Blaming The Victim

Seriously, in 2011?

During debate over a bill that would legislate a dress code for Florida students, Passidomo blamed the alleged gang raping of an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas on the way the young girl was dressed.

“There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute,” Passidomo declared.

“And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students,” she added.

I know my first reaction when I hear about an 11 year old gang-raped by 18 men is that she had it coming for dressing slutty.






74 replies
  1. 1
    Stefan says:

    “There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute,” Passidomo declared.

    Because, as we all know, it’s perfectly legal and acceptable to gangrape 21 year old prostitut…wait, what?

  2. 2
    Bobbo says:

    The nyt article about the rape encouraged this victim-blaming, as I recall. Damn liberal media

  3. 3
    jibeaux says:

    Someone had linked to that story last week or so, discussing the highly odd reactions of the folks interviewed, which were sympathetic to the perpetrators. Doesn’t make any damn sense at all, in any light you look at it.

  4. 4
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    And since WHEN is it acceptable … DAMMIT, Stefan, beat me to it.

    But seriously, an elected official? Blaming an 11-year-old for inviting sexual assault. In a discussion about school dress codes. What the fuck is wrong with some people?

  5. 5
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Bringing Taliban here so that we don’t have to go to Afghanistan to find it.

  6. 6
    Cris says:

    Remember, men don’t rape women, women rape themselves with men.

  7. 7
    Alex S. says:

    And the elected official is a woman herself… shame on her.

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    Goddamn this is depressing. WTF is wrong with people?

  9. 9
    piratedan says:

    @jibeaux: might make sense if said perpetrators were member of a local athletic club that might have aspirations of doing well and perhaps had an opportunity to “go to state”. Don’t know the specifics, but if I remember properly, there was an incident a few years ago where a hazing got out of control and tore a community apart because of the lines being blurred between “youthful hijinks” and “sexual assault”

  10. 10
    Stefan says:

    And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students,” she added.

    I see the Right’s concerns about sharia law coming to Florida aren’t as hysterical as I’d thought. Clearly Passidomo won’t be happy until he can drape all women in burqas so they no longer sinfully assault his eyes with their lustful curves.

  11. 11
    Graeme says:

    I don’t understand why the American South hasn’t embraced the hijab, or – better yet – the burka. I mean, they can be decorated with crosses so everyone will feel good about it.

  12. 12
    Stefan says:

    Someone had linked to that story last week or so, discussing the highly odd reactions of the folks interviewed, which were sympathetic to the perpetrators. Doesn’t make any damn sense at all, in any light you look at it.

    What the Times left out of the article was that all of the alleged perpetrators were black, in a majority black community, and the victim was Hispanic. It seems to be partly racial.

  13. 13
    RSA says:

    I know my first reaction when I hear about an 11 year old gang-raped by 18 men is that she had it coming for dressing slutty.

    Cause and effect, in the Republican mind.

  14. 14
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Seriously, in 2011?

    I’m pretty sure that victim-blaming never went out of style, especially when it comes to rape.

    But yeah, I missed the section of the Bible where it’s permissible to gang-rape a young girl because of how she’s dressed.

  15. 15
    Bulworth says:

    During debate over a bill that would legislate a dress code for Florida students,

    Is this more of that “less government” I keep hearing about?

  16. 16
    Tsulagi says:

    Seems Sessions was fully serious about Gooperdom needing to be more like the Taliban.

    GOP Rape Panels to gangraped 11-year-old and her parents: No burka, no rape.

  17. 17
    jibeaux says:

    I don’t think I’m going to be cutting anyone any slack on a gang rape because the victim was Hispanic and the perpetrators were black, or because they might have “gone to State” if they hadn’t turned out to be violent felons instead. It’s context, sure, but it doesn’t make it any more damn acceptable or understandable. And I realize you’re not really saying it does.

  18. 18
    1MaNLan says:

    I also hate how the perps are framed in Pavlovian terms. Like dogs salivating for fresh meat, so the rapists are painted as responding automatically in the presence of a sufficient stimulus. The implication is that they had no choice and cannot really be blamed.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @Stefan:

    What the Times left out of the article was that all of the alleged perpetrators were black, in a majority black community, and the victim was Hispanic.

    It seems to be partly racial. This is not partly racial, it’s totally stupid.

    I hate it when people try to rationalize crap with some phony overlay of ethnic “loyalty.”

