Georgia's Calhoun High School, the centre of an alleged rape controversy. Image via YouTube.
While the past weeks have fostered a stronger collective awareness for women’s rights than I’ve seen in my lifetime, thanks to campaigns like #YesAllWomen, apparently not everyone has received the memo that you’re not supposed to gang-rape people. Or slut-shame them.
A group of star athletes allegedly raped a classmate at their prom party. The three were arrested for sexual battery too, but they have yet to spend a single evening in jail. And in order to slut-shame a woman, two little fuckwits who worked at the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre posted a woman’s STI test results online.
My dad texted me this week to remind me not all men are bad, and that my writing sounds angry. Angry? I’m fucking Uma Thurman in
. So here’s what happened this week—besides more discussion on Elliot Rodger’s virginity and the horrifically dehumanizing and dangerous new laws surrounding sex work in Canada.
Post Prom Gang-Rape Case In Georgia Focuses On All The Wrong Things
Echoes of the Steubenville rape reverberated across America last week—at least for those who were paying attention. An alleged gang rape, alongside sexual battery, happened in Georgia after Calhoun High School’s prom in May, and it’s coming to light now.
A prom party at a cabin in the woods—almost a right of passage and experienced by so many—turned into a nightmare on May 11. An 18-year-old woman says she was raped by multiple men—she can’t remember who—and, according to Jezebel, they inserted a “foreign object” into her vagina, causing major tearing and internal damage. Even the local sheriff called the tearing “substantial.” It happened after four men, all top athletes, reportedly locked her in a room. From Jezebel:
“Other attendees of the party knew what was happening but did nothing. According to some accounts, the fourth boy in the room was there to barricade the door closed.”
Police arrested three 18-year-olds on sexual battery charges: football quarterback Fields Chapman, wide receiver Andrew Haynes, and star baseball player Avery Johnson. Johnson was planning to play college baseball at Georgia Highlands College next year. The three turned themselves in the next day, but didn’t spend so much as a night in jail. They were released on bonds of $51,000 each.
While authorities deserve a gold star for effort for actually bothering to investigate these chunks of human scum, there are some serious issues with the way the crime is being investigated, beyond that obvious bit:
1.) Authorities are babbling a lot about how teen drinking causes terrible things to happen, instead of how men’s entitlement to women’s bodies causes terrible things to happen. "Teenagers and alcohol just do not mix. Nothing good can come out of it. It's not just a little innocent fun,” the sheriff pointlessly told local paper the Times Free Press.
2.) People knew this was happening and did nothing, including, reportedly, the fourth boy in the room. There’s no word on whether he’ll be charged, but he could have stopped it from happening. Inaction in these cases causes just as much harm as the rapes themselves.
Here’s a thought. These aren’t the first athletes to allegedly gang-rape a young woman. Rape culture is an entrenched part of athletics for boys. We’ve seen that in the horrendous acts at the University of Ottawa, and with Steubenville, University of British Columbia, Florida State University. The list of sexually violent acts committed by athletes is endless, really. Because schools are so good at making things “mandatory” for students, how about training male athletes, from a young age, to treat women properly? Male athletes need to be explicitly taught, apparently, that gang-raping women is not what we mean by team sports. Sexually terrorizing women should not be part and parcel of the high school and university athletic experience.
Until that day, these careless monsters need to face some kind of wrath for what they did. VICE UK ran a piece that outlined some good ways to punish rapists. My favourite, from the comments:
“how about a rapist is injected with a small robot that takes 9 months to grow to the size of a rugby ball then forces its way out thru the rapist's butt hole then follows the rapist around generally thwarting any activity the rapist is enjoying and stealing from their wallet until the rapist goes mental and kills it, after which upon the mention of the word baby or pregnancy in any conversation within ear range the rapist receives an electric shock strong enough to make them cry?”
A breakdown of female representation in Ontario politics. via WiTOPoli.
Not Nearly Enough Women Running In Ontario Election
“Women in Toronto Politics” and “Elect Women Ontario” have tallied up the number of women in Toronto ridings running in this week’s provincial election, and despite two of the premier candidates being female, it’s not looking good overall.
“Of the declared candidates for the four major parties, 29.5 percent of candidates are women,” Women in Toronto Politics reports. The UN states that the critical mass needed for equitable participation of women stands at 30 per cent. (If it’s meant to be “equitable,” I’m not sure why it’s set at a little over a quarter instead of at a full half but that’s as good as women can dare to ask for, I guess).
Given the likelihood of each woman winning her riding, I highly doubt that we’ll land anywhere near equitable representation amongst the city’s ridings. It doesn’t mean meeting the target is impossible, though: provincially, a record 145 women are on the ballot province-wide, which constitutes 34 percent of overall candidates. Happily, some are saying we might wind up with another record number of female MPPs. At dissolution, female MPPs made up 29 percent of Ontario’s legislative assembly.
Any progress is good progress, but I have to say, Canada as a whole should be doing much better. Out of all Canadian provinces and territories, as of April 2014, only the Yukon and British Columbia met the already-low United Nations target for fair and equal representation. My own home province, New Brunswick, came in at an embarrassing 16 percent.
Federally, we’re not doing so hot, either. Women occupy 25 percent of seats in the House of Commons, and that’s a record high. That’s simply not good enough, and more parties need to endorse female candidates. Maybe if they did, there would be more childcare available, better and more accessible transit, fewer abortion clinics closing, and fewer sex workers being damned to unsafe work environments. Maybe.