Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Revealing Truths

A couple of days ago I posted some “News of my area” that detailed how a 15 year old girl was attacked, dragged into the bushes and raped on her way home. I posted the article to show that violence against women is happening everyday but also to measure the reaction. A commenter called “antsy” felt the need to tell me what was the real deal.

Such gems from this commenter include insinuating:

--That I assume all victims of crime are women when I should know better. It's dangerous to be a human, not just a woman.
--To claim that it’s hard to convict a man of rape and get him any significant jail time is “sensationalized crap”
--Oh.. and Antsy knows this because he lives with a man who was “victimized” by a false accusation.

Antsy suggests his roommate was framed by a woman who changed her mind about wanting sex. He says of the trial, “Let's be serious, even if he was found innocent (he wasn't, there was barely even a trial. All she needed to do was cry before the jury), it wouldn't matter, because the general public snubs people who are even accused of rape, let alone convicted.”

First and foremost, when people are accused of rape they are snubbed, as are victims.

I don’t know your roommate. It is possible that he was wrongly convicted of sexual assault but I sincerely doubt it. It takes a lot more than a girl crying in front of the jury to send a man to jail. It takes evidence of some kind. Innocent until proven guilty, remember? And I might have trusted what you said a little more had you not spoken against women with such bitterness. You say “don't think it hasn't happened that a woman has a less than benevolent agenda and will try to spin the story to her advantage.”

Women aren’t perfect but false reporting is less likely than you might think. Statistics vary greatly I believe it would take a rather angry woman to bring false accusations.

When a rape victim comes forward there isn’t always a rape shield law in place or the defense lawyers can get around it. Coming forward as a victim of rape (directly after an attack) means
--a rape examination at the hospital. Clothes are taken as evidence, the woman's body is photographed, and she endures an invasive internal exam--- this assuming she goes directly to authorities. The next step, or first step if a woman is reporting a rape after time has passed is
--the police station…Hours spent giving reports and reliving the horror over and over again.
--Next are criminal trials that can drag on for months all the while hearing the whispers in the community.
--Finally she faces her attacker on the stand while cross examination tries to poke holes in the story… suggest that she’s lying, vindictive, insane. It’s called the nuts or sluts approach. You’re either nuts and you imagined it or you’re a slut and you deserved it.

My heart is honestly with the innocent accused victims who sit in jail. In this past year I can think of several stories where men have been released from prison because DNA evidence has proved their innocence. But please don’t act like women bring accusations of rape for fun or because it’s “in their advantage to do so.”

If you think that way, here are some facts you should probably be aware of:

--Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate.
--Every day four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence
--Every year approximately 132,000 women report that they have been victims of rape or attempted rape, and more than half of them knew their attackers.
--It's estimated that two to six times that many women are raped, but do not report it.
--Every year 1.2 million women are forcibly raped by their current or former male partners, some more than once
(Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report", U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., January 1994.)

Women and girls in the world suffer from genital mutilation, dowry death, bride burning, being sold into sex trafficking not to mention rape, spousal abuse and stalking.

Antsy if you want more information:

National District Attorneys Association

Or go TO THIS SITE where you can read about a man who raped a sex worker at knifepoint to “teach her a lesson” received 6 years in jail with possibility of parole after just two years served.

Violence Against Women is more prevalent than violence against “humans in general” 80% of trafficked humans are women and victims of rape are 99% more likely to be female than male. And another sad story that illustrates the hatred and violence against women… (goes with the picture above)

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Sunday Dec. 4, 2005 at the Vancouver

December 6, 1989 – A lone man walked into an engineering class at the University of Montreal. He separated the women and told the men to leave. After the male students complied, the man began to shoot the women with the semi-automatic rifle he had brought with him. In the end, after 14 women were dead, Marc Lepine the man who screamed “I hate feminists” before he opened fire, took his own life.

So next time you roll your eyes at women who "cry rape" think about the facts. This doesn't mean your roommate can't be a victim, but don't come on this site and try to sell me bull that it was easy to convict him just by putting a crying woman on the stand.


Karen M. (St. Louis, Missouri) said...

Hi Tobes, this looks like a nice site with some great material! I also notice that you get a lot of 'hate' mail and you tend to misquote, unfortunately. I just wonder why you would risk the integrity of a good feminist resource in an effort to talk down to somebody. I realize it's probably justified, but I think you only add fuel to the fire by acting like the the condescending, aggressive, and just generally unpleasant feminist that is always seen on TV.

I agree with a lot of your points, I just think you could be taken a lot more seriously if you were slightly more diplomatic in your rebuttles.

Just one woman's opinion! I like the idea, and I'll certainly be back now and again to read up! Take care.


Tobes said...

Thank you for visiting my site. I would have to disagree that I have a problem quoting people. All the quotes from Antsy in this post are copied and pasted from the original comment that Antsy made-- they are 100% accurate.

I made ASSUMPTIONS about Antsy and the roommate but I have a right to do this. It is not misquoting, simply opinion and I stand behind it.. Anyone who insinuates that a rape trial is won by putting a "crying woman on the stand" has clearly never been involved in a rape trial.

Most of the time I try to be diplomatic. However, I whole-heartedly disagree that a feminist who doesn't back down and stands strongly *(aggressively)* by her opinion is representing the "condescending, aggressive, and just generally unpleasant feminist that is always seen on TV." -- And that IS a direct quote from you.