  20. 20
    Evan says:

    Of course this is terrible on its face, but think about what she’s implying about the young men involved. If you saw an 11-year-old dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute getting raped by 17 men, your impulse would obviously be to rape her too, because look how she’s dressed, right?

    THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

  21. 21
    Shalimar says:

    @Jay in Oregon: It’s the commandment that goes “Women shalt not tempt men to stray from their Godly path. See also: Eve.”

  22. 22

    what specifically about the way she was supposed to be dressed says specifically that the was dressed like the exact age of 21? was her entire ensemble made of mini-bar liquor bottles that one could pluck and consume?

    apparently there isn’t anyone saying this didn’t happen at all, just trying to explain why it happened…so really, this is horrible stuff, like hubert selby novel in real life, horrible.

  23. 23
    David Hunt says:

    I know my first reaction when I hear about an 11 year old gang-raped by 18 men is that she had it coming for dressing slutty.

    Technically, I don’t think it was Passidomo’s first reaction either. It was worse. I think it was that it must have been the girl’s fault somehow and then move toward this justification.

  24. 24
    John PM says:

    Yeah, and those nuns in Nicaragua back in the 80s were asking for it, too!

  25. 25
    twiffer says:

    it’s been said twice (or more, by the time i post this) already, but it need to be hammered through the thick skulls of these people. excusing, or any sort of sympathy, for gang rape because the kid was wearing makeup and dressed “older” is pretty much saying that gang raping someone 18+ would have been ok.

    nothing excuses rape.

  26. 26
    gene108 says:

    Oh common! Those comments aren’t that bad. They didn’t state the obvious fact that men cannot control their libido’s, so women must understand the risks of going out and about, without the accompaniment of a male relative or girl friends and generally putting themselves into situations that provoke men’s desires.

    I mean seriously, what is wrong with you people. What’s a guy supposed to think, when he sees an attractive women, alone, at a bar? She’s chaste and pure? Are playgrounds really that much a different setting than bars? I think not.

    (/end sarcasm)

  27. 27
    Bulworth says:

    @John PM: Great movie (Salvador). But, yeah, those nuns were opposing our thugs friends down there. They hated America.

  28. 28
    The Moar You Know says:

    It’s just a hick town in the middle of nowhere where everyone is totally fucked in the head; kinda like Deliverance.

    Nothing else to really look into. Hopefully the girl will recover.

  29. 29
    Carnacki says:

    I try to be a peaceful man, but sometimes I want to go all Billy Jack on these motherfuckers.

  30. 30
    twiffer says:

    @Evan: particularly in context of trying to get legislation to require school uniforms. see? if we don’t have school uniforms, then girls can dress slutty and boys will be unable to stop raping them! uniforms are the obviously the answer, not education.

    it’s a good thing school uniforms have never figured into any sexual fantasies, ever!

  31. 31
    bcinaz says:

    With rape and sexual assault, blaming the victim is usually the first thing any ‘good old boy, red blooded Murikan’ will do. In my experience, just about anything will give a horny guy an erection, what he does with it and who he blames…, well, didn’t congress want to differentiate between forcible rape and just the regular kind of rape?

    I think at some point if one thinks there is a difference or a degree of rape, then, there must be a difference and a degree of being human or being something else.

  32. 32
    debit says:

    There are days when I really just want to get a gun and shoot anything with a dick. Sorry, guys, I know it’s not fair.

  33. 33
    Stefan says:

    I hate it when people try to rationalize crap with some phony overlay of ethnic “loyalty.”

    Just to be clear, it should be obvious I’m not rationalizing or excusing it.

  34. 34
    Jamie McCarthy says:

    debit: Republican Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo is female.

    And comments like that (especially if you were talking about an elected official) are way out of line.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @twiffer:

    it’s a good thing school uniforms have never figured into any sexual fantasies, ever!

    O.K. I guess the counterargument could be that dressing girls like school girls actually places them in greater danger…

    Anyway. Could someone refresh me why we’re debating school uniforms and dress codes? Am I waking up in 1996 again? Or do we just want to come up with ways to harass young people again by outlawing the way that they dress every fifteen years or so.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is your fucked up Jeebofascist culture manifesting itself.

    The Patriarchy. You’re soaking in it.

