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09 March 2011 @ 11:26 am
gang rape article: bad angle  
[trigger warning for outrageous rape apologia]

Good morning,

I'm writing with my concerns about your article titled "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town". I am deeply upset by the slant this article takes, focusing on the harm done to the town and to the perpetrators (by their own actions) rather than on outrage on behalf of the victim of, as you title it, a vicious assault.

The fact that this article even suggests that this girl could have brought this on herself by her dress and behavior is reprehensible. I know that we haven't reached a time when a woman won't be accused of "asking for it" when she's raped, even though that would be a horrifying suggestion EVEN IF the victim in this case had been a fully-grown woman, but I am disgusted beyond words that this article takes that approach about a girl who's only 11 years old.

Your article has done a great deal to humanize the men who participated in what is a subhuman act, and your position that they were "drawn into" this act does all right-thinking and right-acting people a disservice.

I am accustomed to knowing that there will always be individual people who disappoint me. I am sorry to see how deeply the NYT disappoints me today.

In outrage,
I'm feeling: enragedoutraged
existential hot showerveek on March 9th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Just read this. Oh. my. god.

Thank you for writing in such an articulate way what I would've been hard-pressed to communicate just now.
ruthless compassion: stabbyaroraborealis on March 9th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
SO BAD :( :( :(
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on March 9th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
I... can't go read that article! Wow.
ruthless compassion: stabbyaroraborealis on March 9th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
I truly cannot recommend it.
solopolistceelove on March 9th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
Tamartamidon on March 9th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
I've been trying to figure out if the NYT allows commenting on articles directly, as this would be more public
That Chick with the Evil Laughsparkymonster on March 9th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
From a friend:

"Readers...concerned about the paper's journalistic integrity may reach the public editor at public@nytimes.com or (212) 556-7652."


And her assault was in part recorded on cell phone cameras...and the perpetrators circulated the footage in her school.

(no subject) - aroraborealis on March 9th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Now that I'm done being ill - drwex on March 9th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Now that I'm done being ill - keyne on March 9th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Hebrew Hammercockhammercock on March 9th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
What the everloving FUCK?

"Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?" Um, what about the families of the rapists? Any thought to how all these families could have raised people who thought it was okay to rape a child?

"These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives." Yeah. And so does that poor girl. I have a feeling that the "boys" will be just fine, since all of those people seem much more concerned about them instead of their victim.

I feel like throwing up.
Misanthropic extrovert: clear a spacedbang on March 9th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
"And so does that poor girl."

And the poor girl's mother who is apparently to blame for the rape for allowing her daughter to hang out in bad neighborhoods.
Re: *STABSTABSTABSTABSTAB* - drwex on March 9th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
lazyzlazyz on March 9th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
Well said. What a world....
barodarbarodar on March 9th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm in shock. To suggest that it's her fault for the way she dresses, or that she wears makeup? My god that's awful. Or to blame her mother?
Chance: you should come homemiss_chance on March 9th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
I was skimming your post because, I'll admit, I have some biases. And one of them is that I basically consider anything coming out of Texas to be stupid until proven otherwise. This means that when I got to the bottom of your post and realized this was a NYT's article the shock was much greater.
Meaghansatyrgrl on March 9th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Argh. So very wrong on so many levels.
Will O'the Wispwotw on March 9th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
I had exactly the same reaction. Thanks for sending this.
Molotov Coqtizeestiplika on March 9th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
Speechless and stabby.

I will join you in sending a letter shortly.
Misanthropic extrovert: clear a spacedbang on March 9th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Why do I always follow those links even though I'll end up shuddering for days.


*looks at her little boys....*

powered by nightshades: tentaclessrl on March 9th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
There's nothing I can add to the outrage already expressed here. But I think it'll be interesting to see how the NYT responds to the collective internet shitstorm, given that the original article's words are:

"Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said."

As written, that's a stunningly blatant case of weasel-wording by the author, James C. McKinley, Jr. McKinley attributes those unquoted statements to "residents in the neighborhood," which leaves readers to insert their own critical interpretations (of the residents, of McKinley's careless writing, of the victim's mother's parenting, and/or of the victim.) The line I see McKinley crossing is that he didn't distinguish between what his sources said and what was appropriate to print, and so he ended up being a mouthpiece for their (slut-shaming, offensive) attempts to explain an event of senseless cruelty.

Even if one gives McKinley the benefit of the doubt, which I'm uninclined to do, the fact that locals would talk to a reporter about this 11-year-old's fashion choices and behavior in the context of a sexual assault and rape is as much of a story as the problems with how he wrote it up.
drwexdrwex on March 9th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I appreciate your phrasing and stole some of it for my letter to the Times - see comment above.
(no subject) - srl on March 9th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - debsquared on March 10th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Renata Piper: dead funklyonesse on March 9th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
i don't want to know where her mother was. i want to know where the nyt's goddamn mother is.

(Deleted comment)