Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remember: if the witnesses to a rape aren't male, then they are inadmissible

Came across this on the curvature. Cara's words on it are well-thought out, as I always find her posts to be, so I don't have much more to add to it, other than the criminal case itself.

There are Islamist societies where, when it comes to rape, a man must have been a witness or it is inadmissible in court, meaning a man can rape a woman in the presence of other women and get away with it. But that's hardly anything unknown. All over the media we see Muslim=misogynist, regardless of the accuracy, etc. This, one would think, should be in contrast to the West, shouldn't it? Here in the West, if there's a witness to a crime, we take that witness seriously, regardless of gender, right? Except not.

No, I'm serious. In the De Anza rape case that Cara writes about, "the DA decided to not pursue the case for 'insufficient evidence' — despite the three witnesses to the rape never having been sought for grand jury testimony, and despite much forensic evidence never being tested". Emphasis mine. Three witnesses to a rape, all women, who rescued the victim from the nine men. They were never sought for testimony, and furthermore, a sizeable portion of the forensic evidence was never tested. What's more? "The fact that police strongly believe that she was raped was not allowed to be expressed before the jury, and the photos taken by the defendants during the alleged assault were also declared inadmissible." Emphasis mine. The police believe her. They believe her strongly. This is not something police are generally known for. Could it be that the rape in this case was so obvious to the average nonfeminist, that even the police couldn't deny it?
So here you have a case where the police strongly believe the woman was raped, there was a ton of forensic evidence, and, not one, not two, but three witnesses, not to mention video footage, and yet the case was dropped in the criminal court for insufficient evidence?!? But yeah, I mean let's point the finger elsewhere; we clearly have no culture here in the West that aids and abets rapists and lets them get away with it even when their actions fall under the polices' narrow definition of rape!

Now that was mostly the criminal case, although it's the current civil case that won't admit the fact that the police believe the victim. So to do a little comparison here, how about we look at the testimony of a male witness, shall we? "[She had] the weirdest smile, like she liked it.” Um. Weirdest? Hold on, now; if this was supposedly consensual sex, what's so weird about her smiling in a way that says she liked it? The only possible way that could be weird, especially the "weirdest", is if she wasn't supposed to like it. And the only reason for that would be because this was rape. This is, of course, leaving aside that a smile after a rape could mean anything from, as Cara suggested, "an expression of a state of shock or attempt to hold oneself together through trauma", or as one commenter put it quite poignantly, "it’s at least as likely as anything else to be relief at having got out of there alive; something she must have been doubting would happen." Indeed, given that she was only intermittently conscious and had to be taken to the hospital and was far gone enough that the women who rescued her kept checking her pulse, I would say that's a pretty reasonable thing to speculate.

But again, that all aside, why on earth would the male witness even assume such a ridiculous thing? It's almost as though he wished it were that, and yet his word "weirdest" is seriously incriminating. But, of course, the media hasn't pick up on this slip-up, rather focusing on the smile itself and assuming that it did mean she liked it. Thus the testimony of one inadvertently self-incriminating male witness is held to hold more value than the testimonies of three female witnesses. What a world we live in. Fuck, I intend to have a drink this weekend.

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