Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feminist Action Alert: Tell the New York Times to Apologize for Blaming an Eleven Year-Old Girl for Being Gang Raped by 20 Men and Boys

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times. Photo of Bill Keller is from here

Earl Wilson/The New York Times. Photo of Arthur S. Brisbane is from here
photo of Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is from here
Will these three particular powerful white men get it?

What level of disregard and disrespect of the humanity of Black women and girls is tolerable in the U.S.?

You decide:

For the initial news about this, please see *this post* at What About Our Daughters. With many thanks to The Blogmother and also to C.W. for sending me the links.

Source website:
Tell the New York Times to Apologize for Blaming a Child for Her Gang Rape

Overview Letter Targeting: Arthur S. Brisbane (Public Editor, The New York Times), Bill Keller (Executive Editor, The New York Times), and Arthur Sulzberger Jr (Publisher, The New York Times)

Started by: Shelby Knox

On March 8th the New York Times published a story by James C. McKinley Jr. titled "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town." The assault it described was, indeed, heinous: an 11-year-old was gang raped in an abandoned trailer house by as many as 18 men, with suspects ranging in age from middle school students to a 27-year-old. The attack came to light because several of the suspects took cell phone video of the assault.

Also appalling was the way in which New York Times reporter James C. McKinley reported the victim blaming sentiments of members of the Texas community in which the rape occurred as truth. McKinley insinuated the young woman had it coming, writing, "They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said."

Mr. McKinley also gave ink to community members who are more concerned about the impact raping a child will have on the suspects than being raped will have on the young victim. Mr. McKinley quoted Sheila Harrison as saying, "“These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

1 in 4 American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. A culture that blames victims for being raped - for what they were wearing, where they were, and who they were with - rather than blaming the rapist is a culture that tacitly condones rape. A society that is more concerned with how being held accountable for rape will impact the perpetrator than for the well being of the victim is a society that doesn't take rape seriously.

The New York Times contributed to this dangerous culture by publishing this article by Mr. McKinley without asking him to edit out his and community members' editorial victim blaming.

Tell the New York Times to issue a published apology for their coverage of this incident and publish an editorial from a victim's rights expert on how victim blaming in the media contributes to the prevalence of sexual assault. No one ever deserves to be raped and no victim should ever be told it was their fault. New York Times, we expect better. We demand better.

1 comment:


The misogynistic reporting by James McKinley, journalist for the New York Times, wherein McKinley deliberately twisted facts so that the 11 year old girl was supposedly the perpetrator and the 20 men and boys became the victims is appalling.

I signed the petition immediately I learned of this latest piece of deliberate women-hating and then discovered that a widely read feminist UK based website had also learned about this piece of garbage and had highlighted the petition.

So feminists internationally are being made aware of the New York Times stance in repeating misogynistic lies and claiming male perpetrators must never be held accountable for their crimes because yet again women and girls are always responsible for not preventing male sexual violence being committed against them.

These white male supremacists have immense power and by allowing this misogynistic piece of garbage to be printed they are condoning and justifying male sexual violence against all women and girls. As always the white male supremacists believe they alone know who is and who is not a 'real victim' and if, as in this case the 11 year old girl happens not to be white and middle-class she is automatically dehumanised and hence could not possibly have suffered any severe physical/mental and/or psychological terror at the hands of these child rapists. She is apparently not entitled to protection of the law because she is not deemed to be human. Instead the male rapists are viewed as 'victims' and they not the 11 year old girl should receive the law's protection!

Then we wonder why radical feminists continue to state we live in a rape culture - or rather a society which condones and excuses male violence in any shape or form against women and girls.

The New York Times like all malestream newspapers claims to report news factually but once again facts are ignored and instead this article is just one long diatribe against an 11 year old girl, whilst the 20 male perpetrators' accountability is ignored.

Male violence against women and girls must be reported but it is the facts which must be reported, not the alleged character of the female victim, or what clothes she was wearing because these are not facts - they are men's excuses and denial of any accountability.

Blaming female victims ensures only one thing and that is the continuance of male violence against women which is in this case is being openly sanctioned and justified by The New York Times.