You will not shame me.

I have gotten email upon threatening email to rescind what I said last year about the Duke Women’s Lacrosse Team and their uninformed support for the accused rapists in the Duke rape case. The case that was mishandled, manipulated and finally dropped on Wednesday.
I usually ignore emails that intend to *put me in my place* but I think we owe it to our supportive readers to say something outside of “black strippers are lying whores” and the “we won” mentality that seems to have overtaken the public imagination with the dreaded interplay of rape and race.
I just want to say first and foremost, I still stand by what I say and have said. It does look bad for people to support accused rapists, at that point we didn’t know the facts either way. Furthermore, women of color are in fact OFTEN sexually assaulted and usually the criminal justice system and/or the media either overlook it or mishandle it. Women of color often have a higher burden of proof that they are not lying about rape. Case in point (as Amanda and others stated ): when the lack of DNA evidence was announced — before we even knew whether the players were innocent or not — people were quite quick to accuse the accuser of being guilty of lying. So be it.
The charges were dropped. Does this mean that they are innocent? None of us actually know what happened that night. Sorry, unless you were there, you don’t know what happened. Now for the rest of you that have such a die hard belief in the criminal justice system and evidence, well quite frankly I pity you. This is a system that arrests a disproportionate number of people of color, subjecting them to unfair trials, inadequate representation and longer sentences (in a prison system that resembles slavery) SORRY, I don’t trust the courts. When you’re a woman of color who’s a sexworker, up against white kids with money that can afford *good* lawyers, the outcome is not looking so good.


They were not found to be innocent, the charges were dropped from lack of evidence. Moreover, innocent until proven guilty only applies to certain people. Ideally, it would apply to everyone but *a lot* of people are guilty at arrest, just for being who they are and where they are. We are not operating in a vacuum, but within a long history of corruption and injustice in the supposed justice system. So, if these guys were in fact falsely accused, they got a taste of how black men are treated EVERY DAY by the criminal justice system.
And what is the outcome of all of this? The general public now believes that black strippers ARE in fact lying whores and the worst thing that could happen to a strapping Duke lacrosse player is that his lily white reputation is marred by false accusations. Beyond this being a terrible precedent set for women that bring up rape accusations (still something underreported) to never ever report rape again, the racist and sexist reaction from the media and public have been to say the least profound.
I have gotten emails reminding me about not only the details of this case (because you know I can’t read), but how the possibility that this black woman lied shows us that blacks, in general, are liars who play the race card. And strippers are also liars who deserve to be raped.
Why do I say all this? Because the details of the ACTUAL case are only tangentially relevant here. What is relevant is that certain folks are very quick to jump on the offensive when there is a little bit of evidence that perhaps a black woman lied about a rape. You know because people NEVER accuse (random) black people of crimes that they did not commit. I mean, seriously.
So what is the moral of the story? That much of the American public does in fact hold very racist and sexist beliefs and when given the opportunity to air these sentiments, goes ahead full force. It is this same culture of racism and objectification of people of color in most sectors of our society that would create a situation where a black woman would potentially lie about a rape (which we don’t know if she did). And the same culture that would allow for the subsequent manipulation of her story for political gain.
So predictable.

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441 Comments

  1. Erin
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Well okay noname, right there you indicate that there was some validity to the points I was making, in which both EJ and Richard were disagreeing with me.
    Nina, do you ever get dizzy on your high horse? I never that there wasn’t a chance this woman was crazy. I did say that your assertion that only a crazy woman would be a stripper and have rough sex ith 5 men in 1 day was totally sexist.
    Again, quit trying to pretend that I’ve said something that I didn’t because it’s actually starting to piss me off.

  2. Erin
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    And here’s the actual post, since you’re either set on lying or just plain fucking crazy, considering how often you misquote me:
    And I’m sorry, but if we can assume based on what we know that these boys are emotionally scarred but that this woman who is working as a stripper and had rough sex with 5 men in a relatively short period of time is A-okay emotional-healthwise and should go to prison, then I think there is much more I would disagree with you on.
    Sigh. It’s days like this that make me want to give up feminism. We fought for years to get people to realize that stripping can be empowering, that rough sex can be fun, and that sex with 5 men in one day doesn’t make you a slut, and yet it’s still used as some sort of mental health indicator when the situation suits us.
    Posted by: EJ | April 13, 2007 06:53 PM”

  3. 16oz
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    “You are the one who wants a single case to prove something. What is it you are so desperate to prove? That women sometime lie?”
    This case does not prove anything about crime, rape, rape accusations, or anything of that nature. It is a single case.
    As Samhita pointed out, it *does* say something about the people who immediately rushed to defend the Duke players by calling the accuser a black whore.
    And I am pointing out it ALSO says something about the feminists who rushed to attack the Duke players beyond what was reasonable, and continue to attack them even to this day.
    The incident itself says nothing but the reaction to it is very revealing.
    Why is it that you are so willing to ask people to examine their reasons for viciously defending the players, yet your bristle when someone asks you to examine your reasons for viciously attacking the players, even long after they have been exonerated?
    Both sides here disgust me. Both are guilty of blaming the victim. Both are guilty of being motivated by prejudice.
    Their lives were not ruined? Kathy Sierra’s life was not ruined but people have no problem expressing a great deal of sympathy for her. (And rightly so) It appears that because the lacrosse players are white men that being merely “inconvenienced” is no big deal, but a similar “inconvenience” to a woman is something incredibly horrible.

  4. pisaquari
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    What a microcosm this thread has become: 352 comments as I write this!
    When was the last time this board garnered so much attention/fervor for one of the rape victims who were completely disregarded by our justice system?? (as this site has posted MANY)
    Samhita might have jumped the guns but goodness knows the results of this thread perpetuate her points.
    Male gets falsely accused of rape and OH MY GOD: I am an activist for rights!
    But the countless number of women/children sexually slaughtered that then go ignored by the justice system?
    …a calm quiet ensues…

