*trigger warning for sexual violence*
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?
**serious trigger warning for sexual violence**
Nary a peep from I Am Not Cake in months, and it takes W.A. Today of all publications to rouse me to posting again.
I refer you to this clusterfuck of an article, headlined hilariously, Up to his neck in it: dad chokes girl over Twilight movie. Just a little light-hearted violence, don’t you know that anyone could be driven to it by Twilight?
As it turns out, Twilight has fuck-all to do with this domestic abuse case, except for happening to be the movie the two girls were watching when their father was sleeping. W.A. Today nevertheless could not resist the punny headline. Ha. Ha.
The story is actually that the father choked his eleven year old daughter until she couldn’t breathe, and then kicked and punched her. Oh, and also that his defense lawyer is using the “she asked for it” line, in the form of claiming the father “was receiving cheek”.
W.A. Today links to the full article in the Queensland Times, headlined Man chokes daughter over loud TV, which by contrast does not make light of the assault. The second article reports on the man’s assault of his ten year old daughter as well.
There is no excuse for the word choices and tone in the W.A. Today article. It’s written as a puff piece, hinging on engaging the reader’s sympathy with the father. The use of the informal, friendly “dad” rather than “father” or “man” as in the Queensland Times article, starting out with a vampire-movie pun as if the article is about something lighthearted, the gratuitous use of Twilight as link bait despite its irrelevancy – it all adds up to callous minimising of the abuse suffered by the two girls. There’s no excuse for this kind of piece, especially less than a week after White Ribbon Day.
Oh, Christ in a handbasket. I have just had it with the world today.
Of the 20 most popular stories in the Fairfax fleet right now, one deals with the sexual assault of a 15 year old girl, three about a woman murdered by her controlling husband, one about a Liberal staffer assaulting women at a Parliament ball, one about a woman who was sexually abused by her father as a child, one about a woman robbed and sexually assaulted at knifepoint, and one about Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young being forced to send her perfectly calm two year old daughter out of the Senate during a division. Five more are about the murder of Desmond Moran, made sensational because two women are implicated.
I made the mistake of reading a few comments on the ABC’s Hanson-Young article. I wish I hadn’t. Sky news has a poll on children in the Senate: it was sitting at 90% no.
The number one trending topic on Twitter is #goodpussy. You can guess how that goes.
And the domestic abuse stories I hear around me get worse and worse.
Go on and tell me this isn’t systemic.