Gang rape victim brings it on herself

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 · 68 Comments »

Onlookers laugh during teen girl’s gang rape, reports the San Jose Mercury News. I’m just going to fair-use the gist of the article here:

Onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in Saturday night during the two-hour gang rape of a semiconscious 15-year-old outside her homecoming dance at Richmond High, police said Monday.

… “She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other’s presence,” said Lt. Mark Gagan, a patrol supervisor in the city’s Northern Policing District. “What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening, and failed to report it.”

…Detectives believe as many as six other men raped the girl as she lay semiconscious on a courtyard bench, also beating her, taking pictures and stealing her jewelry.

…No one called police until word of the ongoing rape spread to a house party in the city’s North and East neighborhood, where an appalled partygoer felt obligated to phone in the rumor.

… “That’s just wrong,” senior class President Gina Saechao, who helped organize the dance, said Monday. “What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?”

Okay, we interrupt this fair-using to bring you an editorial comment: Notice the plaintive attempt by Ms. Saechao to evoke empathy for the victim. Ask yourself if, in the event the victim of this gang-rape/beating/dehumanization-as-spectator-sport were male, anyone would feel the need to say things like, “What if it was your brother? What if it was your Dad?”

Officers broke it up, and found the victim semiconscious and obviously hurt. Paramedics flew her to a regional trauma center in critical condition; she stabilized overnight.

…The girl attended the dance, held in the gym from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. About 400 students attended, with three administrators and four police officers both inside and watching the surrounding parking lot and street.

…Police say the victim left alone about 9:30 p.m. and walked north on 23rd Street, expecting to catch a ride from her father. Instead, a schoolmate caught her attention from behind a cyclone fence on the north end of campus.

…He invited her to join a group drinking and hanging out in a secluded courtyard behind the fence, Gagan said, and escorted her down Emeric Avenue to a short gate from which they made their way back to the group.

…The assault began after the girl quickly drank a large amount of hard alcohol and fell over, Gagan said.

Oh, dear. She drank a large amount of hard alcohol, did she? Well, then. There you go.

Of course, if she were a he, that wouldn’t matter. Here on Dude Planet it’s widely understood that if a guy drinks, he’s just drinking. He’s not broadcasting his desire or consent to be brutally raped and beaten and robbed. Drinking ≠ Rape Me.

For a girl, though, it’s completely different. If a girl drinks, then of course she’s asking to be raped. Same thing if she doesn’t drink. Or if she goes out at night: that’s asking to be raped, just as she’s asking to be raped if she stays home. Wears a skirt or jeans, wears heels or tennis shoes — no matter what, she’s just inviting rape. Bringing it on herself. If she’s young and pretty, if she’s old and ugly, if she’s an 8-year-old child or an 80-year-old crone. No matter what, something that she’s doing is bringing on that rape.

For a girl, Everything = Rape Me.

As this commenter at the Mercury News clearly understands:

Monday, 10/26/2009 – 6:52 p.m. PDT — No surprise

but a LOT of disgust. Yes, Richmond IS one of the worst sh:th0les of the Bay Area, and YES, she did in large part bring it on herself, but YES, these sub-human vermin should be hunted down and removed from decent society; PERMINANTLY.

And there you have it. An article about the mind-bogglingly grotesque gang rape of a 15-year-old girl, and the fifth fucking comment tells us that “she did in large part bring it on herself.”

And with that, I think I’m just going to spend the rest of my life in the utility closet.

Filed under: Rape · Tags:

68 Responses to “Gang rape victim brings it on herself”

  1. TheOtherDelphyne says:

    Unbelievable. Just numbingly unbelievable.

  2. angie says:

    I’m surprised it took 5 comments before someone whipped out the old “she brought it on herself” line. Things are looking up. /s

    I do like how the comment #5 guy (I hope it is a guy) thinks he is the authority on what is & isn’t “decent” society.

  3. Mec says:

    I grew up in Richmond and actually took an after-school class at Richmond High. The neighborhood (23rd Street) was bad then, and it sounds a lot worse now.

    The worst thing is that some people raped, assaulted, beat, robbed, and humiliated this girl.

    But another terrible thing: the two school officials sound so unengaged about it. Ramsey: “Should we have had higher awareness, should we have been more vigilant? Probably.” Trujillo: “Could it [the lighting] be better? That’s something we are always reviewing.”

    Hey you mealy-mouthed WCCSD pukes: grow a spine! Rewind that crap and try again. How about: “we are working around the clock with the police to find the rapists”. And then actually do that.