  38. 38
    liberal says:

    @Jay in Oregon:
    Here’s some fun stuff from Deuteronomy 22:

    23If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
    24Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
    25But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
    26But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
    27For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

  39. 39
    The Dangerman says:

    All women and girls wear burkas; problem solved.

  40. 40
    soonergrunt says:

    @debit: Since Passidomo is a woman, do you want to shoot her son or her husband in her place? How do you feel about some random guy walking by to make up for it?
    There are times when I want to slap the ever living shit out of some dumbass who judges by the group for a superficial common attribute instead of judging individuals for what they’ve done individually but I guess we’re both going to have to refrain today.

  41. 41
    debit says:

    @Jamie McCarthy:

    Republican Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo is female.

    I know that. I wasn’t speaking of her, since I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a dick. I was speaking of the asswipes that gangraped an 11 year old girl. Is it okay to want to shoot them?

    ETA: Jesus, I guess no one here has hyperbole comprehension. Later, folks.

  42. 42
    tucker says:

    1996?
    More like 1966; I’m old so I remember when it was a big deal to be allowed to wear jeans to school. I’m beginning to think the last 45 years never happened and I woke up and it was yesterday. “Women need to be in the kitchen, minorities either know their place or go “home” and gays, well they don’t even exist”.

    I think America is over. The grand experiment gone off the rails.

  43. 43
    johnsmith1882 says:

    They have no empathy for anyone. Anyone. Not for their own wives, daughters, gay sons, and certainly not for some eleven year-old girl. The party that endeavors to bring us back to before the Civil War surprises you still, Mr. Cole?

  44. 44
    rumpole says:

    You read this story, and it just turns your stomach. Every time you think that the R’s can’t be any more backward, s**t like this happens.

  45. 45
    soonergrunt says:

    @tucker: It’s only over if we let it be so. I haven’t given up. Don’t you either.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @rumpole:
    What also turns my stomach is that the Dems are apparently unwilling to make any use of this fodder for propaganda purposes.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @liberal:

    Here’s some fun stuff from Deuteronomy 22

    Some of it is primitive, but there is much more common sense and attempt to achieve justice than any of the crap coming from conservatives. And there is an empathy and deep awareness of the horror of being helpless and victimized.

    the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her

    And note here the strong implication that the society has a duty to offer assistance. A far cry from the “got mine screw you” sensibility of many libertarians and conservatives.

  48. 48
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @twiffer:

    it’s a good thing school uniforms have never figured into any sexual fantasies, ever!

    Where can we send your prize — for winning the Internets today?

  49. 49
    Nylund says:

    Here in Texas the coverage was very much, “She ruined the lives of those poor boys!” How will they escape the stigma and the legal consequences?!

    Special attention was paid to how this was affecting the school’s sports team. With so many players out, the hopes of an undefeated season are gone. Oh the tragedy.

    It has been quite sickening.

  50. 50
    Stefan says:

    What also turns my stomach is that the Dems are apparently unwilling to make any use of this fodder for propaganda purposes.

    I agree…it’s simply appalling that any political party would use a statement, made by an opposing politician in the course of debating proposed legislation, for political purposes. Since when did politics become so politicized?!?!

  51. 51
    Stefan says:

    What also turns my stomach is that the Dems are apparently unwilling to make any use of this fodder for propaganda purposes.

    You know, strictly speaking, it’s not propaganda if it’s true. Accurately reporting what a politician said so that voters can be made aware of it is not propaganda.

  52. 52
    Warren Terra says:

    @Bulworth:

    During debate over a bill that would legislate a dress code for Florida students,

    Is this more of that “less government” I keep hearing about?

    Well, they are apparently putting enforcement of their dress code in the hands of roving bands of volunteer private citizens; isn’t that less government?

  53. 53
    Stefan says:

    Well, they are apparently putting enforcement of their dress code in the hands of roving bands of volunteer private citizens; isn’t that less government?

    So, basically, what they do in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

  54. 54
    Social Outcast says:

    At least Passidomo didn’t point to the race of the victim or perpetrator as a cause of the crime. For a republican, we call that progress.

  55. 55
    Ash Can says:

    @Nylund: That reminds me of how disgusted I felt when reading the comments in the Lawrence (KS) newspaper thread defending Virgil Peck for his cracks about shooting illegal immigrants from helicopters. These people are in government because people just like them put them there. It’s discouraging to say the least to find out how many of your fellow citizens lack even the most basic human decency.

