Darn Women, Getting Themselves Raped and Making Life Difficult for the Menz

by Shaker roramich, who lives with her partner Shaker JMonkey in Oregon, where she reads and occasionally guest posts for Shakesville in the hope of MORE for their 5-year-old daughter.

[Trigger warning for text, but no triggering images.]

Early this morning I was greeted with this headline at the Boston Globe homepage where the top headline was "FBI investigating alleged misconduct at T Academy" (where apparently the Boston Transportation authority trains cadets). The link has since been moved lower on the page, but when I saw it, the article was the top, front and center story.

Of course, any misconduct, of any kind, at a training facility that will send graduates out to interact with the public while carrying loaded weapons is inherently problematic. But what was much more troubling than the headline was the one line of the story underneath which indicated that the investigation regards whether superior officers (apparently male but not labeled as such in the "teaser") coerced female cadets "into having sex." Uhm, NO. Any use of coercion means they were NOT having sex!!!

The full story continues the fiction that it wasn't really alleged rape with the even weirder headline at the page that includes the full article, reading "Female cadets allegedly forced into having sex." Again, as Shakers well know, and the Globe certainly OUGHT TO KNOW, forcing someone into sexual intercourse is rape, even if the actual events are still alleged at this point in the investigation. The rest of the article includes the details that it was male superior officers allegedly doing the forcing of female cadets, possibly extending as far back as 2002. The douchebag head of the officer's union trots out the tired canard that the investigation will hurt the officers' abilities to do their jobs, saying: "The members who I represent perform their duties professionally, and to the extent that their academy is being viewed as inappropriate, it is going to hurt all of their abilities to perform their jobs." Right, dudebro—having the academy the subject of negative scrutiny is the problem, not alleged rape of cadets. Thanks for showing me your extensive (and stinky) privilege.

And just to cap it off, the authors of the article close with this valuable information: "Graduates of the academy contacted by the Globe expressed disbelief that sexual misconduct would have happened."
"I don't think that occurred within my class," said a former female cadet who asked not to be named because she is working for a police department."
Gee, thanks for such a stellar job reporting; how many graduates did you talk to? 1? 5? 10? How many women have graduated from the academy since 2002? Am I supposed to believe that you talked to them all? Plus, thanks for yet more (stinky) privilege; just because three reporters could locate ONE woman who didn't believe it happened is supposed to be convincing evidence that nothing ever happened? Maude help us.

Finally, just to make us all feel so much better, in "completely unrelated news," the Globe also reports (separate article) that 200 patrol officers will soon be outfitted with M16 assault rifles "to counter terrorist threats" according to department officials. Right, let's for sure deal with terrorist threats on the streets of Boston, rather than home-grown terrorists working in their own training academy.

If you'd like to use your teaspoon to politely request that the Globe call alleged rape what it is, instead of disappearing the experience with the phrases "coerced into having sex" and "forced to have sex," you can write the authors of the article here: Shelley Murphy can be reached at shmurphy@globe.com, and Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com (contact information for the third author was not given). For general comments about Boston Globe news content only, e-mail comments@globe.com. Or, this link takes you to a comment page (for which I don't know if you need to register or not to use).

(And thanks to Melissa for letting me guest again! I wish it were about OMG horses again, but you can't have everything!)

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