Today in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning for sexual violence; rape apologia; victim-blaming.]

The gang rape case in Cleveland, Texas (background here, here, and here) continues to generate some of the most vicious victim-blaming I have ever seen in my life, which, after six years of doing this, is really saying something.

Case in point: This CNN piece, which includes the following:
The alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl has torn apart a Texas community, with some focusing on the girl and her parents as much as, if not more than, the 18 people accused of sexually assaulting her.

...On Thursday, Quanell X, a community activist, traveled from Houston to help stage a town hall meeting called to address rising concerns -- especially in Cleveland's African-American community -- about the case.

Among other issues, he said that the girl didn't do enough to stop the alleged assailants.

"It was not the young girl that yelled rape. Stop right there -- something is wrong, brothers and sisters," Quanell X said. And, speaking over yells of support from the crowd, he also questioned the role of the girl's parents. "Where was the mother? Where was the father?" he said.
If the fact that there are people who will argue with a straight fucking face that an 11-year-old child "didn't do enough" to stop eighteen young men from raping her doesn't convince everyone with a capacity for reason and any trace of decency that we live in a culture that supports and condones rape, I can't imagine what possibly could.

As an aside, something I've noticed about the reporting on this case, as in the linked CNN article, is that the alleged assailants are pretty commonly referred to as "the 18 people accused." People. Anyone else suspect that if it were 18 young women accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy, there would be some more gender-specific reporting...? Which, hilariously, would be justified on the basis that it's an anomaly, while not pointing out gender when the perpetrators are men is typically justified because "women can rape, too."

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