belong to you.

    Basically, I agree with most of what you’ve said; of the things you said that I don’t wholesale agree with, they are still food for thought. I also have a son, although I am not raising him (he is, however, being raised by a rather strong and opinionated woman who is more feminist than not), and at this point it looks like he may turn out quite well in the gender relations department, but who can say? Ultimately, it’s up to him. And that is what makes having boys and raising them so risky in the present so-called culture. I really think some of these parents who are so shocked at how their boys turned out are shocked for good reason: Their sons turned out to be sociopaths and were able to hide that part of themselves from their families. You never know. It’s a crap shoot.

    delphyne: I think justicewalks sees het marriage as a privilege for women because it’s something the patriarchy wants us to do, so we get brownie points for doing it. Historically, as long as legal issues were not at stake, married women had better reputations than single women, and their words carried more weight. Historically, women’s power derived from the power of the men they married; if your husband was a king, you were a queen, and if he was a rich businessman, you were rich. To this day some women believe that a woman’s just as powerful if married to a powerful man as she could be if she had power in her own right. My own stepmom tried feeding me this line several years ago. (I didn’t have the heart to ask her what happens when the “powerful” woman gets dumped for a younger model; she seemed awfully comfy in her delusions.)

  174. Twisty

    Nobody is trying to silence anybody, Branjor. Certainly all rapists had mothers, and certainly some of those mothers were in denial or loved them anyway; if that is your position, you’ll get no argument from me.

    I merely question the usefulness of implying, based on nothing but her reluctance to embrace the suggestion with an eager cry, that this or that particular blamer is herself in denial about having raised a rapist. It seems pointlessly confrontational. I’m sure this was not your intent, so let’s move on.

  175. Twisty

    Oh, and marriage? It’s a too-too-tool of the patriar-kay!

  176. Twisty

    And speaking of marriage: What some see as the ‘privileges’ of marriage might more accurately be described as ‘rewards for compliance.’

  177. MzNicky

    Thanks Twisty.

    justicewalks: No. Wrong again. My son, whom you do not know, is not a “potential rapist.” And though I’m sure you won’t believe it, this is not the delusional thinking of a “privileged” mother who thinks she “possesses a secret all the mothers of rapists lack or otherwise failed to employ.” This assumption on your part is also wrong because you don’t know me, either. And now, according to you, not only is my son, if he’s not already and has somehow cunningly deceived me all these years, a “potential rapist,” but somehow I’m the mother-blamer?

    Branjor: No one is trying to “silence” you, for cryin’ out loud. “All [you] have said is the truth”? Well, you know what they say about the nonexistence of objective “truth.”

    I’m well aware that most men are patriarchal shitheads, having had one for a father, two as brothers, many as boyfriends. I also had a narcissist doormat patriarchy-enabler for a mother. Somehow I escaped all that and managed to create a vastly different life for myself. I have no magical formula for correcting the perversions of humanity that produce rapists, nor have I ever claimed that I did. But your hatred of and contempt for women who have sons devastates me. You’re transferring your feelings toward men in general onto your feminist sisters who happen to have borne male children. I reject that and would urge anyone who harbors similar sentiments to reassess where this is coming from. It’s deeply disturbing, mainly because it must be a hellish way to view the world.

  178. thekiti

    The problem is not sports. When women play team sports, they are not granted tacit permission by society to pillage whoever and whatever and whenever they please.

  179. lawbitch

    I fully support a woman’s right to choose the life most appropriate for her. I’m only asking that I not considered a traitor to feminism because I am married and produced spawn. My “compliance” does give me some benefits but that’s not why I got married. I fell in love with a good guy. It happens.

  180. LouisaMayAlcott

    MzNicky:

    And how *are* we to view the world which has been made so hellish for us by males?

    I await your instruction.

  181. delphyne

    Did I miss something MzNicky? All Branjor said was this:

    “I have heard mothers describe sons in almost those exact words, which sons I have had, shall we say, a different type of experience with. Sorry, but it’s the truth.”

    How on earth does that translate into “hatred and contempt for women who have sons”?

    It’s a truism that mothers defend their sons. The other thing worth bearing in mind is that you don’t often hear the same fulsome praise about daughters.

  182. lawbitch

    I suspect that I’m older than some of the other women here. Grace comes with age. It is possible to oppose the patriarchy without hating individual men. I can only change my family and my little corner of the world. Perhaps the change seems small but it’s something.

  183. LouisaMayAlcott

    Lawbitch,

    I’m a traitor to feminism myself. We are, each of us, traitors to feminism in our own ways. To me the point is to not agonize nor to upbraid ourselves or each other about it. We have bigger fish to fry.

    I was a traitor to feminism at least 500 times today, but I still have to wake up tomorrow and continue to be me.

    Cheers!

  184. Branjor

    I don’t believe nor do I disbelieve any mother who I don’t know and whose son I don’t know who says he is not a rapist. Whether or not a man is a rapist will be decided by his female peers and contemporaries, those girls he has dated or has had contact with in high school and beyond. Is he a rapist? THEY will decide, not his mother. Also, rape is only the tip of the iceberg of what men do to women.

  185. lawbitch

    “It’s a truism that mothers defend their sons. The other thing worth bearing in mind is that you don’t often hear the same fulsome praise about daughters.”

    I have to disagree with this. Americans favor girls when adopting. The wait for adoption of a female child is considerably longer than for a male child. Would people be seeking out girls if they didn’t value them? Or is there some sinister plan?

  186. Branjor

    Delphyne, thank you! I couldn’t figure that out either!

  187. justicewalks

    Twisty said: I merely question the usefulness of implying, based on nothing but her reluctance to embrace the suggestion with an eager cry, that this or that particular blamer is herself in denial about having raised a rapist. Bolds added.

    Note, MzNicky, that Twisty did not say anything about those of us who expressed dismay at your (and others’) refusal to acknowledge their sons’ potential, though sometimes successfully restrained, to rape. The event and the potential are 2 different things, and while you may have a right, erroneously or no, to deny the fact of a particular rape, you cannot, with any intellectual honesty, and especially in this culture, deny the possibility of it altogether.

    You’re transferring your feelings toward men in general onto your feminist sisters who happen to have borne male children. I reject that and would urge anyone who harbors similar sentiments to reassess where this is coming from. It’s deeply disturbing, mainly because it must be a hellish way to view the world.

    No, I’m “transferring [my] feelings toward men in general onto” the sons of my feminist sisters, which, for some reason, they seem to be taking personally. That’s what I find disturbing.

  188. Virago

    No argument from me that marriage is a toot-toot-tooting tool of the patriarchy. Tha’s why I ain’t partaking. But many women do, and I always wonder why. What do they get out of it besides the paltry few “privileges” that I can brainstorm?

    If it’s a matter of: Well, I found a good guy. Well, I think that’s great, but I still want to ask: Why do you need marriage again? Why not live together? Why not claim your partnerhood sans the patriarchal stamp of approval?

    I honestly don’t understand the desire or need women have to marry.

  189. Twisty

    Hey! Not to put too fine a point on it, but when I said “let’s move on,” I meant “let’s move on.” The subject of mothers raising rapists is now closed.

    Everyone posting here is a feminist or I would’ve banned’em by now. So that point is settled, too.

    Next.

  190. MzNicky

    “It’s a truism that mothers defend their sons. The other thing worth bearing in mind is that you don’t often hear the same fulsome praise about daughters.”

    delphyne: Bullshit. Daughters’ (and I have one of those, too) actions are far less called upon to need defending. Go figure. And your point, if you have one in making this observation, is — ?

