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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's victim-blaming time at the Wall Street Journal.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Naomi Schaeffer Riley offers her take on the alleged rapes involving members of Duke University's lacrosse team: The woman should have known better. After all, only a careless woman gets herself raped, right?

Let's let Riley hang herself:

Perhaps the law of averages says that, with 14 million men in U.S. colleges today, a few of them will be rapists. What to do? For starters: Be wary of drunken house parties.

Now, readers may well assume that this advice is obvious and that no Duke coed would ever do what the stripper, by her own account, did: Upon finding 40 men at the party instead of the four for whom she agreed to "dance," she stayed and performed anyway. When the partygoers began shouting what she described as racial epithets and violent threats, she left but returned after an apology from a team member. A stripper with street smarts is apparently a Hollywood myth.

Even though Riley doesn't have the intellectual honesty to own up to her real message and put it in plain language, what she's clearly saying is: 'The whore deserved what she got.'

I wish I could have been surprised that a woman would write such wrong-headed drivel in a major US newspaper — not to mention that the paper would print it. [Like being the 'Taste' editor qualifies one to write an op-ed about violence against women?] Sadly, this is just the latest example we've seen of one woman blaming another when the problem is men's failure to control their own bad behavior. The need to make sure that the 'nice men' don't think that you're some kind of 'strident feminist' can be really strong, obviously.

I could go on, but Sarah Elizabeth Richards at Broadsheet and Jessica at Feministing have already done an excellent job of shredding the underlying assumptions of Riley's article.

You know what to do.

| | Posted by Magpie at 1:43 AM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


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