I have yet to read a single line into this Rehtaeh Parsons story. And frankly, based on the collective disgust, I’m not sure I want to know.
Posts tagged rape
Posts tagged rape
For years, she was known to the public as the Bloomingdale Library rape victim.
Then, in 2011, her family asked she be called the Bloomingdale Library rape survivor.
Now, she wants people to just call her Queena.
On the night of April 24, 2008, when Queena went to the Bloomingdale Library to return books, she was raped, beaten and left to die. She was 18, about to graduate high school and getting ready to attend the University of Florida on a full scholarship. Her attacker, Kendrick Morris, now 21, was convicted in May 2011 and is serving a 65-year state prison sentence.
Since then, her family and the community have held fundraisers and 5K races to raise money for her treatment, never revealing her name or showing her face.
On Saturday, the family will launch a new website, JoinQueena.com. The site documents Queena’s life and recovery. It features updates on her progress from her doctors, therapists and her family, photos and a link to donate through PayPal.
The family wanted a way for the public to help Queena, now turning 23, without having to write a check or go to a bank, her mother Vanna, 50, said.
But they wanted a better name for the website than “Bloomingdale Survivor.” Friends offered suggestions like “My Angel” or “Living Angel.” Queena would make a face, with her mouth in the shape of an O, to indicate no, she didn’t like those.
Her sister, Anna, 26, asked her: Did she just want Queena.com? Her face lit up with a smile, Vanna said. They asked her over and over, are you sure you want to use your real name?
She was sure. She wants to be an inspiration, her sister said, not a victim. They decided on JoinQueena.com.
At the request of the family, and because of the nature of the crime, last names are being withheld by the Tampa Bay Times.
The attack left Queena unable to walk, talk, see or eat on her own. She lives at home southeast of Tampa with her mother, who cares for her full time. But she has made some progress, Anna said.
Queena eats pureed foods, can form some syllables and can stand for periods of time with little assistance, Anna said. She has taken a few steps with the help of therapists and is tracking objects with her eyes better.
Her therapies include speech, physical and occupational, aquatic, yoga, neuro-stimulating treatments, acupuncture, massage and music.
Medicaid covers $1,500 per year for speech and physical therapy. But it costs the family about $70,000 a year for all of Queena’s therapies and medical supplies.
Queena has different therapy sessions each week in St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Valrico and Sun City Center. Her mother drives her, and the cost for gas adds up.
The family relies on donations to a fund for Queena through the Bank of Tampa and SunTrust. In the first three years after the attack, donations poured in. People still donate, but every year donations are fewer and fewer, Vanna said. She’s concerned about the fund running dry.
She’s worried about bankruptcy. She’s worried they’ll have to cut back therapies, that she won’t be able to take Queena out as much. When they go out, people talk to Queena and she listens to everyone around her. It’s good for her, Vanna says, because it stimulates her brain.
"I get afraid," she said.
In addition to the website launch, Queena will attend a 23rd birthday celebration her family is holding for her at 1 p.m. Saturday at Keel and Curley Winery in Plant City, with a prayer vigil at 2 p.m.
"Every time her birthday rolls around, we are all reminded of how precious life is," Anna said. "To see the community come together every year, it is very heartwarming and gives the family that extra comfort and motivation to keep pushing forward."
On Wednesday, Queena lay in a hospital bed in her blue room at home, where her physical therapist comes for the day’s session. Her therapy dog, Charlie, a little white Shih Tzu adopted from county Animal Services last year, waits for her in another room. Medical supplies share the shelves with stuffed animals and Gators memorabilia. The therapist works with Queena while her home health aide looks on. He works on her leg muscles while she’s lying down. He props small inflatable balls under her legs and has her push against his hands with her foot.
They slowly help her up so her arms are resting on balls on either side of her. The therapist tells her to look straight ahead. When she’s sitting up, he’ll let go of her for seconds at a time to work on sitting up on her own. He’ll ask if she’s doing okay. She makes a noise to tell him she’s all right.
Paula McDonald of Wimauma helped put together the website. She got to know Queena’s family when her daughter, Kendall, was a senior at East Bay High School last year. Kendall and other students at East Bay, which Queena had attended, helped organize a 5K fundraiser, and McDonald offered to help the family any way she could.
McDonald works in design and communications, and in November got in touch with Full Media, an Internet marketing company in Georgia she had worked with before, to get some tips on how to set up Queena’s website. The company ended up offering to create the site for the family.
