In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual assault were “asking for it”, it’s not hard to understand why discussing what constitutes risk has become a virtual taboo.
From tut-tutting at the thought of a woman daring to venture outside at night without a male companion to the abhorrent practice of suggesting her attire was a contributing factor, seeking to shift the blame from perpetrator to victim is a well-worn custom.
Let there be no mistake: any attempt to alleviate the responsibility of a rapist in this manner is both erroneous and offensive. Having already endured a violent crime, a victim’s suffering is only further compounded by the insinuation she brought her misery upon herself. And even the most diplomatically worded and well-intentioned caution about the alleged hazards of wearing a low-cut top is doing just that.
Latest 2 of 251 commentsView all comments
Yesterday brought sobering news that six men had been arrested on Sunday over the rape of a woman on a coach in the Indian state of Punjab.
The men reportedly abducted the 29-year old after she boarded the service and took her to an unknown location, where they took it in turns to rape her, before dropping her off close to her in-laws village on Saturday morning.
The reports come less than a month after the horror story that’s haunted Australian headlines for the last month: the gang rape and brutal murder of a 23-year old physiotherapy student on a bus in New Delhi. India and its violence-against-women crisis has become the subject of an international media enquiry that seeks to bring these atrocities to light and to hold someone – the Indian government, the Indian people, the Indian police – to account.
The lawyer of three of the men accused of gang raping an Indian student says it’s the victims’ fault they were attacked.
Think that’s bad? How about this: A council leader blamed chow mein. According to Reuters, Jitendar Chattar (the leader of a Khap Panchayat or council), said: “To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”
There you go. Heard anything more stupid lately? Discuss whatever you like herewith.
Latest 2 of 154 commentsView all comments
A rape is never the victim’s fault.
Hopefully, Dear Reader, you read that line, rolled your eyes in exasperation and thought to yourself “sheesh, crazy lady, tell us something we don’t know!”.
Most of you will read no further for fear of encountering more mundane obviousness. But some of you will cock your head, maybe, say something like “weelllllll sometimes maybe it’s her fault… just a little bit…”. So this is for you douchebags in the latter group.
Latest 2 of 91 commentsView all comments
Those crazy Republicans! First there was Todd Akin with his ‘legitimate rape’ comments, then yesterday we had Richard Mourdock saying if a woman became pregnant from rape, well, that was what God intended.
Only in America, right? Well, no. The extreme right-to-lifers here are on the same page.
What the bumbling Mr Mourdock was saying was that being pregnant with your rapist’s child is not a good enough reason for abortion. It’s actually a standard pro-life line.
Latest 2 of 482 commentsView all comments
There is something profoundly disturbing about the furore surrounding US politician Todd Akin – but it’s not what he is being hammered for by other politicians and commentators.
Akin, an 11-year veteran of the US Congress and committed anti-abortion campaigner said in a live TV interview last weekend that he believed women were unlikely to become pregnant after suffering legitimate rape.
The resulting shock and fury has continued unabated with everyone from the President down belting Akin. President Obama’s comments epitomised the popular angle of attack – that it was unacceptable for rape to be parsed into categories of legitimate and illegitimate.
Latest 2 of 44 commentsView all comments
Miniskirts will be declared pornography and Indonesia will ban them as a politician says “provocative clothing” made men “do things”.
Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali will ensure tough new anti-porn laws will include criteria such as “a skirt above the knee”, The Jakarta Post reports.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary speaker Marzuki Alie is drafting rules banning miniskirts in Parliament because “there have been a lot of rape cases and other immoral acts recently and this is because women aren’t wearing appropriate clothes”.
Latest 2 of 301 commentsView all comments
I’ve always admired a man who knows his limitations. So when I read an extract from an old opinion column by former Queensland journo turned LNP candidate Gavin King, I had him pegged as my sort of bloke:
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but surely it is obvious that we should perform household chores we are best at, in the interests of efficiency and synergy. In other words, the missus irons my shirt because she is able to do it quickly and easily. In exchange, I make breakfast because pouring milk on to cereal is a task simple enough for me to achieve by 7.30am.”
Good on Gavin for realising that tipping a bit of cow juice on the family’s Weetbix is the extent of his talents on the domestic front. Unfortunately, recognising his strengths isn’t always his strong suit once he sets foot outside the door in his crisply ironed shirts.
Latest 2 of 196 commentsView all comments
Senator Nick Xenophon says he faced a “serious moral dilemma” when deciding whether to name a priest accused of raping Archbishop John Hepworth 40 years ago. No shit. On the one hand, as Xenophon explained under Parliamentary privilege last night, he was privy to certain information and frustrated at what he called the “Catholic Church in South Australia’s mishandling of sexual abuse claims”. And unlike most of us, he had the power, the protection and the platform to do something about it.
