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Recommended Reading: Raped in the U.S.A.

March 11th, 2011     by Anastasia Szakowski     Comments

I came across an excellent post by Amy Andronicus on the Texas gang-rape case that I think is a must-read in addition to the post on Shakesville. An excerpt:

In what constitues a FOX-worthy example of editorializing “the news,” the journalist in question, James McKinley, chooses quotations only from those residents of the town who saw the victim as responsible for her own rape. The piece therefore emerges as an appallingly biased depiction of a rape that an 11-year-old girl brought upon herself. McKinely takes pains to explain the way in which the 11-year-old victim “dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s” and “would hang out with teenage boys,” as if clothing, makeup, and befriending teenagers were acts that might lead those teenagers to commit rape. Furthermore, McKinley’s article describes the men, (some of whom were as old as 27,) as having been “drawn into” the crime, rather than having “committed it.” In this textbook example of the use of the passive voice to transfer agency from subject to object, the sentence shifts the blame from the perpetrator of the crime to the victim. McKinley’s reportage goes as far as to blame the mother of the victim for not keeping her daughter out of trouble—as if it were a mother’s responsibility to prevent all possible criminal activity singlehandedly, after doing the dishes and before bed. Nowhere in the article does McKinley consider the perspective of the other side—the necessary perspective here, the logical one, the one that might, for example lead to the question: “Where were the parents of the young men who committed this rape? Why didn’t they teach their children to respect women?”

Read the full post here. And as Sheila pointed out in a comment, you can sign a petition demanding that the NYT apologize for victim-blaming here.

Tags: rape culture, recommended reading

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