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    They could make a Jodie Foster movie about this.

  57. 57
    Lihtox says:

    Technically, she’s blaming the girl’s parents for letting her dress that way, not the girl. Blaming parents is a great Republican pastime, doncha know.

    If this had been a male legislator I might recommend some therapy for possible latent pedophilic urges; since it’s a woman I’m gonna have to call this reverse sexism. Maybe she’s one of those “feminazis” Rush keeps talking about, who think men are evil? Or maybe men are just animals– obviously an endorsement of evolution!

    Ass.

  58. 58
    bay of arizona says:

    ETA: Jesus, I guess no one here has hyperbole comprehension. Later, folks.

    No, its men who take all accusations of “reverse sexism” personally. We live in a patriarchal society, and when we have proof, look at any thread about rape, there will be a (self-proclaimed liberal) man complaining about how they aren’t rapist, therefore, uh something.

    Same thing with abortion, there will be another man who feels uncomfortable, as if he will get cooties for believing women can control their bodies.

    The lack of self awareness is surprising, because I would have thought liberals are more empathic and introspective.

  59. 59
    Mike in NC says:

    Another day, another insane story coming out of Texas or Florida. Arizona and South Carolina had better step it up.

  60. 60
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Stefan: Strictly speaking What stricture are you referring to? Never heard of waving the bloody shirt? I think propaganda is neither true nor false; it’s simply spreading information, true or false, for the purpose of helping or harming a cause. It’s especially pernicious when the information is false, but “strictly speaking” to me means what the dictionary says.

  61. 61
    Alwhite says:

    Come on – I bet she looked at least 13, right? I think these sick fucks are asking for it. Prison rape is no joking matter but there are times it could easily be seen as just reward.

  62. 62
    slag says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s discouraging to say the least to find out how many of your fellow citizens lack even the most basic human decency.

    This refrain pops into my head pretty much daily. Rick Astley should make a song about it just to complete the circle.

  63. 63
    soonergrunt says:

    @bay of arizona:
    “Reverse Sexism” is supposed to be what men accuse women of, not the other way around.
    As far as abortion goes, I’m so not uncomfortable that I don’t care. Abort away if it makes you happy.

    My issue, that you seem to have missed, is that I’d prefer to be judged, and treated accordingly, for things I’ve actually done, and not for things I haven’t.
    Since the rapists were all African American men, I have to ask why it’s OK for debit to want to shoot (even hyperbolicly speaking) men, and not African Americans?

  64. 64
    Geeno says:

    @Howlin Wolfe: I believe “accurately” is the key word. Even “waiving the bloody shirt” involves some distortion in attributing the ideas of the propagandist to the facts at hand.

  65. 65
    debit says:

    @soonergrunt: Why don’t you point me at a link for each time someone has wished harm on another person and you’ve rebuked them for it. As should be obvious, I was not literally planning on getting a gun and shooting every guy I see.

    In the meantime, I’m sorry you took my statement personally. There was a discussion about this in one of ABL’s posts, about how most men simply cannot comprehend the mindset of women. An example: I work in a not terrible, but not great neighborhood. It’s tax season, so I’m here late almost every night, and it’s dark when I go to my car, which is in an unlit parking lot. I see a guy walking down the sidewalk toward me and my first reaction is to go on guard. You might go on guard as well, but because he might hit you or rob you. You wouldn’t go on guard because he might hit you then rip your clothes off and rape you, then possibly kill you.

    But, you know, go ahead and be pissed because I was outraged that a bunch men raped a little girl and I typed the first angry thing that came into my mind.

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    I do think that most women and men understand rape differently, as do women who have been raped and women who live with the risk of being raped.

    A lot of things that really matter to many of us are under assault right now, on so many levels, and that makes it easy to feel angry and frustrated and be more reactive than ususal. I understood your comment to be venting, even as someone who hates guns and still thinks about Gabrielle Giffords every day.

    You and soonergrunt are both good people, so I think this, too, shall pass.

  67. 67
    Bella says:

    Some community activist came out with this:

    “It was not the young girl that yelled rape. Stop right there — something is wrong, brothers and sisters,” Quanell X said. And, speaking over yells of support from the crowd, he also questioned the role of the girl’s parents. “Where was the mother? Where was the father?” he said.

    Yes. Any 11 year old girl should be able to fend off 18 attackers. And her parents should be responsible for intervening, should anyone decide to rape her.

