What We Missed.

A disheartening story about runaway youth. According to the NYTimes, “Nearly a third of the children who flee or are kicked out of their homes each year engage in sex for food, drugs or a place to stay.”
A Swiss investment company is reserving funds for companies that have women on their boards.
Check out the most recent “Addicted to Race,” about Latino in America, Halloween, Chinese adoptees, racist kid.
The 5 Most Unintentionally Racist Movies About Racism via Racewire.
A teenager was gang raped and brutally beaten and approximately 15 people were watching and did nothing. This story is horrifying.

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25 Comments

  1. xocoatl
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    can’t we problematize the Times’ coverage of sex work even a little bit? I mean, honestly, hasn’t the old melodrama story of sex trafficking gotten a little old and obviously constructed?

  2. Brittany
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh my God, she was only 15. Imagine enduring that and knowing that 15 people watched.
    That was one of the worst stories I’ve seen in awhile…what the fuck is wrong with humanity?

  3. allegra
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the part about PEOPLE WALKING PAST AND DOING NOTHING while a violent crime occurred disturbs me the most. You can’t tell me rape and violence against women (especially intoxicated women) isn’t normalized when people can witness the shit happening and don’t care enough to get help, or think it’s all in good fun, some kind of joke.
    A situation similar to this happened in Minneapolis a year or two ago; I believe a Somali woman was beaten and raped by her husband in the hallway of their apartment complex, and like five residents who LIVED in the building and heard the scuffle, walked past and never called the cops or did anything. Though I do wonder how much, if any, of this reaction was due to the culture gap. e.g., I guess, as a white woman, I’m not sure how I would react if I witnessed, say, a Somali or Arabic husband berating his wife in public in another language, or even perhaps slapping her. I’d like to think I’d say something, but … what do you say? How do you say it? Especially if the pair doesn’t speak English well? I just don’t know.

  4. Lucy Gillam
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    The only thing, and I mean the only thing that is keeping me from going looking for Themyscira right now is that all of the coverage of that story has consistently used the word “rape.” Otherwise, I swear, Wonder Woman’s island looks better every day.

  5. Brittany
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I wish “Feminist Island” existed.
    No misogynists or feminist-hating women allowed! :)

  6. MLEmac28
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, that’s how people are. Kitty Genovese was raped multiple times and stabbed to death in front of her apartment building. Something like 40 people heard or witnessed it from their window and neither called the police or went to help. They all assumed someone else would help her. It’s called the bystander effect. The more people there are, the more the responsibility gets diffused among them.

  7. Toni
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another story you missed.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i_ZlECZ4wlnA76fMwf15Dvn39dGgD9BJNIF00
    An anti-choice organization tried to hold an auction on eBay to raise money for Roeder’s defense. Among the items for sale was a guide that suggested bombing clinics. eBay blocked the auction.

  8. johninbuffalo
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    With regards to that list of racist films I knew Crash would be in there, I watched it twice, both in school classes, and I was shocked at how it actually won best picture. It’s basically 2 hours of racist jokes, with a few emotional scenes.

  9. cebes
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Also about racist movies about racism, feminist and critical theorist Drucilla Cornell identified Finding Forrester as a candidate in her her 2008 Moral Images of Freedom: A Future for Critical Theory.
    She writes that although the movie “has been widely interpreted as a touching portrayal of white-black intergenerational friendship,” the story enforces a subtle but severe form of racism. “Ultimately, the only way to announce the truth of talent innate to this young black man is through the defense given by a white man reading his words in public, allowing Wallace to be a writer in the shadow of the most famous white author. The young black man is seen because the white man vouches for his talent. This is exactly what [Lewis] Gordon is drawing out as the worst kind of oppression. . . . [T]here would be no happy ending to the story without the white man giving the pronouncement that the black man is a person.”

  10. Pantheon
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Without knowing the details, its certainly possible that it was more about the bystander effect than about people thinking it was ok. But you’d think that after awhile they’d notice no police were showing up, if it went on for so long.
    This is why Psych classes in high school are important. I once called 911 when no one else would specifically because I remembered learning about the bystander effect.

  11. EndersGames
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, except that story pretty much isn’t true. It’s an academic urban myth. It’s in all the social psych textbooks, but never happened. At most a couple of people heard the commotion. There is no evidence that a whole slew of people heard her being murdered and then failed to call the police.
    That said, however, the bystander effect is real.

