Friday, July 5, 2013

"It Wasn't Rape. Look What They Were Wearing!"

No, not the victims, the rapists.

Let's back up a second:

"We're going to get familiar with your womanly parts."

That's what Brandy Hamilton says Nathaniel Turner, a male police officer told her last year during a traffic stop when she and her friend were driving home from the beach. The officer found a small amount of marijuana in their car after stopping them for speeding and made them wait on the side of the road in their bikinis, without allowing them to put on their clothes, so Jennie Bui, a female officer could show up and perform a roadside cavity search. The traffic stop and the vaginal search were caught on the police cruiser's cameras.

"She pretty much forced my legs open because I wouldn't even open my legs," Hamilton said.

Her friend, Alexandria Ramble told her local news station, KXAN, "We were just assaulted in the worst way possible. We weren't asked could we be touched. It was just done to us. I'm just embarrassed."

The two women announced this week that they are bringing a lawsuit against the police officers and I covered the story here this week.

The police officer that raped these two women was fired. The officer that stood by while it happened has been suspended pending investigation.

They got off easy. If they have to pay civil damages to these women, they will have got off easy.

This wasn't just an extremely unreasonable search. This was sexual assault, rape plain and simple.

Strangers stopped these women and then one of them forcibly inserted her fingers into the vaginas of these helpless, disarmed humans against their will and without their consent. That's not a search that went too far. That's a rape. They shouldn't be fired. They should go to jail.

If anyone else did this, it would be considered rape. There's no difference between you and a police officer. You're both human beings. You're both members of the same species. Different moral rules do not apply to you. The only difference between you and a police officer is the police officer is wearing a uniform and a badge.

Kudos to different media sources for calling attention to this disgusting injustice, but why isn't anyone calling this rape?

Good God, I've heard of people trying to justify rape based off of what the victim was wearing, but this might be the first time I've ever heard of anyone missing the clear and undeniable proof that a rape has occurred based on what the rapist was wearing!

And why isn't this trending on Twitter yet??

The cops raped two women on camera and this isn't a national issue? Daniel Tosh makes a freaking rape joke and it's a national crisis, but an actual rape happens on the side of the highway in broad daylight and on camera, the perpetrators are armed and among the most powerful and least accountable class of human beings in the country, the victims are arguably among the most disenfranchised and marginalized class of human beings in the country, black women who smoke marijuana-- and why the hell am I not hearing about this on every news source and social media channel?

This happened in the not very great state of Texas, the same place women are gathering in droves and yelling Hail Satan for a woman's right to an abortion, but no one is yelling Hail Satan for a woman's right not to get raped by the cops.

It's been over 48 hours now since I first saw this story. Let's check Huffington Post Women to see if there's anything about it. Not a peep. Though if you want to know what to do after you've been stood up for a date, what might make your sex life less satisfying, or how misogynistic stock photos of patriotic women are-- HuffPoWo is for feminists like you. Gotta keep those stock photos in check.

They've also got a list of 8 things you should know about your reproductive system, and none of them are, "No one has the right to touch your reproductive system without your consent. No, not even if they're wearing a blue costume with a badge, and no, not even if you like to smoke marijuana."

Is Feministing going to back up these rape victims? Let's see. Nope. Nothing. Though there is a post on "getting guys to take feminism seriously." How about take yourself seriously? Okay, what about Bitch Magazine? Silence. Jezebel? Nothing. They do have an article on "How to be good at math as a woman."

I'm sorry movement feminism, but Daniel Tosh's jokes aren't rape culture. You are. I seriously hope you prove me wrong.

As long as we're blinded by this cult of costume worship, this irrational belief that people with uniforms and badges are in a different moral category from the rest of us, violence, abuse, sexism, racism, rape and every other ugly human characteristic will not go away, and as history bears witness, will only get worse.

The fact that the media headlines about this story, the few that there are, are about unconstitutional body cavity searches, and not especially brazen rapes shows us just how far we have to go as a society.

It's especially interesting that these rapes took place over marijuana. Brandy and Alexandria were not allowed to make a choice about their own bodies when it came to marijuana, and that's the police officers' justification for why they weren't allowed to make a choice about their own bodies when it came to which people are allowed to put fingers inside their vaginas. Pro choice feminists, where the hell are you? Can any of you back these victims up?