    Additionally, yes; what you missed is Branjor’s implied “truth” that the description I gave of my son is also the apologia clueless rapists’ mothers use to describe their fuckwad sons.

    Also, what lawbitch said at 5:01.

  191. Twisty

    Dammit, MzNicky!

  192. lawbitch

    Twisty, are we allowed to talk about the tool of the patriarchy (a/k/a marriage)?

    Virago, no one was more suprised by my decision to marry than me! I feel in love, and I wanted to have children. Crazy, I know!

    I was so offended by suggestions that I find a husband at law school. I have charming family members who feel entitled to comment on my personal choices. I’m sure that women here have all experienced that! LOL!

    There are many legal reasons to marry. I support the rights of lesbians and gays to marry for this reason.

  193. lawbitch

    LMA claims:
    I was a traitor to feminism at least 500 times today

    I’m pretty sure that I didn’t beat your record today. I’m too puny to even shave my legs.

    Let’s braid for war!!!

  194. Lucija

    tinfoil hattie: Lucija,

    WTF??? GRABBED YOUR ASS AND CALLED YOU — I have no words.

    And good point. My sister started being molested in school at age 10 — boys would prod her very large breasts and say, “Who’s Gumby’s pal? POKEY!” while the teacher sat there, oblivious.

    I will find a way to talk to my older son about this. I have hope for him, because once when I pointed out some (relatively) innocuous patriarchal bullshit, he said, “If I were a girl I’d be the most bitter feminist in the world.” After I patted him on the back I said, “You don’t have to be a girl to be a bitter feminist.”

    But enlightening my already-pretty-decent son feels like putting out a fire with a watering can. What good will it do against this mountain of vicious rage against women?

    Yes, grabbed my ass and called me a dirty whore. But I can’t say that it really surprised me, after I thought about it a little. As I said, I grew up surrounded by boys of all ages behaving in the most disgusting possible ways.

    Your sister’s story makes me feel nauseated. Big breasts are such a curse in our society… I remember a girl with exceptionally large breasts in my elementary school and the thing that breaks my heart is that even the majority of girls screamed terrible things at her and openly mocked her… And, of course, just like with your sister, the teachers did absolutely nothing about it, except shoot them a cross look or two that did nothing at all to help.

    But your son sounds decent indeed. It makes me feel hopeful, too. Just keep an eye on him, and on your other son. The patriarchy is sickeningly pervasive. I’d like to have kids one day but the thought of raising them to become decent patriarchy-opposing non-prejudiced people fills me with fear, cause it sounds like an incredibly difficult thing to do in this world…

  195. Lucija

    I seem to have done a terrible job quoting in my last post but it’s too late to fix it now, sorry…

  196. Rxl

    thekiti: The problem is not sports. When women play team sports, they are not granted tacit permission by society to pillage whoever and whatever and whenever they please.

    ========

    Maybe they should start?

  197. R

    Frustrating, that after women acheive success and are in positions of power – they cave. They let rapists go, they fold ‘em, they leave us hanging out to dry.

    This is the reason why patriarchy will continue and men will justify their hatred of us, because we don’t stick together when it counts. We wuss out.

    We go for the frilly wedding, we mellow out “because he’s treating my great, he’s a nice guy, blah blah blah” So right to the male-empowering institution of marriage we go. Hey, it’s an honor he wants to make you a wife and socially repsectable. Be grateful. Life’s easier-nicer for you. Wussy.

    Because “I have to protect my career, so if the right defense team makes the right threat, I’ll back down. I have no faith in myself or my case, so why risk it” So rapists walk free. Mindless.

    Or worse, “he’s my son, yes, he may have had sex with a girl she thinks is rape, but he’s my son. I won’t speak to the press, i won’t defend this young lady, and I certainly won’t take a stand and pull him from the team he did these horrible things with.” This goes beyond words.

    When this kinda of nonsense stops, real change will happen.

    My son ever does something like this to a girl, I’ll put him in jail myself. I don’t care what the circusmtances were. She says rape, he’s no son of mine. You hang around a room with animals treating a woman like that, you deserve to get nailed. I’ll get the hammer.

    And if he disrepects a woman, calls her names, touches her, teases her, or has to “joke with the guys” by demeaning women when he gets older, I don’t care if it holds him back from being CEO of an empire, he does not step foot in my door.

    Funny thing is, my son knows this, and wouldn’t dare do it. He loves me and everything. So maybe when women stop wussing out, we’ll REALLY make a dent in this patriarchy. The world would definitely be a better place. I’m doing my part.

  198. wiggles

    I haven’t read all the comments here or on the other blogs posting on this, but one thing I haven’t seen brought up yet is a California law I”ve heard of where sex is automatically non-concentual if one of the participants is legally drunk. If that is a real CA law, that would put another nick in the consent of the victim that’s being manufactured.
    I don’t see anyone disputing that a bunch of guys were on a girl. What they’re disputing is consent. Everyone also agrees that the girl was wasted. There goes consent, according tthe laws of the state in which this incident took place.

  199. She Said

    What a fascinating thread. Thanks to insomnia I read the whole thing. Due to its lateness, my comment might never be read, but here goes:

    First of all, I do think organized male sports has a lot to do with this. Sports teams are yet another arena for men to bond and prove their studliness to each other. Winning games by conquering their opponents is a huge charge that men cherish forever.

    Athletic competition is also a place where women and men can almost always be separated because most of us cannot compete at the same physical level as the top men. So men get their teams all to themselves most of the time, until some uppity girl or woman comes along who doesn’t know her place.

    It’s kind of like the military – a place for men to be men, and those shared experiences help them advance in other arenas. I know politics, law, medicine, etc have lots of the same women-as-interlopers issues – but sports and the military have that extra added male-favoring-umph of physical dominance, pumped-up beat-downs and all the attendant glory. The set-up demands that only men benefit from this weird god-like worship for one team or country over another. All of this breeds a special brand of contempt for women and a belief that women truly are the spoils of war and athletic prowess.

    As for the separatism issue – I enjoyed reading the comments from both sides. Even felt like I learned something new about privilege or the rewards of compliance, whatever you want to call it. However, I am about to say something that might anger some folks. I hope my words will be taken not as an accusation, but as someone honestly trying to think things through.

    I think we are all on the defensive due to existing in this awful patriarchy. The separatists sound to me like they want their cake and eat it to – and who the hell doesn’t? The implication in various comments is that separatists are better feminists because they have said no to men and refuse to comply with the system. They have the guts and fortitude that the rest of us don’t, and what they are doing is the right thing. But, because of their decision to separate they are more oppressed than women operating within the system (married, birthing children) and are therefore at a disadvantage. I guess it’s possible for both principles to be in effect at the same time. It just makes me feel extra defensive, because as a non-separatist that means I am both gutless AND privileged. I hate it when that happens.

    Oh well. I can deal. I know I’m not even close to perfect. None of us are, but I think the fact that we are reminded of it on a regular basis by society makes us a little sensitive when the blamers in the comments section remind us, too.

  200. justicewalks

    slythwolf says:

    justice walks, I tend to think advocating separatism is letting men off too light. It’s saying, oh well, they just can’t help themselves, let’s get out of the situation–instead of listen, assholes, stop abusing women.

    This is what lies at the heart of my life’s frustration. Women are willing to die, and sentence their daughters to death, in order to give men an infinite chance to treat us like people. Yet, we are not willing to die freeing ourselves.