  4. Puma-SF says:

    I just read about this am absolutely horrified. I grew up in Richmond and graduated from Richmond High. There was also a gang rape of a gay woman not far from where this one occured. I am sickened by this. The horrors of rape have been in my thoughts a lot lately. What is wrong with people? How can someone do something like this? Why didn’t anyone do anything? What is wrong with a person that they would make such a comment. Cut off their penises.

  5. Violet says:

    (speaking from the utility closet down the hall)

    Mec, I thought that too! The whole last part of the article was like suddenly we’re at a some fucking school board meeting. A 15-year-old girl was GANG RAPED by HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE STILL ON THE LAM and the dude’s all, “It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to have this finalized a little bit sooner.”

  6. Grace says:

    Whenever I hear about rape, and even worse, gang rape, I always have the same retaliatory fantasy: make the rapists pay by doing exactly the same to them: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Rape them while intoxicated, beat them, rob them,and leave them there on the floor for a while while the bystanders make fun of them and call them derogatory names. Hey, after all “they brought it upon themselves,” no? And perhaps, may be, they would then understand how it feels, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  7. Adrienne in CA says:

    Glad to see a little sense gets injected into comments farther down the Mercury News thread. Unfortunately, it’s the first few idiots that everyone will read.

    Someone also mentioned the (nearby school) De Anza college baseball team members who did basically the same thing and got off scot-free. Hope the outcome will be different in Richmond, even though the reason won’t be fair.


  8. Lee Moore says:

    A horrible story. But you are completely misunderstanding and misrepresenting the comment about her having brought it on herself. If she had got drunk and climbed into the lions enclosure at the zoo, and then been mauled, we would say that she had “brought it on herself” – though that wouldn’t, I hope, diminish our sympathy for her. If she slept in a downstairs room with the window wide open, in a bad crime area, and someone had climbed in and stolen her jewellery off her bedside table, then we would say that she – or her parents – had failed to take sensible precautions. And so on. In this case she seems to have behaved in a way that put her at some risk, and which her friends and her parents would probably have warned her not to do if they had had the chance. Don’t go off down dark alleys with groups of teenage boys and get seriously drunk. The commenter is not suggesting that her rather foolish behavior in any way diminishes the responsibility of the culprits – far from it. It is obvious that he/she approves of the sternest punishment of them. Nor is there any suggestion in the comment that her treatment is some sort of reasonable punishment for taking a foolish risk, or that our sympathy for her should in any way be mitigated by the fact that she took some risks that we all wish she hadn’t.

    You are confusing the worlds of ought and is. A fifteen year old girl OUGHT to be able to go off down a dark alley with a group of teenage boys, get horribly drunk and be perfectly safe. But in the real world, such behaviour IS risky, and we should warn girls that they should avoid it. That does not mean that we should excuse groups of young men when they behave like wild animals, it just means that we should recognise that that’s what they occasionally do and that precautions against them doing so may sometimes need to be taken.

    I recall a student conference decades ago at which a resolution was proposed excoriating the police in the neighborhood of one particular college for suggesting, after two unsolved rapes on campus, that female students should for the time being go out after dark in groups or with a male companion. The resolution denounced the police’s sexist oppression and stated that women should be free to go where they wanted when the wanted. As indeed they should. A female delegate then stood up and said that she had been raped, and it had been a horrible experience. Whatever ivory tower resolution the conference passed, the real world would continue having its own real risks. The police’s advice was sensible and she advised female students at that college to follow it. Naturally the delegates at the conference howled her down.

  9. Violet says:

    A horrible story. But you are completely misunderstanding and misrepresenting the comment about her having brought it on herself.

    No, I’m not. I’m not misunderstanding anything.

    Here’s a challenge for you: find a newspaper article anywhere about the gang-rape/mutilation of a boy or man where it says “he brought it on himself.” Those exact words. I want to see it. Not “it was a dangerous area” or “people should always take precautions.” Because that’s really, really, really not the same thing, even if you’re pretending in your head that it is.

    Those exact words: “he brought it on himself.” Find it.

  10. Lee Moore says:

    If you google for “he brought it on himself” you get over half a million hits. The very first one :

    gives a classic example. It’s nothing to do with male rape, but it’s a perfectly normal use of the expression. Presumably you wouldn’t object to the usage in this context ? Rather than have me trawl the internet for usages in the context of male rape – a rather rare crime – perhaps you could explain why this quite common expression is permissible in all sorts of contexts in which people bring things on themselves, but the usage suddenly becomes impermissible in the context of putting yourself in a position that significantly increases your chances of being raped ?

    I’m afraid I’m not pretending anything in my head. It’s just that you seem to want to pick a fight with people who would like to help young women minimise their chances of getting raped by offering them sensible advice on avoiding dark alleys, strong drink and groups of young men. Why, I can’t imagine.