  5. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    “”And I’m sorry, but if we can assume based on what we know that these boys are emotionally scarred but that this woman who is working as a stripper and had rough sex with 5 men in a relatively short period of time is A-okay emotional-healthwise and should go to prison, then I think there is much more I would disagree with you on.
    Sigh. It’s days like this that make me want to give up feminism. We fought for years to get people to realize that stripping can be empowering, that rough sex can be fun, and that sex with 5 men in one day doesn’t make you a slut, and yet it’s still used as some sort of mental health indicator when the situation suits us.”
    I’m really surprised EJ, that you think my remark is so much more ridiculous than your own here. Since you apparently led the “right-to-strip” movement, why don’t you get back out there and do some work to improve the workers’ rights of strippers. Or you could read about sex work, and realize that feminists are far from unified on the issue -not because they want to take away women’s rights, but because the fact remains that all kinds of sex work is very difficult and that women who do the work -from porn to stripping, typically don’t do it because they find it empowering. If you read “Female Chauvanist Pigs” they even talk about the role that men who really didn’t care about feminism (Hugh from playboy) had in arguing in the public spotlight that sex work was empowering for women. It’s not a simple issue.
    Now, given that our justice system thinks it’s better “to let 20 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man in prison” I was merely looking at the facts of the woman’s life to say that the /average person working as a sex worker, etc./ has had some effed up things happen in her life and might not be A-okay. I believe on the other hand that you were one of the people saying that YES we knew exactly what the accuser was doing etc. and she deserved to get sent to prison etc. If I am wrong, sorry. There were definitely /some/ people claiming that…

  6. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    that’s was a lovely little e-mail that was just deleted. In case anybody else missed it Samhita just got quite the profane hate-post

  7. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    that’s was a lovely little post that was just deleted. In case anybody else missed it Samhita just got quite the profane hate-post

  8. Samhita
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it is at the bitter end the real gems come out.
    I also found some wack conservative blogging trying to debunk my entire post with illogical arguments and people in the comments are saying things about how I just need a good fuck and how in a just world I would be put in a rape camp.
    And they wonder why we don’t trust the media or the legal system or just about anything.
    These are the same people crying justice for the *innocently accused*. And I am the one with political motives.
    Seriously.

  9. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    And here:
    “I did say that your assertion that /only/ a crazy woman would be a stripper and have rough sex ith 5 men in 1 day was totally sexist.” -EJ (emphasis mine)
    My original quote:
    “And I’m sorry, but if we can assume based on what we know that these boys are emotionally scarred but that this woman who is working as a stripper and had rough sex with 5 men in a relatively short period of time is A-okay emotional-healthwise and should go to prison, then I think there is much more I would disagree with you on.”
    The key word in my quote above is “assume”. So you see, your above quote pretty much misrepresents my quote. There are other places this happened too. But please, I don’t feel like going through and nitpicking everything. I assure you I am not “set on lying or just plain fucking crazy.” At least most people would not see me that way. To me it seems your hate for this woman is largely fueled my your hate for the woman who accused your husband (and hey, I don’t know that situation exactly, but you may). This is a different situation though. Either way, I think everyone is entitled to their own perspective. I still think setting a precedent for sending people who allege rape and have the allegation either dropped or fail in court is a bad, bad, idea.

  10. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    obviously, that should have been *sending people to /prison/ who allege rape and have the allegation either dropped or fail in court

  11. caiis
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    people in the comments are saying things about how I just need a good fuck and how in a just world I would be put in a rape camp.
    wow, Samhita, I’m really sorry people were saying that about you. That is SO hurtful and degrading to all women (especially former sex slaves, like the Japanese so-called ‘comfort women,’ who actually WERE in ‘rape camps.’)
    Some people make the world such a shitty place. :..

  12. Gahrie
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    But the countless number of women/children sexually slaughtered that then go ignored by the justice system?
    …a calm quiet ensues…

    Juanita Broddrick agrees with you……….

  13. noname
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Someone here asked why the accuser would leave the house without her purse. The answer has just been given over at Liestoppers by Jim Cooney. She thought she had her purse. The photo of her smiling while leaving the house with one shoe shows her holding Dave Evans’ shaving kit. When she changed her story again in December, in order to move the timeline up to reconcile the player’s alibi with her story, she claimed that this photo actually showed her arriving at the house. Apparently she managed to arrive at the party after her shoe (pictured in the living room) and with Evans’ shaving bag. LIAR.

  14. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 14, 2007 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Noname, it appears you still think you have something to prove, or you are hankering after some kind of debate about what happened in this case (I’m not even gonna address Gahrie, ‘cuz we’ve been there and over his game). I can’t remember if you are someone thinking we should send this woman to prison, but I think I made myself pretty clear about my thoughts on that one. I think realistically, most of us are burnt way the hell out. I’ll quote myself though:
    “Here’s a theory:
    Maybe part of the reason this case gained so much interest from a lot of people including activists, was not just because it was a rich white man vs. a poor black woman, but also because this was an accusation of gang rape against one of the big-name well-known sports teams in the country. One-on-one rape happens all the time in all kinds of ways, the gang-rape by well known people thing seems sensational no matter what your political platform. Maybe some people were additionally interested in the case because they have witnissed or experienced racial or sexual harassment from people in the frat-boy/jock demographic (and that would be a heck of a lot of women). Which somehow makes the story seem not all that difficult to believe. I mean, heck, there was the one poster here who said her hometown’s football team gang-raped a retarded girl. At the college I attend one of the frat houses was known 10 years ago as “the house that spikes the punch bowl with rufies.” Instead of focusing on how “the feminists” were wrong in their early assumptions about one case, why don’t you go out and work to make cultural change so that so many women won’t feel threatened by these sorts of (usually, not always, priviliged and powerful) men, and therefore would have few reasons to be suspicious of them.
    If there is one thing I would hope people here could agree on, it would be that reducing the number of rape crimes is a good thing, as is properly caring for victims. I volunteer as an advocate for victims and I’m starting a group to teach comprehensive sex ed to middle schoolers. I’m happy to have all of you jump on my bandwagon and get out there to try and reduce these problems in the real world.”