    Yes, I am willing to let men totally off the hook if it means I’ll never have to see another man towering over my small frame in anger (and it doesn’t take much to rile one up), or read that another pack of them circled and assaulted an intoxicated girl, culling our dazed and weak like the savages they are.

    And I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily think of mens’ rejection from women’s lives as a sentence free of any punishment. I figure, since the pinnacle of happiness for men is women’s degradation and humiliation anyway, they’ll suffer enough at its absence alone that they don’t need to be further punished by straining their big sulking heads trying to learn how to live peacefully with their fellow human beings. They’ve been trying oh so hard all these milennia and they still haven’t figured it out. I’m willing to give them a break.

  201. msxochitl

    Thanks for that post, justicewalks. I don’t see men giving up the raping and killing anytime soon, and until they do, I’d rather spend my time in the company of women.

    Here’s a great article about separatism:

    “How feminist is it to consider the place where men are “the center” and where only women are, separatist space, “the margins?”

    http://feminist-reprise.blogspot.com/2004/12/manifest-this.html

  202. Branjor

    ***And I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily think of mens’ rejection from women’s lives as a sentence free of any punishment.***

    I think separatism is the worst punishment men can get, worse than any order to “stop abusing women, asshole.” Women telling them to stop abusing really do not worry men much, as it shows that the women are still hooked into “struggle” with them, that is, that they (the men) are still relevant to these women. Separatism, on the other hand, makes real one of men’s worst nightmares, that of being completely and utterly irrelevant to women. That is why men ridicule, condemn and sneer at separatism more than almost any other form of feminist expression. Men also run on women’s energy, be it loving energy, hate or the energy women expend in “struggle” with them. All of this women’s energy is FUEL to them, like gasoline is to cars. Women who successfully practice separatism take this energy/fuel *away* from them. Lastly, of course, separatism is an assumption of power on the part of women, something men fear worst of all.

    ***Women are willing to die, and sentence their daughters to death, in order to give men an infinite chance to treat us like people. Yet, we are not willing to die freeing ourselves.***

    YES! I also find this highly disturbing.

    Justicewalks, thank you for your posts.

  203. MzNicky

    Sorry, Twisty. I’ve been the victim of cross-posting smashups throughout this whole thread. Someday I’ll learn how to navigate these dang-nabbed InternetsTubes.

  204. RadFemHedonist

    “Women who pair off with a person of the appropriate sex (especially if they have children) are seen to have achieved a maturity, a level of adulthood that is unattainable to single (especially childless) women.”

    Friggin’ rites of passage bullshit. The notion of childhood ties into this ridiculous maturity crap, suffer and it makes you more of a person apparently. Puke.

  205. Twisty

    MzNicky: “Someday I’ll learn how to navigate these dang-nabbed InternetsTubes.”

    Ha, I say this all the time, but gradually it dawns on me that it’s never gonna happen. Poor me.

  206. Tigs

    Can I move backward for a minute? I have a question.

    My initial objection (in response justicewalks’ statement) was not to separatism. As long as we are all able to make our own choices, I am right there with you. I support women in their decisions about their own lives.
    My objection was to the idea that the only way to view a world without patriarchy would be in a world in which men killed off, and male children blindfolded and hobbled. The world I don’t want to live in is a world that hinges on artificial, oppressive power structures.

    I want to know why you think this view can only come from a position of privilege. I think I can say, (We were all knocked around by my father but my sister is an incest survivor–I was my father’s silencing mechanism–ie “don’t tell anyone, or I’ll do this to [Tigs]“) that I know that male violence is everywhere, there is no place that is finally safe. The only place completely free from the potential threat of male violence (as things stand right now) is a place without men. I know this.

    But even though I know this, I have an idea of what T&B look like, and it isn’t a world full of oppression. Given certain calculations (and yes, I’m sure some of those are contingent on my location of privilege), I think the best place for me to resist patriarchy and to work on chipping away at power structures is from a non-separatist location.

    In reading the posts from this and the Marriott thread, I feel like what was being suggested by some of those advocating separatism, was that if I didn’t choose separatism, I must have missed something– not that I might have made an eyes-open decision. Or even that my choice for my life not to be separatist, damages the lives of other women. And while I can see how this might be so if I were the one who would tip the tide in the critical mass, I don’t see how my choosing to live my strategies must be predicated on delusions or complicity any more so than any separatist approach.

  207. Twisty

    Meanwhile, I can’t get behind this argument (god, I hope this is the right thread. Lately they all seem to be saying the same thing) that women who would, if it were possible, choose a dude-free life are somehow moreoppressed than women who would stay in the war zone. Because it’s like this:

    Is the dominant global culture a male-dominated culture? Check.

    Are you a woman? Check.

    You’re oppressed.

    One can argue that because it is reactionary rather than revolutionary, separatism cannot advance the radical feminist cause (which is to overthrow patriarchy), but dang it, there are days when I say so what? I’d vote men off the island in a heartbeat. The separatist life would significantly delay the development of spinster-auntly ulcers.

  208. LouisaMayAlcott

    Twisty,

    The oppression of separatists is in the fact of the punishment that males inflict on women who attempt to create and/or maintain male-free spaces.

    Case in point: an African women who attempts to flee a forced marriage (i.e. to create her own male free living space) and is either murdered for having the temerity to do so, or left to survive *outside of any human grouping* on bare or forested ground.

    Case in point: the middle-class American white woman/women who attempt to open a feminist bookstore, or restaurant, or coffee shop and are immediately closed down (by law). To my knowledge, the only women-only spaces in North America that operate on a permanent basis are battered women’s shelters and rape crisis shelters, who are given special dispensation by law. Males want their women patched up and sent back to them.

    Case in point: the separatist who loses whatever job she was lucky enough to have in thw first place, now needs to find another, and has no personal or employment references to offer because of having alienated the males and male-loving females in her employment and (non-existent) social environment.

    Case in point: the lesbian who comes out, very perilously, to other lesbians as a separatist and is immediately subjected to ostracism, and cut off from the scant social and emotional resources available to lesbians of any stripe.

    Twisty, *where* are all these pockets of comfortably established female separatist spaces located? Please tell me! I want to go there right now.

    Twisty, I am really, really happy for you that you are independently wealthy. That monetary wealth has meant that you are able to be alive and with us *now*. But I think it has protected you from the realities imposed on separatists who do not have the financial and social mobility that you, fortunately have.

    Could it be, do you think, that males insist upon having women where they want us and can use us or terrorize us, at will? Can you imagine that there is oppression in place for women who attemt to escape from that imperative?

    *Of course* marriage is oppression. *Of course* heterosexuality is oppressive to females.

    Take note: marriage and heterosexuality are not the only female-based oppressions visited upon females by males, or, if you prefer, the patriarchy.

    Separatism is not, here and now, in the patriarchy, a way out of oppression by males. It is an analysis, an awareness, a desire, and a *rootedness* in the former that exists in *some* (very few) indidvidual females.

    Read up on your radfem and lesbian history.

    Check out Julia Penelope, Sarah Hoagland, Marilyn Frye.

    A quote from Marilyn Frye:

    “The penalty for refusing to work with or for men is usually starvation (or, at the very least, doing without medical insurance(4)); and if one’s policy of noncooperation is more subtle, one’s livelihood is still constantly on the line, since one is not a loyal partisan, a proper member of the team, or what have you.”

    Or, look at it this way:

    A man is working class. He is oppressed by the class system. he decides to become a communist. In making that decision and identification (here in North America, say) does he thereby escape class oppression? Is he less oppressed than other working class people? Or is he more likely to be shunned, excluded, and eventally sacked?

    Please give this some thought.

