Blaming the victim

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By John Pawlak

When arrested for robbing the convenience store, the man quickly told police his defense for the “so-called” robbery.
 “I walked into the store, and not even one person objected.  The sign on the door even said “Welcome — Come on in!”
 “The store’s owner did nothing to hide the fact that he had lots of cash in the store.  There is was, all green and crispy, flashing like a seductive fashion model, yelling out — Look at me!  Don’t you want me?”
 “If that guy didn’t want to be robbed, why then does he own a store with money in it?”
 “So when I held up the store and took the money, can you really blame me?  The store was just asking for it.  And the clerk gave me that money.  Willingly “gave” it to me.  He didn’t yell “Robbery!” while I was there taking the money.  Oh no, he waited until after I left.  Doesn’t that tell you something?”
 The police summarily released the man.  It was clear to any thinking person that this was not a “legitimate robbery.”
 Columnist Jacquielynn Floyd wrote a wonderful piece about how this scenario accurately portrays how people treat rape victims.  Shedding any semblance to decency, people today still accuse women of “asking to be raped.”
 In Dallas, a Highland Park student was accused of raping another student.  It started innocently enough with the two kissing in the back seat of a car.  As passion set in, the boy wanted more, the girl wanted it to stop, and the rest became the seven o’clock news.
 Immediately, public opinion got involved and the girl was called every name in the book.  If she didn’t “want” to be raped, why would she have willingly kissed him?
 Having to endure asinine public ridicule like that is tantamount to social rape.
 In Manitoba, Canada, a man found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman was told by the judge that his crime was “technically rape,” but that it wasn’t “rape rape.”  Since the woman had dressed in sexy clothes and wore high heels, the judge accused her of creating “sex in the air” and subsequently imposed no jail time for the man.  The judge did, however, force the man to write the woman a letter of apology.
 Uh, I’m sorry for “technically” raping you, Miss.
 OK, that’s Canada.  What about here in America? Missouri Representative Todd Akin raised (or lowered?) blaming the victim to a new level, calling into question the “legitimacy” of rape.  He lost the election, mustering only 39 percent of the vote.
 The man is a disgusting stink bug (my apologies to legitimate stink bugs!).  Even more disgusting: 39 percent of the people actually voted for this fetid cretin.
 Recently, another case made headlines in Cleveland, Texas, when 13 adults gang-raped an 11-year old girl.  The defense claimed the girl “didn’t try hard enough to stop her attackers.”
 Many others in her community agreed.  This 11-year-old dressed provocatively and roamed about without parental supervision.  Clearly, she was just “asking for it.”
 Can people be more vile?  Degrading an 11-year old because of how she dresses and using that to excuse rape?
 You would hope that this level of ignorance is devoid from our courts.
 You would hope, but you’d be wrong.
 This summer, a jury found an officer guilty of felony sexual abuse.  He had walked up behind a woman at a bar and groped her.
 Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Hatch, presiding over the case, sentenced him to two years probation (no jail time) and then proceeded to reprimand the woman for being partially responsible.
 Hatch scolded, “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you!”  She then went on to warn all women that “even going to the grocery store after 10 p.m. could put a woman at risk.”
 Yes, we certainly don’t want women to feel free to walk out of the house at night, do we?
 You don’t hear people blaming victims of robbery.  Or victims of arson.  Or car theft.
 Why are rape victims subject to such hatred and condemnation?
 Akin and Hatch are legitimate idiots.
John Pawlak
Los Alamos Columnist