April 18, 2006

Casting Aspersions

The next time I encounter some tool in a comments thread cautioning against a rush to judgment in the Duke lacrosse rape case--and I must say, I have never read so many cautions against a rush to judgment in my life, about anything--I'm going to ask them to tell it to LaShawn Barber, who pronounced the whole affair a "fake rape" last week. Oh, don't worry: LaShawn's hopped aboard the "let's not have a rush to judgment" train now, of course.

It's okay to rush to judgment, so long as you rush in the right direction. Besides, we have to do something! We have to do something about the feminists and the race-baiters who hate America. They're the ones who rushed to judgment first. They're the ones who took the accuser's statement at face value, can you imagine?

Someone on a mailing list I'm on recently posted about having been the victim of a crime; but it wasn't a rape, and this person was the right color.

Number of people who challenged this person: Zero. Because we don't do this with any other crime. A portion of the blame for that must be assigned to Tawana Brawley, but that doesn't explain why we were reacting so defensively to rape accusations before Tawana Brawley. Don't kid yourselves: Rape victims were smeared as lying sluts before Tawana Brawley and, if this case is any indication, they'll continue to be smeared as lying sluts long after.

All Brawley did was make those smears more adhesive.

LaShawn's busy giving the thumbs up to fatuous articles at Men's News Daily that caution young men to "stay away from feminists and strippers." She would do better to be reading about the actual experiences of black women who attend Duke University:

Christopher: As a black female, you go to a party, you're expected to dance, you're expected to be sexually provocative. You [are expected to] want to be touched, to be grabbed, to be fondled.

D. Williams: As if they're re-enacting a rap video or something. As if we're there to be their video ho, basically. We can't just be regular students here. We can't just go to a party and enjoy ourselves.

Christopher: And just dance with your friends.

D. Williams: No, it can't be just that. It always has to be something more. And you wonder why there aren't a lot of black people at white parties, why we self-segregate.

Christopher: You go to a party, you get grabbed, you get propositioned, and then you start to question yourself. Did I give him some reason to think that I wanted to hook up with him in the bathroom? Stuff like that. And there is no reason. There's no reason unless I said, "I want to hook up with you in the bathroom." There's no reason to make that assumption. But it happens all the time.

A lot of black girls come together and share this. "This has happened to you, too?"

D. Williams: You realize you're not special. It happens to all of us here.

Christopher: I had a friend come over for a study date and her friend just outright propositioned her, and he didn't understand why she was offended and asked him to leave. Another guy was outright, like, I've never been with a black girl. And when she got offended, he offered her money. People don't take that seriously. People don't care.

Jamie Bell, a Duke freshman: I care. I'm from Durham. I didn't grow up in a sheltered, white community. My public high school was 50 percent black, 50 percent white. And I've noticed the segregation between black and white people on Duke campus. But honestly, I didn't know that's why it happened. And that's something I would want to know. If you don't think that anyone would listen, that's really sad.

Maybe they don't think anyone would listen because so often, no one does--least of all LaShawn Barber, who in her own special way is accomplishing the same thing Tawana Brawley did: Making the road that much rougher for the next rape victim.

(Many thanks for the link to the Independent article to the Constructivist, who sent me this link, which got me to the Independent. I chose to highlight the Independent piece here, time being annoyingly finite, but both are worth a read.)

UPDATE: Ah, I knew I was forgetting something--it's Blog to Raise Awareness About Sexual Violence Day. An excerpt from the post:

Sexual violence comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate when choosing its victims. Although statistics show that the majority of victims are indeed women, it could be said that the burden of silence lies even more heavily upon male survivors.

The effects of sexual violence affect all of us. It is an international ill that all countries must wage a war against. It is a crime that happens in our very own backyards as well as across oceans. No one is immune; everyone is vulnerable. And as such, all should feel equally compelled to speak out.

Discussing sexual violence is not always easy, and it is certainly never pretty. But it is absolutely necessary in a world where rape, sexual abuse of children, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and honour killings continue to take place every day. Silence only perpetuates these practices and crimes. We must speak out.

I wish I could add anything to that, but I can't. Perfectly expressed.

Posted by Ilyka at April 18, 2006 07:24 AM in news

Funny, isn't it, how all of these people shrieking about "fake rape" have nothing but derision for the politician who is trying to make jail rape a crime?

They're generally the first ones to nyuk-nyuk when a pedophile or child murderer is convicted, too.

That's male rape, and yet, where are the Goldstein/Esmay jeremiads about all these men being sexually assaulted?

Or does it only count when they find women doing it?

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at April 18, 2006 11:03 AM
That's male rape, and yet, where are the Goldstein/Esmay jeremiads about all these men being sexually assaulted?

You pain me, Meryl, you pain me--because you're forcing me to do something I loathe; namely, be fair to Esmay. I'm pretty sure he's posted on the problem of rape in prisons. But goodness, don't make me look it up; you know how I avoid that blog.

Besides, it's not like posting on prison rape absolves him from positing that HIV is unrelated to AIDS, or that women are responsible for genital mutiliation.

And this is Pajamas Media's SCIENCE BLOGGER. As Kelly Bundy once said, "The mind wobbles."

Posted by: ilyka at April 18, 2006 01:03 PM

Esmay is PJM's science blogger??????!

Posted by: Lauren at April 18, 2006 06:20 PM

Yeah--according to Richard Bennett, who thoroughly took Esmay apart on the HIV business. It's worth looking up, I mean he just slays Esmay, but I ain't linking it, because as sensible as the Bennettmeister is about HIV/AIDS, he's still a complete loon about wimmen.

Posted by: ilyka at April 18, 2006 06:39 PM

Ah, now you've convinced me. Rape is a terrible thing and it happens every day. Therefore the accused students are guilty.

I wasn't aware of these facts before. By all means, yes, let's now rush to judgment. You're being 100% entirely super-reasonable.

Posted by: jay at April 18, 2006 08:08 PM
Ah, now you've convinced me. Rape is a terrible thing and it happens every day. Therefore the accused students are guilty.

Ah, a student of His Logics!

But seriously? My aim is not to convince anyone of anything with regards to the Duke case. I don't KNOW anything.

The only thing I'm convinced of at this point is that certain assclowns are behaving in a completely malicious manner towards someone they don't even know, and certainly have no right to judge.

Posted by: ilyka at April 18, 2006 10:37 PM

Bloggers rushed to judge a situation, based on their preconceived notions rather than the facts of the case (many of which were simply unknowable at the time they originally posted)? Yeah, there's a shocker.

A question, though.... why are you hanging around a mailing list when your default assumption to explain something you don't like includes labelling the people there as racist?

Posted by: Craig at April 19, 2006 03:43 AM