"They really stepped up to the plate," McDonald said. "They were really interested in Queena’s story and helping with the website."
McDonald admires the family’s sense of strength and forgiveness, she said.
"For me as a parent, it hits close to home," she said. "Parents of teenage daughters, especially, you never hope to find yourself in that situation."
As kids, Queena and Anna were inseparable, Anna said. Their mother worked a lot, and Anna babysat her sister.
"We played together, slept in bunk beds, took the bus together, went to sleepovers together, crossed the street together," she said. "We were opposites, but we rarely fought."
Her sister was “Miss Bossy,” Anna said. “She cracked me up all the time, and still does. She has a cute, klutzy personality and it’s hard not to laugh at her nonsense.”
Like the time, just after getting her driver’s license, Queena drove her sister to the mall for the first time. She pulled into a parking spot, got out, shut the door, then realized the keys were still in the car. And the car was still running.
"She is the best, most supportive and fun sister I could have ever asked for," Anna said.
Anna has lived with Queena and their mother for the past five years to help with Queena’s care. She’s moving soon, to a house about 15 minutes away. Queena has already staked claim on her bedroom for when she visits.
Queena’s journey has put life into perspective, Anna said.
"It’s almost impossible to have a bad day when I think of everything that she has gone through and the resilience that she shows," Anna said. "Life is about family and community and doing the best you can to positively influence those around you."
Put this together in anticipation for Banned Books Week! All of these quotes are from actual challenges I found online.
Wasn’t the girl in Speak raped?
A+++ rant from Kate Harding on the MRA movement and how it’s not actually about the real issues men face, but about putting feminists in their place.
(originally appeared on Jezebel)
Rape culture is bullshit, am I right? So, let’s break this shit down logically: how can we dismantle rape culture? One way is erasing ideologies and values that perpetuate rape culture, so below are 5 mentalities that perpetuate rape culture because awareness is key.
5. She’s a Slut
- “Sluts deserve to be raped.”
- “It’s not like she was a virgin.”
- “Who knows if it was even rape; she’s slept with so many guys.”
- “You can’t believe a slut.”
Slut shaming is the foundation for many of the mentalities that uphold rape culture, including She Was Asking For It and Victim Blaming. Bringing a person’s sexual history into question validates the actions of rapists, because, really, any woman can be classified as a slut just by doing, well, nearly anything.Out alone at night? Slut. Drunk? Slut. Dressed up? Slut. Pre-teen wearing make up? Slut. You don’t have to fuck a lot of people to be a slut. Calling someone a slut is often justified when someone dresses a certain way or is of a certain class/race/sexual orientation/body size. Anything and everything can make you a slut, because slut shaming isn’t about what’s “right” and “wrong;” it’s about controlling women’s sexuality and their bodies; it’s about telling them they are worth their vaginas; it’s about making them fearful of sex, their bodies, their own sexualities, and pretty much the world at large. And if you don’t think slut shaming plays a role in rape cases that see trial or are reported, I am not sorry; you are wrong.
4. She Should Learn to Protect Herself
- “If more women protected themselves, there would be less rape.”
- “Give women guns and see how the rape rate drops.”
- “Do these things/follow these rules to protect yourself and you’ll be rape proof!”
So, okay: maybe that last phrase isn’t word for word, but you’ve all heard the precautions: don’t wear your hair in a pony tail; walk with your keys out; don’t go out alone at night; don’t live alone; don’t wear tight/revealing clothes; beware of men pretending to be police officers, etc. etc. etc. Doesn’t this all sound like the responsibility for rape is being put on the victim? As if you could follow all these strategies and make yourself rape proof. Or as Wanda Sykes joked, leave your pussy at home.
Since you can’t leave your pussy at home, there’s always a lot of talk about how women can carry guns or learn self defense to prevent rape, but as the articulate Zerlina Maxwell so eloquently stated on Fox News this past week:
“I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there…You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust…If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”
3. She Was Asking For It
- “She was asking for it.”
- “Women secretly want to be raped.”
- “She was wearing/doing X so she wanted it.”
- “She was drinking/doing drugs/out late/without a man/alone.”
