Today in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning for sexual assault and victim-blaming.]

Lynette Taylor, wife of NFL Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor—who was indicted last month on charges of third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, and endangering the welfare of a child, after paying a 16-year-old girl (who was assaulted and brought to his room against her will by another man) $300 to "have sex with him"—took to the airwaves last night to defend her husband. She told Larry King (emphasis mine):
He should have told her to get the heck out of his room. But I cannot explain why men do what they do. I don't understand why we're destroying the Earth to get to Jupiter. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand why we're fighting a war, spending billions of dollars fighting a war over oil, instead of spending that money on stuff that we don't need oil. I don't understand why men do what they do.

And when no one's looking, well, they will try to get away with whatever. I can't say that. But here's the problem. When I say this was an extortion plot that went awry, because what it was to go, did you know that girl was 16, but he didn't have sex with. OK?

So now let's move on to Plan B. Let's just say he raped you and then we can sue him and we'll still get money. All right? This -- this is the most silly, ridiculous thing in the world. And I don't know -- it's like, oh, now she's a prostitute. How in the heck do you rape a prostitute.

She's a run away. Good girls don't run away.
I'm sorry. I've been a 16-year-old girl, all right. I've been a 19-year-old girl. I didn't leave my home. That's what happens. That's what I think people need to tell their kids. That's what happens when you run away from home. When you leave the sanctuary of your home and your parents, yes, there are bad people out there. There are pimps waiting at bus stops and stuff things like that. You know what, stop running away. She shouldn't have ran away.

I'm not attacking her, but all I'm saying is, I don't understand how -- it's like, oh, she's only 16.
Sixteen is so young. Sixteen- year-olds are driving our cars. Sixteen-year-olds are working in our stores. They're serving our food. They are old enough to have jobs. She was hold enough to, if she wanted to get help, get help. Why did it have to be a rich guy before she decided, oh, I don't want this anymore? It doesn't make sense.
Ah, the old rape is for nice girls argument: Sex workers can't be raped, because they exist in a perpetual state of consent by virtue of their occupation—and don't even have the right to say no to anything, as long as they get paid afterwards.

Suffice it to say, this is total bullshit. Of course sex workers can be raped; their consent is required every bit as much as someone who isn't being paid. The exchange of money creates a contract; it doesn't buy a consent exemption.

But the fact that many people believe otherwise means that sex workers are at increased risk of being raped, because rapists know there are always people eminently willing to argue that a sex worker can't be raped at all.

Even when they're trafficked 16-year-olds. For fuck's sake.

And note Taylor's attempt to have it both ways, here: A sex worker can't be raped, but that damn 16-year-old shouldn't have run away, because what did she expect? "That's what happens." What happens to runaway 16-year-olds is that they get trafficked into the sex trade and raped. So she's got no right to complain!


And, as profoundly contemptible as Taylor's rhetoric is, what the fuck is wrong with Larry King that he invites the wife of a man charged with raping a child onto his show to defend him in the first place? No good will come from that—and, without exception, those sorts of interviews turn into spectacles of victim-blaming and heinous rape narratives.

That doesn't serve victims. It wouldn't even serve innocent people wrongly accused. Victim-blaming and rape narratives serve only one master: The rape culture.

Which in turn serves rapists.

[H/T to Shaker Miss_Led.]

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