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Old 11-14-2011, 10:47 AM   #1
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I Am Over Rape

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I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don't have a sense of humor, and women don't have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don't think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.

I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.

I am over rape happening in broad daylight.

I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.

I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called "comrades."

I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.

I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.

And I'm over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.

Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the alleged rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.

I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.

I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.

I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it's their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime -- the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.

No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.

I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters -- film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes -- while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5-years-old.

And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.

And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.

I am over being polite about rape. It's been too long now, we have been too understanding.

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine -- once and for all -- what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.

ONE BILLION WOMEN.

The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.

Today it begins, moving toward February 14, 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.

Because we are over it.
Eve Ensler: Over It
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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Reminds me very much of Andrea Dworkin's famous speech from 20 years ago, "I Want a 24-hour Truce During Which There is No Rape", which you can read here in its entirety:

I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape

Some very, very powerful observations, I have never forgotten this speech...

Quote:
Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking.

And it is happening for a simple reason. There is nothing complex and difficult about the reason. Men are doing it, because of the kind of power that men have over women. That power is real, concrete, exercised from one body to another body, exercised by someone who feels he has a right to exercise it, exercised in public and exercised in private. It is the sum and substance of women's oppression.

It is not done 5000 miles away or 3000 miles away. It is done here and it is done now and it is done by the people in this room as well as by other contemporaries: our friends, our neighbors, people that we know.

...


...men come to me or to other feminists and say: "What you're saying about men isn't true. It isn't true of me. I don't feel that way. I'm opposed to all of this."

And I say: don't tell me. Tell the pornographers. Tell the pimps. Tell the warmakers. Tell the rape apologists and the rape celebrationists and the pro-rape ideologues. Tell the novelists who think that rape is wonderful. Tell Larry Flynt. Tell Hugh Hefner. There's no point in telling me. I'm only a woman. There's nothing I can do about it. These men presume to speak for you. They are in the public arena saying that they represent you. If they don't, then you had better let them know.

Then there is the private world of misogyny: what you know about each other; what you say in private life; the exploitation that you see in the private sphere; the relationships called love, based on exploitation. It's not enough to find some traveling feminist on the road and go up to her and say: "Gee, I hate it."

Say it to your friends who are doing it. And there are streets out there on which you can say these things loud and dear, so as to affect the actual institutions that maintain these abuses. You don't like pornography? I wish I could believe it's true. I will believe it when I see you on the streets. I will believe it when I see an organized political opposition. I will believe it when pimps go out of business because there are no more male consumers.

...

And on that day, that day of truce, that day when not one woman is raped, we will begin the real practice of equality, because we can't begin it before that day. Before that day it means nothing because it is nothing: it is not real; it is not true. But on that day it becomes real. And then, instead of rape we will for the first time in our lives--both men and women--begin to experience freedom.

If you have a conception of freedom that includes the existence of rape, you are wrong. You cannot change what you say you want to change. For myself, I want to experience just one day of real freedom before I die. I leave you here to do that for me and for the women whom you say you love.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

come again?
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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What the hell is a "rape page"?
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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Equating Playboy to rape just dilutes their cause.

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that day when not one woman is raped
Sadly this will never, ever happen. Just like a day without murder will never come. Or a day without war. Or a day without robbery. Such is the dark side of human behaviour
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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Oh, I'm a bad person because I haven't stopped all the rapes. Okay.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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And because you look at porn.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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I've never been able to understand the appeal of this particular genre of activist writing; to me it's so unrelentingly fatalistic that I can't understand how anyone finds motivation in it. Give me a clearly defined specific problem (ideally one native to my own society, where I'm best able to grasp its dimensions accurately) and a clear agenda for action and I'm there. Don't tell me about how humanity is shit and our culture is a cesspool and our society is rotten to its core, that's just going to make me throw my arms up and walk away from you.

