Now, I’m sure that you have heard the news that all the remaining charges against three Duke University lacrosse team members were dropped yesterday due to lack of evidence, thusly ending the saga over what was assumed to be a racially based verbal assault of a Black stripper which allegedly turned violent and physical.
I’m suspecting that all the MRAs, right-wing noisemakers, and the usual "poor White boys" crowd are already out in droves piling on emails after blog posts pillorying the woman who originally made the charge as a certified psycho nut, a certified "ghetto slut", and an anti-White hustler using innocent White men for her own personal aggrievment (or the assumed victimhood presumptions of all Blacks or women or "radical feminists"). I’m just as sure that the likes of Kathleen Parker, Mona Charen, Michelle Malkin, and the rest of the antifeminist, antisex female Right brigade are already out there typing their essays about how "radical feminism" (as opposed to the antipornradicalfeminism who shares their fundamental Puritanism) or "liberal sexual freedom" caused these poor boys to become the victim of a voracious gold-digging lying hoodlum. And I’m guessing that their White male colleagues will mix in a shot or two at the "quota" -loving Black community of Durham for their universal White-hatred and reverse discriimination in attempting to defend this woman.
Certainly, I’m prepared to believe that these boys are indeed innocent of the crime they were accused of (I have had my doubts before, of course, and like most Black folk I am more impulsed to believe an accusation of rape unless the evidence proves otherwisem since there have been far too many documented cases of real rapes being ignored or passed off based on the "She was a slut who got what she deserved" meme.
And yet…..while I share the rage and anger at the prosecutor who forced the case without — so now it seems — even a small token of legitimate evidence, and played the Black community and this woman for a fool merely for his own political agenda….I simply cannot help but to have some sympathy for the accuser, who has probably suffered almost as much as those who were accused. After all, her name was dragged through the mud even when there was some more substansial evidence; there were whole blogs dedicated to the deconstruction of her sexual history and her apparant evil plots to entrap White folks. She was the one to face death threats even when it was still in doubt whether or not her story was amplified or merely just made up. And she was the one who alone faced up to all the threats and the insults of the race and class boundaries that this case seemed to explode on a daily basis. Feel free to condemn her if you wish, but remember that her status as a stripper does not change the fact that she was entitled to have her case heard…however slim it was.
But what really saddens and angers me about this case is that it simply reimposes all the usual memes and biases about sexually proactive women and women who do sex work voluntarily; in effect, if you are overtly sexual and happen to be violated in any way, you can expect to have no support or sympathy from the general public and damn near little or no support from the "feminist community"…especially if you happen to be a person of color, poor, or a sex worker or sex entertainer. And especially if your perpetrator just so happens to be either White or a person of privilege who has the full weight of his privilege behind him.
At best, you will have the APRFs pigeonholing you as a certified "victim" of pornography or prostituion or simply of men, totally ignorant of your right of self will and self protection and reducing you to a mere object for their own press releases. And on the other hand, you have the MRAs and the usual assholes practically licking their lips and gripping their crotches wondering how they couldn’t get as "lucky" to get such a "piece of ass"…..while in the next breath decrying how feminism, by disobeying God’s word about women’s rightful place in the home (and the bedroom making lots of babies), enabled the malebeasts to pillory with impunity…and that only those who keep their legs closed, their skirts at knee-length, and their mouths shut should be given protection against the usual frathouse banter.
All of this makes my duty as a sex radical, a radical Black man, a feminist sympathizer/supporter, and a sex-positive activist that much tougher…but also that much more important. If there ever was a time for a sex-positive Left perspective, it is now.
The base principle remains as true today as it was for Victoria Woodhull during the late 1800s: until sexually proactive women are assumed by right to have the same presumptions, rights, and responsibilities of protection from sexual assault and injury as more conservative women take for granted, we cannot say that women are truely equal or free. And unless we accept the basic fundamental principle of "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law on the basis of the evidence" and not simply assume that one is guilty of rape because he is rich and White (or poor and Black) and has a working penis, we make a mockery out of our own freedoms and responsibilities.
It would also help matters if our establishment media would not attempt to treat every public accusation like it was the equivalent of Anna Nicole Smith’s homecoming and actually treat the story like what it really is…a NEWS story rather than a reason for both sides to propagandize.
Unfortunately, the media tends to pull with its advertisers and its richest viewers….and most of them are closer to the MRAs and the Bill O’Reillys than to the Jill Brennemans and Nina Hartleys of the world.
So….let the scapegoating, the White-washing, and the slut baiting begin….again.