Friday, May 26, 2006

Women's Duke Lacrosse Team - Why Not Wear a Bracelet That Says: Justice for All?

At Feministing: More. Duke. Crap. Samhita opposes the decision by the women's Duke lacrosse team to wear bracelets that say innocent in a game against Northwestern.

The team members could have avoided having their decision attacked if they'd chosen a different slogan such as Justice for All. Isn't that what we are all supposed to want? It doesn't bash anybody and doesn't label any innocent person as a liar.

In the comments Hujo wrote: Stop scapegoating on the patriarch trip and just take control of your own life!

Keeping control of our own lives is what those opposed to rape and gender violence are working towards. But following Hujo's order would make rape victims feel they are the only one's responsible for their rape.

Been there, done that. Eventually realized that it was my rapist who refused to take personal responsibility and who used me as a scapegoat for his actions.

Ain't it funny how those who insist the loudest that others must take personal responsibility are usually trying to dodge responsibility for their actions or their words or their failure to act?

The same people who keep saying "real" rape is horrific seem puzzled that anyone would be angry toward those who rape and those who say the rights of accused rapists should trump the rights of alleged rape victims. They refuse to understand why any sensible person would be angry when alleged rape victims are vilified while alleged rapists are placed on a pedestal?

As for why shows of solidarity in support of accused rapists is problematic, see my earlier post:
Peer pressure led rape victim to drop charges, Tecumseh police say

The intent may be to see that there is justice for all, but the reality is that these shows of solidarity perpetuate environments that are hostile to rape victims and which lead to victims refusing to cooperate with law enforcement. Then if those rape victims are raped again, they are called proven liars by the same type of people who treated them horribly the first time.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:59 AM   6 comments links to this post


At May 26, 2006 4:26 PM, Blogger Professor Kim said...

I continue to be amazed at the baldness with which the defenders of the accused players seem to be doing everything possible to impugn the alleged victim and the prosecutor, while engaging in a campaign of selective leaks and cheerleading. This latest move looks like a nother cog in the PR spin machine that is going full throttle. I'm working on a post about this vast PR machine for Professor Kim's News Notes and BlogHer.

At May 26, 2006 8:23 PM, Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

I have posted about this case a lot, much to the dismay of the people that have been reading my blog for a year as it is really merely a personal blog gone crazy, but
I saw this yesterday and I think my jaw dropped three inches.

Honestly to be able to wear armbands and proclaim these guys innocent prior to a court of law doing so is a outright slap in the face to rape victims and women everywhere.

I personally think that even regardless of their guilt or innocence to wear armbands in support of a bunch of miscreants who hire exotic dancers under fake names and sit around and drink while getting their jollies just seems so totally wrong that I can’t even begin to get into how I feel about it.

At May 27, 2006 1:19 AM, Blogger Raging Moderate said...


I tried to reply to your post to me on Alas, but I think I've been banned (after only one comment - must be a record).

I realized in hindsight that the paragraph that you took me to task for went too far. I tried to get too cute. But what did you think of the rest of it?

"People Who Took to the Street Carrying Placards Saying “Guilty, Guilty, Guilty” - Why not carry a sign saying “Justice For All”?

The protestors could have avoided having their decision attacked if they’d chosen a different slogan such as Justice for All. Isn’t that what we are all supposed to want? It doesn’t bash anybody and doesn’t label any innocent person as a rapist."

Also, if you'd indulge me another question, a woman on feministing said that if her husband was accused of rape, she would assume it was true and not support him. I asked if any other women shared that opinion regarding their own husbands / boyfriends, but no one answered. Do you (or any of your female readers) share this view?

At May 27, 2006 9:00 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Raging moderate,

Thank you for apologizing for stepping over the line.

I think those who took to the street in Durham were reacting in anger and the fear that this case, like so many others, wouldn't be taken seriously. Since I don't know how many of them were rape victims, I can't judge them just as I can't judge you for stepping over the line.

To me this issue is too important to let our opinions of protesters or ranters (who take positions we don't like) trump the need for justice.

The women's lacrosse team had no such triggers and also had time to think through all the side effects of their message.

To address your question about supporting a husband accused of rape -- by the police -- think about your opinion of women who stand loyally by monsters because they are in love. Did you admire them? Or did you consider them stupid?

And what if the man molested the woman's children and she choose to believe him over her own children? Is she a good wife or a bad mother?

What these women were saying is that they wouldn't deny evidence of a serious crime.

The fault for this lack of absolute faith lies with all those men who kept up the facade of being a good man while committing rape or worse.

Men who would never rape suffer in various ways because of the actions of men who do rape and get away with it.

At May 27, 2006 10:19 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

For anyone who wants the context of Raging moderate's comment, go to this same post on Alas, a blog where I am guest posting this month.

At June 21, 2006 2:07 PM, Anonymous hujo said...

Actualy my comment was made in regards to the number of male rapists vs good non criminal men; not that rape victims should blame themselfs; rather feminists should stop blaming all men for rape.

In context is your friend.


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