Monday, April 28, 2014

Let's play the Rape Culture Game!

Rape culture:  a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape.  Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape.

These comments appeared after the article about Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Cristiano Oliveira's arrest for raping his underage student over 100 times over a period of two years.  My comments appear after theirs.

[in game show announcer voice:]

If anyone doubts that rape culture is a real phenomenon, please read on!  Ask yourself whether these comments are Victim Blaming, Trivialization, Sexual Objectification, or None of the Above.  Award a Triple Crown to comments that are all three!  Go!

Why, Jayme?  BECAUSE SHE'S NOT A WOMAN.  SHE WAS A CHILD.  And there was enough evidence to convince a judge to sign the arrest warrant.  Why assume it was just a he-said she-said???  Make me want to scream.....

Sorry, Vince, you don't get to blame the victim and then cover your tail with "what he did was wrong, but"-- what he did was wrong, period, end of sentence.  Last time I checked, sir, you were ignorant and misinformed.  Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and eliminate all doubt.

Yes, Jayme, just because she's under age, she legally can't consent.  She has no fault for what she did.  She didn't make any mistakes.  He was the adult and he committed the rape.

Jim, STFU.

Where did you get any idea of money being involved?  Idiot.

DeeJay, you pathetic little selfie you....

So....when I read those comments by the Yakima community.... I have to bite my tongue to keep from calling worse names and being more rude.  They're ignorant.  They're just classical, typical examples of what we mean by "rape culture" alive and well.

Let's talk about what rape is and is not.

RAPE IS: nonconsensual sexual contact between two people.

CONSENT:  Sex without consent by all parties is considered rape. Children below a certain age, the "age of consent", are deemed not to be able to give valid consent.

WASHINGTON LAW: In Washington state, a 14 or 15 year old can consent to sex with someone no more than 4 years older, i.e. an 18 or 19 year old.  In this case, Oliveira was in his late twenties when he raped her.

It doesn't have to be forcible to be considered rape.   A child is not as responsible as an adult in the eyes of the law, lacking the mental and emotional maturity to do many things adults can, such as voting, serving in the military, being charged as an adult when committing crimes, serving on a jury, and even being eligible for the death penalty. Psychology research confirms that young peoples' brains are still developing and lack the capacity for measured moral reflection and consideration of consequences possessed by [most] adults.

THEREFORE-- all you people who think if she liked it, it wasn't rape?  You're wrong.  Of course it's highly probable that she liked it... he's a good looking guy, with a lot of status and prestige, a jiu jitsu black belt, not to mention the instructor.  I'm sure he had a good schtick, a line, "game" with which to persuade an innocent, easily-manipulated young person that she should let it happen, that she should come back for more, that she shouldn't tell anyone else, that it was "their little secret."  Kinda creepy, right? kinda sounds like the stuff we tell our children not to believe, if it's someone who wants to touch their private place at Boy Scout troop meeting, right?

Rape doesn't require force, a knife to the throat, or a stranger in a dark alley.  Rape can be a skeevy slimey predator adult who cons his way into a teenager's heart and pants.  Quit automatically thinking the worst of the survivor who finally has the courage to come forward.  Think about how it feels to read all these skuzzballs calling you a tramp and a "hoe" (garden implements of the world, unite!)  It takes a lot of courage to speak out especially in a small community like jiu jitsu.  Props to the survivor for being so brave. 

Anyone who thinks rape culture doesn't exist? How do you explain Jayme and DeeJay and Vince and Jim and Benita and Ivan and....


Josh Wentworth said...

The best part about this is that if it were a 14 year old BOY in a 'sexual relationship' with a man absolutely NO ONE would be talking about it being consensual or the boy being manipulative, or any inkling that the boy might be responsible in any way.

Also, the fact that most of these people can barely speak english doesn't surprise me. It goes hand in hand with the preposterous level of ignorance on display in their comments.

Rachel Green said...

Yes, exactly. It's called 'under age' for a very good reason. Thank you. If this was a schoolteacher and a 14 year old girl there would be none of these 'justifications'

SavageKitsune said...

It makes my head- and heart- hurt to see how much stupid there is in this world.

Kate Sherwood said...

I am feeling nauseous. I usually avoid reading comments to articles, but this is really sickening to know.

Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

Ryan said...

Well that was a horribly depressing read. Once again, everyone apparently knows how rape victims are supposed to act and any deviation from that makes it their fault somehow. Even more disturbing is how many of those commenters apparently think 14 year olds are so alluring that the poor guy just couldn't help himself...

Brian Martin said...

Law is the law. She was 14, he was an adult, it's statutory rape, not statutory inappropriateness, statutory RAPE . You can argue points all you want, it's like saying "Why am I being arrested for shooting up heroin? I've done it 100 times, it's my veins and body." Because it's illegal. Damn mouthbreathers.

Pete said...

The level of (willful?) ignorance in those comments may be more horrifying than the crime.