To be fair, Ensler and (the late) Dworkin are/were both lifelong activists who do/did a hell of a lot more than just write this style of piece, plus they're both artists, which I'm decidely not, so maybe it's partly a matter of my own difficulties understanding a certain kind of mind. And yes, I know they were both also victims of physical and sexual abuse.
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What the hell is a "rape page"?
Facebook Rape Joke Pages Taken Down - BBC - 8 Nov 2011

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I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.
In case anyone was wondering about this one...there have been several brief articles recently in international LGBT media calling attention to the existence in Ecuador of numerous small, illegal, underground organizations (sometimes fronting as drug rehab clinics, hence the label) where parents can bring their gay or (apparently far more often) lesbian children for what is essentially an extremely harsh version of American "conversion therapy" camps. These groups are not "government-supported," and the government has found and shut down many of them; however, Ecuadorean LGBT groups allege that there are many more, that the authorities often place a low priority on going after them, and that in some cases this is due to cronyism. And in all likelihood that's true; Ecuador is not known for its stellar human rights record, and in particular is not known for its highly professional and uncorrupt law enforcement officials.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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there are cases to be made

I don't like it, when people dilute the word rape

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I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
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I don't think anyone would take personal offense to the above article if they truly understood what it feels like to be violated. I'm not sure anyone who's not been there can *truly* grasp how infuriating it is to have someone force themselves on you. The reaction comes from a very visceral place and I think that's where the author is coming from. I think there's a time and a place for rational, level-headed discussion and a time and a place for pure rage - properly channeled of course. I think what the author is trying to say, especially to those who are against rape, but choose choose a passive stance by default, that's it's time for us ALL to get fucking angry and DO SOMETHING. I don't think anyone is trying to make anyone feel guilty or like a bad person, I just think many people need to be woken up to the reality of inaction and what it means for the continuation of violence against women. We ALL need to be woken up, at some point, to our own inaction against the many issues facing humanity.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
I've never been able to understand the appeal of this particular genre of activist writing; to me it's so unrelentingly fatalistic that I can't understand how anyone finds motivation in it. Give me a clearly defined specific problem (ideally one native to my own society, where I'm best able to grasp its dimensions accurately) and a clear agenda for action and I'm there. Don't tell me about how humanity is shit and our culture is a cesspool and our society is rotten to its core, that's just going to make me throw my arms up and walk away from you.

To be fair, Ensler and (the late) Dworkin are/were both lifelong activists who do/did a hell of a lot more than just write this style of piece, plus they're both artists, which I'm decidely not, so maybe it's partly a matter of my own difficulties understanding a certain kind of mind. And yes, I know they were both also victims of physical and sexual abuse.
I think I get it. I think the author is trying to give people a jolt. To light a fire under their feet. I don't think the lack of a clear agenda or course of action is a valid reason to throw up your hands and walk away. We're all adults and we all have the ability to get out there and find resources on our own if something stirs up enough anger and desire to make change. That being said, yes, outlining a practical course of action would be helpful.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:35 AM   #12
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I don't think anyone would take personal offense to the above article if they truly understood what it feels like to be violated. I'm not sure anyone who's not been there can *truly* grasp how infuriating it is to have someone force themselves on you. The reaction comes from a very visceral place and I think that's where the author is coming from. I think there's a time and a place for rational, level-headed discussion and a time and a place for pure rage - properly channeled of course. I think what the author is trying to say, especially to those who are against rape, but choose choose a passive stance by default, that's it's time for us ALL to get fucking angry and DO SOMETHING. I don't think anyone is trying to make anyone feel guilty or like a bad person, I just think many people need to be woken up to the reality of inaction and what it means for the continuation of violence against women. We ALL need to be woken up, at some point, to our own inaction against the many issues facing humanity.
Thank you.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:15 PM   #13
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when thinking about what motivated the original article -- the Penn State situation being the most high profile -- perhaps it was the gender of the victims that prevented "good men" from stopping the rape.


