Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Sexual assault; victim-blaming; rape apologia.]

Navy Lieutenant Sean Banks, about whom I wrote in February of last year, has been found guilty of multiple sexual assault charges, after raping two women he met through the online dating sites and He now faces 40 years to life in prison.

And even though he has been convicted by a jury, his defense attorney continues to peddle classic rape apologia:
Banks' lawyer told NBC 7 Banks he is deeply disappointed in the results of what he called a "he said-she said" case. He plans to meet with his client to see what their options are moving forward, including possible motions for a new trial.
Even when it's multiple women—two women who were raped, who came forward, who filed reports, who testified—it's still just a "he said-she said," because the voices of multiple female victims are just flattened into one bit of noise against the clear, single, disproportionately weighted voice of their rapist.

That is rape culture. Right there.

And so is this:
But prosecutors were pleased that this "very dangerous internet predator" will be placed behind bars.

"Sean Banks is an example of why it is very important for women to know who they are going out with," the deputy district attorney said.
Got that? It's really the women's fault for not knowing who they were going out with. This, according to the prosecutor. Even the people ostensibly on the side of Banks' victims are implicitly blaming them for going on a date with a man who raped them.

And implicitly blaming all future victims of predators who use online dating, or any kind of dating, to abuse their dates.

You have to "know who you are going out with." Welp. That makes dating kind of difficult, since one of the primary objectives of dating is getting to know someone.

I'm sure this deputy district attorney would assure us zie meant only go out with people whom you meet in more traditional ways (as though no woman has ever been raped on a date that wasn't made online), or only go out with people for whom someone you know can vouch (as though most women who are raped aren't raped by someone they know), or only do this thing or that thing or some other thing that in some way tasks women with magically discerning who is a rapist and staying away from them, but definitely doesn't suggest that rape is the exclusive responsibility of rapists.

"Sean Banks is an example of why it is very important to dismantle the rape culture and convey to men in no uncertain terms that rape is unacceptable," said anyone who isn't a victim-blaming rape apologist.

I hope this conviction has brought these two women some measure of justice, although I'm quite certain Banks and his attorneys will do everything possible to undermine that. I wish them peace.

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