exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

in katie’s defense

by Jen at 3:37 pm on 20.09.2009 | 1 Comment
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, rant and rage

barbara ellen gets it spot on when she says katie price is like other women who’ve been raped who are afraid they won’t be believed.

If even the revelation that she’d been raped couldn’t do it, one wonders if there is any situation that could lead to people feeling sympathy for Katie Price?

Or is the mood against her so far gone that a plane could fall out of the sky, right on top of her head, and there would still be members of the British media and public muttering: “Well, she deserved it, didn’t she? Publicity-seeking trollop. Look at how she treated Peter Andre!”

Something has to explain the bizarre attitude of some parts of the media regarding Price’s account of being assaulted. Always careful to toss in a caveat (”Anyone who’s been raped deserves sympathy”), too often this would segue into a (surely irrelevant?) diatribe about Price’s character and behaviour, followed by baiting over her refusal to involve the police. Irresponsible, if not downright suspicious, seemed to run the rationale.

Well, not really. If anything, with her fear of involving the police and the courts, Price was behaving like a typical rape victim.

Doesn’t this, the omnipresent culture of automatic disbelief around sexual assault, serve to highlight why Price, and many other victims of rape, are so loath to come forward? Indeed, doesn’t Price’s obvious lack of faith in the legal system mirror the torment of many other rape victims, ordinary women, who fear they have little chance of being believed?

the comments beneath the article only serve to illustrate the point: that we seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to judge the veracity of a woman’s rape allegation based on her dress/comportment/interaction with the media.

it’s the same sort of disgusting stuff which gets dragged into the courts in an attempt to discredit the victim – a variation of the tired old chestnut of “she deserved it”. no wonder she doesn’t feel any desire to prosecute – the public is doing the defendant’s job for them by spit-roasting her at every turn.

the idea that her looks/attitudes/actions have anything to do with “context” in which we should judge her allegation is ridiculous. after all, where’s the “context” for the rapist and his crime?!

once again we focus on the woman, rather than the perpetrator. the anger and disdain is aimed squarely at her instead of the criminal, and we make judgements about her character and her status as a victim based on how likeable she is. somehow it’s her burden to prove to the public that she really was violated, and there’s more outrage about her status in the gossip mags than there is about the fact that there’s a rapist walking around out there.

millions of women do not report rapes to the police. nor do they have to (though i wish they would). they do not do so precisely because they are afraid of the kind of condemnation on full display for Katie Price. the court of public opinion on rape is so often crueler for the woman than the perpetrator. no one seems in the slightest bit bothered that the social environment all but ensures that Katie Price will not believed and that a criminal is possibly going free – they’re too busy reviling her because they don’t like the fact that she makes money by blatantly using her sexuality and from doing interviews with OK! magazine.

the vitriol is, quite frankly, repugnant and depressing. that women who are raped (whether famous, infamous, sexually explicit, or “nice”) still have to overcome the immediate knee-jerk cynicism and critique of their personality, dress, activities, drinking habits, etc. in order to be taken seriously is a gross failing of our society. until we conquer those prevailing attitudes, how can we expect a rape victim to take them on?


PSA: off for another week of holiday, see you when i’m back

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    Comment by Noble Savage

    20.09.2009 @ 18:56 pm

    I read Barbara Ellen’s article earlier today and was nodding my head right along to it. It is definitely no one else’s business whether Katie Price names her attacker or presses charges. There is probably a 0.0001% chance of a conviction so what would be the point? To put her kids through a long, timely court battle where her character and worth to society is dragged through the mud? I’d be saying “No thanks!” too.

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