Interesting perspective from an op/ed article which appeared in the Harvard Crimson.
In her column “Stripper Ergo…Rape,” (Apr. 12), Ashton Lattimore argues that “when women treat each other in…a cruel and disrespectful manner, it opens the door for men to do the same.” Even though the most fair-minded would concur that agreeing to dance at a party full of drunken, under-aged athletes is a risk probably not worth taking, this is hardly tantamount to giving license for the accuser to be raped. Lattimore also fails to recognize that when men and women call other women “sluts” or “hoes,” it is not due to the failure of women to unite, but the result of a culturally ingrained patriarchal state of mind. The tendency of women to “call out” other women is more a matter of protection than intolerance or misguided self-righteousness. A woman calling another woman a “slut,” is equivalent to proclaiming “I toe the sexual line, therefore, I am safe.”
Whether or not this student was technically raped is still undetermined in the legal sense. That said, from a radical feminist perspective, the accuser in this case was essentially raped the minute the lacrosse team captain made the call to “order” her services. She is raped each time she is called a whore, each time a defense attorney reveals something about her personal life, and each time she is used as political pawn by a “well intentioned” person of authority. The Rev. Jackson announced that his Rainbow Coalition will be paying the tuition of the accuser for the remainder of her education, no matter how the case turned out, “so she will never ... again have to stoop that low to survive.”
While politically astute, this “gesture” shows that he fails to recognize that all women “stoop” every day just to survive.
written by PERRY A. THRELFALL-GOHEEN
Also peep: The Usual Suspects: "Sexism and Racism Hover over the Duke Lacrosse Case" (An Op/Ed by Ooh Papi at Playahata.com)
If anybody thinks Racism and Sexism are not rampant in America they haven’t been paying attention to the Duke Lacrosse, rape case. For those living in a cave without television the quick recap of the case is that a Black Female college student hired to dance at a party for the Duke Lacrosse team was alleged that she was raped by 3 of players at the party, all of whom are White college students from upper and upper middle class backgrounds. Regardless of whether you believe the claims of the alleged victim, the handling of the Lacrosse players and the alleged rape victim are opposites sides of the spectrum.
Personally I think that something happened, let me state that for the record. They may have the wrong two players but something happened. It's funny that although one of the accused players was on probation for a bias attack this indictment has not affected his probation. In case you did not know Collin Finnerty already had to cop a plea on a gay bias attack. Finnerty agreed to perform community service, pay the victim's medical bills and stay out of trouble for at least six months.
Here’s what happened November 5 (less than 6 months ago out here in the DC area) Finnerty, the rich NY athlete who was one of two Duke Lacrosse players to be charged this week in the rape, Jeff Bloxsom, and another male friend were walking through Georgetown early on Nov. 5 when Finnerty and two pals yelled derogatory anti-gay slurs at them, according to Washington police reports. Bloxsom, whom his attorney said is not gay and has a girlfriend, shouted back, so Finnerty and his friends crossed the street and attacked the two men. Bloxsom suffered a bruised chin and a busted lip, according to a police report filed two hours after the incident. Bloxsom attorney said "It's our expectation that everything is back on the table in terms of how the district attorney in Washington will deal with the accused," but those of us in D.C. should keep our eyes on this because it doesn’t look like they will do anything.
This violent guy is given the benefit of the doubt by media. It’s ironic that the feminist organizations use a past history to jump on an alleged suspect but not much noise from many of them now, especially the most vocal ones and this is from the outset. I think the Reason why is simple -the accused is a struggling black female and the accused are well to do white men. Typically National Organization Women (NOW) show up for black women in high profile cases if the alleged assailant is Black also ex. Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill or Mike Tyson and Desiree Washington. If it's Black and White like Kobe Bryant and Faber forget about it, the loyalties are out on the table, there is never this wait and see approach as with the Duke accuser.
The woman at the center of the rape scandal is a 27-year-old African-American student from a Historically Black College called North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Ironically it is known for its prestigious Law Degree Program. She is also a mother. Since the alleged attack, she has been in seclusion and under a doctor's care. Her cousin, who wants only to be called Jackie, appeared on "Good Morning America" on her behalf. saying "She's exhausted, emotionally and physically, but she's happy that the arrests were made,… Who could stand this much pressure?, It's become this huge media circus.” My cousin is a petite, humble and family-oriented person who was trying her best to raise her two children, ages 6 and 7”. My Cousin did not make up this story but its a “strong possibility" that she could have consumed a drugged drink at the party. Date rape drugs are often associated with parties like the lacrosse team threw.