Quote:
Secret Dread at Penn State
By DANIEL MENDELSOHN

WHAT if it had been a 10-year-old girl in the Penn State locker room that Friday night in 2002?

The likely answer to that question reveals an ugly truth, one that goes stubbornly undiscussed. Whichever version of Mike McQueary’s story you choose to believe — his grand jury testimony, in which a “distraught” Mr. McQueary, then a graduate assistant to the football team, “left immediately” after witnessing the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sodomize a young boy, or the e-mail recently leaked to the press, in which he wrote, “I did stop it, not physically ... but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room” — the mind recoils at the grotesque failure to intervene more forcefully. How could a grown man have left the scene without taking the child with him? Mr. McQueary wants us to imagine that his brain was racing during those “30 to 45 seconds,” that he “had to make tough impacting quick decisions.” But it seems clear he wasn’t thinking at all — and it’s hard not to wonder why.

I think it was the gender of the victim.

Does anyone believe that if a burly graduate student had walked in on a 58-year-old man raping a naked little girl in the shower, he would have left without calling the police and without trying to rescue the girl? But the victim in this case was a boy, and so Mr. McQueary left and called his dad (who didn’t seem to think that it was a matter for the police either).

Mr. McQueary’s reluctance to treat what he allegedly saw as a flagrant crime, his peculiar unwillingness to intervene “physically,” the narrative emphasis on his own trauma (“distraught”) rather than the boy’s, the impulse to keep matters secret rather than provide rescue, all suggest the presence of a particularly intense shame, one occasioned less by pedophilia than by something everyone involved apparently considered worse: homosexuality.

Mr. McQueary’s refusal to process the scene he described — his coach having sex with another male — was reflected in the reaction of the university itself, which can only be called denial. You see this in the squeamish treatment of the assaults as a series of inscrutable peccadilloes best discussed — and indulged — behind closed doors. (Penn State’s athletic director subsequently characterized Mr. Sandusky’s alleged act as “horsing around,” a term you suspect he would not have used to describe the rape of a 10-year-old girl.) Denial is there in the treatment of the victims as somehow untouchable, so fully tainted they couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be rescued. For Penn State officials, disgust at the perceived gay element seems to have outweighed the horror of the crimes themselves. (“Perceived,” because psychologists generally deny that pedophiles possess adult sexuality — something that can be described as “gay” or “straight” in the first place.)

The denial is hardly surprising. In a culture that increasingly accepts gay life, organized athletics, from middle school to the professional leagues, is the last redoubt of unapologetic anti-gay sentiment. Anecdotal and public evidence for this is dismayingly overwhelming. Most recently, Sean Avery, of the New York Rangers hockey team, has been ostracized and ridiculed merely for making a short video in support of New York’s same-sex marriage act. (Anti-gay slurs are such an ingrained part of Ranger fans’ cheering that some gay fans have stopped attending games.)

What lurks behind so many male athletes’ vociferous antipathy to homosexuality seems to be deep anxiety about masculinity, the very quality that aggressive team sports showcase. After all, a guy is never so much a guy as when he’s playing a violent game or hanging with his teammates afterward in the showers and locker rooms, “horsing around.” The familiar ferocious anti-gay swagger many athletes affect is likely meant to quash even the faintest suspicion that anything tender or erotic animates naked playfulness between men.

But true masculinity, like true sportsmanship, contains other virtues, too: forthrightness, honesty, fair play, courage in difficult situations, readiness to acknowledge error, concern for the weak as well as admiration for the strong. In their handling of Mr. Sandusky, the leaders of Penn State’s legendary football program failed to display a single one of these qualities. Maybe it’s time for a new kind of sports hero. What else are we supposed to conclude when grown men, trained to brave 300-pound linemen, run away from boys in trouble?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/op...gewanted=print



i think Mendelsohn gets one thing wrong. in my opinion, it's less about Sandusky and homosexual "acts" in the shower as being so abhorrent as it is that the victims, boys, are less deserving of our protection than are girls. that these are victims who really did want it, that they probably were enjoying it (since they are male), and that they are just pre-gay adults deserving more of disgust than pity, and certainly not victims like little girls would be.

it's better stated here ...