On the other hand he named a man who may be innocent, who indeed categorically denies the accusation, who is not even the subject of a police report at this stage.
Parliamentary privilege protects Mr Xenophon from legal action. But it doesn’t protect him from accusations he abused this privilege, one which should be used sparingly. What if he’s wrong?
Latest 2 of 131 commentsView all comments
Recent news reports have highlighted the apparent difficulties in securing convictions where a person living with intellectual disability has been the victim of an alleged sexual assault.
Some alleged assaults take place where people are receiving care. This warrants closer examination, given the reasonable expectation that human services are meant to reduce risk of harm, not add to it.
Also, the greater the degree of disability a person lives with, the more likely it is the person will be living in a formal service arrangement, sharing with other people living with similar degrees of disability and served by staff.
Latest 2 of 27 commentsView all comments
There’s a sort of mad, vindictive glee around the unraveling case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. A bit of ‘gotcha’ giddiness that this woman who made such devastating claims of rape against such an incredibly powerful figure is being shredded.
Each day has seen a frenzied media rip new chinks in her credibility with new claims; she changed her story; she lied about a gang rape; she associates with criminals; she’s a prostitute.
Bringing down this anonymous ‘maid’ has become a global blood sport. It may turn out that she had some insidious reason for toppling DSK. He may be innocent. At this murky point in the sordid tale almost anything seems possible.
Latest 2 of 420 commentsView all comments
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat?”
When Sheik Al-Hilali made these comments characterising the uncovered female body as meat to be consumed, he was brutally condemned. The public outcry was exceptional: the Sheik was imposing a set of archaic beliefs that had no place in a progressive Australia.
Well, just how progressive are we? Such rhetoric is not confined to the auspices of Sharia law - it can be found in media reports, in political speeches, even judicial decisions. The implication is always the same: women must manage their sexuality appropriately, or face the risk of violence.
Latest 2 of 160 commentsView all comments
It’s been a long time since I felt the urge to attend a street protest.
During my youth, I waved so many “real men don’t rape” signs in so many Reclaim the Night marches, I was at risk of suffering placard elbow. These days, I enjoy the fact that it’s possible to engage in social activism from the comfort of one’s swivel chair.
Internet petitions, cyber sloganeering, those web sites that send rice overseas when you check out their ads… Such slacktivist approaches are extremely attractive to the modern revolutionary whose time is short and whose desk-bound dorsal region is lethargic.
Latest 2 of 136 commentsView all comments
A hotel worker’s allegations of sexual assault by International Monetary Fund chief and possible French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn are disturbing. But also disturbing is the way the case is being reported in some sections of the media.
Strauss-Kahn has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a woman at his expensive hotel suite in New York. This is a summary of the story from the New York Times:
According to the law enforcement official, the woman entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite early Saturday afternoon by saying “housekeeping”. She heard no answer and believed that the suite was unoccupied. She left the door open behind her, as is hotel policy.
Latest 2 of 114 commentsView all comments
One of the beautiful things about the internet is that you can quickly and easily hear from people with vastly different views from your own.
For example, I wrote a piece yesterday about SlutWalks, a series of worldwide protests reclaiming the word slut, but more importantly railing against the idea that a woman is ever to blame for her own sexual assault or rape.
I had (blithely, it must be admitted) assumed that people no longer blame victims for being victims, and realise that of course it is the perpetrator at fault.
Latest 2 of 216 commentsView all comments
Spida Everitt has done two things this morning. He’s confirmed that he’s a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who thinks that women who have a few drinks and go home with a bloke are asking for it. And he’s put his job with Foxtel on the line.
The former St Kilda ruckman offered these screwed-up musings on the sexual assault investigation involving two Collingwood players via Twitter this morning.
His first tweet read: “Yet another alleged girl, making alleged allegations, after she awoke with an alleged hangover and I take it an alleged guilty conscience.”
Latest 2 of 174 commentsView all comments
The NRL Footy Show might be good for a lot of things – such as cross-dressing or making jokes about people who wear tracksuits and live in Bankstown – but it’s probably not the ideal forum for an impartial examination of the law of sexual assault.
For starters, there appears to be a small issue with gender balance. To describe the program as blokey doesn’t do it justice. Like its AFL equivalent, this all-male show has long resisted attempts to bring female analysts of the game into the fold, either by ostracising them on the rare occasion they are allowed on air, or by rubbishing their work at rival media outlets.
Given that the program is presented by former greats of the game, it is heavily skewed towards the players’ perspective when it comes to the degree of scrutiny they face, the demands placed on them, their hounding by fans and groupies.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
Australia. Where you die for your country and get a rest area named after you http://t.co/hO6LpfwDvI
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…