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Reading ‘Missoula’ in Freetown

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The book: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, John Krakauer

The place: Freetown 


I didn’t deliberately start reading this because of the Stanford rape case that’s all over the media at the moment, but given the circumstances it has been apropos. The whole situation makes me so incandescently angry that I can’t put together anything much beyond incoherent keyboard-smashery, and wiser women than I have weighed in on the subject, primarily, of course, the woman at the centre of the case, who has written the most incisive and brave (and gloriously sarcastic in parts) victim impact statement, that cuts like a knife to the central issues of the case, and effortlessly dismantles all the frantic frothing on the part of those who support her rapist, about his stellar swim times and the bright future that he is being stripped of thanks to his decision to rape someone. There’s something about this particular case that has clarified some of the most pungent aspects of rape culture: that women have a past and men have potential; that drunkenness exonerates men from blame but increases the culpability of the female victim.

I’ve seen at least one article claiming that the victim impact statement had no place in a courtroom, despite the fact that the entire adversarial nature of the criminal justice system is based on the presumption of innocence, that the victim of rape is already at a colossal structural disadvantage in proving her case – and so I’m going to link to my ever-brilliant friend Winnie Lee, who writes about the importance of social media in giving a voice to victims of rape and sexual assault.

UGH RAGE. Quick everyone, look at the pretty sunset. It is calming.


Written by Jess

June 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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