12.16.2010

Rape apologists and the need to speak out

If you've seen my Twitter feed today, you've no doubt seen me tweeting about the #Mooreandme issue. While I normally focus on fat issues, I felt it was important to weigh in on rape culture. I think this is a serious concern in our culture and frankly men don't do enough to speak out against rape. Myself included. I was really moved by the eloquence of so many of the people who have spoken out against the rape apologies that are coming from progressives in the wake of Julian Assange's arrest. I didn't want to just keep letting other people speak so I joined in. The defensiveness people are having over Assange is really troubling. None of the critics are saying he doesn't need to have his day in court, but I feel like a lot of Assange's defenders ARE saying he shouldn't have his day in court and that the charges should just be disregarded. This is wrong. Period.

The justifications are really unhinged, too. Some say that the charges are obviously politically motivated, and therefore false. Well, one doesn't follow the other. Yeah, they are politically motivated, but that doesn't say anything about their veracity. Its easy to make up excuses why THIS TIME its okay to dismiss rape allegations, but what they fail to get is that this is the dynamic that ALWAYS happens with rape apologies. There is always a reason when these rape charges aren't worth taking seriously. The whole mindset is unsustainable. This only seems to happen with rape with this kind of regularity. No other criminal accusation is so routinely dismissed. So even if you think that this time its okay, you need to really question yourself. Because all those other times, someone else made that same judgement and this pattern is a problem.

I'm really bothered by those who say these rape charges should be ignored because most rape charges get ignored so it'd be insulting to those victims to care now. Important, serious people have made this argument. Which I would characterize as "You guys NEVER care about rape. Why you gotta start now?" Yes, the way rape isn't taken seriously is a problem. No one thinks this is a signal that rape is being taken seriously, either. Its obviously just politically expedient to do so. But thinking its politically expedient to keep ignoring rape is even worse.

Anyway, I hope no one minds getting off Fat Acceptance for a bit. For further reading on this issue, please check out the following...

At Tiger Beatdown...

7 comments:

Barry Deutsch said...

I've been admiring your tweets on this!

One thing about this post: Where you said "I felt it wasn't important to weigh in on rape culture," I think you probably intended to say it "was important," not "wasn't."

Brian said...

Thank you for catching that. I have a problem with reversing negatives like that, including nots when I don't mean to and leaving them out when they do. Sorry if it caused any confusion. Its corrected now.

Notblueatall said...

I feel so out of the loop. I even tried, after seeing yours and many other tweets, to look things up but got overwhelmed quickly! I just want the whole story. I just want to understand. But thank you for speaking out! Keep on keepin' on! =0)

NinjaEema said...

I completely agree. It seems like very time rape is in the national headlines, people are just falling all over themselves trying to make excuses for the alleged rapist, or rationalizing why charges should not be filed or followed through. The Assange apologists remind me of the Polanski apologists. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

JennyRose -

Thanks for your post. I initially thought there was a political motivation but I really don't know. NPR (US) interviewed a number of Swedes and all of them dismissed any conspiracy theories. They mentioned that the Swedish justice system has many safeguards against corruption and political influence. The Swedes seem to view it as a criminal investigation, nothing more. I think that if he does go to Sweden he will receive just treatment no matter what it is. As a note, so far, he is only being questioned. Again, if he is charged, I think he will have a fair trial.

Sleepydumpling said...

I just want to say thank you. I don't have much else to give on the topic, but thank you.

Anomic Entropy said...

Yeah, ditto what Sleepydumpling said.

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