  15. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Ninapendamaishi – A lot of people here are trying to pretend that the case was dropped because Nifong screwed up, or that there simply wasn’t enough evidence to continue, but that the case still has merit. The only way I know of to combat this ignorance is by disseminating the facts and showing the accuser as the liar she is. I may not have anything to prove, but if sharing information on the case can help someone to see that these guys are innocent, particularly someone who is receiving their news from a resource like Feministing which has been anti-player to say the least, then I feel I have to do it.
    BTW, while I can’t speak to the motivations of others, my interest in this case started at the beginning when I, and many others, noticed that something just wasn’t right about it (the defense denying any sexual contact before the DNA came back was my first real clue). This grew to obsession when the DNA came back, and was stoked by each new revelation (there have been many, and they are still coming out).
    Why else am I still interested? Because those same people who were trying to publicize the case in the beginning when it seemed to fit their political agenda are now trying to ignore the facts while still invoking the case to illustrate “larger issues�. Please take a look at Samhita’s first post on the case:
    “As Tiffany points out at Blackfeminism.org, not only is this an example of elitism, race, class, and gender clearly playing out in the rape of a black woman by a group of white men (AND how it is dealt with by authorities), it also highlights the negativity (aggressiveness) of athletic culture, especially on university campuses.
    This story is awful, but these activists are rightfully making some noise. Duke’s failure to respond effectively sets a precedent that this type of aggressive and violent behavior is acceptable.â€? http://feministing.com/archives/002953.html
    So way back then she seemed to think it was important that everyone knew about this case because what she believed happened helped to illustrate her world view. Contrast that to her post here:
    �I am saying that this happens every day to certain people and no one gives a rats ass. It is when some white boys from Duke get it, they are have been savagely beaten by the system and innocently accused by a money hungry woman.
    Like I feared everyone is super harping on the details of the case, where I am making an argument that we don’t know (except ParsonJim who does, even though we don’t know who he is) and the bigger issue isn’t the innocence but what this tells us about larger systemic issues on how we as a society, culture, media and clearly blog talk about these highly racialized moments.
    This “they are innocent”, isn’t about their innocence, unless you are all hardcore prison abolitionists, it is about white people feeling just in their own racism. If they are innocent then what else is true? What are the logical leaps? Take it as you will.â€? - http://feministing.com/archives/006859.html#comment-73500
    So early on she was all for publicizing the case, but now she is annoyed at all of us “super harpingâ€? on the facts. Notice that while she no longer cares about the case itself, she is still happy to use it (unexamined, of course) to illustrate her points. This seems to be her view, then: It was great when activists publicized the case early on with innuendo and outright lies, but when anyone “harps” on the facts today, they are “feeling just in their own racismâ€?. Notice also her comments on the “logical leapsâ€? that follow if they are innocent. What do the logical leaps (whatever they are) have to do with anything? These players’ names were dragged through the mud, and now some of us are interested in sharing their vindication regardless of what logical leaps Samhita infers from it.
    “It is about white people feeling just in there own racism”? Now I’m offended.

  16. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    On a related note, Samhita hammered the women’s’ team for their “uninformed� support of the accused. Why do you think she did that when she had already celebrated Blackfeminism.org’s, and her own, wildly uninformed condemnation of them?

  17. caiis
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    As Ninapendamaishi has said twice now, noname.
    “Here’s a theory:
    Maybe part of the reason this case gained so much interest from a lot of people including activists, was not just because it was a rich white man vs. a poor black woman, but also because this was an accusation of gang rape against one of the big-name well-known sports teams in the country. One-on-one rape happens all the time in all kinds of ways, the gang-rape by well known people thing seems sensational no matter what your political platform. Maybe some people were additionally interested in the case because they have witnissed or experienced racial or sexual harassment from people in the frat-boy/jock demographic (and that would be a heck of a lot of women). Which somehow makes the story seem not all that difficult to believe. I mean, heck, there was the one poster here who said her hometown’s football team gang-raped a retarded girl. At the college I attend one of the frat houses was known 10 years ago as “the house that spikes the punch bowl with rufies.” Instead of focusing on how “the feminists” were wrong in their early assumptions about one case, why don’t you go out and work to make cultural change so that so many women won’t feel threatened by these sorts of (usually, not always, priviliged and powerful) men, and therefore would have few reasons to be suspicious of them.

  18. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Please understand that I don’t want to get involved in a Samhita bashing session here (I tried to avoid even mentioning her in this thread up until my last two posts). I think she seems like a well intentioned person who is trying to make the world a better place. I just think that sometimes her worldview overwhelms how she perceives the real world. I think many other well intentioned people share this tendency and this contributed to the Duke hoax being promoted so long after it was obviously a sham.

  19. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I think people (myself, Samhita, etc.) have already addressed a bunch of these points you’re trying to make. (And do you really think anyone’s early positions on the case would have changed if in the end it turned out the evidence supported that the Duke men had raped the woman? I’m betting, for instance, the female lacrosse players still would have showed support in the way they did early on) I’m done here. You don’t care about addressing the points Samhita /was/ trying to make in this particular thread. You don’t care about addressing the points /I/ was trying to make, especially in some of my most recent posts. We all know that there are a diversity of situations out there, and if you think otherwise it’s childish of you. If larger issues and larger cultural trends aren’t important to you, well then that intrinsically is going to make it hard for you to have a conversation with feminists, who do try to look at the big picture on most things. I like my post right before this one. I’d like to leave it at that.

  20. manda
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Noname, I find it interesting that you are simultaneously offended that the accused were tried in the media and various feminist blogs and attempting to build a case against the accuser based on information found in the media and various men-centered blogs. You have no firsthand knowledge of the evidence, you probably don’t have any knowledge of some of the evidence, and you have no way of knowing the exact reasons the DA’s office made the decisions or used the language it did. You’re really no better than any of the people of whom you are so critical.
    Jill at feministe has what I consider to be one of the best posts on the ordeal – you should check it out.

  21. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Semelee – If you didn’t notice, I already responded to the first part (motivations for following the case). As to the second part: this is not a thread about rape, it is a thread about a hoax and how Samhita is taking some heat for what she said about it, so I really don’t see what this has to do with it. Frankly, I think that by showing this hoax for what it is, I am working “to make cultural change so that so many women won’t feel threatened by these sorts of (usually, not always, privileged and powerful) men.â€?

  22. Andreas Schou
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Frankly, the entire issue of whether there should be a presumption of guilt or innocence in a trial-by-media evades the issue entirely.
    – ACS

  23. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Your right Manda, I do think Jill has good posts on the issue. Here, I’ll make it easy for all the rest of you:
    http://feministe.us/blog/

  24. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Manda – I don’t base my opinions on media reports. There is plenty of evidence not framed by the media out there. If you know where to look, you will find lots of evidence available (PDFs of police reports, interview transcript, court hearing transcripts, photographic evidence, excerpts of medical records, PDFs of witness statements, ect.). If you would like to see some of these I suggest two sources above all others. First, go to the Talk Left forum (run by a liberal lawyer) on the case and look up the case documents thread ( http://forums.talkleft.com/index.php/topic,3.0.html ). Most of the good stuff was supplied by a poster called Inmyhumbleopinion, who is definitely not a supporter of the players. Next, I would suggest you go to the WRAL website. They have a fantastic archive of court hearing video, interviews, and even more case documents. If you want to check out the evidence of this case directly, without it being distorted in media articles and summaries, these two resources will be extremely valuable for you.

  25. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Other valuable recources include Liestoppers blog, Durham in Wonderland blog, The News and Observer, and the Duke Chronicle. Of course, when using these recourses, it is important to understand the difference between direct evidence and editorial content (you will find plenty of both at these sites).

