Saturday, March 12, 2011

Roxane Gay On The Rumpus.net Writes "The Careless Language of Sexual Violence"

I was on Twitter last night and tweeted an article from The Rumpus.net named "The Careless Language of Sexual Violence".  Click on the name of the article to go read the article.  Come back here when finished reading. 

Warning:  A rant is coming.  The article may also trigger abuse survivors to anger or rage.  The post is worthy of reading and will educate all of us about how our society views rape and its victims today.

"The Careless Language of Sexual Violence" was written by writer Roxane Gay in response to a New York Times article written by James McKinley, Jr. entitled "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town".

I only read the first part of "The Careless Language of Sexual Violence" before I went to the end of the article and left the following comment:

"I could not read all of your post.  I am so angry that anybody would dare to blame an 11-year-old girl for her own rape.  I don't care what she was wearing or not wearing, she is a child.  Who cares what is going to happen to those boys who raped her.  They probably won't get what they deserve with our court system being what it is.  They should get a life sentence because that is what the 11-year-old just got - a lifetime sentence of feeling betrayed, not trusting, blaming herself, having to deal with what other people think, a lifetime of being afraid, of feeling ashamed because of what was done to her.  How have we failed to teach respect for women in our society?"

A few hours after leaving the above comment, I went back to The Rumpus.net and finished reading the article along with all of the comments by Ms Gay's other readers.  I am glad that I did.  Ms Gay expresses how society has become desensitized to rape and how its victims are affected.  I have been saying for many years that all of the violence that children and adults watch on TV and in movies helps to build up a tolerance for violence.  I personally believe desensitization toward violence is one reason that bullying is so out of control now.  I believe this same process has made society not as sympathetic toward rape victims as they should be.

I thank you Ms Gay for writing this article.   I applause all of the commenters at the end of the article who defend the 11- year-old girl.  An 11-old-girl is a child by anyone's standards.  Please remember that.  A child is never responsible for their own rape.  Neither is a 20-year-old or an 80-year-old woman or man.  Yes, rape does sometimes happen to boys and men.  Rape is not about the victim.  Rape is about the rapest and his/her need to control and humiliate another person.  Rape is not about sex.  Violence and control are why rapes happen.

My next post will be about the original article by the New York Times - "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town."
Patricia 

4 comments:

From Tracie said...

I am so glad that you linked to this article.

I read the original New York Times article which was horrifying and irresponsible.

I'm glad to see that people are continuing to speak out against what was written there.

The "rape culture" is becoming more and more prevalent. Especially among young men. It is sickening, and must not be tolerated.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, thank you. I have a second article coming in a few days about the New York Times article itself. I agree with you that it was horrifying and irresponsible writing. This is something that we can't as a society continue to be silent about. Children need to be raised to respect each other. Both have value and need to be taught that.

shah wharton said...

Bravo - As someone who has experienced rape as a child and an adult I applaud this 'rant' !! ANY conversation whereby the man suggests a survivor bought the assault onto themselves by wearing 'inappropriate' clothing drives me to violence of thought. Would that same commentator forgive me if I physically assaulted him if I used such an excuse for my behaviour? NO! There is no excuse for violence towards any innocent.

Thanks for coming to my blog (wordsinsync.blogspot.com) and please do come back. You're always welcome. Shah .X

Patricia Singleton said...

Shah, thank you so much for your words and your visit. This is the first of several rants on this topic. My second post on this subject comes out tomorrow.