America's Tolerance of Rape

Comments

1
perhaps the wider world feels homosexuals should police themselves on these matters.....
2
Homosexual rape, including in prison, is an enormously greater source of violence against homosexuals than is homophobic activity from heterosexuals.
3
Don't like prison? Don't commit a crime. Most of us don't seem to have a whole lot of difficulty staying out of jail.
4
Its guy on guy rape. Worse, it's criminal on criminal rape. No sexism involved, no patriarchy to upheave, nobody cares.
5
Scott Horton at Harper's has reported carefully how Holder moved fast to repudiate torture and close Gitmo and rid Justice of the fundies - as his boss had promised us. And how when push came to shove Obama reined him in hard and fast. Too soon, said the president and his political men, too soon.

According to Horton, this means Holder is not allowed to set policy on this issue any more than on the others. Obama's kept the trappings of Bush's imperial presidency here; any lip service he paid to returning AG to independence is no more than that. Look to the president or Rahm Emanuel if you want something done on this. Yelling at Holder's just pissing in the wind.
6
Don't bull queers run against the whole nature vs. nurture meme?
7
Unless you have a prison designed for true 24x7 monitoring down to every cell and bathroom stall, and require that human eyes be on EVERY prisoner 24x7 AND require a guard to intervene immediately on ANY threat visibly perceived of rape AND design the facility to minimize any kind of direct contact between prisoners in any situation where that can't be done, AND make the guards or facility management--people, NOT the facility--liable under some sort of penalty for protecting their inmates...

...this won't happen. You need steps like that and above all else you need to make humans (not a government agency or 'corporation') permanently liable for their performance with real penalties. It sucks and it's absurd, but unless you Running Man both sides of the equation, there is no disincentive to failure.
8
holder's COMPLICIT until he acts? that's bullshit.
9
@8 Not really any other way to force change. If that's how all laws treated organizations, governments, and corporations, the world would be a much better place.
10
Let me get this straight, Holden is acknowledging that homosexuals can be 'made'??

Well, maybe the solution in jails is to make sure they don't become bull queers? Any suggestions Holden? Access to women? More conjugal visit for straight inmates to stop them from going queer?
11
it's sickening that prison rape is the punchline of so many jokes. don't drop the soap. try making those jokes about women outside of prison being raped and get your ass kicked. the double standard is very troubling.
12
Jesus Christ, when did this place get so full of craven troglodytes? Every Mudede post gets trolled by some shitstain copypasting from Stormfront.org, every post about GLBT politics gets circlejerked by ignorant creeps who fancy themselves something more than functionally literate. What's going on? Is Slog popular enough now to get ostentatiously not-cared-about in its own comments section by losers?
13
It is wonderful that Dan has (finally) given this horrendous issue some attention.
Part of "America's Tolerance of Rape" is outlets like Slog giving high school proms 100X the attention that this issue receives....
14
Oh and as for homos being "made", if any of you had the basic fucking integrity to learn some fundamental things about psychology, biology, anthropology, and/or queer theory--and I'm talking freshman-level shit here, this isn't some tweedy thing you can dismiss as "ivory-tower nonsense"--you'd know that there's a difference between sexual acts and sexual orientation. Gay people have straight relationships (and bear children) due to social pressure, and straight people have engaged in gay activities for the same reasons, in large numbers, since antiquity. It's so obvious that sex acts are driven by social pressure that such a thing should hardly be the issue when we're talking about *whether or not prison rape is bad*, let alone why it happens. The jury's out on genetics, but the distinction should be obvious, if you sincerely care. If you hate fags or you're a general-purpose bigot, it will remain somehow a mystery.
15
Joe @7, It isn't as difficult as you make it seem.

I worked in a prison for a few years in the 1980s. We had zero rapes there in 3 years. It was a small facility, handling misdemeanor offenders. All it took was adequate manpower and supervision, and properly trained guards.

Prison rape is allowed to go on for two basic reasons: (1) our society accepts it. We view it as a normal part of prison society and behavior. And (2) it would cost a LOT of money to resolve. We'd have to hire a LOT more prison guards, and train them a lot better. The prison where I worked had a much higher percentage of guards to prisoners than is typical. Guards are expensive.
16
"try making those jokes about women"

Are you comparing women with criminals?
17
@16: I think we're comparing rape victims to rape victims.
18
@3

The United States incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than the former Soviet Union or the PRC at the height of their respective political purges.

Otherwise, the argument against your position has the same general contours as the argument against undocumented workers: if the United States policy on prison rape (or undocumented workers) is going to be permissive, then Congress should pass legislation to that effect and the question should be subjected to public debate. The issue is too important to be handled by simply allowing key unelected officials to ignore the laws we have and allowing something to take place that goes so strongly against our stated policy interests.
19
" I think we're comparing rape victims to rape victims"

Sure, if you think criminals are victims.
20
"The United States incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than the former Soviet Union or the PRC at the height of their respective political purges."