  26. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    oh so now you’re a feminist/women’s rights activist, noname? might want to consider listening to most women’s personal experiences with harassment and what causes them to feel threatened, then.
    Here are some things I like from the Jill blog. I’d really encourage everyone to check it out:
    “-I am in no way saying that I think these three lacrosse players are guilty. My opinion on their guilt or not isn’t really relevant since I wasn’t there and I don’t know all the facts of the case, but if you’re interested, I don’t think that they raped her. That’s neither here nor there, but there it is.
    -I do, however, think that something happened in that house — I’m not sure what else explains her fingernails on the bathroom floor, her leaving her cellphone and wallet at the house (especially if she’s a greedy whore, as many people seem to be arguing), and the medical examination which showed trauma consistent with sexual assault.”
    “-I am not interested in determining whether or not the Duke lacrosse team had anything to do with the alleged assault. I am interested in the ethical decisions to post the woman’s picture and personal information on The Smoking Gun, on the cover of the New York Post, and on dozens of websites. ”
    “The DA dropped the ball on this one, not the woman, which is why I don’t understand the desire to post her picture and her personal information online. She was taken to the hospital an examination supported her claim of sexual assault. Several of her fingernails were left behind on the bathroom floor, along with her cell phone and her purse. She fled the house without collecting her money. She called 911. Is that definitive evidence that she was raped? No. But it lends itself to the contention that something out of the ordinary happened in that house.
    From the reports I’ve read, even the law enforcement officials who don’t believe she was raped believe that she’s mentally unstable, and that she honestly thinks she was raped. The “nut or slutâ€? defense is too often used by defense lawyers to discredit rape survivors, and these prosecutors obviously have much to gain by blaming her for their inability to make a proper case, but at the very least it’s worth noting that even the people who don’t think she was raped believe that she thought she was being honest. If that’s true, it doesn’t make her a liar; it makes her traumatized, troubled, and possibly mentally ill.”
    Also I think the story of a blogger’s own rape which Jill links to, and how said blogger feels as a survivor about the politics of such issues, is quite relevant.

  27. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Ninapendamaishi – I read Jill’s post yesterday. She makes some interesting points, although she misses others (in the interest of brevity, I will only comment on the content you have quoted here). For example, it looks like the accuser may have left her stuff in the house because she mistakenly walked out with Evan’s shaving kit instead. Also, the vaginal edema consistent with sexual assault is also consistent with consensual sex. Considering all of the different DNA found in her and the vibrator show she admitted to performing, it would be surprising if there wasn’t some swelling. Finally, the nails were not found on the floor, rather they were in the trash can of the bathroom (at least one of them was).
    I would also wonder why anyone should protect this woman’s identity at this point. What is the rational? There are no charges, so what protection does she deserve, and why?
    How is it that the accuser didn’t drop the ball while the DA did. There were multiple participants in this hoax. While the DA promoted it, the accuser and her many stories and the ID of three innocent men were essential to it as well. I would say that she did, indeed drop the ball.
    The accuser very well may be mentally ill. That however, does not excuse her actions, nor the near unconditional support she was offered by many while she pursued these allegations.

  28. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    You may still have no name, but I think you are increasingly showing your stripes.
    “I would also wonder why anyone should protect this woman’s identity at this point. What is the rational? There are no charges, so what protection does she deserve, and why?”
    Because, this is what our justice system tries to do. Even bloggers who blog about this case who aren’t 100% supportive of the Duke men receive numerous rape threats. What do you think is going to happen to this woman, now that her personal information has been posted? (It’s not like she has money or resources to protect herself, either. It’s not like her life isn’t now ruined -I refuse to debate again about whether or not her life is now more ruined than the lacrosse players, it’s irrelevant)
    “The accuser very well may be mentally ill. That however, does not excuse her actions”
    Too bad for you our legal system doesn’t completely agree with you. I don’t either.
    “That however, does not excuse her actions, nor the near unconditional support she was offered by many while she pursued these allegations.”
    But you have no problem with the lacrosse women’s unconditional support for the lacrosse men while she pursued these allegations? We’ve explained over and over and over again the various reasons why feminists are inclined to support people alleging rape, in general as well as in this case.
    If you were so sure early on in the case that there was a problem with her case (which you seem to say with some pride), if you are so sure now that no kind of assault happened in that house, then you are clearly not someone who is generally inclined to believe people alleging rape. If you are so uninterested in the points myself and others have been making about the prevalence of sexism in the frat-boy/jock demographic in general, or the possibility that something bad other than rape by the three men happened in that house, then your foremost concern here is not women’s safety or making sure men unconditionally treat women as humans. Please just stop pretending.

  29. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Of course, as I indicated previously, if you become certified to volunteer as an advocate for victims of sexual violence, that would probably earn some respect from me.

  30. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    You may still have no name, but I think you are increasingly showing your stripes.
    I don’t have stripes.
    Because, this is what our justice system tries to do. Even bloggers who blog about this case who aren’t 100% supportive of the Duke men receive numerous rape threats. What do you think is going to happen to this woman, now that her personal information has been posted? (It’s not like she has money or resources to protect herself, either. It’s not like her life isn’t now ruined -I refuse to debate again about whether or not her life is now more ruined than the lacrosse players, it’s irrelevant)
    She brought this upon herself by making false allegations. Were the players’ identities protected?
    “The accuser very well may be mentally ill. That however, does not excuse her actions”
    Too bad for you our legal system doesn’t completely agree with you. I don’t either.
    Did I offer a legal opinion? No, I offered my personal opinion.
    But you have no problem with the lacrosse women’s unconditional support for the lacrosse men while she pursued these allegations? We’ve explained over and over and over again the various reasons why feminists are inclined to support people alleging rape, in general as well as in this case.
    The women’s team did not support them unconditionally as far as I know. The evidence was on their side. If the evidence was on the accuser’s side, I would have condemned the actions of the women’s team.
    If you were so sure early on in the case that there was a problem with her case (which you seem to say with some pride), if you are so sure now that no kind of assault happened in that house, then you are clearly not someone who is generally inclined to believe people alleging rape.
    Actually, I am inclined to believe rape allegations. Why wouldn’t I? A vast majority of them are true. In this case I had suspicions that something was wrong with the case when the defense claimed no sexual contact (the usual defense would be one of consensual sex, i.e. the nuts and sluts defense). I doubted the allegations, but was not sure they were false when the DNA came back negative. That doubt has grown since then as new evidence has been made public.
    If you are so uninterested in the points myself and others have been making about the prevalence of sexism in the frat-boy/jock demographic in general, or the possibility that something bad other than rape by the three men happened in that house, then your foremost concern here is not women’s safety or making sure men unconditionally treat women as humans. Please just stop pretending.
    My foremost concern is that justice is done. I bet something ugly did happen in that house. For example, I think someone there probably did use a racial epitaph, but I can’t prove it and it really has no bearing on the case. What, by the way, do you think I am pretending?
    Of course, as I indicated previously, if you become certified to volunteer as an advocate for victims of sexual violence, that would probably earn some respect from me.
    Are you saying that you don’t respect me, or that you would have more respect for me if I became a victims’ advocate? What does being, or not being, a victim’s advocate have to do with my opinions on this case and people’s reaction to it?

