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feminist news round-up 24.03.13


Teen rapists convicted in Steubenville, Ohio.

If you’ve kept on top of the news this week, then you’ve likely read about the Steubenville rape case and the conviction of teen footballers Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond. The boys, aged 17 and 16 respectively, were convicted of rape, each receiving the minimum sentence for their crimes – a minimum of one year for Richmond, who was found guilty of using his fingers to penetrate the unconscious victim, and two years for Mays, who was found guilty of penetrating the victim and for distributing pornographic content of a minor.

If you’re game (and aware that the following links contain potentially triggering images and video of rape and sexual assault), check out this compilation of victim-blaming social media reactions to the case, this leaked YouTube clip, filmed by members of the football team now infamously known as the Steubenville “Rape Crew”, in which the boys brag about the attack, and this image, posted to social network site Instagram, which depicts the inebriated victim being held by the hands and ankles. I take no responsibility for your subsequent anger.

John Laws asks rape victim if abuse was ‘her fault’.

2SM radio’s John Laws no doubt had listeners of his Sydney morning show fuming when he asked an abuse victim, on-air, if she was to blame for the 9 years of childhood sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of five male relatives. The woman, now 55, was sexually abused by the male relatives – including her father and brother – from ages 6 to 15. Laws has since defended his line of questioning, as has the woman, and had a simple message for his detractors: ‘You can all go to hell’.

Here’s the exchange, via You can make up your own mind:

‘My God they were having a good time with you,’ said the broadcasting legend, missing the sensitivity of the subject matter.

‘Was it in any way your fault?’ he then asked.

‘No, I don’t think so,’ the woman, a nurse, said.

‘You weren’t provocative?’ Laws pressed.

‘I was a little girl. I don’t think so John. No, I was just a little girl.’

After nine years of abuse the woman finally found the courage to consult a social worker at age 15 – the year before her father kicked her out of home. As she broke down on air, Laws asked: ‘Are you unattractive?’

‘I don’t think so. I think I’m all right,’ she said.

‘You sound all right,’ Laws encouraged.

Maldives teen girl sentenced to 100 lashings for pre-marital sex.

A 15 year old girl and alleged rape victim in the predominately Muslim Maldives has been sentenced to 100 lashings and eight months of house arrest for admitting to pre-marital sex in the course of an investigation into the repeated rape she was subjected to by her father. The punishment, which serves to highlight the “shame” of pre-marital sex, will be held off until the girl turns 18 unless she requests to receive them sooner.

Also covered on Lip this week:

Company launches “tablet for women”

The politics of abortion

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