  12. johninbuffalo
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I watched that movie in school, too. I liked it a lot better than Crash, but I see your point. It has some redeeming qualities (the dialogue between Forrester and Wallace is very engagaing), and pokes good fun at the politics of private schools, but in the end, I almost feel like this film avouids the issue of racism. I mean, it really only hints at it. there’s a lack of real confrontation of the subject matter in that movie, and that ending does illustrate. Wallace gets out of trouble, but not on his own merits. It makes you thing he’ll continue to struggle with people taking him seriously.

  13. Emily
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    the article was specifically about children. At the vary least the “sex work” in the article is child labor and also the children should be in school. The article addresses the real problem of exploited children. Can we please stop conflating consensual adult sex work and the systematic child abuse that is child prostitution?

  14. SamLL
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s been several years, but I got the impression that the movie viewed the fact that Sean Connery was required to vouch for Wallace to be a definite bad thing. It was clear that there were systematic and racist barriers in Wallace’s way.
    Does the fact that a privileged person used their privilege to smooth the barriers for one particular less-privileged person make this a story that shouldn’t be told, even though the movie (in my opinion) gives the viewpoint that this is not a desirable state of society?
    I don’t know, you probably have both seen the movie more recently and thought more deeply on the matter!

  15. Appetite for Equal Rights
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Actually, as far as I know, it was around a dozen people watching. The survivor was 15 years-old. You may have gotten the numbers mixed up :)

  16. Trixen
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    CNN is now reporting that as much as 20 people watched the rape, and as many as 5 may have stopped to participate.
    It makes me sick to my stomach.

  17. Monica Shores
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that the bystander effect applies to this story. In the earliest reports, it sounded like random people walking by saw what was happening and didn’t do anything, but in the most recent version on CNN.com it seems the people watching were not just passing by but had gone to the scene specifically because someone told them what was going on and they WANTED to watch. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/27/california.gang.rape.investigation/index.html Very different evils at work, if that’s the case.

  18. Athenia
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Comcast.net is reporting that there were 4 police officers and multiple teachers in the school when this happened—and these kids were drinking on school grounds!
    WTF??
    This saddens me so much. Why do guys think this is manly??

  19. Alexis
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Feministing linked to a Cracked.com article.
    I thought I could not love these two sites more. Now I do.

  20. sage
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I live and work very close to Richmond High School. It is located in a community known for gang violence, poverty and homicides. I don’t know if that matters. But if we consider rape in terms of patriarchy and rape culture, I think it does.
    I saw Samhita’s link yesterday, but it sounded too disturbing so I didn’t click on it. As a result, I found out about the rape this morning at a YMCA exercise class, also in Richmond. Our teacher brought it up at the end of class and it sparked a frenzy of comments. It made me think about the types of conversations a rape like this can bring about and how, hopefully, some of these conversations can be productive towards ending rape culture.
    Because I hadn’t read any of the coverage, I was taken sort of off-guard and was disappointed with myself for not taking an active role in the conversation. Luckily, a lot of the class participants (primarily badassed, ripped, middle-aged working mothers) and the teacher (who is a man) had a lot of good things to say. The teacher pointed out that she shouldn’t be blamed for being drunk or wearing a short dress (didn’t actually see anything about her dress in the coverage, but I haven’t read it all.) One woman said girls should be taught self-defense, but several other women quickly chimed in that the problem lay with the boys and they needed to be taught that it wasn’t okay to watch or participate in this. I think they were getting at the point that I realized, as the class was dispersing (I’m always too late…) was the one I wanted to bring up. This is a dramatic, terrible sign of the negative impacts of patriarchy and rape culture and the extent to which it acts in our community.
    I hope that as the community grieves and reels from this horrific incident, we can bring the discussion to these issues and try to find some ways to take action locally to change the culture of violence and male dominance over women and girls. I realize that I should probably be making this comment outside the feministing website, and hopefully I find a way to do that. If anyone has ideas about how we as individuals can get that conversation going, I would certainly appreciate them!