  11. Violet says:

    I’m sorry, Lee Moore: you have flunked the stick test.

    If anybody feels like explaining rape culture, victim-blaming, and the entire history of feminist thought to this clown, be my guest. I’m going to bed.

  12. janicen says:

    If anybody feels like explaining rape culture, victim-blaming, and the entire history of feminist thought to this clown, be my guest.

    No, I don’t feel like it. I just woke up to get a drink of water and scan a few blogs and came upon this. Now I’ll never get back to sleep.

    Lee, what bothers me most about your comment is the apparent presumption of the behavior of the men involved. You seem to be saying that the men just behaved as men do, just like a lion would if you jumped into a lion’s den. That being the case, let’s remove the fact that the girl drank some alcohol because certainly, that would not make any difference to a lion. So we have a girl who was invited by one of her classmates to join a party. She didn’t know she would be the lone female and she certainly could never have assumed that the boys would act on, what you seem to be saying, is an instinct to rape. How can any woman function in society if that society assumes that men will rape? You seem to be saying that it’s just what men do and we should be as fearful of men as we are of wild predators. By saying that the woman brought this upon herself, you are excusing the behavior of the men as a normal reaction to the circumstances. It is not normal behavior and to assume that it is serves to create a culture where women must live in constant fear. This is just wrong. Rape is not a normal reaction to circumstances, it is a viscious, violent attack on a human being by another human being. If the victim had been a teenage boy who had been invited to party and was subsequently raped, nobody would say, “…He brought it on himself…”

  13. Irlandese says:

    My Goddish. The only “foolish” behavior this poor girl exhibited was to leave the relative safety her own utility closet and venture forth out into the world armed only with a vagina and not a penis. Sound a little over-the-top?? Reminds me of the story of how men felt during the Atlanta sniper crime spree. Many men were surprised at how ‘vulnerable’ they felt because at any given moment, no matter what they were doing, they could be victimized. Sound familiar?? Welcome to our world. Sucks to have to always assume that those with penises will hurt those of us with vaginas, but hey, that’s the way it is, isn’t it? Just buck up and get used to it, is that what you’re saying, Lee?? Back to square one…

  14. twandx says:

    Yup, it’s a rape culture, whether it’s sexism in the workplace or misogyny in the media or a gang of males eager to sodomize any female they can safely get their hands on.

    There have been many studies done on why men rape but the ones that impressed me the most was the results of different questionaires which asked

    1. Would you join in a gang rape?
    2. Would you join in a gang rape if you were sure you would not get caught?

    #2 got overwhelming positive answers; many fewer for #1.

    Get most males away from fear of punishment and they are opotunistic rapists in one form or another.

  15. Northwest rain says:

    Guilty for being born female. It is now a crime to be female. Back to the dark ages — what next — all women wear shrouds and must be escorted by a penis owning human?

    No wonder that homecoming type person — doesn’t want to be called a female — but tough luck dude/dudette — choose one and STFU.

    I supposed the misogyny has always been part of this culture — perhaps it was just hidden. But then 100 years ago little girls were blamed for being raped. That 4 year old girls was “seductive” — poor guy just couldn’t help himself.

    As long as men get a pass for raping women — who are alone (like she wants to be raped), or washing clothes alone (’cause she wants to be raped), or she is in her broken car on the side of the road (’cause she wants to be raped), or she wants to be raped — just ’cause she is female.

    The assholes who gave her booze– knew the hell what they were doing (they probably forced the girl to drink — we don’t have her side of this story).

    But what the hell — she is “just” a female — and the prom queen — oops the Home Coming Queen says don’t call me a woman. Like that is going to save YOU from being raped ’cause your car broke down and some penis stops to help himself to your body.

    (That bit about the 4 year old girl — really happened.)

  16. kae says:

    “She brought it on herself…”

    The reason why so many rapes are not reported. The victim will be accused of doing something, anything, which encouraged rape.

    Makes me very, very cranky.

  17. lily says:

    If anybody feels like explaining rape culture, victim-blaming, and the entire history of feminist thought to this clown, be my guest. I’m going to bed.

    We’ve only been explaining it over and over and over for 50 years now. Don’t waste your time.

    Articles like this make me feel like I am going to have a heart attack.

  18. Gayle says:

    “Reminds me of the story of how men felt during the Atlanta sniper crime spree.”

    Yep. Same thing happened during 9/11. All of a sudden men knew what it was like to feel vulnerable.

    Poor dears.

  19. Nessum says:

    My heart goes out to that poor, poor young woman! How will she ever get back to a normal youth/life? She won’t! And what kind of help will she even be offered, here and now?

