I know we all feel bludgeoned by the rape talk this week after Todd Akin got stupid on tv and then the GOP platform committee approved an abortion plank supporting a Constitutional amendment banning all abortion, no exceptions. Which, by the way is stomach-churning in it’s horror. However, I wrote a piece for The Broad Side about the nature of the debate about “legitimacy” of sexual assault because I can’t get over the idea that in 2012 there are still people who would qualify rape. Here’s a bit of my thinking:
We all remember the recent case of Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who has been convicted on 45 counts of sexual assault and is awaiting sentencing. The charges against him were all from young men who had been associated with Sandusky through his charity program for at-risk youth. The case was breathtakingly horrible. So many young boys raped by this man. So many lost opportunities for the people around him to stop him. So many questions about how and why such a thing happened inside such a venerable institution.
So few attempts to blame the victims. So little discussion of the “legitimacy” of the rapes.
No one asked what the boys were wearing around Jerry Sandusky. No one asked why they agreed to be alone with him. No one asked why they were naked near him in locker rooms. No one suggested that his familiarity to them was a disqualifying factor in their assault claims. No one brought up their sexual pasts. No one questioned their motives. In short, no one treated the boys they way female rape victims are treated.
You can read the whole post over at The Broad Side.