  31. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    “I would also wonder why anyone should protect this woman’s identity at this point. What is the rational? There are no charges, so what protection does she deserve, and why?”-noname
    “Because, this is what our justice system tries to do. Even bloggers who blog about this case who aren’t 100% supportive of the Duke men receive numerous rape threats. What do you think is going to happen to this woman, now that her personal information has been posted? (It’s not like she has money or resources to protect herself, either. It’s not like her life isn’t now ruined -I refuse to debate again about whether or not her life is now more ruined than the lacrosse players, it’s irrelevant)”-me
    “She brought this upon herself by making false allegations. Were the players’ identities protected?” -noname
    So let me get this straight: There /are/ things women can do to deserve rape threats, and to be made vulnerable to the possibility of crimes against them by angry strangers. Good to know you think so, no name.
    “The women’s team did not support them unconditionally as far as I know. The evidence was on their side. If the evidence was on the accuser’s side, I would have condemned the actions of the women’s team.”
    Most of America’s support for these boys was not based on the minutae of the evidence, or so I will bet. Do you really think these lacrosse girls were reading all of the police reports? Not to mention, evidence is necessarily inconclusive, it was moreso early on in the case.
    “Are you saying that you don’t respect me, or that you would have more respect for me if I became a victims’ advocate? What does being, or not being, a victim’s advocate have to do with my opinions on this case and people’s reaction to it?”
    Yes, yes I would have more respect for you. Probably most importantly to me, you would be actually doing something to help victims. For another thing, you would get a more personal view of the legal system and its many flaws, the ways in which not police, not DA, not the jury, no one can really be counted on to not be sexist or to screw up a case. Additionally, you might understand more about the variety of emotional and psychological states that victims can go through and what sort of negative effects targeting a woman in a case like this can have on many (not all, but many) victims (many of whom were not believed or called liars themselves at one point or another). Perhaps you would also learn to appreciate the connection between low-level violence against women and women of color considered “normal” or “common” in our culture and the frat-boy/jock demographic in particular, and the perpetuation of greater violence. (i.e. perhaps it would slightly alter your definition of perfect “justice” in cases such as this)

  32. EG
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I would also wonder why anyone should protect this woman’s identity at this point. What is the rational? There are no charges, so what protection does she deserve, and why?
    For one thing, it was revealed over the course of the past year that she had been raped in the past, and has a history of mental illness. There is doctor-patient privilege at stake in the second case, and in the first I’m not so comfortable with the assumption that she was lying. There’s also the issue of safety: making her identity public makes it open season on her for any sexual predator around, because, hey, if he rapes her now, who’ll believe her?

  33. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Sigh. Popped back in while my breakfast is heating. I see we’ve gone par for the course: Noname isn’t towing the line so he hates women and isn’t a feminist.
    Well, I’ve got my suffering feminist credentials, seeing as how I am a woman and I have been raped, and I’m here to say that I agree with Noname.
    And, EG, unless I’m mistaken, you are mistaken. The only evidence we have that this woman has been raped before is that she accused people of raping her before. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but I see a little boy who keeps crying wolf.
    As for being concerned that no one will believe her if she gets raped now, hey, that sounds a lot like the point I made earlier about false rape claims making it harder for real rape victims to be believed. But everyone said that was nonsense, so I don’t think you need to worry about the young lady in this case.
    Oh, and everyone who disagrees with anything I’ve ever said hates women and enjoys murdering puppies. Because I said so. Nyah!

  34. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Nina, please cut the whole “I made 873 ‘points’ and you only responded to 872 of them so you’re obviously avoiding the issue” nonsense. Noname (and others) have made good solid rebuttals to your so-called ‘points’ and to totally avoid those rebuttals by hiding behind the one ‘point’ they overlooked or found too ridiculous to address is intellectually dishonest.
    Especially when your tactics over your last few posts have been basically to cut-and-paste whole swaths of unrelated crap in the hopes of burying the real discussion.
    And don’t even get me started on Jill at Feministe. “Something bad MUST have happened to make her leave her purse behind!” Either than or she was incredibly drunk/drugged (as the hoospital later found out) and she forgot her purse. Jill has no imagination. None. A woman leaving a party without her purse = rape and/or “something bad”. Can she really expect us to believe that those are the ONLY possible reasons a woman might leave her purse behind??? (Noname later showed that she thought she had her purse, which is the same difference, but the point remains.)
    And I don’t hold truck with this tendency to agree that, yeah, “something bad” probably did happen. Why? On what evidence? These men have been called “racist” from the start, but most of the ‘evidence’ that they were racist has been disproved as hoaxes, lies, and distortions. I guess they are racist just because they’re white. And male. Just like, supposedly, all black men rape white women whenever they get the chance. Please. If someone is going to make the case that “something bad” happened at the house, please provide evidence.
    That goes for you, too, noname, though I suspect you’re offering the “something bad” excuse as a peace offering to the more rabid posters. I don’t blame you, but it doesn’t seem like you, given your otherwise exemplary insistance that we look at the facts.
    Speaking of facts: Nina? Just because the facts became unpleasant doesn’t mean that to be good feminists we have to telescope out and only focus on the “bigger picture”. Some of us feminists still think that the facts do matter in this case.

  35. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    again EJ, “doubt” is the keyword. Just like we don’t throw men in prison when there is doubt that they raped someone, we don’t throw women in prison when there is doubt about what exactly happened, whether they may have been assaulted by someone, and whether they deliberately lied.
    And I’ve told you EJ that I think you have a right to your perspective. I’ve also pointed to a number of posters, on this thread and the one Jill linked to, who are survivors and who do not feel good about throwing women whose rape allegations were dropped or do not result in a conviction in prison.
    “The only evidence we have that this woman has been raped before is that she accused people of raping her before. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but I see a little boy who keeps crying wolf.
    As for being concerned that no one will believe her if she gets raped now, hey, that sounds a lot like the point I made earlier about false rape claims making it harder for real rape victims to be believed.”
    No one /deserves/ to be raped, EJ. Not this woman, not other women. Again, millions of women who were victims of rape have not been believed long before this case ever came into being. I don’t understand how you can blame rape survivors not being believed on this individual case. And yes, it does sound terribly insensitive, if you are implying that without evidence to convict someone in court we should just assume rapes never happened, because in most cases there is not evidence to convict someone in court. For whatever it’s worth though, I’ve seen studies from large, reputable non-profit orgs that indicate that a majority of sex workers were victims of child molestation/sexual violence before the age of 18. Do I know for sure that this woman has been raped? Of course not. But I do think I have reasonable doubt as to whether she hasn’t been.