    Best regards,
    LMA

  209. Mar Iguana

    Arise then…women of this day!
    Arise, all women who have hearts!
    Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
    Say firmly:
    “We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
    Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
    For caresses and applause.
    Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
    All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
    We, the women of one country,
    Will be too tender of those of another country
    To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

    From “The Mother’s Day Proclmation” by Julia Ward Howe, 1870

    My son is 31. His father abandoned him when he was one. It was us against the world until puberty hit and I lost him to the world. He “returned” when he was 21. During the bad years (nothing can stop your heart like those wee-hour-of-the-morning calls from the police), if he was guilty, I let the cops have him and he knew better than to call me from the county slammer. If not, I fought like a grizzly against The Man who thought they had an easy pickings, San Quentin candidate because he had priors, was poor, being raised by a single mother and not quite white enough for Calabama* County.

    He is not abusive towards women. He knows if he was, I would never speak to him again. And, I’d find out in that very small town where gossip is a blood sport. I routinely banned little no-neck monsters from my yard if I overheard the slightest derrogatory language towards women or girls. For one thing. I am considered crazy.

    Raising a son in this toxic wasteland of a culture was the hardest thing I ever did. And, it was all my fault. My fault for not being woman enough to have kept his father around and refusing to marry him. My fault for refusing to bring a proper father-figure into our home (yikes!). My fault for having too strong-an-emasculating personality and don’t I know I could turn him into a homosexual if I didn’t tone myself down? I could go on, of course. Remember, it was ALL my fault. There is no such thing a good enough mother (Phyllis Chesler, I think).

    *Can’t remember which Blamer to credit for Calabama.

  210. Branjor

    That’s a good way to do it – leave him in the slammer, don’t talk to him if he is guilty or abusive. Not all women do that, of course, which was what my experience showed me. In more ancient, woman centered cultures, mothers did not have to do these things *alone*. Women bonded with each other in power and were able to act as a group. This is what we have lost in patriarchy. One of the things that make me lean towards separatism is the bonding of women with women, such that even in relation with men, sons included, women are not just in it alone but have the support and power of a female society in back of them.

  211. Twisty

    I am failing to grasp the gist of your argument, LouisaMayAlcott. I do not argue that separatists are not oppressed. I do not argue that separatist enclaves exist. I do not even argue that it is possible. In other words, where are we at odds?

  212. lawbitch

    I believe that women should take care of our own. Is there a woman being abused? Let’s get her out. Don’t ask why she doesn’t leave. Drive the get-away car.

    I grew up in an abusive home and no one did shit. I would find out later that family members and others knew that something was going on in my home. Not only was I abandoned, but the fact that people knew only added to my shame.

    The girls that rescued the victim have the right idea. You can believe that if a family member or friend was being abused, I’d be there rescuing her. Let’s not sit around debating separatism when there are women out there who are suffering.

  213. lawbitch

    Branjor, the patriarchy counts on divide and conquer. I’m agree that women should act together as a group regardless of personal choices.

  214. MedeaOnCrack

    lawbitch I just passed something which is typical of what we, on our rounds at them market or wherever, see and don’t know how to act upon. Or if. Getting out of a huge honkin’ Mercedes, all black, black windows but enough for me to see the driver was a beautiful blonde young(er) woman, and a man all covered with tatoos and a gym body (knows nothing about lifting it’s all overdone up top, anyway…) turns back and says, “And remember, I know everyone, everywhere”, slams the passenger door and stomps away. She, avoids my eyes, backs up and drives away. There’s a problem there for sure. I wanted to holler hey asshole you don’t know me! But what good would that have done HER? Maybe, he would take it out on her that someone else saw. Yeah. No maybe about it. I know that.

  215. lawbitch

    Medeaoncrack, that’s a tough situation because you don’t know or have even access to the woman. Confronting the man is not helpful. It’s usually best to diffuse the situation rather than escalate it.

    This woman has family and friends that could help her, but you’re not really in this position. If this person was a coworker or even alone in the market, you could offer her something, even if you just expressed your personal concern.

    I know that shelters put out leaflets and cards in the women’s restrooms of stores. That’s a good way to reach a woman’s who’s isolated.

  216. LouisaMayAlcott

    Hi Twisty,

    I wouldn’t say we were at odds. Rather, I was addressing your statement that you couldn’t get behind the argument that:

    ” … women who would, if it were possible, choose a dude-free life are somehow more oppressed than women who would stay in the war zone.”

    with your italics on the word “more”.

    That was what my “cases in point” were about. That yes, women who *try* to, or even express the *desire* to become free of males in their social, living, and working lives will experience *greater* oppression, in addition to the oppression that we all already experience as women.

    Also, that in fact, separatist enclaves do *not* exist, and under the circumstances in which we presently find ourselves, *cannot* exist.

    If I knew of any, I would be there now.

    I spent 30 years running up against all the ways in which that is impossible to do, in the known English-speaking separatist world.

    Whether or not it will ever be possible, is a question for another day.

    I thank you for creating and maintaining this (Mandos-free!) forum, and I do not wish to impose upon your hospitality.

  217. MedeaOnCrack

    The point is, 99 per cent of the time, we can’t do anything. And a guy like that? He saw me. He knows it. Didn’t even lower his voice. Probably went around the corner and held the door open for some old lady with a cane, in front of the hundreds of people licking ice cream and patting the dogs tied up and bobbling children on their knees looking at him and thinking what a nice gentle man!

  218. venpaca

    If anyone in the Bay Area is organizing a protest or knows of one, please share details–while I am not local right now I am from San Jose and know many women to whom I would forward information.

  219. Laurel

    Ahhhhhhh yes, there’s no place like home. We were also recently treated to this: http://tinyurl.com/28waa4 from the spawn of one of our public officials.

  220. thebewilderness

    Crap, Laurel, just crap. Three years for each count on a hail mary guilty plea.

  221. justicewalks

    Tigs, the hobbling idea was in response to someone’s suggestion that men be blindfolded rather than women restrained. You truly would have to hobble them to do so. Since I don’t care to deal with males in any way at all, there isn’t any need to bother with that.

    I do think that women who choose males over women act out of a false, one-sided loyalty. Whether they do this with open eyes or not is the least of my concerns.

  222. Virago

    You know, the only thing that really shocks me about that case as reported, Lauren, is that he actually admitted guilt. I found myself thinking: I wonder why he would do something like that?

    IBTP for those thoughts.

  223. E

    From Laurels link above:

    ” Council President De La Fuente, who sat in the courtroom nearly every day of the case, said he supports his son.

    “I still believe that he is innocent of rape,” he said after the hearing. ”

    Wow. So his son confesses he raped /assaulted several women, there is even DNA evidence. And this man manages to still believe he is innocent. That is Not-My-Nigel taken to a whole new level.

  224. Laurel

    Bewilderness, I still don’t what outrages me more: de la Fuente Jr. walking away with the equivalent of a bad dog tap on the nose or his father’s unconscionable, irrational defense of his son’s crimes. It’s one thing to say that you love your child no matter what they may have done. It’s quite another to look at evidence of the kind gathered against his son and participate in the re-victimization of those women by trying to obliterate them with the ‘eh, they’re just hoors’ defense. (Sopranos translation: mine) The fact that Ignacio de la Fuente remains President of the Oakland City Council after the remarkable quotes attributed to him makes me shake with fury.

    I don’t know when it was, exactly, that I convinced myself that the status of women as anything more than fuck targets had improved at all over the course of my lifetime. Clearly, it has not. Maybe it’s the fact that the last 15 years of my life have been spent in an environment where the menfolk have been conditioned to politely avoid being as obvious about what they really think of us as the asstrouts involved in these two incidents are.

