Sex-work advocate Suzyhooker says
A Florida GOP Rep has jumped on the victim blaming bandwagon by saying that an 11 year old gang rape survivor was dressed like a “prostitute.”
Source: Tits and Sass
I've seen several variations on this story from various predictable suspects and I'm a little confused.
Couple of rhetorical but pointed questions: Are actual prostitutes (who sort of by definition "dress like prostitutes") are criminally sexually assaulted by approximately 18 assailants in numbers sufficient to warrant Kathleen Passidomo, Bill O'Reilly, and others' allegations that attire was the immediate cause in this case of assault of a child? Second, are non-prostitutes who nevertheless "dress like prostitutes" gang raped in sufficient numbers to warrant the same confidence?
In fact I'm pretty sure that for all the talk on the right, left, and center there's little if any evidence whatsoever that "provocatively" dressed women are any more or less likely to be sexually assaulted than non-provocatively dressed ones. It's a crime of power, people, not one of lust. It's also far, far more accurate to call rape a crime of opportunity, not one of "provocation."
I'll just go one step further and say that to the extent actual prostitutes are made targets of violence (and Gary Ridgeway's remarks if nothing else would be sufficient to satisfy my assertion) then to the extent they actually do "dress like prostitutes" it's other factors such as vulnerability, isolation related to the need to avoid arrest that makes them easy targets, not what they're wearing. (That and, as Ridgeway explained when asked how he was able to murder more than 60 subsistence prostitutes, prostitutes are good victims because society really doesn't care what happens to them.) Point being that even when prostitutes are attacked it's not because "they're dressed like prostitutes."
So, back to the 'winger lament that the motive for a massive sexual assault on an 11 year old is an open and shut case.
Remember, we're talking about responses to descriptions of the victim. Pretty much no one who's casting these stones would have had access to direct information. They just heard something like "halter top" or "short skirt," or allegations by community factions,* added preexisting biases, and just let their flights of fancy take it from there.
Nor should this be a surprise, of course. For way too many people the single statement that there has been an assault is all the data they need to "know" the victim did something to cause it.
- Holly on rape culture defenses
- Audacia Ray on State Department human rights review, and for that matter,
- Amanda Hess on When anti-gay hate crimes happen to straight people
* The case has allegedly widened divisions in the affected community with the result that it's not clear how much of what we know is spin and how much is actual evidence.