    I was also appalled by the

    “What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?”

    Why should we only feel compassion for the people who are close to us?

    It’s like saying, when learning about child abuse “Since I became a mother myself [… I can now feel compassion for abused children]“!

    Or about the “Palin is a cunt” t-shirt: “What if it was your mother/sister/daughter!”

    Shouldn’t we be appalled no matter which child/woman/person is abused? Even if we don’t know or like them?

  20. gxm17 says:

    What Lee Moore doesn’t realize is that women don’t need to climb into the lion’s den. We live in the f@#king lion’s den!

  21. gxm17 says:

    I somewhat followed the case of the Austin serial rapist and, to the best of my knowledge, the only person who seemed to think the male rape victims deserved what they got was the rapist.

    It is a toxic attitude that puts blame on the victim of rape, and it is this very attitude that feeds and maintains a rape culture.

  22. Against Rape says:

    Dr. Socks, I can’t criticize what Ms. Saechao said here:

    “That’s just wrong,” senior class President Gina Saechao, who helped organize the dance, said Monday. “What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?”

    I can’t criticize it because she was trying to get people to think about “what if” it happened to someone whom you personally care about. Perhaps she knows that people at her high school don’t care about the girl who was gang-raped. We can’t tell from this report.

    I know what you’re saying but I think 17 or 18 year-old senior class presidents making a statement to the media should be given a break. The administrators should be held accountable for their silly statements. But surely you know Administratium is the densest element of all.

    “Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

    Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places.”

    The various levels of neutrons are “held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.”

    More at

    There are other definitions online but you get the gist of it.

  23. tinfoil hattie says:

    Well, unless there were two of them, the sniper crime spree was here in DC. And it was scary as hell, but – for me, I was used to feeling afraid.

    You forgot to mention she left the dance ALONE at 9:30! How can you forget that piece of blame? My God, she should have … um … done something ELSE!

    I also love this:

    ” … the girl was repeatedly assaulted. The victim, a student, remained hospitalized Monday with injuries that were not life-threatening.

    Right. Her life as she knows it is over; it will take her years to recover from this (if indeed she can ever fully “recover”), but her injuries are not life threatening.

    Seems misogyny has a different definition of “life-threatening.”

  24. bygones says:

    I wonder if the “fundies” would agree that even if this atrocity would find this poor girl pregnant that they would insist on her carrying it to term since this is basically “the will of God” to go forth and bear a child since abortion is a “sin”.

    Women are continually victimized while fools stand back and accuse her of “asking for it”. Whoever made that claim should be hung by his private parts for a good long time.

  25. Miranda says:

    If she had got drunk and climbed into the lions enclosure at the zoo

    If that’s the comparison, let’s start rounding up and caging males. They are obviously too dangerous and incapable of not harming others to be allowed to roam free.

  26. gxm17 says:

    Exactly, Miranda! I had commented earlier (in moderation) that what Lee Moore fails to realize is that women don’t need to climb into the lion’s den. We live in the lion’s den.

    Women are told that, as potential victims, we must limit our actions in order to be safe, but why isn’t it the other way around? Why aren’t men, as potential rapists, forced to live in confinement?

  27. RKMK says:

    If that’s the comparison, let’s start rounding up and caging males. They are obviously too dangerous and incapable of not harming others to be allowed to roam free.

    See, you joke, but I actually think that would improve life significantly.

    Now, please excuse me while I go hurl. (Bricks, not vomit.)

  28. yttik says:

    Actually if she had gotten drunk and fallen in the lions cage, the lions would have been exterminated and she would have been able to not only sue the zoo, but also whoever served her the alcohol in the first place.

  29. Nadai says:

    If she had got drunk and climbed into the lions enclosure at the zoo, and then been mauled, we would say that she had “brought it on herself” – though that wouldn’t, I hope, diminish our sympathy for her.

    So basically, men are in their very nature dangerous predators. Tell me, Lee, why then shouldn’t we save out a handful of boys at birth, raise those ones in a contained environment, extract sperm from them as necessary to keep the species going, and kill all the rest of the males?

    We don’t let lions roam around loose mauling people who are doing nothing more than getting drunk. We cage them, control them, shoot them if they get loose. Note the wording – we cage them. We don’t cage people.

    You talk about this girl climbing into the lions’ enclosure. That presupposes that the public streets/parks belong to the lions. That that’s their territory and she’s just a stupid bitch for wandering into it. What I think is, if we’ve got so damn many lions that they’ve taken over the public spaces, it’s time for a culling.

  30. Miranda says:

    See, you joke, but I actually think that would improve life significantly.

