Having just yesterday discussed the ways in which many depictions of rape uphold the violent act as an appropriate punishment for women who behave outside of patriarchal expectations, I couldn’t not post this story (h/t).
A woman in the San Francisco Bay area was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building, authorities said Monday.
Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The men, who ranged from their late teens to their 30s, made comments indicating they knew her sexual orientation, said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan.
“It just pushes it beyond fathomable,” he said. “The level of trauma — physical and emotional — this victim has suffered is extreme.”
Authorities are characterizing the attack as a rainbow flag sticker on her car.but declined to reveal why they think the woman was singled out because of her sexual orientation. Gagan would say only that the victim lived openly with a female partner and had a
I imagine that few would openly condone this attack and say that because the woman is a lesbian, she deserved to be raped. But clearly enough people do feel that way, enough for the crime to have been committed. This violence was enacted as an act of hate not just against an individual — which is far more than enough — but specifically against an entire community for the purpose of instilling fear (which is what makes it a hate crime). It was committed against this victim because she is a lesbian, and therefore didn’t live up to our society’s bogus standards of womanhood which involve being perpetually sexually available to men. And rape was the weapon of choice because it is seen as an appropriate way of punishing women.
How funny is Rapeman, now?
The story adds:
Gay rights advocates note that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased nationwide as of late. There were 1,415 such crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007, both times making up about 16 percent of the total, according to the FBI.
Avy Skolnik, a coordinator with the New York-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, noted that gay, lesbian and transgender crime victims may be more reluctant than heterosexual victims to contact police.
“Assailants target LGBT people of all gender identities with sexual assault,” he said. “Such targeting is one of the most cruel, dehumanizing and violent forms of hate violence that our communities experience.”
Skolnik said the group plans to analyze hate crime data to see whether fluctuations may be related to the gay marriage bans that appeared on ballots this year in California, Arizona and Florida.
“Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks,” he said. “People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice.”
I bet that those who promote anti-LGBT initiatives are among the vast majority of people unlikely to openly condone this crime. (Just more likely to argue that hate crimes don’t deserve “special” recognition.) But their behavior and actions create the social climate in which it can occur. And it needs to end.