This article disturbs me for 2 reasons:
1- Its content; the gang-rape of an 11 year old girl, by 20 men, is followed by one of the attackers’ attorneys describing the child victim as a “spider”. Why would anyone relegate a child rape victim to sub-human status? Furthermore, why would they impose an image of a seductive spider “luring” flies into a web when, if this is a victim-perpetrator power dynamic, the 20 men who raped a child are described as helpless victims to her domination? The attorney’s analogy attempts to reverse this dynamic, but obviously fails.
2- The author of the piece describes the attack as men who allegedly ‘recorded themselves having sex’ with the victim. What the attorney said is obviously abhorrent, however this is more insidious. The difference between ‘sex’ and ‘rape’ is consent. Legally, an 11 year old cannot consent to sex, therefore this act can ONLY, under legal terms, be considered statutory rape. She was not old enough to consent, therefore could not consent, and the adults who attacked her cannot claim that she consented either. From whatever angle, this can only be described as rape.
Why does the author have such a problem distinguishing between ‘sex’ and ‘rape’ in even a statutory rape case? This casual exchange of ‘rape’ for ‘sex’ is made far too often, with devastating consequences to public understanding of sexual violence and the blame of victims for “their” assaults.