    I’m not even joking all that much. The situations that everyone says females should know better than to venture into are male-dominated. There is a deep-seated belief that males are dangerous. This belief is never plainly articulated except by humorless feminists, but it’s obviously society-wide.

    You have a group that is regarded as dangerous the world over, but that group is tolerated and placated instead of being confined and managed.

  31. Larkspur says:

    This is horrible.

    There’s going to be a lot of talk about better lighting and more security, and yes, even more (and probably somewhat useful) discussion about ways in which girls and women can maximize their chances of getting home safe.

    But what I want to see is talk about all the discussions we’re going to have with boys. All boys. Because I know there are plenty of boys out there whose first thought is not “Can I get some if I won’t get caught?” but more like “OMG, this is awful, I have to help her”.

    Part of the discussion is going to involve how teenage brains aren’t done growing yet (and so our job in teaching them and keep track of the development of their consciences isn’t over by a long shot). But a lot of it has to be about boys talking to each other and telling the truth, and boys learning that they must speak up when the bad shit is going down, whether it’s a lone girl being victimized by a gang, or some really mean, nasty shit being talked about in the locker room. Boys and men have to learn that it is possible for them to say, “Shut up, dude. That shit isn’t funny” or “What the hell do you think you’re doing? This is not gonna happen.” And not only that it is possible, but that it is morally required of them if they are going to turn into honorable men.

    And also: all kids need to know that this stuff matters, that life is not a YouTube clip, and that scenes like this are weird and disorienting and that they may feel like they’re freezing up, but that they have to act anyway. They have to dial 911. At the very minimum. Then they have to tell the truth. They have to bear witness.

    I’m willing to do my part, but I am an older spinster lady with no children. I’m drawn more to helping this victimized young girl heal and get some power back. So men, you’ve got work to do.

  32. madaha says:

    yet another hate crime against women/girls that will never be called such.

    She thought she was with friends! Part of the problem is that she’s blamed if alone, then blamed if in male company, when the solution to the alone problem is to find a man to “take care of you” – which presumably she thought she had.

    So no matter what, she’s blamed. Whereas the rapists? meh…who cares?

    2 words:


  33. Michele Braa-Heidner says:

    To Lee:

    “That does not mean that we should excuse groups of young men when they behave like wild animals”

    Let’s not compare the violent behaviors of boys/men to animals. Animals do not rape and beat the female of their species. Rape in the wild remains an oddity, rarely observed. Why is this the case? Because intersex mayhem would be too costly and dangerous to maintain and would ultimately lead to the destruction or extinction of the species. So the good news is: Since the male human is not going to wake up and realize that this violent behavior is detrimental to our species survival, natural selection will and I believe has intervened on our behalf. Shhhh it’s a secret, let me whisper in your ear “E.S.T.R.O.G.E.N.– It’s in the water.”

    Until then, I will join Violet in the utility closet.

  34. slythwolf says:

    We don’t let lions roam around loose

    Well, we do, actually. They do so in their natural habitats in Africa. And in America we have pumas and grizzly bears and shit like that. And we do pen people up: we call them houses and apartment complexes and cities.

    What we don’t do: tell people that lions are just doing what lions do when they attack people and then also tell those people, you have to marry one, you have to let them into your living room, you have to sit down to lunch with lions and be polite on the bus and if a lion tells you to smile, bitch, you smile. Live side-by-side with lions and be on your guard because the lion will do what lions do and when he does it will be your fault.

    Also, lions attack for one of two reasons: they are either hungry or they feel threatened. Every creature needs food, and predators have an instinct to protect their territory–again because of food, because if you don’t have enough territory you don’t have access to enough herds of prey.

    Men do not need sex. They have no life-and-death reason to protect “their” territory. When they rape, it’s not because it’s just what men do. It’s because they’re rapists.

  35. Val says:

    Excellent points Slythwolf!
    I have nothing of substance to contribute except my profound empathy for this child, but I won’t hide in the utility closet – I’ll stalk around ominously, clicking the blades of my emasculatome…

  36. Sameol says:

    “putting yourself in a position that significantly increases your chances of getting raped”

    Most women are raped by someone they know. The best way to minimize your chances of being raped is to not be female. The second best way would be to somehow avoid having fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, neighbors, teachers, friends, acquaintances, husbands, boyfriends, bosses, co-workers, etc. You find a way to make that feasible, speak up.

  37. Nessum says:

    My early(er) comment seems to be stuck in permanent moderation.

    Just wanted to say I feel so, so sorry for this young woman, whose youth (and life?) has been wrecked by this horrible deed.

    I’m with Larkspur in wanting to concentrate on helping the young woman and hope she gets all the help available. But somehow I doubt it.

    And what’s with the

    “What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?”