  225. Rand

    [Comment deleted by Twisty for anti-feminist content.]

  226. LouisaMayAlcott

    Rand is an anti-feminist troll. Check out his/her website, links and blogroll.

  227. MedeaOnCrack

    This happens every time Twisty takes a pee break. If it wasn’t that she’s been stabbed so many times I’d say we get her catheterized.

  228. Mar Iguana

    “But, I find it interesting how noone here has even asked the obvious question, what was a 17 year old girl doing with a bunch of college guys?”

    It’s obvious why that question has not been asked here. Interesting? Nah. Couldn’t be more boring.

  229. LouisaMayAlcott

    Medea,

    No kidding.

    Trying to breast-feed twins and do all the cloth diapers by hand would be easier than what Twisty’s trying to do these days.

  230. Spit The Dummy

    Rand IS a troll but don’t bother looking at his site. I did and it made me puke. Let me put it this way: he lists a Men’s Rights blog on his list of affiliates, as well as several with names like “Ladies Against Feminism”.

    Need I say more?

  231. MedeaOnCrack

    Well and she’s more or less doing that too. I wonder which burger joint she’s entertaining a bag full o’ niece in this aft?

  232. j

    Rand? After Ayn Rand? Definitely anti-feminist.

  233. Lya Kahlo

    “she is no innocent victim here. Her actions and personal choices directly led to her victimhood. She had bad judgement, and this should not be forgotten. Yes, throw the book at the guys, but don’t treat her as some saint, because she isn’t.”

    Her age, her whereabouts, her bad judgement, her drinking – all irrelevant. No one asks to be raped. No one but the baseball team of rapists are responsible.

    Your misogyny is obvious, but your clear hatred of men is interesting. You’re blaming her for their behavior because you believe that all men will rape at every opportunity. That’s an interesting (and by interesting I mean assinine) premise to blame the victim off of.

  234. WendyAnn

    I always ask myself when a person (of indeterminate gender -but usually male) tries to argue, “but why was she out alone/with drunk frat boys/expected to be safe! She put herself in a stupid situation!” (Exclamation theirs.)

    When I hear that argument I’ve found that countering with, “So men are dangerous, not to be trusted animals and women should arm themselves/separate from men/lock them in cages/neuter them(they make better pets)/shoot first, ask about intent later (after all, men *are* dangerous animals, according to this POV. And would you ever ask a lion/shark/croc to contain itself out of a sense of decency?)

    My logical summation of their position is usually met with anger and or bewilderment. I know who to blame.

  235. Twisty

    Rand is shitcanned, folks. Let’s move on.

  236. redhead

    Someone upthread mentioned the CA laws regarding rape, here are the relevant parts:

    California Penal Code § 261
    (a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances:
    (3) Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused.

    In other words, if a person is so intoxicated they are throwing up on themselves and have to be carried away, I think they satisfy the condition of being ‘prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance.’ I’m assuming from the articles that the rapists knew she was intoxicated, and even if they didn’t, being that drunk means that they reasonably should have known – not that ‘reasonable’ could be used to describe anything related to this.

  237. Cathy

    Exactly, redhead. I don’t understand how the DA could say there’s insufficient evidence when the evidence of drunkenness is right there! What gives??

    I have a daughter, and I’m regretting that I brought her into this fucked up world to face the hell we all have to face. I don’t want to allow her to go to any parties, dates, or anywhere there might be men. I can hear her whining, “You never let me do anything!” She is thin, frail, and vulnerable-looking, like me.

    I have no idea how to pull off the separatist thing. How do we get jobs, working only with women? But I humbly suggest that in leiu of that, maybe we should stick together better than they do (I know, plenty of women will refuse). Since women are mostly afraid of men killing them, but men are mostly afraid of women laughing at them, let’s gang up and laugh at them. Not at the feminist ones like Blamers who comment here, but at the obviouly misogynist ones we work with. Not easy if you’re the only female, but if even two are laughing at some jerk…no that won’t help. He’d rape them when he got them alone. I hate these solutionless problems!

  238. TinaH

    I’ve written and erased a dozen or more commments. I’m another parent who’s working on feminism, thank you, Twisty and my fellow commenters. Like Cathy, I have no idea how to do the separatist thing, but am willing to try. I already call most instances of misogyny when I see them, but will do more.

  239. redhead

    Cathy, I think that two things give here: first, the laws are not exactly woman-friendly. I copied the part about intoxication, but the rest of it includes some ridiculous things, i.e. different levels of punishment if the woman you rape is your wife, and the fact that there has to be force or some sort of obvious coercion – subtle manipulation is not enough. Second, even the weak laws we do have are not enforced. A lot of people have problems with the proposition that a drunk woman cannot consent, so, even if it is the law, they tend to disregard it. This is because so much of our culture’s conception of sex involves alcohol, and plying a reluctant woman to ‘consent.’

    As for separatism, I know that I can never be truly separatist – I want to work helping low-income or homeless or disabled folks, and I have to go to school with men and work with them to be able to help the most vulnerable people. Yet even now in my mid-twenties, I have pretty much committed myself to being a spinster, and I’m really happy about that prospect. My roommate and I sat on our balcony the other night and toasted to being spinsters together. It’s not full-fledged separatism, but it’s opting out to some degree.

  240. Just a passing googler

    You are insane.

    For whatever reason you have a horrible life and an axe to grind. I hope you find some peace.

  241. Virago

    Hee-hee! Tha’s funny!

    Wow, redhead, you and Cathy are tied for commenter who attracts the craziest ranters. (Cathy for wtf, and you for this random godbag googler!)

    Congratulations!

  242. LouisaMayAlcott

    Hi Virago,

    When I read googler, I immediately assumed that his “you” referred to all of us.

  243. Virago

    Yeah, I guess those words of wisdom do apply to everyone here.

  244. redhead

    Hi Virago,

    When I read googler, I immediately assumed that his “you” referred to all of us.

    I knew it was too early in my blaming career to be called insane and told I have a horrible life. Although I sure do have an axe to grind.

  245. Antares

    Two days ago, the San Jose Mercury News published an article on the De Anza rape case in which the DA was explaining why her office has chosen not to prosecute.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5996631

    Here are some salient bits :

    According to Carr, even the facts laid out by the three young women, commended in the column for their “honor and courage,” would not have been enough to garner a conviction in the case. Forensic tests showed the vomit did not belong to the 17-year-old girl lying on the floor and, Carr added, it would be difficult to prove the high school student was too drunk to consent.

    “Is it sexual assault when a victim is too intoxicated to consent to sex?” wrote Carr. “Yes, but we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was so impaired that she could not understand what she was doing.”

    The conflicting accounts of the party and the girl’s inability to remember what happened, Carr wrote, would make proving that difficult.

    *
    I dont understand why they wrote into the California Penal Code (thank you, redhead) a stipulation about being drunk when that seems to be something nearly impossible to prove.

    Grrrr. This thing *still* makes me raging angry.

  246. Mar Iguana

    “Forensic tests showed the vomit did not belong to the 17-year-old girl lying on the floor..”

    What the fuck?! Then whose is it and how did it get in her mouth? And, she can’t remember because she was too drunk to remember. They can prove how much alcohol is in a drunk driver but not a rape victim? Drunk teenage girls truly are hated. IBTP

  247. delphyne

    How much evidence does it take to convict a rapist? Now even eyewitnesses actually seeing the rape in progress and having to rescue the barely conscious victim isn’t enough.