  68. 68
    Jado says:

    Good thing she didn’t say anything about Bradley Manning, or she would have been forced to resign…

    Oh, wait, she’s a Republican. Nevermind…

  69. 69
    soonergrunt says:

    @debit:

    Why don’t you point me at a link for each time someone has wished harm on another person and you’ve rebuked them for it. As should be obvious, I was not literally planning on getting a gun and shooting every guy I see.

    My issue is judging individuals for their groups. Your default position is to want to kill every man you meet. I don’t know you from Eve. You just might be crazy enough.

    In the meantime, I’m sorry you took my statement personally. There was a discussion about this in one of ABL’s posts, about how most men simply cannot comprehend the mindset of women. An example: I work in a not terrible, but not great neighborhood. It’s tax season, so I’m here late almost every night, and it’s dark when I go to my car, which is in an unlit parking lot. I see a guy walking down the sidewalk toward me and my first reaction is to go on guard. You might go on guard as well, but because he might hit you or rob you. You wouldn’t go on guard because he might hit you then rip your clothes off and rape you, then possibly kill you.

    Well, the only analog to this I have is that I was falsely accused of rape once and spent six weeks in jail for a crime that nobody committed, let alone me. I stay away from strange women because they are a proven threat. But I don’t walk around fantasizing about killing all women for the actions of one. And with respect to your first statement of this paragraph, don’t be sorry somebody took your statement personally. Be sorry you said something assinine and offensive. Otherwise don’t waste your energy being sorry.

    But, you know, go ahead and be pissed because I was outraged that a bunch men raped a little girl and I typed the first angry thing that came into my mind.

    Or, you know, you could look at this and say “what if I’d said ‘black people’ or ‘poor people’ instead of ‘men’ since those are the other things they had in common? How would everybody else have reacted? How would I have reacted to seeing that? And then maybe you could grow the fuck up and actually apologize for making an ass of yourself instead of doubling down.

  70. 70
    Ija says:

    You would think that victim blaming would stop at a child, since we live in a culture that claims to hold children at such high regards (WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!), but I guess the female part of her trumps her child-ness.

  71. 71
    soonergrunt says:

    @Ija: In this case, it’s her hispanic heritage that trumps her childhood, as much as her gender.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @Bella:

    And her parents should be responsible for intervening, should anyone decide to rape her.

    I think the activist and politician are both idiots, but parents DO have a duty to protect 11 year olds. They do. It depends on the state how far it goes, but 11 is very young. The indictment reads that this is the third alleged assault of this girl over three months, by several of the alleged assailants. I have to tell you, three unreported physical assaults in three months is a big red flag that this kid is neglected.

    The same would be true if she were an 11 year old boy.

    That is a completely different issue than the guilt or innocence or culpability of the alleged assailants, but it is absolutely an issue in terms of her safety, simply because she’s a child. It’s legit to question why her parents weren’t aware that she had been assaulted 2 times prior to the most brutal event. It would be irresponsible to leave her in their care, particularly now, that she is going to need careful attention, without finding that out.

  73. 73
    kay says:

    @Bella:

    “Where was the mother? Where was the father?” he said.

    It ordinarily comes up when a child is victimized in the home, by a related or unrelated adult. The adult who is responsible for the child’s care and protection (in ordinary terms, not some hyper-aware ‘lock them in the basement’ sense) faces legitimate questions on why he or she was unaware that the child was being victimized.

    It’s a huge contentious debate, because no one is sure where the parental duty begins or where it ends, and there’s the (obvious) risk of the state interpreting any duty out to ludicrous extremes, because people just completely lose their minds and/or common sense when dealing with issues involving children. We ping pong back and forth in the US, we veer wildly from lunatic witch hunt crusade to complete and utter disregard for their safety.

    But 11 year olds do have to be protected by adults, generally, so that’s the starting assumption.

    But it has nothing to do with exonerating or excusing criminal behavior by the actual assailant.

  74. 74
    Pococurante says:

    This child was not being parented and acted out by hanging around a known “dangerous crowd”.

    The local community quotes are not particularly sophisticated but it was this behavior they were objecting to – I don’t blame the kid of course, and I think the parents should be jailed for criminal negligence.

    I saw no end of this behavior when I was growing up. I hung with the same kind of crowd, nearly all of whom never did live long enough or learn how to grow up. Very sad.

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