I have no words: An 11-year old is raped, and then blamed.

This post is tagged ‘children’, ‘injustice’, and ‘rape’ (among others).  What a terrible combination.

I have no words to express my frustration that one of rape activists’ most basic messages – rape is never the victim’s fault, ever – is still news to so many people.

An 11-year old girl was gang raped in Cleveland, Texas.  In the New York Times coverage, the reporter wrote, They said she dressed older than her age, wearing make-up and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.”  The reporter also included comments asking about where the girl’s mother was at the time of the rape.

She’s 11.  No matter what she wore, where her mother was, or who she hung out with, she’s 11. That means she can’t consent to any form of sex – not in the way she dresses, not in the absence (or presence, for that matter) of her mom , nor in her choice of friends. And at least one of the 20-something men involved in the rape should have known that.

No one is talking about what any of the 18 men and boys [some sources say up to 28] involved could have done to prevent it (for example, raising the point that sex requires consent, or maybe hurting someone isn’t a really good way to spend an afternoon, or that something like this – especially given the number of cellphone recordings that were apparently made – wouldn’t go undiscovered for long, or coming to the girl’s defence), or asking questions about where their parents were, or what they learned from their parents, schools, media, role models, and other leaders in their lives.

Instead, let the culture of victim-blaming continue. Because, after all, she did wear make-up. Please excuse the sarcasm, and visit Change.orgFeministing (post title: Why did we even get out of bed this morning? – they also talk about other examples of Very Upsetting Things) and Jezebel for more complete, but equally (if not more so) angry coverage. And tell your friends – rape is never the victim’s fault. Oh – and if you are 11, you can’t consent to sex.