    Aren’t we supposed to care for and feel empathy with others unless we’re related? And preferably like them too?

  38. Violet says:

    Folks, sorry about the delay in modding. I’ve been in the utility closet all day.

    As for this:

    Dr. Socks, I can’t criticize what Ms. Saechao said here…

    I know what you’re saying but I think 17 or 18 year-old senior class presidents making a statement to the media should be given a break.

    Well, no, I guess you didn’t understand what I was saying. I wasn’t criticizing Ms. Saechao for trying to evoke empathy for the victim as a human being. I was asking people to think about why that’s even necessary.

  39. Ciccina says:

    I hope an angry mob marches on that school and tears it to the fucking ground. They should tear it down to the ground. Somebody needs to send an unequivocal message that what took place was an atrocity, an outrage, an event that cannot be reconciled with ordinary living, a failure of human society for which everyone must atone.

    I can’t even think about this.


    On a far, far less significant point – its wrong to say that men aren’t blamed for their own rapes. My former neighbors raped, tortured, and murdered a straight man inside their home. They’ve never been charged with those crimes are still walking around free. Not only would not believe the number of people – men and women – I’ve heard say “it was probably just consensual sex that got out of hand” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary; there are plenty of men who are still friends with them, party with them, defend them despite what they did.

    In a more general sense, belittling jokes about male prison rape are ubiquitous in our culture, and wishing out loud for a man to be raped in prison is commonplace. And next to no one wants to help victims of prison rape, or even talk seriously about the problem.

    [This is NOT to say that men have it as bad as women, etc.]

  40. Ciccina says:

    Really, something has to happen. Isn’t there – or shouldn’t there – be an internet version of a demonstration? Is there something that we can organize online that will capture the unequivocal attention of those school officials, the faculty, the students, and the parents?

    I should clarify that I don’t think all the students, etc are responsible. But they are all affected by this. I shudder to think of the conversations that must have happened the next school day, and especially the girls who walk the same route as the young victim. Kids who don’t think it was wrong need a wake-up call, and the kids who know it is wrong need people to back them up.

    I hope a lawyer comes forward to help her (pro bono) sue the living shit out of everyone.

  41. Larkspur says:

    “…Just wanted to say I feel so, so sorry for this young woman, whose youth (and life?) has been wrecked by this horrible deed….”

    I know how you feel, nessum. But let’s not forget the good news: she lived through it. She lived through it. Yes, it’s life-altering. She may not get over it, but she can get through it, and she can live her life. Elizabeth Smart, among others, can let her know that with impeccable authority.

    I’m coming up short on much sympathy for the poor misguided perpetrators (/sarcasm). But there’s collateral damage, too, like the people who heard that something was going on but they didn’t want to find out any more. Or the friends the girl went with who, for whatever reason, didn’t leave with her. Or her father, who was supposed to be picking her up, but maybe he was late, or maybe they got their meeting arrangements mixed up. Or the kids who were told things after the fact and still have not reported what they heard. Or maybe the ones who told their parents and their parents told them to shut up about it. This is pretty much a community disaster.

  42. cellocat says:

    Is there such a thing as rape awareness taught at an elementary school level and up? How do you start teaching girls about this at a very young age without scaring them so badly it’s ineffective? How do you start teaching young boys about this in a way that is effective? How many mothers see what their sons are capable of? How do we come up with corrective action other then men beating the crap out of other men and boys? I am totally at a loss. It all seems so fucking inevitable. No progress, it isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse….

  43. Northwest rain says:

    While looking for a blog about “responsibility for rape belongs to the rapist” — I came across these articles. And was reminded how rape is used as a weapon during war. Also, there is a recent published “study” with link that will add fuel to the stupids fire.

    Men in groups: collective responsibility for rape. (Special Issue: Feminism and Peace)
    | March 22, 1994 | May, Larry; Strikwerda, Robert

    War crimes are collective acts taken against humanity; whereas rape has almost always been viewed as a despicable “private” act. In this paper we wish to challenge the view that rape is the responsibility only of the rapists by challenging the notion that rape is best understood as an individual, private act. This is a paper about the relationship between the shared experiences of men in groups, especially experiences that make rape more likely in western culture, and the shared responsibility of men for the prevalence of rape in that culture. The claim of the paper is that in some societies men are collectively responsible for rape in that most if not all men contribute in various ways to the prevalence of rape, and as a result these men should share in responsibility for rape.



    The story of sexual assault in our culture is not just about rape. Rapists are not born, they are made, And remade. And the culture which makes “them” also makes “us”. The question of why (some) men rape is thus connected to the question of why sexual violence is tolerated. This connection exists at a double intersection: between attitudes and actions, between violence and notions of masculinity. We are all connected to these intersections because this is where we have grown up as men.