Quote:
Penn State: What if the victims had been girls? - On Parenting - The Washington Post

So many questions are swirling around the Penn state case and its bewildering aftermath (rioting for Joe Paterno. Really?) including a few that have emerged today that are bigger than the ugly scene playing on campus.

1) Would the situation have been different if a woman was in the chain of command that heard of the complaints?

2) Would the official reactions been different had the victims been not boys, but girls?

The first one is intriguing, but ultimately unanswerable. At its heart is the cultural assumption that a woman’s natural instincts might have been more attuned to the victimized child.

Reading the grand jury report on Jerry Sandusky, it is difficult to quell ferocious anger at the men – all men – in the Penn State chain that minimized evidence of child rape and other monstrous behaviors.

It’s impossible to say what would have been different if a woman had been involved. It is possible, though, to extrapolate what might have been different had more mothers been involved. Because one was.

That mother, a mother of one of the boys that Sandusky allegedly fondled, seemed to be the single person to hold Sandusky accountable when she reported his suspicious behavior and then followed up with police to document his admissions.

The irony is that because that mother acted quickly and appropriately — sparing her son more harm — the one person who confronted him had no involvement with the case as it unfolded for several more years.

The second question about the gender of the victims was raised by a reader of the earlier On Parenting post on Penn State. He wrote to me in an e-mail:

“My theory on it is that many people in America are so anti-gay that they blame the victims. Yes even 10-year-old-boys. People are going to judge them as willing participants who would eventually just be gay adults. I hate to say these things, but this is what I have observed and this is why predators continue to target children who are easy to manipulate … and target victims whom people are not going to be sympathetic to.”

This is a question that especially hangs over one of the key episodes. It’s the case of the graduate assistant who witnessed Sandusky raping a boy. The graduate student -- who has been identified as a current Penn State football receivers coach Mike McQueary — saw the rape in progress. He told the grand jury that Sandusky and the boy saw him, but he did not intervene.

That lack of action is hard to justify and McQueary is now being criticized (But not so much, as it seems he will still be coaching for the team, including in a game this weekend.)

Now imagine this: What if the scene witnessed had been a man raping a young girl?

Would that witness still have walked away?


Stay with me here.

If that witness still decided to walk away from a man raping a girl, and his inaction was later exposed, would the witness today be the subject of only criticism? Would he be allowed to continue his career at Penn State?

Let’s move to the esteemed coach. Let’s say the witness reported to the coach that he saw one of his staff raping a girl. Would that coach have as easily downplayed it?

For the benefit of argument, let’s say he did. Let’s say that this esteemed coach followed the exact same protocol as Joe Paterno did in real life. Let’s say he heard that one of his staff was raping a girl in the showers, and he downplayed it to his own higher-ups and then moved on.

That leads to the last question: When years later, that esteemed coach’s failure to report the rape of a young girl was exposed, would hundreds of college students have rioted in his honor? Would they have felt as proud to chant “We want Joe! We want Joe!”?

Much of the egregious behavior here has been attributed to protecting legacies and damage control (backfire much?) But is there also cultural bias at play? Were those involved and their supporters making assumptions about the victims? Or were they — are they — just not thinking about those kids at all?

and ...

Quote:
Mike McQueary saw the child was being sodomized, and he didn’t run in and stop Sandusky—which probably could have been effected simply by saying, “Stop!” He didn’t call the cops and say, “Oh my god! A child is being raped! Come quickly!” He quietly exited the showers, went home and called his dad.

