Monday, March 25, 2013

The show that never ends.

Welcome back friends to the show that never ends. Today's post has to do with what in my opinion has been a banner day for rape culture in America. A veritable victory lap for victim shamers.

Let's start with one of my pet projects, Jerry Sandusky and Penn State.  In what has to be one of the all time journalistic blunders, NBC aired a partial interview with Jerry Sandusky from prison.  They did not produce the interview or do the questioning.  They let arrogant douchebag and Conservative huckster John Ziegler do that.  Chez Pazienza wrote two scathing pieces here and here in which he sums up the journalist malpractice much better than I could.

I'd like to focus on the victims for a minute.  Every time Sandusky or Penn State apologists get air time, it affects the victims.  As observers we can be outraged, we can rail at people like Ziegler.  We can boycott the Today show, but those are just to make us feel better.  There is really nothing other than years of therapy and maybe a revenge fantasy or two that can make this better for Sandusky's victims.

I see the effects on victims every day in my job.  I've currently got cases in the court system that involve pretty heinous acts of sex abuse.  The victims are in therapy, but every time the court case is mentioned on TV one victim in particular gets so upset she can't function, wets herself or pukes and goes to her room and hides. I can only imagine that Victim 2 who was called out by Sandusky and Ziegler today feels something akin to this.

We've read recently that the victim in the Steubenville was very intoxicated and possibly drugged.  This gave rise to a whole bunch of nonsense about consent as it relates to rape.  Progressive commentator Zerlina Maxwell made the point that we can stop rape culture by teaching men not to rape.  She took a ton of evil crap about her statements including rape threats.

Today, on twitter she posted a retweeted picture of an ad for liquor exhorting a young man to ply a young woman with liquor to "Avoid the friend zone".  This is the ad in question. When she pointed out that this picture is what rape culture looks like, she got a lot of blow back from people who basically don't know what consent is.

Since I'm a white straight man, I can whitesplain and mansplain like nobody's business.

Let me break it down. When Ms. Maxwell says we need to educate men not to rape this is what she's talking about. Date rape, acquaintance rape, having sex without consent. Most people think of rape as the guy leaping from the bushes and beating and assaulting a woman.  Having sex with someone who's too drunk to consent is rape too.

That's not to say that if you have a few drinks with a date and go home and knock it til dawn, you're raping someone, if consent is given, great.

Having said that, if the only way you can bed her, is to get her drunk, you're doing it wrong.

I'd love for this to be the last thing that I post about rape culture, Sandusky, et al, but unfortunately, rape culture in America?  It's the show that never ends.

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