    Men have the power collectively to end rape. Unfortunately, so far, this male collectively appears to be composed mainly of men who rape, men who hold attitudes similar to rapists, and men who undoubtedly do care in our own personal lives yet remain quiet in the community where rape takes place.


    Alcohol doesn’t rape women – rapists do

    This opinion essay was in response to a “study”

    Date-rape drink spiking ‘an urban legend’

    This “study” is probably an example of experimenter (researcher) bias.


    I didn’t find the blog I was looking for — but I now have several pages of links and notes — enough to write an academic paper — if I had any interest in that B.S. anymore.

  44. Morgan Elizabeth says:

    This is heartbreaking.

  45. Violet says:

    For those of you wondering about the place where this happened, I started searching on Google. The first thing I found was another current news item from Richmond: police are looking for a group of boys/young men who set a dog on fire.

    Yes. Set a dog on fire.

    I think I may be about to trigger myself into a month-long fugue state here.

  46. Grace says:

    Perhaps the best comparison to pwople’s reactions toward rape in the form of the victim “brought it upon herself,” is the case of of a racially motivated hate crime. Nobody would ever say that a 15 y/o black young man brought it on himself after being attacked and hit with a baseball bat by a mob in a predominantly white neighborhood.

    There would be an uproar, police, criminal charges, lawsuits to the city, etc. This happens because sexism and attacks against women in a patriarchal society as ours are seen as part of life, just “natural” and “normal” events. And women simply have to learn how to protect themselves, the same way that black people were told to do 50 years ago.

    I bet that at that time “wise” people also said things like “racism is part of life” and that “colored people” needed to stay at home in the closet after dark.

  47. slythwolf says:

    Nobody would ever say that a 15 y/o black young man brought it on himself after being attacked and hit with a baseball bat by a mob in a predominantly white neighborhood.

    Oh, bullshit. Lots of people would say it. He should have known better than to come into “our” neighborhood, etc.

  48. Aspen says:

    Onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in Saturday night during the two-hour gang rape of a semiconscious 15-year-old outside her homecoming dance at Richmond High, police said Monday.

    Sexxay Times and Rape are indistinguishable to these “people”. And why shouldn’t they be. I seem to remember seeing a Spring Break documentary on TV a while back, wherein gang rape-fests were portrayed as pretty much good ole fashioned fun. Any feminist points this out, SHE is the one who is told she equates all sex to rape. Not the rapists and rape apologists who normalize drunk gangbanging predator males as “boyz will be boyz”.

  49. yttik says:

    I just watched part of one of those drunken frat boy comedies on TV. In a few minutes there must have been a dozen criminal acts against women portrayed as humor, as boys will be boys, as fun and games.

  50. Violet says:

    A hint of resignation tinges Margarita Vargas’ voice when she talks about the people who gang raped a 15-year-old girl at Richmond High School on Saturday.

    “They think it’s cool,” said Vargas, who called police to report the ongoing assault. “They weren’t raised to respect girls.”

  51. RKMK says:

    Bless Margarita Vargas. Bless her.

  52. Grace says:

    Hey, Slythwolf:

    It’s perfectly OK to disagree with my point of view, but that doesn’t mean that what I said is “bullshit,” any more than what you said may be.


  53. Nessum says:

    One more thing this young woman will have to live with, that can be as much of a burden as the actual crime, which many torture victims have testified to, is the feeling that no one cares!

    She’ll know that there were unlookers who did nothing to stop the perpetrators!

    That’s why it is so important for a victim to be able to talk, and talk, and talk about what happened. Having someone listen, show empathy, and care.

  54. slythwolf says:

    It’s perfectly OK to disagree with my point of view, but that doesn’t mean that what I said is “bullshit,” any more than what you said may be.

    My point of view is that what you said was bullshit. It’s fine if you disagree with me.

  55. anna says:

    4 arrests have now been made:

  56. anna says:

    5 arrests have been made:

  57. m Andrea says:

    Oh, bullshit. Lots of people would say it. He should have known better than to come into “our” neighborhood, etc.

    That is a good point, some people would say that. But would other people defend the “logic” underlying that sentiment? And of course, “other people do it too” is an avoidance technique which is always used to distract from deeper issues. It’s not an actual reason, it’s simply another victim-blaming excuse masquerading as genuine concern. As long as we’re supposed to focus on the victim and why she caused her own gang rape, then we don’t have to focus on the perpetrators or ask tougher questions regarding the larger system.

    Apparently you do not know the meaning of the word “bullshit”. Perhaps “hypocrisy” wouldn’t ring any bells, either.