Yes, and crime rates in the US keep dropping. Connection?

Between our prisons and abortion I think we've found the solution to removing the criminal class and lowering crime rates.
21
BTW, the secret to enjoying slog comments is to have the unregistered commenters hidden.
22
Judah, I'm not saying that it's right; I'm just saying that you shouldn't expect most Americans to cry their eyes out over the treatment a bunch of criminals are getting.
23
@22

Okay, so let's pretend for a minute that there's a middle ground between "cry their eyes out" and "total indifference." Then, let's pretend as well that the criminal justice system makes mistakes, such that not all inmates are criminals. Finally, let's pretend that some conduct that is criminalized is morally inoffensive, constitutionally protected, or some combination thereof.

If those things were true, would you be inclined to strike out for the undiscovered country between total indifference and ocularly avulsive displays of grief?

Come, little curmudgeon, let us discover it together.
24
Until Holder acts, he's complicit in these crimes.


It must be nice to be ideologically pure 24/7, right, Dominic?
25
Controlling anti-social psychopathic prisoners cannot be a simple or easy.
26
Fnarf hasn't been around much lately, Judah; somebody's got to be the curmudgeon.

You'll get a lot more sympathy out of me for some sort of reform of the justice system to ensure that fewer innocent people ever see the inside of a prison than you will for people who truly are criminals. Now, I'll be the first to admit that that's a whole lot easier said than done, but reforming the prison system isn't exactly going to be a walk in the park either.
27
@24

Yeah, Kesh, somehow I think if we were talking about the violent institutional rape of this many women, you might have a more ideological rigorous perspective. But you're a bigot, so I guess that would make sense.
28
If we executed more of these animals they wouldn't be around to rape each other.
29
@11
It's not a double standard against men, right? There are jokes about prison rape that extend to both genders. Your comment singles out women who are not in prison but what about innocent men and children who are raped? I don't believe it would be acceptable to joke about them either. So is your double standard comparing prisoners to non-prisoners regardless of gender? Or is your misogyny showing?
30
There are jokes about prison rape that extend to both genders.
Bullshit.
31
I'll second that. Bullshit.
32
Really, Judah and 5280? You guys have NEVER heard anyone making cracks about butch dykes and broomhandles being the fate of an imprisoned woman? Never? Hell, I've heard people dredge up that old Linda Blair movie, Born Innocent, and make a joke out of it.

Rape's not funny to me, no matter what the circumstances. Call me humorless if you will. But I don't find prison rape of ANYONE excusable or amusing. I don't make Bubba jokes.
33
Jay Leno has made a career out of prison rape jokes.
34
@32

Broomhandles? No. I've never in my life -- and my life has a lot of former prison inmates in it -- heard a joke about a female inmate being raped with a broomhandle. I've only ever heard a very few jokes about butch dykes in prison, and none of them involved forcible rape. And even assuming that such jokes exist -- and I'm sure someone somewhere tells them -- they don't have the kind of widespread cultural currency that prison rape jokes about men do. If you've heard people dredge up that old Linda Blair movie it's because they need to go back that far. For men -- there's a board game about prison rape. Right now. You can buy it. It's called "Don't Drop the Soap".

Is there a board game about female prisoners being raped?
35
Prison rape of both genders and of inmates of all ages is prominent and accepted in our culture. It is not considered cruel and unusual punishment. Prison rape is un-American because it is cruel and unusual punishment. Anyone who says it is acceptable because it happens to people in prison should be willing to offer themselves up for rape anytime someone falsely imprisoned is exonerated. This is common. There are a lot of average Americans who should be bending over right now.
36
#11 If the jokes were about women who get raped in prison, which does happen, it would still be very distrubing. What is so distrubing is that people accept prison rape. It is never OK. I don't care if it happend to Ted Bundy. It is not OK. The prison system is criminal for allowing this and it is un-American.
37
Raising the taxes to make prison humane in today's political climate is a tough sell.
38
Implying that someone is somehow more "deserving" of rape because he/she is in prison is pretty much the same as saying a woman "deserves" to be raped because she wears short skirts or has had a lot of sexual partners.

Rape is a form of torture. Even if it isn't implemented by the guards themselves, if they tolerate it....well this is just should not be accepted in an (allegedly) modern Western nation.

And while it would be expensive to try to guarantee that NO rapes occur, you can certainly bring down the number by creating an atmosphere intolerant to rape.

It would also make it easier to run prisons if the US' draconian drug laws were thrown out, reducing overcrowding.
39
#38 Thank you.
40
Many times it is the guards doing the raping. We scoff at Country's where thieves hands are cut off. But, we need to decide whether rape is a part of the punishment. Sentenced to 3 years, six months of continuous rape? If that what it is, that is what we should say. Let's be honest rather than pretending that we can't do anything about it.