Student dress codes are a controversial topic, but there is no justification at all for blaming a rape victim for the way she was dressed. While arguing in favor of a dress code for Florida students, Republican State Representative Kathleen Passidomo referenced the 11-year-old Cleveland, Texas, girl who was gang raped by 18 men in November and whose ordeal was recently reported in The New York Times. Passidomo said:
“There was an article about an 11-year-old girl who was gang raped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute. And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students.”
Oh. Hell. No. Keep reading »
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for The New York Times defended the article to Yahoo.com’s Cutline blog yesterday and the paper also published a critical letter to the editor online.
A tragic gang rape story out of Cleveland, Texas, has been made all the more worse by a New York Times article that tells us the 11-year-old victim hung out with teenaged boys, wore makeup, and “dressed older.” So many journalistic aspects of this New York Times article, written by James C. McKinnley, Jr., are so badly handled with regards to sensitivity towards sexual assault victims that it makes me want to haul their entire editorial team in for an educational session on rape myths. Keep reading »
Earlier this week we were upset to hear an 18-year-old woman at Hofstra University on Long Island had allegedly been gang-raped by five men in a dorm bathroom. Each day, we read increasingly troubling newspaper reports describing how the student had gone back to a dorm room with one of the alleged rapists who took her phone at a frat party. There, she said, five men took her to a stall in the men’s bathroom, tied her up with rope and gang-raped her.
But guess what? Apparently, it’s not true. Today the District Attorney for Nassau County on Long Island reported that the accuser, whom she called “very troubled,” told police the sex was consensual. When the young woman was told the incident may have been caught on video tape, she admitted she’d lied. Keep reading »