    A seperate point is that we can’t even say the media is blowing all these gang rapes out of purportion and as a result of that hype we’ve become overly-sensitive and hysterical. We can’t say that because the media is performing the absolute minimum in regards to reporting such horrific crimes. There’s like one a week a now, and that’s assuming the victim is up to running the second gauntlet and notifies the police.

    These men and boys are acting like dogs bonding over a bloody chicken hunt, and I don’t care what the next excuse is. If they’re human then why can’t they act like it without assistance? The question “what if it was your sister, mother, or your daughter” only makes sense if it’s directed at males. But why do they have to have to be prodded into caring? Without outside intervention, they will excuse and justify gang raping females. I’m sorry, that doesn’t fit my definition of human.

  58. m Andrea says:

    And when a person of color gets beaten to a blood pulp because he ventured into “the wrong neighborhood” nobody says, “the important thing to focus our attention is the fact that he’s alive”.

    Notice where our attention is not supposed to be.

  59. Hedgepig says:

    My impression is that no self-identified liberal person would blame a person of colour for being attacked by white people. Of course there are large sections of the population that haven’t progressed in their attitudes and still would blame the victim.
    In cases of rape, however, even many self-identified liberals seem unable to truly blame the perpetrators, rather than looking for ways she “brought it on herself”.

  60. Aspen says:

    To anyone who cares: I’m asking you to think about your language when you say “people/person of color” and then use “he” as the pronoun. Half of people of color are not “he”. The girl who was raped here may have been a person of color, for all we know. But the context of some of these people of color comparisons make it seem like “women” and “people of color” are mutually exclusive groups. Listen to how that sounds.
    And please don’t think I’m trying to one-up anyone or twist what you say. I am quite sincere and do not mean this as a personal attack on anyone.

  61. Nell says:

    Anybody think that the perpetrators of this crime will be charged under the federal hate crimes law newly expanded (signed today by Obama) to include crimes motivated by gender? Nah? Me either.

    It’s no coincidence that the law is named the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Law,” after a gay and African American man respectively.

  62. madamab says:

    Yes, we are supposed to feel empathy with fellow humans.

    The problem is, women are sub-human in America. Why else is there such a cover-up of the massive amount of unpunished violence against women in our culture? Why else was the sexism against Hillary Clinton, then Sarah Palin, so easily denied in 2008? How else could anyone think a woman is asking to be ripped apart from the inside simply by getting drunk?

    Personally, I believe that this sorry, horrid state of affairs will continue until the ERA is ratified and women are constitutionally protected from sexual discrimination. Until then, we are “three quarters of a person.”

    Nell, I think that law will soon be used to prosecute against gender-based hate crimes. There are a lot of women attorneys out there, you know.


  63. Mec says:

    Wow, a lot of news stories on this today. I’m happy for the coverage. The more people who watch, the better. It’s more coverage and police action and community support than the last rape victim in Richmond got.

    And if this ends with some rapists going to prison for a long time, then maybe some of next year’s drunk teenage boys will act differently and avoid that outcome. Indeed, all this news coverage might induce the school district to put up more lights, too.

    So thanks to Dr. Socks for posting the story and adding a bit of blogospheric attention.

    And the world is not a beautiful movie with gift-wrapped justice. In 2008, Richmond reported 27 homicides, 37 rapes, 504 assaults, and 522 robberies. Plus 3717 property crimes. Plus some Internal Affairs investigations. They have 163 sworn officers to handle all that. A lot of cases will go cold. Even if this one ends in convictions and prison terms, the victim’s outcome will be: “multiple rape survivor with some of the rapists in prison”, which is still a horrible outcome for her.

    However, I believe in Gandhi: “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

  64. Grace says:


    I agree that women and people of color aren’t mutually exclusive groups. In my comment (# 46) about guessing that people wouldn’t blame a racial hate crime victim, I purposely chose it to be a “he” because again, if it had been a woman of color being attacked, I believe that her gender would supersede her race, and therefore she would be blamed because she is a woman, regardless of her skin color. Hope it’s clear.

  65. Why isn’t the Richmond gang rape being treated as a hate crime? | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] the Richmond case provides an unusually clear-cut example of how violence against women, just because they’re [...]

  66. Tammy says:

    Re: 4 year olds guilty of seduction
    It happened more recently than 100 years ago. I was raped by my grandfather when I was 4 years old. When asked to prosecute, my grandmother referred to me as ‘that blonde bitch who stole my husband’.

  67. Kiuku says:

    If they wear bullet proof vests, shoot them in the head.

  68. Gang rape as entertainment | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] stories about the Richmond gang rape are starting to piss me off. “How could it have happened?” people say. “What [...]