  21. sage
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I live and work very close to Richmond High School. It is located in a community known for gang violence, poverty and homicides. I don’t know if that matters. But if we consider rape in terms of patriarchy and rape culture, I think it does.
    I saw Samhita’s link yesterday, but it sounded too disturbing so I didn’t click on it. As a result, I found out about the rape this morning at a YMCA exercise class, also in Richmond. Our teacher brought it up at the end of class and it sparked a frenzy of comments. It made me think about the types of conversations a rape like this can bring about and how, hopefully, some of these conversations can be productive towards ending rape culture.
    Because I hadn’t read any of the coverage, I was taken sort of off-guard and was disappointed with myself for not taking an active role in the conversation. Luckily, a lot of the class participants (primarily badassed, ripped, middle-aged working mothers) and the teacher (who is a man) had a lot of good things to say. The teacher pointed out that she shouldn’t be blamed for being drunk or wearing a short dress (didn’t actually see anything about her dress in the coverage, but I haven’t read it all.) One woman said girls should be taught self-defense, but several other women quickly chimed in that the problem lay with the boys and they needed to be taught that it wasn’t okay to watch or participate in this. I think they were getting at the point that I realized, as the class was dispersing (I’m always too late…) was the one I wanted to bring up. This is a dramatic, terrible sign of the negative impacts of patriarchy and rape culture and the extent to which it acts in our community.
    I hope that as the community grieves and reels from this horrific incident, we can bring the discussion to these issues and try to find some ways to take action locally to change the culture of violence and male dominance over women and girls. I realize that I should probably be making this comment outside the feministing website, and hopefully I find a way to do that. If anyone has ideas about how we as individuals can get that conversation going, I would certainly appreciate them!

  22. sage
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I live and work very close to Richmond High School. It is located in a community known for gang violence, poverty and homicides. I don’t know if that matters. But if we consider rape in terms of patriarchy and rape culture, I think it does.
    I saw Samhita’s link yesterday, but it sounded too disturbing so I didn’t click on it. As a result, I found out about the rape this morning at a YMCA exercise class, also in Richmond. Our teacher brought it up at the end of class and it sparked a frenzy of comments. It made me think about the types of conversations a rape like this can bring about and how, hopefully, some of these conversations can be productive towards ending rape culture.
    Because I hadn’t read any of the coverage, I was taken sort of off-guard and was disappointed with myself for not taking an active role in the conversation. Luckily, a lot of the class participants (primarily badassed, ripped, middle-aged working mothers) and the teacher (who is a man) had a lot of good things to say. The teacher pointed out that she shouldn’t be blamed for being drunk or wearing a short dress (didn’t actually see anything about her dress in the coverage, but I haven’t read it all.) One woman said girls should be taught self-defense, but several other women quickly chimed in that the problem lay with the boys and they needed to be taught that it wasn’t okay to watch or participate in this. I think they were getting at the point that I realized, as the class was dispersing (I’m always too late…) was the one I wanted to bring up. This is a dramatic, terrible sign of the negative impacts of patriarchy and rape culture and the extent to which it acts in our community.
    I hope that as the community grieves and reels from this horrific incident, we can bring the discussion to these issues and try to find some ways to take action locally to change the culture of violence and male dominance over women and girls. I realize that I should probably be making this comment outside the feministing website, and hopefully I find a way to do that. If anyone has ideas about how we as individuals can get that conversation going, I would certainly appreciate them!

  23. sage
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    sorry, kept getting error messages so i thought it wasn’t posting…ooops!

  24. Lexicon
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I can not express how upset and outraged I am about this crime.

  25. xocoatl
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    excuse me.
    can’t we problematize the Times’ coverage of the sex work and the child abuse that is child prostitution just a little bit?
    I wasn’t conflating adult sex work and child prostitution. I was arguing the entirety of the Times’ coverage of sex work (and yes, child prostitution is a form of sex work, regardless of whether it is also abuse) needs to be dramatically improved.
    This story reads like it should be a Lifetime special. If you *look at the numbers* in the studies linked to in the article, none of the studies that track minors specifically break 15% of youth having exchanged sex for money or drugs, and even in those cases, much deeper understanding is needed.
    Certainly there are a lot of sad stories and hurt young people, but this story unnecessarily confuses and conflates their stories with what an anti-sex work agenda and is structured in a melodramatic, inflammatory way.
    All I ask is that reporting on sex work be fair.

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