07 March 2007

Hatred Hits Home in Toronto

Easily the most vile story of the day comes from Toronto, where four young (and I use the term extremely loosely) men--two youths who cannot be named plus a pair of shitheads named Philip Perry and Barton Reeder--raped an unconscious young woman. And they videotaped it on their cellphones, presumably to forever treasure the memory of their action and show it off to their friends. They probably would have even told themselves that she was asking for it, since she didn't say "no" and all.

This is the type of story that should make every decent human being shudder in disgust. I know that since I first saw the headline in this morning's Post and subsequently read about it again in the G&M and saw it on CTV, a fury has been building inside of me. It is the type of thing that makes me want to call the Minister of Justice's office and repeat the calls from all corners of the country to get serious and impose some serious punishments for this type of violent offence against the integrity of the person. Sure, stiffer penalties may not deter everybody from committing crime, but they will make at least some potential perpetrators think twice. Getting locked away for 20 or 30 years would no doubt affect the thinking of some potential rapists who would no longer feel as though it was worth the risk.

Of course, we probably have to take another step back. If groups of young men are patrolling the streets looking for passed-out women to gang rape, we're already in a world of trouble. Kids such as this already have such hatred for women that they're actively looking for targets to express that hatred and assert their lust for domination. The parents, the schools, and the system have already failed by this point. And the ones that have to suffer, as is often the case, are women. Women bear the main brunt of male hatred.

How many will it take until people stand up and say "NO MORE!" We're already at a point where 1 in 3 women in Canada will experience male violence during the course of their lifetimes. Does it have to be 1 in 2? 2 out of 3? 3 out of 4? 4 out of 5? All of them? At what stage of things do women and men--particularly the latter, since it is ONLY MEN WHO CAN STOP RAPE--collectively say, "Enough of this bullshit. It is well past time we took action against those who rape and inflict violence against women simply because they are women." Because clearly 1 in 3 isn't enough.

A 16-year old girl, who had no agency or ability to defend herself in this circumstance, was assaulted by a group of males who hated her for what she is. Will they face the appropriate consequences? Seemingly yes: they are being charged with sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, gang sexual assault and manufacturing child pornography. Philip Perry is also facing a charge of uttering death threats, while one of the 17-year-olds is facing an additional charge of possession of child pornography. If convicted, they will face jail time, a not insignificant amount of it. The young woman, however, will have to bear the scars of this assault for the remainder of her life. Whatever their intentions were, these men have profoundly affected, for the worst, the life of another human being that they didn't even see as a person. And it is for that reason, I conclude by asking: will the consequences, if any, amount to justice? On that front, I fear that the answer, as it so often is, is no.

11 comments:

anna lou said...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070306.wsex-attack0306/CommentStory/National/home

There's the link to the story and comments... you'll probably have to copy and paste it. While some of the comments are good, others make we want to puke in digust. The way people defend these boys is almost as scary as the story itself:

"The girl's character and intentions here are quite questionable from what I heard."

What kind of intentions can an UNCONSCIOUS person have?!

and...
"The kids in this story would be in a college in a year from now and this so-called gang rape would be considered experimentation."

She was unconscious. It doesn't matter how old you are, or what kind of school you go to...you can't fucking experiment when you're UNCONSCIOUS.

"These boys have good families, strong ambitions and much of that will be now ruined. They may be dirty boys at 17-18 but they are not rapists."

I don't care where they come from or what they hope to be...when one has sex with an unconscious woman, he is a rapist, no matter how you slice it.

"girls keep you pride and your clothes on. Beware of the consequences both for you and the boys who are full of testosterone."

Girls, keep your clothes on, even when you're unconscious and it is physically an impossible thing to do. Beware that males have a naturally occurring hormone that causes them to approach women in groups of four or more, rape them, and video tape it to relive the experience later.

These quotes were all taken from the same person, who happens to be a 30 year old female nimrod. I officially have lost all hope for humanity.

RGM said...

Fantastic points, Anna Lou. It may be time to post again all the necessary and sufficient conditions that exist which make one a rapist. These four boys qualify...easily.

It is disheartening to see someone step up and attempt to defend these boys in such tried and truly cliched fashion. "Her character is questionable" = "she's a trollop, she's done this before, but now she needs some attention for it."

College = home to all sorts of "sexual experimentation." Sure, fine, whatever, but if groups of 4 are now raping unconscious co-eds as part of their extra-curricular activities and that's being held up as "part of the game," we've got serious problems.

The boys all have such good character. Yeah, well, nice boys, even nice "dirty boys" can be rapists too. They should have thought of the consequences of their actions before using an unconscious human being as their sexual receptacle without her consent. I couldn't give a rat's ass about their potential to grow into good, strong adult males who rape women in their spare time; they've committed a horrible crime and any damage done to their burgeoning status as future leaders of tomorrow is self-inflicted."

And, finally, yes, let us blame the woman. It is always the woman's fault. Vile temptresses and their harlot ways, how dare they just lay around all unconscious and sexxxay for the menz to lust after. Telling a rape victim to have some pride and shame her for being raped demonstrates a complete lack of empathy and compassion. It is also entirely typical.

Carrie said...

I think this could end up in great debate in the long run with a lot of different people. But I have a small maybe simple.. Kind of random question ... Or two. For you.

