Two years ago, an eleven-year-old girl was gang-raped in Texas. The twenty—yes, twenty—men and boys who raped her ranged from middle-school-age to twenty-eight years old. Now, the lawyer for one of the rapists is likening the girl to a “spider” drawing “flies” into “her web.”
You, if you are a sane, empathetic, reasonable human being, are probably wondering, “Wow, how could an adult look at the gang rape of an eleven-year-old girl and blame her for a horrible, violent encounter that will probably haunt her for the rest of her life?” You’re probably wondering how an eleven-year-old—just out of the fifth grade—could be held responsible for “seducing” twenty people into sexually assaulting her. You’re probably wondering if the lawyer ever had a daughter, or a sister, or even a mother. If you’re sane, you’re probably wondering why female victims of sexual assault are so often dissected, dehumanized and blamed for something that happens to 1 of every 6 women in the United States.
The answer is misogyny. Only a culture that harbors a deep-seated hatred for women and girls would look at this scenario and blame an eleven-year-old child for what happened to her, for what her society allowed to happen to her. The fact that some would look at this scenario and rather lay down the tired old mantel of “whore” than look honestly at what is happening to women in this country and in the world makes me tired.
Our culture hates women so much and is so uneasy about confronting the problem of rape that even eleven-year-old children are not exempt from being ostracized for the violence they have had to endure. Get me out of here. It might be time to start building my spaceship.