Thursday, February 17, 2011

The blame game

A reporter in Egypt was sexually assaulted the other day. It is a truly sad story and my heart goes out to her and her family as they try to recover.

But apparently, a number of people have seen this awful crime as a chance trot out their neanderthal views on rape, race, religion and believe it or not, hair color.

One quote: "In a rush of frenzied excitement, some Egyptian protesters apparently consummated their newfound independence by sexually assaulting the blonde reporter."

Another: "How fitting that she was "liberated" by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the "liberation."

And another: "So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows."

The worst part of it all is that I'm not surprised.

Our country has made progress in many areas throughout it's history, but our views on rape seem to resist the forces of evolution.

There's always a rush to blame the victim. In the demented world of some people, any quality a woman possesses is an open invitation to be attacked. She's too hot. She's too ugly. She's too prudish. She's too promiscuous. She's too dumb. She's too smart. She's white. She's black. She's skinny. She's fat.

No, douchebags, she's a human being who just went through a horrific experience. How about digging deep into that black pit you call a soul and dragging out a little compassion?

And how about focusing on the criminal? How about blaming him (or them) for being a sadistic fuck who takes pleasure in robbing women of their dignity? Why do we still insist on making excuses for rapists, assuming they must have been pushed to some sort of limit that left them no choice but to attack an innocent woman?

Between the response to the incident in Egypt and the push to redefine rape here in the US, it seems we're actually walking backwards on this issue.

So I'll try to lay it out simply for those who are a bit slow on the uptake.

Any time a woman gets raped, it is a terrible, criminal act. All blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the attacker. The victim should receive only our compassion.

That's it. Not too complicated, huh? It's so simple, even a neanderthal can do it.

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