In your own opinion, do you think it's possible for a man to be raped?
Yes... Or no? ...And maybe why?

...Do you feel like you're back in school yet?... I know I do...

RGM said...

Yes it is possible for a man to be raped by other men. Prison is a popular place for that type of thing, and there's also some of the more brutal forms of "hazing" and other such rituals that can happen. There were a couple stories in the news last year about such activities in a (I think) Montreal university. Some freshmen football players were anally violated with broomhandles.

I do not believe, however, that a woman can rape a man. After talking with Anna Lou, we came to the conclusion that in a "sexual attack," a man would be too afraid or concerned with his own self-defence to be aroused sexually, thereby preventing any sexual acts. I suppose that a woman attacker with a sex toy or some such thing could penetrate a man, but it's not something that I've ever heard of happening.

Carrie said...

That's what I thought too! I've aruged with people that a man can't be raped by a woman unless she had a penis!
But no. People say that they can be raped by a woman. It's not possible! Not unless, like you pointed out, she had a vibrator or a dildo or something!

Anally violated with broom sticks eh?
What the hell is wrong with people!?

And that would be the joke about dropping your soap in a jail shower.
That's pretty disturbing that men go the lengths to do that kind of thing...

RGM said...

The common denominator in almost all forms of rape, as you pointed out, is men. Only men can stop raping, whether it's women, other men, or young children. It's men that are committing rape on a vast scale.

Now, I suppose that there is a legal sense in which women can rape males. There was a story on the news today about a teacher who was having a sexual relationship with a 15-year old male student. Due to the imbalance of the relationship between a teacher and a student, and the disparity in age, that would be considered statutory rape.

So, in a legal sense, yes, men can be raped by women. But these occurrences are a pithy fraction of the total number of rapes that occur. We're rightly outraged when a teacher uses their authority for a sexual relationship with a student. But there's far too much silence on the much more prevailing and dominant forms of rape which occur.

Carrie said...

Nathan and I were talking about this yesterday and he pointed out a few other stories from parties he heard about. Some chick drugging guys with viagra and something else. She did it to four guys.

That's true. There's almost never a story of male rape in the news or in the papers. The only time I hear about it, are basically teacher with student kind of thing *raises eyebrow*

RGM said...

One of those "he heard it from a friend of a friend" things eh? That makes the validity of the stories a little skeptical. It may have happened, who knows, I wasn't there and neither were you or him.

It is interesting to note, though, how quickly guys will raise the red flag that "men get raped too!" Well, yes, that does happen, but overwhelmingly by other men, and it's a drop in the bucket compared to the number of women that are raped by men. If there's a room full of people that have been raped, and only one of them is a man, why do some so quickly ignore all the women in the room so that they can focus on the one guy that has been raped, too, know what I mean? It is all repugnant, yes, but shoving aside all the voices of women demanding justice so that we can listen to the plight of a comparatively very small number of men will not address the problem.

Anna Lou said...

I know I'm late here, but there was just one thing I'd like to add. Rape is not all about sex, as an awesome feminist (Audre Lorde) pointed out, "Rape is not aggressive sexuality, it is sexualized aggression." Actually, that may not be a direct quote, but that's how I remember it. Anyway, rape is something that men tend to do in order to exercise their dominance over a woman. It's a fear tactic. It puts a woman in her place while giving him some kind of sick pleasure.

As for women, they tend not to excerise any kind of power over a man sexually, because that is a realm that is still largely dominated by men. There are more prostituted women, more female exotic dancers in clubs, and women are viewed as sex objects whereas men are typically the subjects. Plus, women tend to address issues emotionally. She'll yell at him...she'll play "mind games"...she'll do something besides try to screw him. Because more often than not, chances are it's going to be the male who gets physical pleasure from the sex.

Nathan said...

I see what you mean when you say that when there is an alleged male rape that people hear about they just push aside the fact that 99 percent of the rapings are direct to women. The actual even Carrie talked about was something not, heard from a friend of a friend. Regrettably I was too drunk to and immature to really think that what she was doing to him was anything other than funny. Until of course the morning after. The whole night a guy we knew was telling this one girl he did want sex with her because he was in a serious relation ship with his girlfriend.

Now until that night I didn't think that men could be raped, now I only believe its under very particular circumstances. Still even with these things in mind it doesn't make the subject any less of a matter. Whether its men or women the fact is that either or its something that needs to be addressed as an issue. To me it seems that you hear about it in the newspapers but thats all that happens.. why do you suppose that is?

RGM said...

Nathan, welcome!

Thanks also for clarifying the story. Definitely not cool. Somewhere in my archives I've got a lengthy list of actions that qualify someone as a rapist, and this sounds like it fits at least a couple of the descriptors.

As for why we hear about it but nobody ever does anything about it? Simply, apathy. People in this (and many other) countries don't get motivated to go and rally their government to take action unless they have something personal at stake in it. Also, I think that a massive campaign to highlight rape awareness and increase pressure against those who harbour those intentions and who have already carried them out would quite possibly end up resulting with a lot of men in jail. Not to mention, there's a number of politicians--many in the States--who have been involved in some very shady activities. They would have something very significant to lose if there were more stringent enforcement of more severe penalties for sexual misconducts.