    If you see a gang of people cheering on someone being beaten up, they aren’t going to be regarded as the most compelling of witnesses, why is it different in a rape case?

  248. thebewilderness

    I think they are running as fast as they can to stay in one place.
    I could be totally wrong about this, but, this stinks of a series of necessary little errors, in collecting and processing evidence, that is common when law enforcement is protecting one of their own, or someone they deem worthy of protection. There is no conspiracy, no discussion, everyone just does what needs to be done to devalue the evidence and the process. We seem to be in the denial stage. Next will come the stonewalling. Finally, the admission of ‘mistakes’ having been made by people who may or may not be reprimanded or disciplined. Sound familiar?

  249. Virago

    The DA’s decision is at odds with the law enforcement officers who investigated the case. That is, the law enforcement officials (Sheriff Laurie Smith among them) disagree with how the DA is handling the case and has publicly stated that, as far as law enforcement is concerned, the investigation is not closed. I don’t think law enforcement would be castigating the DA if it were a matter of improperly collected evidence.

    There was a rape. Three women witnessed it and rescued the victim. But against those three stand ten (or more) men and women who are saying that, no, of course it wasn’t rape.

    I don’t think the DA is at fault here. She may be a tool of the patriarchy, but I think she knows that a rape was committed. She also seems to understand that if she brought this case to trial, she would lose because her hands are tied by a justice system that essentially legalizes rape.

  250. chiksfliks

    Hullo There

    In Australia, having sex with a intoxicated woman is legally rape. Yes, it is illegal to have sex with a woman who intoxicated as she cannot possibly be coherent to give consent.

    Rife with problems? Yes. But! As I was a victim of sexual asssault, and having had alcohol in my blood. It helped the case mightily.

    Regards and keep up the good work exposing the bastards.

  251. jaye

    It isn’t about sports–one commenter suggested that these men became rapists because it is a sports thing.

    Athletes are often “coached” to a sense of entitlement. They can fuck any woman, anytime, against her will because she “consents” to their dicks with her very existence. She is there to be fucked, according to this mentality.

    It is, however, a male thing, not a sports thing, in this culture. It is ironic that they engage in raping a woman–a team effort, if you will, when it is actually quite likely an expression of some desire to be sexual together–she is a sort of substitute for their inability to own their fantasy to have sex together. Although healthy men (!?!) would say that they should recognize the eroticism of their almost exclusive male companionship. Showers together, traveling together, play that often involves physical contact, nudity, close quarters, secretive behavior or rituals–playbooks, no women reporting in media on male sports, women cheering them on from the sidelines, stupid social rituals surrounding their male abilities like parades, homecomings, dances, pep rallies, flowers on clothing, getting dates for dances, etc, all celebrating male physical power.

    It is interesting to me that groups of men want to exclude other men from participation–US Army, Navy, etc.,–in male dominated organizations because there are types of men who do not want to violate, wolf whistle at, rape, fuck women. They cannot tolerate that men do not want to abuse women like they want to abuse women.

    The price of admission to some of these organizations–frats, the military, sports, social acceptance–is abusing women. Too high a price.

  252. Laser Potato

    Now I’m glad the only thing resembling a “sport” I ever participate in is chess.

  253. buggle

    Dolores Carr wrote me back a thoughtful personal response to my email.

    Ha ha! Just kidding-I got a form letter that everyone else got, that didn’t explain anything. The only thing made clear is that Dolores Carr actually did this FOR THE VICTIM!!! Yep, that’s right-she did it out of the kindness of her heart, because she knows how AWFUL these trial things can be for woman, especially rape victims. It’s just TOO HARD for those poor women, and it’s so much better to just let the rapists walk free. Isn’t that so nice of her? Don’t you feel all safe and warm inside?

    Fucking hell.

    Here is her email:

    “Thank you for taking the time to write me about the De Anza case. I am attaching the article I wrote for the Mercury News explaining why I decided not to file charges.

    Having prosecuted rapists and other sexual offenders for many years, I am well aware of the anguish and pain these cases can cause for victims, their families, and the community. When I weigh all of the evidence, much of which has not, and should not, be released to the media, I am certain that any attempt to obtain a sexual assault conviction here would end in failure. Prosecutors may not ethically file charges under such circumstances. Moreover, neither the community nor the victim would benefit from a not guilty verdict after a prolonged, agonizing trial.

    Thank you for your concern for our community.”

    And here is the article that she wrote explaining her awesome decision.

    Why I Did Not File Charges

    When I ran for office, I pledged that I would make decisions based on the evidence, justice, and fairness, not on politics or popular opinion.

    Many in our community are outraged by my decision not to file sexual assault charges in the “De Anza baseball team case.” I made my decision only after a careful and exhaustive assessment of all available, relevant, and reliable evidence.

    As the former leader of the Sexual Assault Unit in this office, I know that no matter how compelling the evidence may seem at first glance, sexual assault charges can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Parties where young people become intoxicated pose particular problems. The credibility and memories of witnesses are easier to attack. Having more witnesses is not always an advantage if their recollections differ. And intoxicated people behave in ways that they ordinarily would not.

    Is it sexual assault when a victim is too intoxicated to consent to sex? Yes, but we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was so impaired that she could not understand what she was doing. We must also prove that the defendant should have known that she was incapable of consenting. This can be very difficult when the defendant and witnesses offer competing versions of the victim’s condition.

    This case fits that mold. Many of the witnesses had been drinking, some heavily, and their stories were not always consistent. But most important, the victim told investigators that she did not remember anything that happened from shortly after the time she arrived at the party. The victim would be unable to counter claims that she had consented. The trial would be fought over differing versions of the victim’s sobriety and behavior, with several witnesses and potential defendants motivated to paint her in an unfavorable light.

    The result would be such a confusing and conflicting account of what happened that we would be unable to convince 12 jurors to convict. For example, the media reported that the victim vomited. But lab tests showed that the vomit did not come from her. The defense would challenge any account which depended upon the vomit to prove that the victim was too intoxicated to consent.

    These cases depend upon a careful weighing of the facts. However, now that we have decided not to file charges, ethical responsibilities limit my ability to discuss all of the evidence in this case. My first duty is to the teenager, who did not choose to have her life dragged into the media. When we do not file charges, it is unfair to the victim to release details of the incident in order to justify our decision. Releasing such information would also discourage victims from reporting assaults in the future.

    I must also respect our responsibility as prosecutors to the accused. As U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said after deciding not to indict Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame spy case, “we either charged someone or we don’t talk about them.” The Duke lacrosse team case shows how statements by prosecutors can damage lives even when no charges are filed.

    And what of the three soccer players who witnessed men huddled around a man having sex with a teenage girl? I salute their honor and courage in intervening to rescue this girl from a horrible situation. But they only saw the last 30 to 60 seconds of a two hour party. The totality of the evidence of what happened that night would make it impossible for us to prove sexual assault charges beyond a reasonable doubt against anyone.

    Unfortunately, the District Attorney’s Office receives complaints of behavior which, while abhorrent to us all, do not provide a sufficient basis for a criminal prosecution. Filing charges in such cases would be an abuse of my authority. This office will continue to aggressively protect this community from sexual predators within the confines of the law and the evidence presented. In this case, the law and the evidence made a prosecution impossible.

    Finally, I appreciate the community making its voices heard, even in protest. I will continue to listen, and when appropriate, respond, to ensure that our criminal justice system remains open and transparent.

    **MMMMkay! I get it now!!! That girl was only raped for 30-60 seconds, so we have NO IDEA if she actually consented to sex earlier in the evening. We only know about the 60 second rape, and we can’t like, prosecute THAT!

