Duke Lacrosse Case

This morning, I read Yolanda’s post in which she broke the news that the DA’s office is dropping the rape charges. You’ll recall that this case involves white boys on Duke’s lacrosse team who were accused of rape and false imprisonment of an African American woman.

J informs me that sports programs are all over this news, worried about how the poor boys who were “falsely accused” will ever be able to recover. It doesn’t seem to matter that the sexual assault and kidnapping charges still stand.

The racism in this case is overwhelming. The sexism is so standard that I want to scream. If you think the fact that the woman worked as a stripper is relevant, you’re a sexist. If you think it’s irrelevant that the woman who was assaulted was African American and the boys who attacked her were white, you’re not only a racist, you’re a fool. If you immediately disbelieve a woman who says she’s been raped, you’re a waste of human tissue.


11 responses to “Duke Lacrosse Case

  1. taught_to_despise

    I feel very sorry for the woman who was raped.

    I know what it’s like to not be able to get justice for what was done to you.

    It feels like shit and like the whole world is saying ‘It doesn’t matter that you were raped. We don’t care.’

    I hope she has good support around her.

    Take care,


  2. Oh no this is awful. WHY am I not fucking surprised?
    This case is just so ugly I want to scream.

  3. This makes me so very sad 😦

  4. I’m angry about these charges being dropped, but I’m not at all surprised. With the case’s circumstances and rape culture being what it is, it was bound to happen.

    For all those people who trashed and mocked the survivor, please know this: You’re actions are the why this case was dropped. And your actions are the very reason why rape survivors suffer in silence.

    Happy Holidays everyone.

  5. taught_to_despise

    “You’re actions are the why this case was dropped. And your actions are the very reason why rape survivors suffer in silence.”

    Unfortunately, I think that just makes the twisted people feel very very pleased with themselves.

    We are not living a world full of ‘basically good people’.

    Take care,


  6. Dan Kinghttp://www.dankingbooks.com

    One last dig…

    Of course the administrator can delete any comment she likes. It is her blog, after all. But for some reason feminists cannot listen to anybody who disagrees with them. Now if I were using foul or insulting language she would have a point, but I’m not. I am simply stating an opinion and justifying it with facts.

    I have tried posting on several feminist blogs and this is always the answer…they can’t take criticism. Not even polite criticism. This seems rather cowardly.

    Peace, friends.

  7. spotted elephant

    Dan-comparing feminism to fascism is not polite. You come to my blog, unload a bunch of tired anti-feminist arguments, and expect me to teach you and inform you about why you’re wrong? No, not my job.

    Try opening your mind and *doing the work yourself*. Also consider that your style of interacting is simply trolling, not trying to open dialog.

  8. Dan Kinghttp://www.dankingbooks.com

    Thank You!

    Spotted Elephant is surely correct about words: fascism is much too freighted a word to use in polite discourse. It was ungentlemanly of me to use it. I apologize for the language, though not for the opinion.

    Regards teaching and learning: how am I supposed to learn about feminism if not from people like you? Yes, I could stay entirely on my side of the blogosphere, and many people do. And as much as I like Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, and Captain’s Quarters, I do not for a moment think I am getting the unvarnished truth from them. So that is why I am “trolling”.

    I am moved to comment because I cannot believe that somebody seriously suggests that three innocent guys should go to jail even though it is obvious they are not guilty of anything, much less rape. This attitude is certainly illiberal, and requires explanation.

    And again, thank you.

  9. spotted elephant

    Dan-If you came over here in the interest of having a conversation, then you’re not trolling. What I meant about teaching and learning is that I don’t go to the blog of a person of color and ask them to teach me about racism. It’s my job to learn about racism. I don’t have the energy to give you a comprehensive viewpoint on rape and feminism-that will have to come from your own work (hopefully, rather than just staying on your side of the blogosphere). But I am happy to *discuss* the issue with you.

    I am certainly not suggesting that anyone innocent go to jail. What I want is for people to take a different perspective on rape. When a woman says she’s been raped, the vast majority of people question if she’s telling the truth. If a man is robbed, nobody questions if he’s lying. What I want, what feminists want, is for women to be believed.

