What if you don’t scream? Is it still rape? (And other idiotic comments by school officials)

Rape in California (and everywhere else) is rife. From the Richmond gang rape to the 14-year-old about to be tried for raping a 12-year-old in a middle school stairwell, rape is so ubiquitous it’s to the point where it’s not even news anymore. Horrid.

We live, as so many have documented so well, in a rape culture. (For a great piece on this, see Rape Culture 101 by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville).

Regarding the case at the middle school, the Contra Costa Times ran a story quoting a number of school officials.

One said, “If she was being raped, why didn’t she scream?…Why did these students have to come up and tell us that somebody’s down there?”

This person obviously has not read Rape Culture 101, which teaches that “Rape culture is the pervasive narrative that there is a ‘typical’ way to behave after being raped, instead of the acknowledgment that responses to rape are as varied as its victims…” Or, not everyone is going to scream!

Another school employee in need of a 101 lesson said “I know for a fact that that girl could’ve knocked that guy out with one hand tied behind her back.”

Oh, how my feminist head hurts. The stupidity and arrogance of these commentators! Yet again, they are blaming the female – she should have screamed, she should have hit him.

Will this never change????

In regards to the 14 year old boy, Jessica at Feministing brings attention to the language of rape culture where rape isn’t really rape it’s just “hormones gone wild.”

As reported at by a Bay Area news station and posted by Jessica, the School Site Supervisor said

“They’re calling it a rape when it wasn’t really a rape,” Portola Middle School Site Supervisor Mustapha Cannon told reporters Tuesday morning. “When this is all over with I want to see if I can get a public apology for my principal, who is my friend, and my vice-principal, who is my friend who aren’t at work right now. Some kids are not as popular as other kids. You have a girl that’s not as popular as some of the girls. You have a guy who is not as popular with some of the guys and the girls. It was hormones gone wild.”

Seems like people are all too ready to jump on the Whoopee Goldberg bandwagon when rape is not really rape but “rape rape.” Truly stomach turning.

And the fact the Shitty-ass Supervisor frames the “it wasn’t really rape” claim around issues of popularity??? Holy fuck, where do they find these people that run our schools???

In all of these comments from school employees and in many of the news reports, the tone indicates that this is a false accusation – you know, like that 12-year-old really wanted it and know she is crying rape because she is having second thoughts. This false accusation narrative that spreads through the media is a virus that refuses to die. As McEwan notes, false rape reports are LESS COMMON that false reports of auto theft – or about 1.6% of reports. Yes, people, MORE people report false auto theft reports than false rape ones and yet how often do you hear about those in the news?!?!? Instead, the MSM leads us to believe 99% of rape reports are false – ya know, cuz women can’t be trusted. And they ask for it. And sometimes they drink. And they wear tight clothes. And they have multiple partners. And, well, they have vaginas. That right there is asking for it.*

*yes, men get raped too, but the media does not frame them in the same way as it frames females

(For good book-long takes on these issues see Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape or the more recent Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape)

7 thoughts on “What if you don’t scream? Is it still rape? (And other idiotic comments by school officials)”

    1. Rachel,
      There are some good people running schools — but, sadly, too many are sexist, racist, classist, homophobic — in short, they have absorbed the hateful messages of our culture and then pass them on to the kids in their schools, both implicitly and explicitly…

    1. Wow, big questions…
      There are so many things we need to do to change rape culture. To protect your children, teach them about consent, help them to dissect negative media images, make them aware of how often they are being bombarded with negative messages about gender/sexuality and help them to formulate better ones. Ask and answer questions, talk about sex/sexuality often and without shame…
      To change the culture, speak out, write out, act out. Refuse to accept the message that violence is sexy, that females are objects, that men can’t help themselves… Vote for laws/leaders that promote reproductive justice and comprehensive sex ed… Make others aware of the rape myths that infect our culture…. Help/volunteer/donate to rape crisis centers…
      Read Jackson Katz, Michael Kimmel, join Men Can Stop Rape…

      1. Thanks for leading readers to this book. Yes Means Yes is another good option, as is Melissa McEwan’s writing on rape culture. And, of course, the classic by Susan Brownmiller.

  1. “yes, men get raped too, but the media does not frame them in the same way as it frames females.”

    No, it doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t frame them at all. I wonder if that’s worse or better…

    But oh my GOD the sources you turned up make for depressing reading. How can people be so bloody stupid, cruel and blinkered?

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