  36. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “Especially when your tactics over your last few posts have been basically to cut-and-paste whole swaths of unrelated crap in the hopes of burying the real discussion.”
    The “swaths of crap” I’ve posted have been largely about media issues, Jill’s take on media issues, and cultural trends. Which I’m pretty sure is more what Samhita was trying to talk about to begin with. You think what Samhita was trying to say is not “real discussion.” You’ve made that clear. But not everyone is going to agree with you. I think if you feel a strong need to silence people engaging in that kind of discussion, that’s a problem.

  37. EG
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough, EJ. We just disagree here, and perhaps relatedly, I’ve always hated the story of the boy who cried wolf. It’s a pretty nasty piece of parental propaganda in my opinion, considering that it ends with a little boy being eaten by a wolf, and the listening audience is supposed to think that that’s OK.
    But I don’t think that the fact that these three men didn’t rape her means that she wasn’t raped in the past, or that she shouldn’t be afforded minimal protection from being raped in the future.
    I don’t think I called your points “nonsense”; I rarely do. Actually, the fact that you espouse a point usually makes me take it more seriously than I do if it’s just random. The kind of wretches who like to give rape victims a hard time will no doubt latch onto this case as an excuse to continue to do so, and I think that’s why so many feminists are so desperate to salvage something politically useful from it, because no matter what we do or say, for the next 20 years, whenever some poor woman tries to bring a case against some rich guys, we’re going to have to hear about this. I just also think it’s going to make this particular woman especially vulnerable to rape, and that’s why I’m horrified at the though of releasing her name and photo.
    I’ve read, actually, that it is not terribly uncommon for mentally ill people to project something that did happen in the past onto a present-day situation, so what happened here doesn’t throw her previous experience into any greater doubt than it was before, for me. To say nothing of the mental health issue when it comes to privacy. It would be one thing to release her name and photo if the DA had determined that she was hoaxing deliberately for reasons that, I have to admit, I just can’t imagine–I mean, really, what does she possibly gain from doing so? But if she did that, if she’s a scammer, then that’s one thing. But if she’s disturbed, or mentally ill, and genuinely believes she was raped or assaulted…I’m just not sure what the point is.

  38. EG
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    That said, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything to salvage. I’m more of a cut-your-losses type of person anyway, and I rather think that as feminists, we need to say “Yep, in this case we were wrong. It’s going to happen every once in a great while. Doesn’t change the fact that raped women are routinely screwed over by our justice system, so we’re going to continue working and advocating for them.”
    I don’t think that cutting our losses means throwing this particular messed up woman to the wolves.

  39. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    So let me get this straight: There /are/ things women can do to deserve rape threats, and to be made vulnerable to the possibility of crimes against them by angry strangers. Good to know you think so, no name. – Ninapendamaishi
    Are you concerned that the accused were “made vulnerable� when their faces were plastered all over the place? I am tempted to say that both sides’ identities should be protected, but this would be wrong. I think the criminal justice system needs to be transparent, or injustices like this case become that much easier to pull off. And no, as much as I want her punished, I do not think she deserves to be threatened by anyone. I remember being repulsed when a New Black Panther threatened one of the players in court and wasn’t even removed from the room. No one deserves that.
    On a side note, there is a school of thought that says the withholding of a victim’s name dehumanizes them in the eyes of the public, and makes it that much easier for defenses to employ a nut/slut defense.
    Most of America’s support for these boys was not based on the minutae of the evidence, or so I will bet. Do you really think these lacrosse girls were reading all of the police reports? Not to mention, evidence is necessarily inconclusive, it was moreso early on in the case. – Ninapendamaishi
    So you spent a lot of time talking to their supporters? I did. We were downright obsessed with the “minutae of evidenceâ€?, as you call it (it is strange that you try to diminish the importance of examining evidence). Were there others who weren’t? I assume so, but I do not speak for them, and do not wish to defend them. I think I made that pretty clear when I tried to shut down Dogstar’s working class sympathy play.
    As for the women’s team, I can only speculate. These were friends of the men’s team. Do you not think they talked to them about the case? Do you not think they knew about the alibis? Do you not think that they monitored what was going on in the case where their friends stood accused of such a hideous crime? Again, I can only speculate, and would only be willing to condemn them if there wasn’t so much evidence already available at the time to any interested party willing to read it. Something tells me that if they were willing to put their reputations on the line, they probably had bothered to run a couple of google searches, read court documents, and talked to some of there friends who were there that night.
    Yes, yes I would have more respect for you. Probably most importantly to me, you would be actually doing something to help victims. For another thing, you would get a more personal view of the legal system and its many flaws, the ways in which not police, not DA, not the jury, no one can really be counted on to not be sexist or to screw up a case. Additionally, you might understand more about the variety of emotional and psychological states that victims can go through and what sort of negative effects targeting a woman in a case like this can have on many (not all, but many) victims (many of whom were not believed or called liars themselves at one point or another). Perhaps you would also learn to appreciate the connection between low-level violence against women and women of color considered “normal” or “common” in our culture and the frat-boy/jock demographic in particular, and the perpetuation of greater violence. (i.e. perhaps it would slightly alter your definition of perfect “justice” in cases such as this) – Ninapendamaishi
    It would absolutely be a good thing for me to do. Maybe I will one day, although given the poor performance of such victims advocates as Wendy Murphy in this case, I would have to worry about the company I was keeping. Anyway, in this case the victims are the accused, so in a sense I have been a victims advocate for awhile now. Funny how that works out.
    I might also ask: Have you ever donated to a defense fund? In this case, money is going to these lawyers who have done a fantastic job of exposing this hoax. Of note in particular are Joseph Cheshire, James Cooney, and Brad Bannon, who also helped to exonerate Alan Gell when he was railroaded by the North Carolina justice system. Have you ever donated to the Innocence Project? They dropped the ball on this case by not even issuing one statement on the importance of the DNA exonerating the players, but have done wonderful work in the past freeing wrongly convicted men and women, most of whom were too poor to properly defend themselves. Have you ever spent numerous hours per week sifting through information, evidence, in innuendo in an attempt to uncover and publicize a hoax perpetrated against three innocent men? In the end, none of these things matters as pertains to this argument, but as you seem to want to make this about character instead of substance, I figured I would at least ask.

