Thursday, March 10, 2011

Take A Stand (Warning: Profanity)

Apparently, on Tuesday the New York Times posted an article about a gang rape. Please read this. I'll wait.
An eleven-year-old girl was RAPED by EIGHTEEN teenage boys and adult men. When I read about things like this happening, I have a very difficult time believing God exists, because how could anyone with any power at all allow this to happen? Don't give me any bullshit about "Everything happens for a reason." Well, how about you go get gang raped and get back to me. We'll see what you say then. Nobody should ever have to go through something like this. EVER.
The journalist James C. McKinley, Jr. said in this article:
"They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s."

Implication: this little girl deserved it because of the way she was dressed. She was asking for it.

This brought to mind a quote:

"For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them. "  -Thomas More, Utopia

I'm not referring to the rapists. No, those men can rot in hell for what they did to this poor little girl.

I'm referring to a society whose media depicts women of all ages wearing revealing attire, showing (intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn't matter) that if you dress like this, you'll be cool and people will like you. I'm referring to a society that has unspoken standards for how women should look, dress, and behave if they're to be considered worthy of anything. Our society raises little girls, from the moment they start watching TV (or even step outside and see a billboard...), to want to be like the "cool", older girls and women, so of course they want to dress like this and wear makeup.

So, and I'm NOT saying AT ALL that this little girl was dressed as a whore, AT ALL, but if a society raises little girls to dress like hookers and then shames them when they are raped, implying that they were "asking for it", then  "what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make whores and then punish them".

The article also shows pictures of the abandoned trailer where the men raped her

Who the fuck cares what the trailer looks like? What was the point of adding those pictures? What about a picture of the victim, even with her face blurred out? To show how small this child is? Because she is just that: a child.

Then, our dear Mr. McKinley goes on to talk about how tragic this is for the town, and how tragic it is that the rapists' lives will never be the same. Fuck the rapists. What about the girl?

Has it occurred to this journalist that this little girl's life will be FUBAR (fucked up beyond all reason) for the rest of her life, no matter what? Her tiny little body will have scars FOREVER. Her dreams will FOREVER be haunted by the faces of the men who raped her, and by the fear she felt, and the physical pain, and more importantly, the EMOTIONAL pain of being violated in such an atrocious fashion. And now, because of this journalist (not just because of him, but he's definitely a contributor), people will blame her because of her clothes. Since when is it the victim's fault? Since NEVER. But our society glosses over that fact and focuses on the perpetrator. "He must have been driven to it". "She must have invited it". "He couldn't have helped himself". Etc.

So let's say these eighteen men are all put in jail for the rest of forever because that's what they deserve. Then what? We all forget about this and move on? We just sit, complacent, until the next horrible crime that comes along?

What about the little girl?

This will never go away for her, even after all those men have served their time. Never.

Here's my bloggy friend's take on this. Here's another one I came across.

Please. Take a stand. Write to the New York Times and let this journalist (and whatever asshole editor allowed this to be published) know that we aren't going to stand for their blaming the victim for what happened to her.

Send an e-mail to the journalist who wrote this article.

And to James C. McKinley, Jr:

Shame on you. And fuck off.


magnolia said...

i can't even articulate it. i mean, there are SO many problems here. so she was "dressed like she was in her 20s." does that mean that it's okay to gang-rape women in their 20s? what the hell?

this is absolutely, without fail, one of the worst things i've ever seen. disgraceful.

kim said...

Very well put. There are so many angles to the way this was reported. I feel like one could write a book just about this incident.

Anonymous said...

I'm pasting my e-mail to Mr. Mckinley below...
and thank you for making people aware of this outrage.

Mr. Mckinley,

My family and I have always held the New York Times to be the epitome of class and authenticity within the world of journalism.

It is with that said, that I felt it necessary to share my thoughts on your work in the above mentioned article.

It is disappointing, shameful, and sickening to see such a run down display of reporting shown in affiliation with the New York Times.

Every journalist imparts their own "voice" to their work, and the public takes away some impression of that journalist after reading; whether it be positive or negative.

You complete disregard for the alleged victim is shown through your lack of input in respect to her, her viewpoint, and her family. You've offered a prime example of how choosing to *not* write something can impact what a reader takes away from an article.

It's horrifying that individuals would note the young girl's clothing or possible make-up as something even remotely related to her alleged gang rape, but it's far more grotesque that you would then take it one step further and note such ignorance within your own work, with no notation of it's irrelevance; thereby inadvertently supporting it.

Your intentions are not a factor. My children are taught that if you harm another person, either physically or mentally - that the intent, or lack thereof, behind doing so is unimportant. I find it saddening that you were not instructed as such.

There is no evidence of any alternate viewpoint within that article. You chose to ignore any reflections upon the victim, the public backlash of her alleged rape for *her*, or the long term effects of not only the alleged crime, but of the knowledge that her own classmates had been privy to viewing video of the horrific act.

While assuming nothing in regards to guilt or facts, it is still neglectful and ignorant to write with such obvious disregard for the young *child*, particularly after choosing to include the alleged rapists' sorrows to such an extent.

You are a disappointment to The New York Times, it's readers, and to the entire profession of journalism.

Amanda *****

Anna W said...

Amanda- Thank you thank you THANK YOU for sending a message to this man. I hope he learns something from this experience...