Rape and trial by media.
I wanted to write abut it earlier in the week, but I decided to wait and see how it played out. And boy am I glad I did, I have never witnessed anything like the battle lines that are being drawn, not over this particular rape par se, but over rape in general and more importantly between furious women and angry men.
As it stands at the moment the evidence is sketchy. The woman in question was unable to correctly identify her alleged attacker and none of the DNA samples provided by 46 of the 47 boys has matched DNA found on the alleged victim and does not support her clain of rape.
On the flip side, according to the ER doctor and nurse who treated the woman, she does have injuries that would support an assualt of some kind and they are neither ruling out the possibility that she was sexually assualted or not.
Race is also a factor in this case, as is the dfferent social class of those involved. The girl is poor, she is black, she worked in a dubious career and has previous criminal record. Naturally in some quarters that immediately sends up a red flag and many have been quick to dismiss her as 'nothing more than a jumped up skanky ho' to use one of the nastier quotes I read.
The lacrosse team has been portrayed as a swaggering, elitist clique prone to loutish frat-boy behavior. They are wealthy, white ' privileged young men. Or in the word of one outraged lady, "Let me clear it up for you, this lovely lacrosse team is apparently filled largely with psychopaths and the psychopaths are still on campus." They are referred to is some quarters simply as 'the rapists'
In retaliation or to muddy the waters, attorneys for the players have released damaging information about the girl, and they defended releasing this information by saying their clients have taken a public beating since the March 14 incident.
The media is running the show with tilts and stabs tither and yon. Blogs have zoned in on whatever apsect of the case that best suits their beliefs. Feminist blogs are banging the drums on rape, rapists, the patricarchy, and whatever else they can staple to this case. Other more male dominated blogs are goating at the lack of 'real evidence' other that this girl 'said so' and that women "lie 'bout being raped all the time".
It is a mess.
Anyway, I am no expert on rape, or on alleged rapes or on false rape accusations. It is clear to me something happened that night, but we -the public-cannot know what until all the evidence has been gathered. This to me would seem obvious. So I was shocked by the naked hatred and vicious taunting I have witnessed this week. The glee with which the media have exhausted just about every sensational angle: sex, race, money, booze is disgusting. The flimsy curtain of acceptence and tolerance has been yanked aside, and trust me folks, the real stage is a gore soaked battle ground.
Blogs are taunting each other, colour is a badge, class has reared its head and is foaming at the mouth. Liberals and conservatives are screaming at each other. Black groups are up in arms, as are white.
But the real battle seems -to me- to be between men and women, and it was this that surprised me the most. The fury and point-scoring of the feminists, the scronful sneering contempt of the males. I amazed at the refusal of any party to take a step back and see this for the unpleasant situation it is.
I know I am a tiny segment of the blogsphere. I know I normally don't write on current affair topics. But I feel I have to comment on this. Not because of the case itself, but because of the divide.
It is staggering to see men and women take sides like this. Are we that different? Are we that hysterical and defensive that we must take a side when something as ugly as this situation happens?
When did men and women become enemies?