The only good thing that has happened for the alleged victim is Jesse Jackson has offered to pay her tuition whatever the outcome of the case, so she doesn't have to show up for anymore parties as the entertainment. Granted the absence of DNA evidence is a major blow but it does not prove that none of the team members assaulted her. A large percentage of rape cases have no DNA evidence. Prosecutors can have DNA evidence that matches no alleged assailants and still move forward and get a conviction, as in the Central Park case why anybody should be surprised at this turn of events.
In 1978, Congress passed Rule 412 of the Federal Rules of Evidence; better known as the Rape Shield law. Since then, 49 of the 50 United States have adopted identical or similar laws, which vary in practice from state-to-state.
What rape shield laws do is limit defense lawyers in rape trials as far as bringing the alleged victim’s sexual history into play. The laws are intended to prevent the alleged victim from having their credibility attacked and their reputation sullied with information that supposedly has nothing to do with the case at hand. The pressure that goes along with high profile rape cases is something that victims have to endure, it happens. I am not surprised that the student/mother stripper even considered pulling the plug after the case turned into a racial pressure cooker. While at Duke Campus, hundreds of students are wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "Innocent till proven guilty." At NCCU it seems from media coverage that everybody has been forced into a wait and see attitude. I'm not sure what has happened to student activism on Black College Campuses maybe Universities like Hampton are killing it "At one point, the alleged victim wanted to just drop the charges," said Jackie. "But as a family, we told her to stand her ground.
I do not know happened yet since there has been no trial. However I am disgusted by the media handling of it, they intentionally plant doubt in the Black “alleged victim's story” and always offer media rebuttal to any idea that she is telling the truth.
According to the NY Daily news ”The stripper at the heart of the explosive Duke University rape case has been forced into virtual hiding as photos of her were aired on TV yesterday. Threats from Duke supporters have forced the woman, who is Black, to stay with different friends almost every night after she accused the White lacrosse players of raping her at a wild party. The stakes went up again when a local NBC station aired photos of the woman taken the night of the party, which the Lacrosse players' lawyers say show her possibly drunk. The time-stamped pictures, with her face obscured, were later widely disseminated on the Internet.”
Question for you. How can you conclude somebody is drunk with an obscured face in a still picture and no sound? Answer, you can’t. It’s a racist media tactic to show enough of her image so that those who know her can identify her and cause further humiliation. If you thought that the Rape shield Law makes it illegal to show alleged rape victims in the media , it’s does not. It is simply an agreement by media that to do so is tacky. When you get emailed these photos do me a favor send them back to the person that you got them from and tell them it’s tacky.
Fleeting Facts on the Duke Lacrosse Case laid out by Investigative Journalist Cash Michaels in North Carolina:
The alleged victim is a divorced mother of two, she is a dean list student at NCCU. She had only been a dancer for two months before the alleged rape. At 27 she is a little older than her peers because she spent several years in the military. The alleged rape was suppressed for ten days by officials at Duke before the press got hold of it. The dancers were paid four hundred dollars each to show up to what the Lacrosse team captains told them was a Bachelors party for 5 men and when they called to make arrangements they lied and used fictitious names. The dancers did not know each other and were hired from two different groups. As soon as they arrived both dancers were offered drinks from the players. Kim Roberts declined the drink but the alleged victim took the drink. This all took place on the first day of Duke’s Spring Break. The lacrosse players had been drinking since 2pm that day and decided to call the dancers later that day and called them at 8pm.The dancers wanted to leave because racial insults were spewing forth and one player held up a broom stick and said he was going to use it on a dancer. Many students on both NCCU and Duke have been very supportive of the stripper and a cadre of students have rallied behind her but have been unable to do much without her permission and her seclusion. The Duke Lacrosse player Ryan McFadden who sent the email shortly after the alleged incident stating “after the strippers were killed, they would be skinned while he was "cumming in his duke issue spandex” has had punitive action taken against him but Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and other White, Right-Wing media pundits who have called the victim a “ho and dirtbag” have not had any action taken against them or their sponsors.
Released: April 21st, 2006
The views and opinions expressed herein by the author do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of Playahata.com.