Friday, June 22, 2007

Rape is in the eye of the beholder. Or something.

Maybe, at some point in my life, I'll actually write for this on a regular basis. But until then, it'll have to be saved for when I'm procrastinating or I have something really! important! to share or when, like now, I'm bored out of my mind. (Currently, the source of my boredom is this borrrrrrrrrrring temp job where they have nothing for me to do. Sup, ennui.)

So, we'll start with one of the most fucked up stories in the past week, out of Nebraska.

A judge there, Jeffre Cheuvront, presiding over a sexual assault case has (again) banned the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit from the trial.
Doesn't make sense, right? You can't just bar a word that accurately describes a criminal act on the basis that it's allegedly "prejudicial."
More, this is actually the second trial for the same case; the first time around, the jury was hopelessly deadlocked at 7-5 after the judge had put in place the same language ban. Coincidence? I think not.

The best part: the word that both the defense and the prosecution are supposed to use? Sex. Because that, apparently, is an accurate term for rape. Same thing as consensual sex, you know.

As if there weren't enough hurdles to calling rape what it is to begin with. As if there wasn't enough victim-blaming as it is. As if victims don't blame themselves enough, don't minimize the attack enough themselves, don't feel quite enough shame about being raped. As if we needed something else like this.

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