Why didn’t she call the cops? Rape cases and rape culture.

I see people still arguing that Christine Ford has to be lying about Kavanaugh or she’d have reported it to police at the time. Let’s look at some rape/assault cases (sorry, I’m pressed for time, so almost no links).

Brock Turner sexually assaults an unconscious woman. His father tells the judge Turner shouldn’t have his life ruined for a few minutes of bad judgment. Sentence: three months in county jail.

Larry Nassar, a gymnastics doctor at the University of Michigan molested and felt up his patients for years. Patients complained to the university administration, repeatedly. The university does nothing.

In Alaska, Justin Schneider was charged with kidnapping and assault in a rape case. He pled guilty to one assault charge. No jail time. Prosecutor and judge say losing his job and spending a year on house arrest with his family is enough punishment, so he gets a free pass. But he’d better not do it again, by golly!

A rapist in Maryland some years back choked his victim before the actual sex act. Cops conclusion: he wasn’t choking her at the moment of penetration, so he wasn’t really using force. No charges.

A man in Colorado leaves an answering machine message telling a woman that yes, the sex they’d had the night before was rape. Prosecutor (now congressman) Ken Buck told the woman it still seemed to him like “buyer’s remorse.” No charges filed.

Elizabeth Bruenig, in a recent WaPo article, writes about how there was a rape case in her home town. The victim reported it, and got villified, with graffiti popping up everywhere suggesting she should be raped some more (FAITH, for “Fuck Amber In Three Holes”).

Multiple Protestant churches have covered up for rapists. As, obviously, does the Catholic Church. And mosques. And some Jewish communities).

A Brooklyn cop a couple of years back said that he wasn’t worried about the uptick in rape cases in his precinct because they were all acquaintance rape, which isn’t as bad as stranger rape (men who rape strangers, they’re the evil ones!). For some reason that eluded him, a lot of the victims decided not to cooperate with the police.

Cases like these tell rape victims they won’t be believed. And even if they’re believed, there won’t be charges or a trial. And that if there’s a trial, the court won’t want the rapist to suffer or see his future ruined. His redemption, and being sincerely sorry, is taken as a given. Conversely, rapists learn the risk/reward ratio favors them (as one guy put it after the election, Trump winning demonstrates you can commit sexual assault and not suffer any consequences). The system’s on their side. Bystanders learn that only losers get raped. Rapists are winners; siding with them and judging the victim (as in the Bruenig case, or Steubenville) makes you one of the cool kids. If you’re part of a college/church/organization, you learn you’re expected to shut your mouth at a minimum, at a maximum to provide cover.

Rape culture isn’t an organized set of beliefs. It’s dozens of individual acts, individual cases, all of which combined tell us what’s acceptable and what isn’t. What’s a crime and what’s just boys having a little fun. And until we root it out, women will continue not to come forward.

2 Comments

Filed under Undead sexist cliches

2 responses to “Why didn’t she call the cops? Rape cases and rape culture.

  1. Pingback: Talent is not always rewarded | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Those who prey (and those who enable) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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