At this point, I should really know better than to expect something different from a bunch of anonymous online message board posters postulating on rape. Especially with the ongoing problems with the media and public’s handling of the UM rape scandal. But the people writing on eGriz.com’s thread “No Way JJ Can Be Convicted” have managed to surprise me. I’m going to skip over the predictable Monica Lewinsky and victim blaming rabble and focus on a comment that made this writer want to vomit up her Wheaties.
montanaguy posted on August 10th:
All I can say is: Dads – teach your daughters well…. love them and teach them what true love and respect/self-respect is so that they don’t fall into this godawful situation. Same with your sons, actually.
What the f***, montanaguy? This is a felony trial in a court of justice, not a juicy piece of gossip free for your perusal. Back off. Blaming the survivor’s lack of self respect (which he notes is the result of a poor upbringing) smacks of sexism, classism, and a complete ignorance of the factors that go into rape and sexual assault. I would argue that it is the survivor’s incredible self-respect that leads her to press charges in an environment that clearly is not receptive to her right for justice.
Just to clear the record, rapists and the survivors of rape come from every social strata, educational background, and family situation. It is never EVER the survivor’s fault when she or he is raped.
montanaguy’s belated address to the fathers of sons at the end of his post reads as an afterthought, as if mostly the problem is with women who clearly have no self-respect and are just asking to be raped. Oh right, talk to your sons so they don’t become rapists. Which would be a “godawful situation” for them to fall into. Poor dears.
The last sentence of montanaguy’s comment with its casual “Same with your sons” seems to also say that the same factors (namely, the lack of a male parent to teach them love and respect) that go into making rape survivors also churn out rapists. While I do agree that no self-respecting person would commit rape, your comment ignores the complex power dynamics and symptoms of male privilege that are behind so many rapes.
I’d also like to mention that montanaguy’s comment (unsurprisingly) is highly heteronormative and fails to recognize that rapists and survivors can be of any gender.
Despite the ignorance and wrong-mindedness behind montanaguy’s comment, I think there’s a good message there: talk to your kids. Yes, by all means, teach your kids not to be rapists. But also teach them to recognize and reject rhetoric that builds a culture of sexual violence.