So, in an effort to piss off as many people as possible at the douches who make our rape culture possible, this is the first in a continuing series of shit that will really, really, really piss you off.
I'm calling it "rape apologist Monday."
Do not read if you find assholes who rationalize rape triggering. I cannot promise that I will have something for every Monday. But, the odds are, sadly, ever in my favor.
So, without further ado: Rape Apologist Monday: the Louisiana edition:
[original article can be found in the Tri-Parish Times @ http://www.tri-parishtimes.com/news/article_ca005374-f953-11e2-9168-001a4bcf887a.html)
In our current installment, a guard at the local detention center (for those of you who aren't aware, this is a lockdown facility in which juveniles are held when they are accused of crimes) is accused of having raped a 14-year-old inmate. The response of - not the accused lawyers (because, they are doing their jobs when they say something this stupid) - but of the lawyers for the county that is seeking to avoid liability in a lawsuit filed by the rape victim can be boiled down to the following sentence:
“Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with (the victim) without cooperation from her,” legal papers filed by the parish’s attorneys read. “Vickers did not use force, violence or intimidation when engaging in sexual relations.”
In a nutshell, they - the Parish - wants the judge to take into account the victim's sluttiness in awarding damages. It is worth noting, as well, that by the time the victim encountered Mr. Vickers, she had previously been sexually abused at the age of 5 by a swimming coach, and again, at the age of 11, by a construction worker, and again, at the age of 12, by her uncle and her step-sister's cousin. So, in this context, the victim's sluttiness is actually code for the victim's audacious and apparently blameworthy history of being sexually assaulted by essentially every man she came into contact with during her entire tragic life, including the time that she spent in State custody, where she should have been safe.
So, let's break this down:
The age of consent in Louisiana is 17; and
The victim was 14, and
The perpetrator was 40, and
The victim was incarcerated, and
The person who raped her was a prison guard, and
The victim had previously been sexually assaulted by at least 3 other individuals
It goes without saying that consent under this scenario is impossible. Consent would be impossible even if the victim was 18 or 25 or 50. If a perpetrator is in a position of power and authority, the ability to decline sex does not meaningfully exist. Where the ability to voluntarily choose "no" does not meaningfully exist, then, by logical progression, the ability to voluntarily choose "yes" also does not meaningfully exist. Consent cannot exist in the absence of the ability to not consent. There is only duress.
So, yeah, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana: fuck off.