  40. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    That said, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything to salvage. I’m more of a cut-your-losses type of person anyway, and I rather think that as feminists, we need to say “Yep, in this case we were wrong. It’s going to happen every once in a great while. Doesn’t change the fact that raped women are routinely screwed over by our justice system, so we’re going to continue working and advocating for them.” – EG
    Thank you. That is probably the most intelligent, reasonable paragraph in this whole thread. I just wish others thought the same way.

  41. Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    So you spent a lot of time talking to their supporters? I did. We were downright obsessed with the “minutae of evidence�, as you call it

    I think you are talking past each other.
    Ninapendamaishi, as far as I can tell, wasn’t saying that the supporters of the defendants weren’t obsessed with the evidence. What she was saying is that it wasn’t the evidence that caused a lot of these folks to side with the defendant – they had already done so, and were looking at the evidence with the idea to poke holes in it or confuse the issue as much as possible, to throw everything and see what sticks. (While the evidence does appear to support the defendants, not all of the allegations made by defendants’ supporters were equally defensible.)
    As for the support from the women’s team, I too suspect their reasoning had more to do with the fact that they knew and were friends with the defendants, and the alleged victim was just some poor black stripper, compounded by the ideas that you support your teammates (and by extension, the other teams from your school), and that women’s teams form an unofficial “spirit squad” for the men’s teams.

  42. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    EJ – Thank you for the support here. Just so you know, I concede the racial remarks because Bissey heard one (cotton shirt) and Kim admitted to another (little dick white boy). These remarks were actually made outside the house, but that distinction is not overly important to me. I do not concede anymore than those two, however, as there is simply no evidence either way. The important thing to remember is that this concession does not affect my argument that these men never raped, assaulted, nor kidnapped the accuser. Anything outside the scope of this argument, for instance the argument that these guys are no angels, is impossible to argue against, irrelevant to the case, and a waste of our time. I am pretty sure that none of us have wings either.

  43. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    EG – I’m sorry, I just realized my post was a bit ambiguous. I didn’t mean that you said my point about false victims was nonsense, but rather than several commentators here had done so. I know you would never do such a thing. Thank you for the kind words. :)
    I understand your concern that there could be repercussions on this woman (and I’m disgusted by Nina’s “logical” leap that I somehow would condone such actions, but I’m used to her hysterics at this point).
    It’s a reasonable concern, but I think it’s a necessary evil here. She’s not a rape victim in this case, so she simply can’t hide behind the rape shield laws. She’s a public figure of note because of her false rape claim – and if she hadn’t lied she wouldn’t be a public figure, so she’s brought in on herself. We already made the Duke men public figures and open to physical repercussions, but no one was worried about them. Why not? A nut with a gun can shoot a rich white man as easily as a poor black woman. But, no, people accused of rape, however frivilously, deserve to have their picture shown on the news.
    As for why she would lie, to me, the answer is fairly obvious: Money and attention. Even early in the story, she and Kim were both approaching publishing outlets for a “deal” to “tell-all”. I can’t speak for all rape victims, but I sure as hell didn’t want a book deal after I was raped and I find it hard to fathom that any woman would.
    Another positive to showing her picture: men can stay the fuck away from her. After ruining three innocent men’s lives, I know that I wouldn’t want her performing at MY boyfriend’s bachelor party. I wouldn’t even want her serving drinks at his next bachelor party. Hell, I wouldn’t want her in the same STATE as his next bachelor party. In all honesty, would anyone here be willing to leave her alone around your brother / husband / boyfriend / father / son?

  44. noname
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Jeff – Is there evidence of this? The first serious discussion on this case that I found was at Talk Left blog, and did not begin until Jerilyn, a liberal lawyer, began to pick apart the case based on witness statements and the curious defense strategy of denying all sexual contact before the DNA came back. After that, the discussions were evidence based, and I believe generally made in good faith. Sure, we followed some flawed leads while trying to figure out what actually happenned, and there were a few posters who were clearly agenda driven, but that was just a function of the process of discovery. This process, in fact, is still on-going (I can’t wait for the AG to release his report this week). Of course, I should add that while known evidence does not yet allow me to say for sure what happenned in that house, it does allow me to rule out the charges brought against the players.

  45. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Noname, I’m pretty sure that no one had wings in this case, either. I mean, one of the parties was a single mother of two and a stripper, and the other three parties were rich fraternity guys who were sleazy enough to hire a stripper.
    Come on! ;)
    Can we all, please, stop making character judgments over these trite stereotypes? Not every wealthy jock/frat member is a complete dick dripping with entitlement and not every stripper is a slutty piece of trash just looking for easy money and more than willing to make it on her back given the opportunity. I’ve known both frat guys AND strippers in college who were wonderful people and to maintain that these stereotypes are accurate is to wallow in ignorance and hate.
    As for the “a friend of a friend of a friend overheard that someone said a racist word and it might’ve been a player that said it but it could jsut as easily been the rap music they were blasting during the party”, we all know from past expereince how “witnesses” come crawling out of the woodwork in famous cases like these. People, unfortunately, like to get in on a good thing. Unless there’s some actual footage of someone calling someone a racist remark (which I’m not aware of), I’m uncomfortable assuming that any of the Duke men were racists just because we’ve already decided that they must be.
    I mean, many of us (myself included) assumed they were rapists, and look how well that turned out. Given that we were so monstrously wrong about them, I’m now deliberately trying to step back and reevaluate the other assumptions (i.e. “racist pigs”) that we made about them.
    Anyway, yeah, I’m on your side Noname, and I appreciate you being able to carry on calmly and rationally in the face of being told that you’re clearly not a feminist because… uh… well, you’re just not. So there. You’re a hellofva lot more patient than I am. Keep up the good work!

  46. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    What she was saying is that it wasn’t the evidence that caused a lot of these folks to side with the defendant – they had already done so, and were looking at the evidence with the idea to poke holes in it or confuse the issue as much as possible, to throw everything and see what sticks.
    By contrast, the people who sided with the defendant always did so out of careful, logical analysis.
    Come on! I won’t say that there wasn’t someone who didn’t side with the Duke men before hearing the full story, but can we honestly believe that both sides didn’t have people like that?
    As for the Duke women, I’ve never been on a sports team, but I did room with a girl on my college’s soccer team. The women’s soccer team parties were almost always thrown at the same time and in the same place as the men’s soccer team parties, and the two groups knew each other intimately. Hell, a LOT of them were dating by the end of the semester. The joke was that the only way to have time to see your boyfriend was to date someone on the soccer team. So I’d be very careful in assuming that the Duke women just threw their lot in with the men because, well, they hate black strippers.

