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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Sung to the music of Copacabana by the legendary Mr. Barry Manilow 

His name was Jorge, he was a Cardinal, 
with a tonsure in his hair and red vestments for daily wear, 
he would absolve you, and give communion
Tho his parents came from Rome, he call Argentina home, 
He prayed from 8 to 4, god could ask no more,
He was chosen by his brothers  
To open the Sistene door!

At the Popa, PopaCabana,
The hottest spot south of Ravenna
At the Popa, Popacabana
Pederasty and passion were always the fashion
At the POPA.... They made him Pope

His name was Joseph, he was Nazi,
Elected in Ought Five Saying Grazzi,
He liked the papal car, but was not a star
When senility hit, he knew that that was it,
Resignation he did give, in cloister he shall live

At the Popa PopaCabana
The Hottest Spot South of Ravenna 
At the Popa, PopaCabana
Pederasty and Passion were always the fashion
At the POPA.... They made him Pope

His name was Jorge, he was a Cardinal
But that was 3 days ago, when they met to replace Joe
Now it's a crisis, confronting Jorge
In the white dress he has to wear, and Mitt's magic underwear
He sits on the throne of Pete, prayers for him replete,
He lost his See, in Argentine
But my friends he's doing fine

At the Popa PopaCabana
The Hottest Spot South of Ravenna 
At the Popa, PopaCabana
Pederasty and Passion were always the fashion
At the POPA.... Don't be the Pope

Don't be the Pope

You're welcome

Friday, March 8, 2013

War on Women: Stupidity About Rape Edition

"If your first reaction to a rape survivor is "you shoulda done" you're a short sighted fucktard. The rapist shoulda kept his dick in check."

I tweeted that earlier in response to a torrent of abuse that Zerlina Maxwell has taken for her comments on Hannity the other night.  

For those who are currently lost, let me bring you up to speed.  Ms. Maxwell was on Hannity discussing gun control and rape culture.  A really stupid Democrat form Colorado named Evie Hudak said the following to  a rape survivor: 

I just want to say, statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experience in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large and was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you …

Colossally fucking stupid, clearly the GOP doesn't have a monopoly on short sighted and uncaring opinions for rape survivors.  

Ms. Maxwell pointed out that arming all women to protect themselves from rapists isn't the answer, teaching men not to rape is something that needs to be done.  For that, she has received a shit storm of threatening tweets, Facebook posts and comments. She's actually been threatened with rape. Yes, Hannity viewers and others are that fucking evil. 

So let's just take a moment and think this through.  Arming women to defend themselves is the answer to rape? Really? Have we as a culture become so used to such a heinous crime that we accept it's going to happen so be prepared? 

I have two daughters whom I will worry about incessantly when they start dating, or move out on their own. I'm not saying that women should not be prepared to fend off a rapist.  I'm saying that perhaps if we didn't allow the idea that rape is simply a thing to be dealt with, if we teach our young men not to act on their base impulses, maybe women wouldn't have to be so cautious.  

Think of it this way.  I work with children who have been raped. We call it child sexual abuse, but it's rape. Can you imagine telling one of these children they should fend off the attacker with gun? Can you imagine telling a child they shouldn't have dressed in their Dora pajamas because they were too sexy and they were asking for it?

When we tell women to dress in a certain manner, when we tell them "you should carry a gun to protect yourself" we're doing the same thing. And no, I'm not calling women, children. So shut up. 

The best way to stop rape, is to stop rape culture.  Teach young men that women aren't property to be used as they wish. Stop blaming victims because they were too provocative.  Stop trying to solve the the violence of rape with the violence of guns.  

We live in a purportedly enlightened era.  The idea that rape is just "one of those things" is fucking ridiculous. If you're blaming the victim, or arming the victim, so are you.