The absolute absurdity that anyone asks to get raped is completely stunning. There is literally nothing a person can do to ask for a heinous act of violence: not dress a certain way, not identify a certain way, not act a certain way, etc. It should be clear by now that these mentalities don’t serve to protect women; they create boundaries in which we are to live policed by the threat of sexual violence. By telling us we cannot go out late or drink or have any sort of life outside of our homes without the threat of rape, you have effectively removed our humanity. There is no autonomy in following a strict set of standards, lest we risk violence and the label of “asking for it.” The myth that some women asked to be raped means that those “some women” behave/look a certain way, and to avoid being raped, a woman should operate inside the boundaries set out by society. Of course, that does not work. Women are raped regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, or marital status because rape is not an act of desire/sex; rape is an act of violence.
2. Boys Will be Boys
- “Boys will be boys.”
- “Rape is biological.”
- “That’s just the way men are/the world is.”
When the phrase “boys will be boys” is used in regards to sexual violence, it is normalized. That is, it is assumed that every male identifying person is a rapist. Boys will be boys = that’s the way boys are: they rape. I don’t know about you, but I expect a lot more out of humanity than the innate, biological need to rape. Telling me that men cannot control their “desire” for someone, or must expel the fruit of their loins, or have some “point of no return” removes their capacity for logical thought: dick gets hard; brain shuts off. What’s really going on is that a lot of men don’t see women as people. Yes, you read that right. Objectification leads to dehumanization.(And you can’t commit a crime against an object, can you?) The rationale that “men are that way” or “that’s the way the world is” suggests that women are fish in water: that the threat of violence is an immovable, unchangeable part of society, and that women should learn to deal with it (re: protect themselves/follow the rules) instead of trying to change it. I, for one, I am not buying it. Instead, let’s follow the 5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not to Rape by Zerlina Maxwell.
1. Victim Blaming
- “She didn’t fight/say anything/say no/yell.”
- “What was she doing there/with that man?”
- “Why didn’t she try to run?”
- “What was she wearing/doing?”
- “Where was she/who was she with?”
How can a rapist ever be at fault if there are always reasons why the victim is to blame? The entirety of this list all adds up to blaming the person who was raped for being the target of a violent crime. One of the most common arguments (behind, of course, the sexy clothing excuse) is that women do not struggle enough, do not say no, or cannot say no. Listen: silence is not a yes; no is not a yes; only yes is a yes. This bullshit about women “saying no when they mean yes” only perpetuates the mentality that some women are asking for it. Sadly, victim blaming is deeply embedded into society; so far, in fact, that it is often used in the most subtle ways and the most disgusting ways. In turn, rapes are under reported and under prosecuted. And when rapes are reported women undergo an invasive examination of their entire lives while their story is speculated on and their experience discredited.
So, if you find yourself or someone you know falling into one of these mentalities about rape and rape survivors, think about the consequences of perpetuating those ideas, and whether they are really creating the kind of world you want to live in.
By Angela Page
A Canadian teenager hung herself after photos of her rape were spread by classmates on Facebook and Twitter, now the internet is demanding justice.
Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old from Halifax, Nova Scotia, hung herself in her family’s bathroom last week after photos of her gang rape were distributed online by classmates. She fell into a coma. Her family pulled her off life support on Sunday.
The rape happened when she was fifteen, allegedly by four classmates at a friend’s house.
After the incident, her classmates passed the photos among each other online, forcing Rehtaeh to change schools due to constant harassment.Source: @rprsnsxo
Rehtaeh’s mother set up a memorial Facebook page and describes Rehtaeh’s horrific experiences with cyberbullying in grim detail:Via: facebook.com
“One of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community where it quickly went viral… Rehtaeh was suddenly shunned by almost everyone she knew, the harassment was so bad she had to move out of her own community to try to start anew in Halifax.”
The Chronicle Herald, a local news outlet, recently published an article titled “Who Failed Rehtaeh Parsons.”Via: @rprsnsxo
The piece goes into even more detail about Rehtaeh’s shunning from the community:
“People texted her all the time, saying ‘Will you have sex with me?’” she remembered. “Girls texting, saying ‘You’re such a slut.’”
But then there is the question of how the adults handled the alleged sexual assault that Rehtaeh described to her mother.
The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) investigation took a year, said Parsons.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Scott MacRae confirmed the police are now investigating a sudden death involving a young person.
“An investigation into an earlier sexual assault was completed, and in consultation with the Crown, there was insufficient evidence to lay charges,” MacRae said.
Internet users have become more and more outraged as news of Rehtaeh’s suicide has spread online. With many users pointing to her suicide as a direct result of rape culture.
