As a disclaimer, I am writing this post directly after reading this morning’s newspaper. I usually avoid this activity (for obvious reasons, which you are probably about to realize), but one of the articles caught my eye and I found myself reading it, jaw dropped. After I read it, I was bothered, upset, and deciding just how reactive I should get. And then my coworker asked me if I had heard this particular story and told me in more detail about the interviews she had seen on the TV news (something I never watch) in reaction to this event. At this point, I started seething. I feel as though there are shards of glass in my mouth. This post is me spitting them out. Be warned. I am vehemently angry.
In Pitt Meadows last weekend, at a party, a 16 year old girl was drugged and gang raped by as many as 7 males. The story is obviously a prominent one considering the circumstances. And my thoughts today aren’t even regarding the fact that this video (because yes, someone f*cking videotaped it) is being uploaded and spread viral on the internet via facebook; that the police can’t even take the videos down as fast as they are being put back up. What I reacted to this morning were the thoughts that are being expressed by quite a few of the boys they are interviewing (that were not necessarily directly involved, but were at the party).
“She was asking for it.”
This comment has been said often enough in response to this news story to disturb and disgust the very core of me. I have heard, at some point in my lifetime, that there were people in this world who believed that it was possible to justify the rapist. But when I heard about those people, it was almost in theory; as in “you know, there are actually people who believe in the eventual world domination of the termite.” But now…there are actually young men saying these things in public? On record? Because they actually really truly think that way?
The interviews with teenage boys have been numerous since last week and these interviews, combined with the viral nature of the video, warrant a hard, detail oriented look at the "why" behind the way this situation is playing out. What kind of trend in our current society and culture causes these boys (and other men) to justify, at all, this event? What is it that excuses (in their minds) their acts of violence and blatant disrespect for other people? How are they able to excuse themselves? Because rape is not excusable. Your penis is not a sceptre; you are not a king because you have one. Who, or what, is telling these young men that if a woman should exhibit behaviour A B or C that she is asking for it? No woman asks to be raped. Anybody who holds this opinion of a rape victim is an arrogant and braindead piece of shit. Disagree? Let’s dance.