- "Rape doesn't actually exist" Michael Crook
- Michael Crook believes that females should accept a degree of responsibility in cases where a rape occurs
- "I've never experienced anything like it's incredibly emotional, even for an outsider like me. These two young men, with promising futures, star football players, A students, literally watched as their lives fell apart" Poppy Harlow (CNN reporter covering the verdict)
The quote from the CNN is very troubling. The viewing public learns from news program. The attitudes and beliefs towards rape. This is especially true of young and uneducated minds. It is news organizations and social media outlets that allow these attitudes to be aired that enable victim blaming to be more prevalent than ever.
How has the media treated rape victims in the past? It wasn't until the 1930s that media began writing about crimes involving sex with regularity. From the 1940s through the 1960s, victim names were often published in the coverage of the crime. During the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, media agencies began examining how they covered these cases. By the early 1980s, media outlets began voluntarily excluding the victims names from many of the publications. The issue becomes even more sensitive when the victim is a minor. In the Steubenville trial, the victim's name was accidentally aired during coverage of the perpetrator's testimony.
How does the race of the victim impact victim blaming? Research has shown that race has determined victim blaming in many cases. Interracial rapes were judged to have more culpable and less credible victims (George, Martinez 2002). There is a durability of racial stereotypes about rape and their influence on discriminatory outcomes (George, Martinez 2002). As discussed above, these "attitudes" or "beliefs" or "myths" are often perpetuated by the mass media. The attitudes that many men have regarding women lying to get attention or money are just that, a myth. The research shows that across all violent crimes, truthful reporting of victimization is very steady.
No woman ever asks to be raped, ever. No matter how she may dress or how much alcohol she may consume, a rape is still a rape where the perpetrators CHOSE to force the victim into sexual behaviours. Events such as the Slut Walk are attempting to change the attitudes of those in power regarding placing the blame of a rape at the feet of the victim.