The Thing at Duke

I keep trying to figure out what to say about it. I’ve got nothing. Check this shit at Pandagon and over at Alas, A Blog. Or follow it in closer detail at Justice 4 Two Sisters.

It wasn’t that long ago when Ivy linked to Flea’s letter to her sons. I keep thinking of that letter when I think about that poor woman in that bathroom in a house full of men.

Flea writes:

It is your responsibility, as a man, to protect those who can not protect themselves. If you fail at this, you have failed as a human being. It is your duty, even when refusing to protect, or even causing the harm yourself, has no visible consequences for you.

The prosecutor who is working on the case says that, even though there were forty men in that house, not one of them is cooperating with police. Not one of them will step forward and say who was in that bathroom with her.

Short and Fat, a guy I like the hell out of, says:

As a guy, unless I knew 100% that a woman had been raped, I’m certain I’d be part wall of silence as well. Particularly, with the DA threatening me with charges and subpeoning me for a DNA sample, despite my innocence.

and I’m at a loss for words. Maybe it’s because I can’t imagine what it would be like to be those guys, but I can imagine all too well what it would be like to be that girl. I cannot help but put myself in her shoes.

Sometimes I wonder what it will take for you all to take us seriously when we rage and grieve over this kind of shit. I know that even the Butcher thinks that rape and attempted rape is something rare and that false accusations are all too common.

But right now, I’m not talking about what happened in that bathroom. I’m talking about what happened in the rest of the house.

There were two women who tried to leave. Someone was concerned enough about them leaving that he was seen by a neighbor talking them into coming back in that house. Someone saw that woman go into the bathroom, either alone or with his teammates. Someone saw her come out of that bathroom.

There are witnesses. There are men who were there who could help this investigation.

And they’re silent.

How can that be? How can they think they are any kind of man at all if they won’t stand up for the truth? How can they be a man and not come forward? How can they live with themselves?

I just don’t understand it.

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7 thoughts on “The Thing at Duke

  1. The thing about rape is that usually it is a case of he said/she said.

    You may pretty much believe that someone is guilty, but without any reasonable doubt? That is why rape cases are hard to prosecute.

    To twist a familiar cliche’ into a somewhat scary phrase: Better ten rapists go free than one innocent man go to jail.

    However, there are 40+ witnesses to this thing. The truth will get out. Stonewalling by these guys will only make it worse for those who out of a false sense of comraderie keep silent.

    I’m pretty sure that there was unfortunately a gang rape, but fortunately if there was, those who committed it will be convicted with no reasonable doubts.

  2. Well yeah, when no one else sees what happened, many situations are a he said/she said situation. What is disturbing is that others – many others – did see something, and they are not saying anything to help anyone figure out which side is being more honest.

    Lee, I think you have an unwarranted faith in the system to find, prosecute, and convict. The statistics with rape cases aren’t good – and definetly not when people protect the accused.

    Give the guys a trial – that’s where reasonable doubt comes in. These men are obstructing justice. I think it makes them look guilty and proud of it (as well as their ability to stop the process of justice).

  3. I’m going to preface this by saying I know pratically nothing about this case other than what I read here, and S&F’s.

    How can they think they are any kind of man at all if they won’t stand up for the truth?

    Do you know what the truth is? Maybe you should testify. Let’s look at it this way. You have some girl you don’t know saying Very Bad Things about a guy you know, see every day, and play lacrosse with. She says he did it, he says he didn’t. Who should you believe? S&F said he wouldn’t come forward unless he was sure. I wouldn’t say I had to be 100% sure, but I’d have to have some mighty strong suspicions before I’d ruin a friend’s life that way. In a situation like that, my friend gets the benefit of the doubt ahead of a stranger. Call it whatever hateful thing you like.

    Your beef with S&F here seems to be that he assumed the girls are lieing while you assume the guys are lieing. Yes the team is known for partying and rumors of this happening before. But the girls are strippers, in the business of selling sex. Not only that, but they went back in, seemingly of their own free will. The evidence is pretty convincing either way.

    Your positions are essentially the same. You don’t get to beat up on a guy for that. Why do you get the moral high ground when you assume they are guilty?

  4. W., I’m not taking the moral high ground on S&F. I’m trying to say that our experiences are so different and where our sympathies lie are so far apart that I feel like I have no common ground with him on this where we can even talk to each other.

    Of course my first impulse is to believe the woman. I’m a woman. I’ve be unable to fight off men. As have a majority of women. But in situations like this, where folks are drunk and you’re at a party, when shit starts to go too far, someone, usually, in my experience, other guys will step in if they know something is wrong.

    And S&F is a man and his impulse is to believe the men. But I would also bet you one million dollars that that’s because, in his heart of hearts, S&F believes that, if it were really obvious that something was going terribly wrong, the other guys there would have stepped in and stopped it.

    In fact, that, it seems to me, is the underlying assumption of your comment, that if it were really obvious something was going wrong, someone would have stepped in to stop it, therefore, it must not have been obvious that something was going wrong, therefore we can’t blame the men for choosing to believe their friends over the word of some “whore,” and hindering a police investigation.

    Well, I hope to sweet fucking Christ you’re right. Because if the cream of the crop future of America men that go to Duke would stand by while their friends first humiliated two women and then enticed them back into the house and then raped one of them and now stand by while the police investigate, refusing to help, even though they have information, then that doesn’t speak very well of the best type of men America has to offer.

  5. I’m going to go kind of sideways on this topic. Why did these professional ladies go to an appointment without a big bouncer or bodyguard?

    I hired a male stripper for a party in the outback of Alabama one time and he came with a friend to watch out for him. The Stripper explained that he never went to a private home alone and that he hoped we didn’t mind his friend staying in the room with all of us, but that he would not be spending any time alone or out of sight of his partner. I could respect that. Did it stop us from trying to get his friend to strip too? No, but we did respect his rules.

    If you are going to work at this profession, male or female, don’t go alone, take someone big enough to help you out and lay down some ground rules. Be smart and protect yourself. This chick got into a bad situation and way over her head.

    …and we did get the friend naked too. 2 for the price of 1, but we tipped well.

  6. we can’t blame the men for choosing to believe their friends over the word of some “whore”

    B, don’t insinuate that I think those girls are whores. I’d take the word of one of my friends over the word of just about anyone from a whore to the pope himself. You were both picking the side with matching genitalia. I just wanted to point out that both have their shady elements and there’s a lot of things that could be going on that aren’t.

    I like to think some guy would have stepped in and stopped things, but that’s not my underlieing assumption. The basic point is loyalty. I’m not friends with guys who I think are capable of rape. So in order for me to say anything that might lead police to think they are, I’d have to be fairly convinced of it myself first.

    Frankly, I think you’re probably right about what’s going on. But I hate to see you jump to conclusions like that. And your quoting of Flea implies that they’re not really men because they won’t come forward. Loyalty to your friends is important, and choosing a stranger at the expense of your friends requires a lot of reasonable doubt.

  7. Whoah whoah whoah. First of all, the team initially denied that sex of any kind took place. So apparently they’re not overly concerned with the truth in light of the DNA evidence. Her medical exam indicated that she had been beaten and choked. So I’d say this goes well beyond giving their teammates the benefit of the doubt and borders on protecting scumbag rapists. I’ll even take it a step further – if three of their teammates were in the next room with a stripper, I would almost guarantee that every other guy would be paying pretty close attention to what was going on.

    So every single person in that house who knew what was happening yet didn’t so anything about it…. well, let’s just say that the Constitution doesn’t allow the type of punishment they deserve.

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