What We Missed

The Japanese Times victim-blames a Japanese woman who was killed in Bali.
As we’ve discussed before, 8 states and the District of Columbia don’t have laws that bar insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition to deny health coverage.
Women caught up in a massacre of opposition protesters (150 dead) in Guinea are alleging they were raped by soldiers.
The President himself will be speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Dinner as part of the National Equality March weekend.

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7 Comments

  1. blondegirl
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Japan is still definitely behind when it comes to women’s rights, and there’s no doubt the police here have displayed a lack of understanding towards rape victims. However, I did not see this as particular article as victim-blaming. It’s short and to the point, and to my eyes, very typical of crime reporting here. Most crime reporting is written in a dispassionate, factual way with very little or no commentary- a murder, a hit and run, or a robbery would have received the exact same treatment.
    Actually, the Japan Times is rather liberal if you compare it with other newspapers here such as the Yomiuri or Mainichi. But I will turn on the TV tonight after dinner, just to see how the news channels are reporting it, and how the commenters are spinning it.

  2. MarySophia
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Every time Obama speaks at one of these events, or hosts a dinner for gay leaders, or issues a proclamation on LGBT pride month, I get so excited, and then there’s not so much as a mention of gay issues for another several months, and NEVER any action. I understand that in a lot of ways health care, economic, and environmental concerns are more pressing at the moment, but he needs to at least start moving forward on repealing DADT and DOMA.

  3. Selidor
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Even if it’s typical of crime reporting in Japan, it’s still victim blaming. The headline and article specifically say that she was killed because she resisted her attacker, implying that if she hadn’t fought back then she wouldn’t have been killed.
    Certainly the quote from the police chief in Bali does essentially say just that, but the headline states it as though it were a fact, and it’s not as if the Japan Times provided any other perspective on it in the article.

  4. Sunset_winds
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I also disagree that it’s victim-blaming. If it were a common trope to blame victims for resisting attackers it would be one thing, but the common trope is to blame them for not resisting enough.
    (There’s also nothing in particular is there gendered about this? An armed robbery escalating to murder would not appear to be a gendered crime…)
    The Japan Times, just so you know, is an English-only newspaper written for foreigners, not an English-language version of a major newspaper. It’s a sometimes-rather-annoying publication low on funds that seems to have some motivation to periodically publish editorials and letters written by foreigners who think they are cool enough to be racist toward other foreigners and tell them they should just suck up whatever problems they have in this country.

  5. PatriarchySlayer
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I am shocked and sickened by what I have read regarding the rapes in Guinea. I can’t quite believe that the whole thing is fabricated as one man in the article said. But some part of me wishes it were so. To believe that once again people can be so full of hatred for women is just beyond me. I don’t care if those men were on PCP and LSD. They are very responsible for their own actions. And they all need to be tried for crimes against humanity.
    I thought this kind of disgusting behavior might have been curbed by now. This was perpetrated in full view of everyone. I can’t imagine. I remember how I felt when I read stories of the horrible crimes that happened in Rwanda and I prayed that it would never happen again. Obviously, this isn’t anything on the Rwanda scale… but the cold, hating disregard for human life, well that is on the same scale. And it scares me.

  6. William
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Not just foreigners, but Japanese people learning English (probably a bigger audience too!). It often explains the stark, simple language used to describe complex issues.
    I agree this isn’t victim-blaming though.

  7. Auriane
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Regarding that sad story about Rika Sano, the Japanese tourist killed in Bali, I found a better article that talks more about the facts surrounding the case. The Japan Online article is the only one I’ve seen at this time to mention that she fought back and was killed as a result. The others don’t.
    TRIGGER WARNING!
    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9B0N0Q02&show_article=1

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