I was reading something today that linked to this story about an 11-year old girl being raped by a group of boys. Or more rightly, the link is to an article outraged by an article in the New York Times about said rape.I was just as outraged and wanted to sign the petition demanding that the NY Times apologises, but this story is from ages ago and it has timed-out. So I’ll say my bit here about some choice comments from the NYT.

Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

They weren’t drawn into such an act. They chose to rape. The 11-year old girl was the one drawn into it.

the girl had been forced to have sex with several men

Say rape. It has more impact. It has more meaning. In fact, ‘forced to have sex’ has no meaning because sex is consensual. You can look up ‘rape’ on Wikipedia and see that to be the case.

A relative of one of the suspects arrived, and the group fled through a back window. They then went to the abandoned mobile home, where the assaults continued.

So they had some inkling that what they were doing was wrong and tried to hide it? Heaven forbid we actually say that though. Much better to let readers infer that for themselves. Notice also that the 11-year old girl has been essentially thrown in with the fleeing group. In legal terms, have they not also kidnapped her? I very much doubt that after being raped and assaulted by a group of boys and men for some time, she chose to go with them for it to continue.

Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

Well this changes everything. She visited the area regularly? She talked to teenage boys? She dressed older than she was? Clearly she was asking for it then (sarcasm). Clearly she wanted to have sex (sarcasm). Clearly this behaviour means we can excuse what those boys and men did (sarcasm).

This story reminded me of an episode of LA Law that I watched a few years ago and have been trying to find a video of to embed or link to. In the episode, Grace was prosecuting a man accused of statutory rape and rape [I’m not sure of the exact legal terminology, but as I understand it, statutory rape is sex with (or rape of?) someone under the age of consent; and rape is non-consensual]. Grace loses the statutory rape charge as the girl – 16 I think – was dressed maturely. The defence argued that the man did not know she was underage, and were able to have the jury see the girl dressed as she was on the night in question. I can still remember Grace’s closing argument about the rape, in which she stated that no matter how old a girl is or how old she has made herself look, or where she is, or whether you’re already kissing; no means no, stop means stop. She won the rape charge.

LA Law aired until the early 90s, and I can’t believe people still don’t get this. You would think the fact that not all boys and men go around raping any girls or women that talk to them, or wear make up and revealing clothing would prove that boys and men can control their sexual desires and understand that rape is wrong.

So to really hit the message home, here are some placards from SlutWalk Brisbane via Creatrix Tiara:

“Not fair game when drunk, not fair game EVER, deal with it!”
“Yes means yes, no means no, however we dress, wherever we go”
“We’re not asking for it – our clothes are not our consent”
“Only rapists can stop rape”

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