    Also, if the victim couldn’t remember anything, isn’t that a pretty darn good case to say that she was too intoxicated to consent? Or, more likely, that she was actually drugged? Hmmm.

    I want to beat my own head into a bloody pulp now.

  254. delphyne

    Wow, thanks for posting that Buggle. You can see why the boys would have put her in charge of the Sexual Assault Unit – she’s a woman who likes to help men get away with rape. How nice for them to have her to hide behind.

  255. delphyne

    Sorry to post twice, but this -

    “But they only saw the last 30 to 60 seconds of a two hour party.”

    That’s because they put a fucking stop to it and RESUCED her. That’s like saying if you intervene when someone is getting beaten up, you only saw 30-60 seconds of it and they don’t count.

    AND SINCE WHEN WAS GANG RAPE CALLED A PARTY!!!!!

  256. buggle

    I know Delphyne, it’s incredible. I finally stopped shaking with fury. I emailed her two more times. I asked her exactly that question-if it was a man being violently beaten to death, would you just let the perps go without even trying to find out, or taking it to trial, or anything?

    Sadness.

  257. buggle

    Some good news, at last! First, California NOW did a protest. More importantly:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6031160?nclick_check=1

    The girl at the center of the alleged De Anza gang-rape case shared her feelings publicly for the first time Thursday, sending a message to prosecutors: “She wants her day in court.”

    A national women’s rights advocate delivered the girl’s message during a rally protesting the Santa Clara District Attorney’s decision last week to drop the case.

    “She calls on the state Attorney General’s office to intervene on her behalf and on the behalf of other rape victims in Santa Clara County who feel that they cannot come forward with the climate of injustice in the county,” said Irene Weiser, who flew in from the New York offices of Stop Family Violence to join about 20 other protesters in front of District Attorney Dolores Carr’s office.

    The girl has not been identified, and it wasn’t clear Thursday if she was part of the rally. She and three young women who came to her aid at a March 3 party where sheriff’s investigators believe she was raped asked the national groups for help, said Katherine Redmond with the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes.

    But her statement didn’t change the District Attorney Dolores Carr’s decision that there isn’t enough evidence to file charges against any of the De Anza College baseball players or other people at the party.

    —–

    While the demonstrators derided Carr’s decision, they praised Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith for speaking out strongly in support of the victim and for disagreeing with Carr.

    One held a sign reading: “Go Sheriff!”

    “The sheriff’s statements were good and strong,” political consultant Jude Barry said, “but she also filled a vacuum and I think that is why Laurie Smith came across as both someone concerned about law enforcement but also someone who is empathetic.”

    Said Christensen, “The sheriff got her message across first and I think the message was what the people wanted to hear and she put it well. The DA has been very reactive.”

    Beyond the political ramifications of the case, there is the teenage girl who Weiser said is feeling confident and restored by the outpouring of support.

    “She is remarkably strong,” said Weiser, “and understandably angry.”

    Yay!!! I’m SO happy this girl didn’t just go off and hide. I mean, she has the total right to do that and no one could possibly hold it against her. I’m just so glad to see that she has support, she’s connected with victim advocates, and she is taking a stand. Wow, that young woman is just amazing!!!!

    I think we need to keep the pressure on the DA and continue to email/call/write to her.

  258. buggle

    http://de-anza-support.livejournal.com/

    I just set up a support page for the victim-please come over and write your words of encouragement for her.

  259. LouisaMayAlcott

    Buggle,

    Thank you for all your work on this. I admire you greatly.

  260. W. Kiernan

    This is real God damned simple, people. The D.A., Dolores Carr, took a bribe.

    Regarding those collegiate sportsmen! So we now know these gentlemen’s names, eh? Say, how many firearms are there in this country?

  261. Lauredhel

    In the support of the “There’s Cash Involved” theory comes this report from sfgate:

    “Questions are being raised. For example, there have been some eyebrows raised over Carr’s connection to two of the attorneys for the men. Sam Polverino, who represents one of them, gave $1,000 to Carr’s election campaign, and John Cahners, who represents the baseball player who lived in the house where the alleged assault occurred, gave $325 to her campaign chest.”

  262. buggle

    Please come to my livejournal site! It will be totally rad! I want to get a few hundred supportive messages up there-and so far it’s just me :)

    Please post the address to any other blog you go to.

    http://de-anza-support.livejournal.com/

  263. rootlesscosmo

    I am certain that any attempt to obtain a sexual assault conviction here would end in failure. Prosecutors may not ethically file charges under such circumstances.

    When I read this my reaction was Oh, please! Every prosecutor in every jurisdiction knows it’s standard practice to “overcharge” defendants, in order to strengthen the prosecution’s bargaining position when it comes time to cut a plea deal with the defense. Carr is lying, regardless of what the Ethics Code may say.

    As for the campaign contributions, criminal defense lawyers routinely give money to DAs’ campaigns to stay off the shit list. Looks like they got their money’s worth this time.

  264. mAndrea

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t a vindictive loon, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t expecting sex by going to the party, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t expecting sex by going in the room, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that her skirt wasn’t too short, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t old enough yet to consent, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she didn’t know alcohol alone indicated consent, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t lying, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t a slut, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she didn’t enjoy gang rape by frat boys, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she didn’t tell them to barricade the door, the system is broken.

    When a woman has to prove that she wasn’t conscious, the system is broken.

    When three female witnesses to the gang rape don’t matter, the system is broken.

  265. rootlesscosmo

    the system is broken.

    If these were flaws or breaks in the System, wouldn’t they have been corrected by now? My radfem family lawyer friend (she represents only women) draws just the opposite conclusion (in an ironic echo of the liberal mantra when, against all odds, the justice system actually produces a morsel of justice) when women are harmed by institutional patriarchy: “The System works.”

  266. delphyne

    I agree rootlesscomo, the system is set up to punish women who report rape and to let men who rape know that what they do is OK with the chaps in charge. There’s no other explanation for the way the system (all over the world) works.

  267. Joey Ty

    Be careful, girls. Don’t become a lynch mob like you did with the Duke case. You saw where that left you. I’ll admit the De Anza players and Rev. James Bevel probably ARE guilty, but….be careful.

  268. Vera Venom

    WE were never the lynch mob. Misogynistic racist rape-apologists – like yourself, I’ll wager – are the lynch mobs.

    So, feel free to shove it.

  269. mAndrea

    So. IF rape does happen, and we know it does given the male propensity to dominate and generally behave like assholes, THEN how come no male has ever admitted in court to the crime?

    ALL RAPISTS LIE ABOUT RAPE.

  270. SuperW

    Well let me just say i’m English so i didn’t know anything about this case but reading over what you wote is just plain sickening. Not enough evidence my arse. my heart goes out to the REAL victime in this case a young girl. i respect her so much for actually reporting this rape as many do not due to cases like this when they are not taken seriously.
    I truly believe that the American Law system is screwed up and needs to get sorted. but hey so is the English Law system. many footballers (soccer players) have been accused of rape( among many other offences eg violence to drink driving) yet nothing it truly done about it they are always found non guilty for not enough evidence or in violence cases given a small fine which wont even make a dent in their bank ballence.
    We live in a fucked up world where the entertainment of sporst players is valued more than someones wellbeing. In england people normally get more time in prison for robbing a bank then acctually taking a life/ raping someone. it truly makes me sick.

  271. SAAM

    Jesus H Christ.
    I am glad I don’t have a son.

