Rape is caused by rapists, part 496

*trigger warning for sexual violence*

Trigger Warning Space

The Sydney Morning Herald has as its most-read story today a horrifying article: a 7 year old girl gang raped in New Jersey.

Her ordeal gets its proper name of rape. The class and/or race of the rapists and the victim may have something to do with that. I’m unfamiliar with the area and the article doesn’t explore it. But the other reason it qualifies for ‘rape’ rather than ‘had sex with’ is that the focus of the article is to contend that the girl’s rape is all the fault of her fifteen year old sister.

Let that sit with you a minute. Gang rape of a seven year old child. Who do we blame? Well, sure as hell not the rapists. Instead, blame the 15 year old girl who, reading between the lines, was probably the original intended victim of the rape. The article says the little girl worried about her sister going to meet these men and went with her. Then it says the older girl accepted money for the rape of her younger sister – by rapists who threatened death if anyone told.

Right-o. A fifteen year old child in fear of her life and in fear of sexual assault is not the guilty party here. The pack of men who chose between raping a fifteen year old girl and a seven year old girl are. The fifteen year old may not have made what some people might call the admirable or the brave choice, but we are not in a position to know her history or circumstance. There is no right choice she could have made. She is a child. Very probably, she is a child who has been sexually assaulted herself.

Rape is the fault of rapists. No one else. Put that blame where it belongs, and stop trying to find any excuse possible to exonerate rapists. That’s the subtext of this article: the men wouldn’t have raped anyone if only the older girl didn’t pimp her sister out. Bullshit. They were going to rape someone, and they chose to do it.


ETA: Jo Tamar posts about this article: So, who are you blaming?


8 responses to “Rape is caused by rapists, part 496

  1. Pingback: So, who are you blaming? « Wallaby

  2. Hi,
    I just started really reading your blog. I facilitate for a rape education program at the University I attend and rape education is a passion of mine. I really admire your vigor and passion around this issue, as well. Thanks for all of your insights.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Rape is caused by rapists, part 496 « I Am Not Cake -- Topsy.com

  4. Pingback: The Pixel Project VAW e-News Digest: Edition Nine « The Pixel Project

  5. Not that it’s really important, but I live nearish to where this happened and am familiar with that area…as you seem to suspect, it’s not so much a place you drive through with your car doors lock as one you drive 20 minutes out of your way to avoid.

    • Hi, Jess. Thanks for the comment.

      My suspicion was more that when the media doesn’t flinch from calling rape rape, there is probably some varient on a “people like us” and “people like them” dynamic. I thought it would probably mean that the victims came from a higher class or was white while the rapists weren’t. Or it could mean, as you say, that the rape happened in an area that is so disadvantaged that anyone from that area is automatically “them” to the press.

      If this same incident happened in frat house in an affluent suburb, for example, the reporting would look a lot different.

  6. It’s disgusting that they would blame the girl. Perhaps those who shut themselves in their houses for fear of a horrid world have it right.

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