Being aggressive is not an ugly quality. If a man were aggressive it would be assumed normal. But when a woman says point blank "I'm not taking this bull. I think you're wrong and I'm going to call you out" it is somehow condescending and unpleasant? Why?

Now, I won't pretend to be perfect because I often get my feathers ruffled when people insult me. I’m only human after all. And I get especially angry when someone comments in a sexist , vulgar way.

Please don’t misunderstand, I am glad you enjoyed my site and hope you will be back. I will keep in mind that my replies are best left written until after a 'cool down' period but I warn you if you’re looking for someone more polite in her responses, this may not be the best place. I am strong and I have big opinions. I'm proud of my passion.

My 'aggressiveness' will not wane. I am tackling issues and oppression head on and I'm not going to put up with a any crap. The site is called "Hear Me Roar" not “Hear me beg to be accepted.”

Adrienne said...

"tend to misquote"?

where? this is one of the few opinion blogs I've seen that has citations.

Anonymous said...

"The site is called 'Hear Me Roar' not 'Hear me beg to be accepted.'"

Except that you aren't reaching anybody, you're simply roaring. If you wish to tackle issues and actually make a difference other than annoying people that accidently wander past your site, perhaps you should tend to them. You are trying to change minds after all, right?

As it stands, this site is just a feminist version of a circle jerk.


karen m. said...

-"crying woman on the stand"

This isn't a direct quote, it's inaccurate and oversimplified... and this is what I'm talking about adrienne :)

I'm not trying to step on any toes. I just want you to realize that you lose the respect of fans when you stoop to the level of non-fans. It's hard to deny the sarcastic overtones and superior attitude. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a worthwhile read, but it certainly leaves a hole in your credibility. Anyway, I just thought I would clear up and misunderstanding. Your blog, do with it what you like.

P.S. This can just be a personal message if you prefer not to publish it

Anonymous said...

Tobes, I read your latest post and would like to point you to some data you might find interesting.


It seems to show that violence against women has dropped by over 50% since 1994 which is great, but it also shows that men are the victims of violent crime at a rate that is 45% greater than for women.

In your post you listed a bunch of statistics about violence toward women as "facts we should probably be aware of". I thought I might post these to show that women not only are not alone in being victims of violence but in fact are the minority. Maybe I am missing your point.

Your link to the reference showed it to be a report by the "U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C." when the link actually goes to the now.org web site which in turn lists the DoJ study as one of several sources, none of which are linked to just referenced. Seems a bit of a misrepresentation. Could you clear this up?

Tobes said...

To answer some recent posts...

Once again, I do not misquote.

Antsy said (of the woman who accused his roommate of rape) "All she needed to do was cry before the jury." This clearly indicated Antsy's opinion --that women simply needed to cry in order to win a rape case. That is a direct quote and I stand behind my opinion when I say that - winning a rape trial takes more than tears. For proof, turn on the news and pay attention to the scandal at Duke University.

As far as the stats I cited, yes they are from the NOW website but the information is from the 1994 study conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

I am in the process of looking for updated studies and facts. Someone claims that they have information which says men are victimized more than women these days. Okay. Prove it. Send me the link and show me what study you are citing because I flat out don't believe it. As I said, women suffer across the globe more than men in situations of domestic abuse, rape, violence in genital mutiliation, dowry death, bride burning and they suffer more in the US by VAST majorities when it comes to abuse, stalking and rape.

I plan on doing more research soon but at the moment I am on vacation and will be until Tuesday of next week. Please excuse the extended delay on new posts and possible posting of comments.

As far as someone claiming that all I do is annoy and I'm not trying to reach people. There isn't really anything I can say to you because you clearly do not agree with my point of view. In my blogging, I hope to open some minds and bring up valid points.

I don't feel the need to justify why these issues matter. These issues to clearly make a difference to women AND MEN aroudn the world and to say that they don't simply proves your ignorance.

More later. Again, things may be delayed until next week, my apologies. Until then, keep on keeping on. And to friend or critic... thanks for stoping by.

Anonymous said...

You asked me to "prove it". Well the link was in the post but I will detail it a bit better.

I chose U.S. Dept. of Justice numbers from their website since that was where you said your data source came from.

Violent victimization rates by gender, 1973-2004
Here is the link

What it shows is the rate of violent crimes broken down by gender. Violent crimes included are homicide, rape, robbery, and both simple and aggravated assault.

The last year listed (2004) show that the rate of violent crimes against women happened at a rate of 17.2 incidents per 1000 where men experienced a rate of 25.1 incidents per 1000.

The sources of the data as listed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics "Sources: Rape, robbery, and assault data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Ongoing since 1972, this survey of households interviews about 75,000 persons age 12 and older in 42,000 households twice each year about their victimizations from crime. The homicide data are collected by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) from reports from law enforcement agencies."

Another point I could make is that every year of the study violence against men occurs at a rate of around twice that of women, though in recent years as the overall rates of incidents against both sexes has decreased, the gap is closing. Men were only victimized 45% more often than women in 2004.

Anonymous said...

I tried to find the report that you cite "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report", U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., January 1994."

But was unable to get anything but an abstract. In my research I found that in 1995 the same agency issued a revised version of the same report PDF
which supports my previous assertion that males are the victims of violent crime more often than women. The first table on page 2 of the report clearly shows this.