Rape Isn’t Funny: On Making Excuses For Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Blaming the Alleged Victim

Posted on July 2, 2011


Rape Isn’t Funny: On Making Excuses For Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Blaming the Alleged Victim | | AlterNet.

Attacks on the credibility of women who bring charges of sexual assault is something we should greet first with skepticism. Such attacks often carry an implicit assumption that a woman — especially if she is poor, associates with unsavory characters, lives in a dodgy neighborhood, etc. — may have deserved what she got and is not entitled to our sympathy or to legal protection. Important questions about class, gender and economic status raised in such cases demand our attention. In this instance, the fact that a poor, immigrant woman living in the Bronx knows a drug dealer or fudged the facts in order to gain asylum seems to me neither surprising nor indicative that she is not entitled to basic human rights

But Kuttner does not explore these issues. Instead, he puts forth a theory of what may have happened at New York’s Sofitel Hotel because, as he writes, “we all know from the date-rape controversy” that rape is a complex issue that sometimes involves mere “seduction” and “misunderstanding.” There is something troubling about the attitude conveyed by this construction, which suggests that a woman subjected to a violent crime could easily mistake it for a simple come-on. It particularly stretches the imagination in an instance – like this one—in which a woman was allegedly imprisoned in a room, had her clothes torn, and was forced to perform oral sex on a stranger.

emphasis mine.  From a male who RAPED someone’s perspective, it might be about a misunderstanding.. that it’s not okay to engage in sexual behaviour with someone who doesn’t explicitly state that they want to.

Kuttner goes on to question how someone could commit a rape, as DSK is alleged to have done, and then go on to have lunch with his daughter. Wouldn’t such a person be a sociopath? 

no, they’d be a person. it happens all the time.  we need to stop focusing on men who rape as monsters, because they’re not.  they’re our neighbors, friends, boyfriends, uncles, etc. they’re good students, good employees, etc.

this is a good article… everything about this situation makes me sick.

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