Multiple Anonymous-affiliated OP accounts are already trying to find and publish the identities of the four men involved with Rehtaeh’s rape.Source: @AnOnDiVbYzEro
While both the official Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation and Anonymous’ doxxing are ongoing…
Rehtaeh’s mother concludes her Facebook testimonial with this message:
“Rehtaeh is gone today because of The four boys that thought that raping a 15yr old girl was OK and to distribute a photo to ruin her spirit and reputation would be fun. Secondly, All the bullying and messaging and harassment that never let up are also to blame. Lastly, the justice system failed her. Those are the people that took the life of my beautiful girl. Rehtaeh stood up for others, showed compassion to animals and people. She was an amazing artist .She made my life complete. When Rehtaeh was born I dedicated everything to her and promised her the world. Others in this world took that away from her.”
Happy hunting indeed.
I’m not gonna write a big detailed masterpost on this topic, because it’s not a major area of expertise for me. I just want to point out a couple ways people screwed up in teaching *me* about rape.
One was that in kindergarten, we were taught that “no one should touch your private parts except…
This is an actual quote. That he said.
Lois Lane is a dirty slut unworthy of Superman’s divinity and Wonder Woman should be raped. For a laugh. Oh haha. Rape is so funny, Millar.
Honestly, how this man exists in this world without getting punched by every woman he meets is beyond me. Horrible human being.
In another world, far beyond this one….Wonder Woman punches this guy in the face and then Lois writes a story about what it looked like when he got punched in the face.
Then, to finish it off, Superman punches him for slut shaming the love of his life and joking about how hilarious sexual violence would be against his best friend.
You know, for a laugh.
I always find it funny when people forget that comic book writers (especially the ones at DC) are sick twisted people. Do you have any idea of how Wonder Woman came into conception? Someone getting their knickers in a twist over this better be a troll.
Are you seriously arguing that being a bit into harmless kink and polyamory is on the level with joking about the sexual violation?
I know how Wonder Woman came into being. Probably better than you, you dismissive little fucker. It’s not on the same level as this. Aside from it being a rape joke, which is not funny, it’s equating a fight scene where a male hero struggles and fights back and ultimately stops an unstoppable monster at the cost of hgis life with a female hero enduring extended sexual violation and humiliation.
Marston had a little fun with subtext and parodying adventure tropes while doing a complete reversal of gender roles and giving us a woman who absolutely worked with the story roles that had up to then been given to men. Millar’s suggestion shows that he is not only boorish, twisted, and has little regard for the feelings of women, but that he is still mired in the misogyny that sees sexualized violence as something that happens to women and totally the counterpart in a woman’s story for a man’s heroic physical struggle.
It’s completely fucking different and you are a moron for equating a little consensual sexual nonconformity and winking at the adults in the audience with this complete surrender to misogyny.
Oh, Mark. Jesus. :( (via gailsimone)
DC has such a HUGE rape culture/women in refrigerators/general violence against women problem, and I’m saying this as a fan. Some of my most beloved superheroines are victims of some kind of violence as plot devices. For instance, this. whole. motherfucking. list. Let me just point out some of the most heinous offenses carried out against my favorite hero ladies:
The Steubenville guilty verdict spawned nearly as much rape apology as the original news of the case did, highlighting the point — made by feminists like Zerlina Maxwell and Jaclyn Friedman — that America has a long way to go before it gets past blaming victims and sympathizing with rapists.
Below are the top 5 rape apologist reactions to the verdict.
CNN correspondent Candy Crowley responded to the verdict by bemoaning the sad future of two rapists who traumatized one young girl for life but would never get to live out their football dreams.
2. The judge: “This is the problem with social media”
Feministe’s Jill Filipovic tweeted that the judge in the case noted that the verdict is a lesson in “how you record things on social media that are so prevalent today. As she said, “Problem =/ the recording.”
3. Author/blogger Michael Crooke: “It’s just buyer’s remorse”
Author/blogger Michael Crook, who additionally claims that “rape doesn’t exist,” won the race for most-likely-to-be-poorly-executed satire, at least until he took to his Twitter feed to demand that the survivor be “held accountable”, tell women that “skimpy clothing is pretty much implied consent” and encourage every woman to not “dress like a whore if you don’t want to be treated like one.”
4. Way too many people on Twitter: “Die, Jane Doe!”
Clearly, death threats are not the way to go.
5. Lee Stranahan on Breitbart: “The town’s the real victim here”
Stranahan says that the media and Anonymous are the real villains in the case, though they really should’ve been paying more attention to rapes reported in Occupy camps anyway.