I’ll bet if it had been a 10-year-old girl who was being sodomized, he wouldn’t have left. Because picture that. Little Elle Fanning. Or Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine. Or the little girl who plays Eva Longoria’s daughter on Desperate Housewives. It would have been a horrific sight, and I’ll bet McQueary’s male protective instincts would have kicked in, the way it kicks in for murderers in prison who beat the crap out of child molesters and rapists because while it’s one thing to murder someone, it’s quite another to violate a woman.

Who would leave a little girl behind to be raped? Pretty much no one. It’s inconceivable. So what happened with the boy? Was there some kind of repulsion that took hold of McQueary, something about a man and boy, some kind of homophobia-inflected disgust? Or do we imagine that, on some level, boys can take care of themselves and be strong? This is why so many male survivors of rape feel plagued by guilt: They’re ashamed to be victims because they don’t feel entitled to be vulnerable. This boy was vulnerable, and he needed a protector. Mike McQueary failed him.

What If Sandusky’s Alleged Victims Had Been Girls? | The Philly Post


it must be horrible to be a young woman and have to tell people you were raped. but imagine being a young man and tell people you were raped by another man. especially for younger teenage boys and for tween boys, there really isn't language available to make sense of what happened, nor a cultural narrative in order to give context to the crime that has been committed upon your body. we are well acquainted with misogyny and sexism, and we all know that the large majority of sexual assaults are committed by men upon women.

but what i think we can learn from this is that misogyny and sexism are not only tools used to subjugate women, but exact an unspeakable toll upon male victims of sex crimes that is compounded by societal homophobia and the assumption that male victims are in some way complicit because they don't even have the excuse of being women.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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^ I posted Mendelsohn's piece in the "Absolutely Disgusted..." thread last week with this comment, which I think pretty much accords with yours:
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I doubt homophobia *adequately* explains the coverup; I've seen (and heard about) universities covering up for serial male sexual harassers of women, for example, or dragging their feet on investigating female students' assault complaints against star male athletes, too many times for that. And if we're going to get into "what ifs..." concerning McQueary's initial reaction, it seems like the greater cultural ease with which we mentally slot girls into the "helpless victim" category (granted, in actual application that one's often shot through with hypocrisies) should also be acknowledged. But I think he's right to cite homophobia as a contributing factor.
The WaPo piece could perhaps also be read as suggesting that homophobia and difficulty seeing males as victims are ultimately expressions of the same phenomenon--i.e. male homosexuality is "icky" and "wrong" because at least one of the males involved defiles his own dignity by allowing himself to be subjected to a "subordinate" role. Which in turn pertains to why the most common form of failure to support female rape victims is the "asking for it" insinuation, which contradictorily takes victim/subordinate status for granted (Look, you know you're a walking target by nature, so why didn't you take better precautions and resist more...?) while simultaneously denying the possibility of meaningful victimization (...And seeing how you chose not to, well, who can blame the guy?).

Hard to aim that one effectively at a little girl though; at least she "has the excuse" of being a child. As all children should. (Though unfortunately children by nature have even more difficulty than adults distinguishing "Something bad happened" from "I am bad," so their more readily accepted victim status works in their "favor" far less often than we'd like. Child molesters and pedophiles are secretive, and opportunities to put a stop to it on the order of what McQueary was handed are extraordinarily rare.)
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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People might also be downplaying the coach/subordinate relationship between Sandusky and McQueary (or maybe they aren't. I havent really been paying attention to any of it). Perhaps if it were the same situation with a child of the same gender, but instead of his superior, Sandusky was just some random man, he would've intervened. That's not excusing him at all (I like to think I'd quite forcefully put an end to it right away), but there must be some sort of superior/subordinate dynamic going on in his decision making process. Perhaps I'm just stating the obvious.
And I'm not buying the antihomosexual theories. If gender had anything to do with it, had it been a girl, McQueary might've felt a more protective urge to intervene, whereas with a boy, that urge might swing toward being more neutral (as opposed to the anti-gay negative nonaction).
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