  47. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    “I understand your concern that there could be repercussions on this woman (and I’m disgusted by Nina’s “logical” leap that I somehow would condone such actions, but I’m used to her hysterics at this point).
    It’s a reasonable concern, but I think it’s a necessary evil here. She’s not a rape victim in this case, so she simply can’t hide behind the rape shield laws. She’s a public figure of note because of her false rape claim – and if she hadn’t lied she wouldn’t be a public figure, so she’s brought in on herself.”
    EJ, I did nont say that you did want these things to happen. You seem to skip over an awful lot of “if”s and “as far as I’m concerned”s and “I think” in the statements I’m making. But since I am apparently too dumb to fully grasp this, please explain to me the difference between implying that if she gets raped as a result of all the publicity, she “brought it on herself” and saying that she “deserves” something to happen to her.
    Also, you are very focused on this word “liar.” If she is mentally ill, if she was projecting past events onto the future (which is the possibility I meant to imply the first time I brought up the fact that she may have had horrible things happen to her in the past, btw) I would not call her a liar. Neither would our justice system.
    noname:
    “That said, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything to salvage. I’m more of a cut-your-losses type of person anyway, and I rather think that as feminists, we need to say “Yep, in this case we were wrong. It’s going to happen every once in a great while. Doesn’t change the fact that raped women are routinely screwed over by our justice system, so we’re going to continue working and advocating for them.” – EG
    Thank you. That is probably the most intelligent, reasonable paragraph in this whole thread. I just wish others thought the same way.-noname”
    Funny how you didn’t mention the part where EG said “I don’t think that cutting our losses means throwing this particular messed up woman to the wolves.”
    Because I’m pretty sure that first part of EG’s post was contingent on the second part.

  48. Erin
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    EJ, I did nont say that you did want these things to happen. You seem to skip over an awful lot of “if”s and “as far as I’m concerned”s and “I think” in the statements I’m making. But since I am apparently too dumb to fully grasp this, please explain to me the difference between implying that if she gets raped as a result of all the publicity, she “brought it on herself” and saying that she “deserves” something to happen to her.
    Nina, your apparent need to point out to me that,
    No one /deserves/ to be raped, EJ. Not this woman, not other women.
    , makes it sound to the other posters that I somehow said that this woman did because of her actions. I didn’t, and you know I didn’t, but it makes for a much better character-smearing all around when you get everyone to think I did.
    Furthermore you are a complete bitch for saying that my statement that she’s brought the publicity on herself is the same as saying that she’s brought a free rape on herself. Kindly go fuck yourself.

  49. Charity
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Well, EJ, I’m just going to come out and say this, although I’m sure I’ll take some heat for it. There’s something weird about the way you have conducted yourself on this thread. I’m not at all doubting the veracity of your rape, or your right to be here, or to speak your mind. You certainly don’t have to care that I think there’s something weird about your conduct on this thread, but it’s been brewing on my mind since your very first post. In response to Samhita’s very serious statement about receiving threatening emails, you say:
    “Now, feel free to post the emails of the nasty-grams you’re been receiving so that we can all sign them up for women’s literature. (grins)”
    Which seems a rather flippant reaction to me…”nasty-grams”? And a grin? And an assumption that the equivalent, appropriate response to threats is to sign the threat-makers up for feminist literature? Yeah, some people did that once, but with someone who was being obnoxious in an adolescent way, not overtly threatening.
    Then, as the thread goes on, you are overly sycophantic towards some Feministing “regulars,” while also being strangely validating towards commentors like Tom and Richard Aubrey, whose posts WERE laced with overtly racist and sexist overtones. I appreciate that you found some agreement between their stated concerns and your own, but you even went so far as to defend them as not being “rude,” and as being genuine, thoughtful, and open and responsive to other views, which frankly, they showed not to be the case at all. Not to mention that they started applauding YOUR posts and using them as springboards for their own arguments, which should, given the character they were revealed to have, give you pause.
    Then comes this gem of a comment:
    “Sigh. It’s days like this that make me want to give up feminism. We fought for years to get people to realize that stripping can be empowering, that rough sex can be fun, and that sex with 5 men in one day doesn’t make you a slut, and yet it’s still used as some sort of mental health indicator when the situation suits us.â€?
    Which you not only had no qualms about saying once, but have actually repeated, as if to show how thoughtful your word choice was. When actually, I find the above statement a gross minimization—if not outright mischaracterization—of what “we fought for,â€? and continue to fight for, as feminists (although I try to refrain from making generalizations about everyone’s “feminismâ€?). And I haven’t really come across too many feminists who make comments about sometimes wanting to “give up feminism.â€? So, I guess you’re unique in that way. I realize you made those specific references in light of what was being said about the accuser, but damn, I hardly think there’s consensus among feminists that stripping is empowering, rough sex is “fun,â€? and that sexual liberation necessarily translates into sex with 5 men in one day, or vice versa–not to mention that I don’t think “most feminists” would readily identify those as the most important tenets or objectives of feminism. I think what’s more important is that we recognize not all behaviors are free choices—even though (at least in theory), white middle-class women may have more sexual freedom as a result of feminist activism, we cannot assume all sexual behavior is carried out in a context of free choice.
    And then comes this gem:
    “Well, I’ve got my suffering feminist credentials, seeing as how I am a woman and I have been raped…â€?
    Again, let me say I in no way doubt your “credentialsâ€? as a rape survivor. And I am touched and humbled by your willingness to speak about your experience. But I think it’s again unfair to reduce “feminist credentialsâ€? to simply being a woman and/or having been raped, or to imply that those things are necessary to have feminist credentials. Not to mention the disparaging tone of the term “suffering feminist.â€? No one is making this a continuum of feminist “worthâ€? where only those who are women, or who have suffered the most, will be listened to or be credited with a persuasive argument. That is what posters like Tom and Richard Aubrey would really, really like to believe—and you are giving them that in-road. What would contribute more to a persuasive argument than those “suffering feministâ€? credentials—-on this thread at least, and in my personal opinion–is a tone that does not sound consistently disingenuous, and a real appreciation for, or willingness to consider, the various
    “-isms� that Samhita referenced as being endemic to our legal system and our caste society. Again, I don’t doubt your credentials as a woman (obviously) or a rape survivor, or just an intelligent person in general, but I do think you’ve failed to grasp the nuances in others’ points about the “-isms� that are also part of this story, beyond the individual accuser and the individual accused, while also using some questionable language choices and characterizations of feminism. Just my two cents.
    Oh, and I just noticed
    “…not every stripper is a slutty piece of trash just looking for easy money and more than willing to make it on her back…� in your last post. Because strippers and prostitutes are the same thing now? Because anyone should be described in that way, even if they are (horrors!)looking for a way to make money in one of few ways that may be available and viable to them? Classy!

  50. Charity
    Posted April 15, 2007 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I guess I hit “post” too soon, given your last words to Nina. Well I think we’ve officially hit bottom now.

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