    Now, stop and consider that research shows that people lie about rape at the same rate as they lie aboutany other crime, which is in about 2% of reported cases (from memory). Sorry, I don’t have the reference handy.

    So with rape, we have a situation in which the vast majority of women who report rape are telling the truth. There are an untold number who never even report the rape, due to fears of bad treatment and not being believed!

    So what needs to happen is that women who report rape need to be believed, just like men who report being robbed. In the specific Duke case, the woman’s reputation was being trashed before any facts were in, and people immediately started defending the men and attacking the woman. This is standard procedure, and it needs to STOP. Also, I want to point out that just because charges are dropped, it doesn’t mean that no crime occurred. You and I and everyone else do not have the full story of what happened, we have the story that the defense team worked to get out there.

    I’ve said all of this, and I haven’t even touched on all the things that people go after: clothing, what the victim was doing, etc. The bottom line is that anyone can be raped. Nothing ever causes you to lose the right to determine what happens to you. Yet people were happy to pile on and use racial and gender-based slurs to attack the woman.

    Basically, we have to start giving women the same basic human rights that men enjoy. I’m not asking for innocent men to go to jail, I want everyone to change how they treat women who report rape, and I want people to change their basic attitudes about women.

  10. Dan Kinghttp://www.dankingbooks.com

    Spotted Elephant’s comments are serious and deserve a serious reply.

    I am glad that Spotted Elephant does not believe that innocent people should go to jail. I hope, like me, that she subscribes to the two principles underlying our criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Now as much as I sympathize with rape victims, and however much I might believe they are telling the truth, I am not willing to overthrow the standards of justice uniquely for that crime. It may be that only 2% of rape victims lie, but the prosecution still has to provide evidence that the rape victim is not lying. Here DNA testing is very useful, and the DNA tests in the Duke case do not implicate any of the defendants. This is not a matter of sexism or misogyny; it is a simple application of justice.

    Spotted Elephant compares rape with other crimes, and rape is different. First, there really is a gender difference: women can be victims of rape, but I know of no case (beyond statutory rape) where women are the perpetrators of rape, that being biologically impossible. Thus there is an intrinsic asymmetry in how men and women are treated when it comes to rape, and it cannot be otherwise. So I reject Spotted Elephant’s claim that women are mistreated because of misogyny or sexism, and that we all need some sort of attitude adjustment. Maybe we do need an attitude adjustment, but that will not change the basic biology. When it comes to rape, women will always be victims, and men will always be the perpetrators. Accused men deserve all the rights guaranteed by our criminal justice system.

    Second, people lie about all sorts of crimes – not just rape. To use Spotted Elephant’s example, back in the days when I was a cab driver I was robbed. They caught the guy, and the first question the DA asked me was “How do I know you didn’t just give this to him as a gift?” He questioned my credibility, as well he should. But rape is much harder to prove than theft because the difference between rape and consensual sex often depends on the attitude of the victim. The prosecution has to establish the victim’s credibility. To maintain otherwise is going to send innocent people to jail.

    Finally, to get back to the Duke Lacrosse case, it seems abundantly obvious that no rape occurred, and that the accused men were in no way involved in whatever did happen (one appears not even to have been present in the house). Now Spotted Elephant says that what is known is only what the defense has spun and that we don’t know the whole story. Maybe. Much more likely, the true villain in this case is Mike Nifong, who deserves to go to jail. He has ruined the lives of three innocent guys, he has hurt the rape “victim”, and he acted out of crass political motives. Unfortunately, he has also put Spotted Elephant and her commenters in a very embarrassing spot, for it is very difficult to defend the rights of real rape victims when this prosecutor does not exercise even elementary due diligence before filing charges.

    I hope this is not too long. Thank you for taking me seriously.

  11. Dan,
    Thank you for the illuminating post. I think there are good points on both sides, and your input here is appreciated as it adds some perspective to the issue.

    The posters on this blog have a strong point that it is important that we do not make rape more difficult to prosecute than needed.

    Dan makes a good point that we should not make rape easier to prosecute than any other crime, lest we have false convictions.

    These are both valid points in the debate. Where do we go from here?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s