The Shouty Woman

March 30, 2006

Gang rape

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 12:59 pm

I found this post via Pandagon. I'm not sure what to say other than that I'm too depressed and defeated to feel anger. The piece may be two years old, but if anything things have got worse since then.

What has gone so wrong with society that young men see gang rape as acceptable? Or worse, as a bit of fun, or as a mark of virility? How have their morals become so skewed that they think it's OK to treat another human being like a piece of meat, or like a cigarette, made for their pleasure and to be passed around between them? And more to the point, what has gone so wrong with society that this behaviour is normalised?

You might think this is a bit strong – after all, no-one (or very few people) is going to admit that they think gang rape is OK. But why then are none of these boys going to prison? Why is the rape conviction rate still 6% -yes, six per cent – and why do judges treat victims as criminals? Why is it that when it comes down to it, a woman or girl's testimony is worthless?

But of course, this is what this is all about. One thing that comes out of the article is that many attackers use porn on a regular basis – one eleven-year-old (yes, you read that right) accused of raping a young child had been watching free porn previews on his moblie phone and copied what he saw. Other boys videoed their attacks and passed them round to their friends. It's not surprising that rapists, and the judges who acquit them, see women as little more than sex toys, incapable of saying 'no' – this is what our culture is telling them.

As Peter Misch, a former adolescent psychiatrist, explains in the article, "men's magazines perpetuate a myth of availability, yet this is not an open sexual society." Gang rapists are simply taking what they feel they're entitled to, and the courts are backing them up.

Read the Guardian article, read the account of a rape trial, read the stories of victims so traumatised that they can't speak about what happened, read the defeated words of the counsellors and charity workers who have to deal with this epidemic. 

Then tell me there's nothing left to fight for.


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