  272. r@d@r

    i share the rage and disgust generally expressed here. as a man raised by a feminist mom and taught to see women as equals, and my own alliance with them to be a work in progress that’s never finished, i too have concern for our children and how they learn the roles of victim and victimizer. i have seen these dramas initiated at shockingly young ages, and as some here have stated, there seems to be a correlation with how parents relate to their children in terms of power, control, will, and self-definition. i can respect those who call for separatism – what reason do they have to trust men at this juncture? however, while i see that as a means to an end, i don’t know if it serves as an end in itself, or a solution.

    boys learn how to behave towards women two ways: by watching their fathers, and by watching other boys. secondly, their motivation regarding their own emotional relationship to women is shaped by their process of attachment to their mother. part of the damage that patriarchy does to boys is that fathers abdicate their responsibility to provide emotional connection, and so boys come to feel that mother and through her all women are the repository of their emotional well-being. when this is coupled with indoctrination by the patriarchy toward treating women as things, the combination is lethal.

    the responsibility and blame for every rape by a man goes back in an unending line through every emotionally absent father. maybe at some point men developed these behaviors because of some drama of social evolution i couldn’t begin to understand. what is more important is that every time that stories like these gang rape cases emerge, all of us men need to feel shame, guilt, responsibility, outrage, whatever it takes to spur us to ACTION to stop it. because only men can stop what men do.

  273. justicewalks

    So, r@d@r, why have you come here to share your insight with women who already know that men ought to be ashamed of themselves and that misogyny comes from men and boys (and have, in fact said this very thing in this thread), instead of taking it to some MRA site where you and some of the other men who ought to be ashamed of yourselves can get started on stopping what men do?

    In other words, do, r@d@r, don’t talk.

    Oh, and, the responsibility for rape belongs to the rapist alone, not his absent daddy.

  274. RonF

    Excerpts from the D.A.’s comments:

    … the victim told investigators that she did not remember anything that happened from shortly after the time she arrived at the party. The victim would be unable to counter claims that she had consented.

    The result would be such a confusing and conflicting account of what happened that we would be unable to convince 12 jurors to convict. For example, the media reported that the victim vomited. But lab tests showed that the vomit did not come from her. The defense would challenge any account which depended upon the vomit to prove that the victim was too intoxicated to consent.

    And what of the three soccer players who witnessed men huddled around a man having sex with a teenage girl? … But they only saw the last 30 to 60 seconds of a two hour party. The totality of the evidence of what happened that night would make it impossible for us to prove sexual assault charges beyond a reasonable doubt against anyone.

    What happened and what can be proven beyone a reasonable doubt in court are often two different things. It seems to make sense to believe that these guys are rapists. After all, how likely is it that this young woman actually gave informed consent to all this? But in the face of these comments can the assertion that she did not give informed consent be proven to the extent demanded in a criminal case? And if it can’t be proven in court, on what basis should the D.A. bring charges? How much of this is “she doesn’t want to bring charges” and how much of this is “there actually is no legally provable case here”?

    Let’s say for the sake of further discussion that due to the factors listed by the D.A. it is in fact correct that under current law, rules of evidence, etc., she made the correct legal decision and that the allegations of rape made in this case cannot be proven. How would you propose to change the law so that in such a case it would be practical to bring charges?

  1. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Courage.

    [...] Read this, and then this. [...]

  2. The Hackenblog » Men hate you (TwistyTM)

    [...] The DeAnaza Case: men really hate teenage drunk girls reminds me uncomfortably of the OC rape case where Jane Doe passed out and was gang raped by three men who taped it and passed around DVDs of the rape. The first trial, with video evidence, ended in a mistrial. Back in the DeAnza case: was there no DNA evidence? I wonder. Sounds like the cops screwed up on this one. If she went to the hospital and there was a rape kit or whatever, wouldn’t there be DNA evidence for at least one of the rapists? [...]

  3. On Asking for Gang Rape « phonelesscord

    [...] As if this isn’t barf-worthy enough, here’s another kicker. I was reading about this on IBTP (whose post is much more detailed than mine, fyi) and one of the De Anza players left this comment: [...]

  4. Reverse Paranoia | the cat lady speaks

    [...] Just yesterday Twisty thoroughly recapped a gang-rape in which it is determined by all, most centrally the D.A., that the victim, who was both drunk and a female, deserved and even instigated her own gang-rape because she was (DUH) drunk and a female.  This, the so-called “De Anza case,” handily proves that I must be a complete femnut for thinking I have the right to think at all.  A commenter on this post links to a soundbite from 2 women who rescued the victim, who was enclosed in a room filled with young men who were busily engaged in either (1) cheering or (2) raping. [...]

  5. The Curvature

    Our Society Has Failed Women…

    more on the De Anza case…

  6. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » Humor is no longer possible

    [...] Humor is no longer possible On good days, when I’m not feeling too depressed, I dash off the occasional post that attempts to deliver the Fuck-You-Patriarchy message (or Fuck-You-World message) in a quirky, even humorous kind of way. Then I read things like this and the possibility of humor or quirkiness or really anything besides a loaded shotgun seems unthinkable. Forever. [...]

  7. In the: things that have made me boil with rage series #2 at Up, up and away in my wicked doom balloon

    [...] Which one is it D.A Fuckwit? Twisty has the low down on how it all went down over at hers and it’s fucked up. [...]

  8. appletree » Blog Archive » Wednesday Outrage: Bigotry Edition

    [...] What is happening on our nation’s college campuses? At University of Delaware, there are racist theme parties (see discussion here). At San Jose’s De Anza College, a comatose woman can be raped with complete impunity (hat tip to Dr. Violent Socks). As the kids today say, “Dude, WTF?” [...]

  9. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Second Carnival of Radical Feminists

    [...] I mightily applaud everyone who is drawing attention to the DeAnza rape allegations situation and pressing for a criminal investigation. See, for example, Marcella’s topical post at Abyss2hope, and Twisty’s post at I Blame The Patriarchy. Radical feminist blogs are doing a terrific job of discussing the case without blaming the victim, which is sometimes harder than one might think, or so it sometimes seems. [...]

  10. WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND… » Blog Archive » To media, rape is hilarious (to me, not so much).

    [...] I refuse to let any of it slide, humorless hyper-reactionary though I may be seen to be, because the problem with all of it, each piece of it, is that there are plenty of people who will look at this one ad or video or “joke” and decide it’s defensible. Or that one ad. Or that other ad over there. Or this TV show. Or that movie. Or this radio program. Or that comedy bit. Or this rape joke. Or that rape joke. Or another rape joke over here. Or that guy saying he got “raped” by the IRS. Or that guy having sex with his date who drank too much and passed out. Or these guys who gang-raped an unconscious girl and blamed her for it. Or the local DA who didn’t think the gang rape of a 17-year-old—with witnesses—was not worth prosecuting. [...]

  11. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » Progress continues on the march to legalize rape

    [...] Any questions about why every single athletic team in this country now has carte blanche to rape and torture any woman they get their nasty goddamn hands on? [...]

  12. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » It’s not about legalizing rape so much as declaring it a metaphysical impossibility

    [...] And in the De Anza case, a teenage girl who was gang-raped by a sports team has been publicly castigated for, again, reporting a crime that the state decided it couldn’t prove. [...]

  13. Second Carnival of Radical Feminists « Carnival of Radical Feminists

    [...] topical post at Abyss2hope, Echidne’s post at Echidne of the Snakes, and Twisty’s post at I Blame The Patriarchy. Radical feminist blogs are doing a terrific job of discussing the case without blaming the victim, [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>