Rape Is Always Bad, Even When It Happens To "Bad" People


NPR’s Tell Me More brought together a survivor, a judge and an anti-rape activist to discuss why it’s not funny for prison rape victims to be the, um, recipient of society’s jokes.

Judge Reggie B. Walton says it best:

I don’t sentence people to rape.

The fact that prison rape has become an accepted part of prison culture and, in fact, viewed by some people in some cases as an acceptable retributory action isn’t acceptable. Incarceration is meant to be its own punishment, and so long as our society eschews the eye-for-an-eye system of punishment in cases of theft and other assaults — and, in some places, in cases of murder — then rapists (let alone anyone else) shouldn’t face sexual assaults as a form of social retributions for their crimes, let alone accept or venerate the rapists committing them.

Furthermore, if a man rapes a sex worker, or a woman in a short skirt, or a drunk woman — despite Bill O’Reilly’s feelings on the subject — most right-minded people would agree that the rapist shouldn’t get a pass because the woman wasn’t keeping with certain social standards (i.e., because some people would consider her “bad”). So then why is it any more socially acceptable for people to wish rape — or at least to not harshly condemn it — on prison inmates because they’ve done something illegal? Activist Lovisa Stannow with Just Detention International says that it’s due to a level of social discomfort among people and with discussing sex and rape, so we revert to cheap (and ugly) jokes and old school concepts of retribution.

Survivor Adds A Name, Face To Prison Rape [NPR]

Related: O’Reilly: Rape, Murder Victim Was “wearing a miniskirt and a halter top. … [E]very predator in the world is gonna pick that up at 2 in the morning” [Media Matters]

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