I Can't Believe People Tell Sex Workers to "Go to the Police" If They've Been Raped

A Few Thoughts About Stoya, James Deen, and the Rape Allegations Made on Social Media

Comments

1
Can anyone recap why this guy was ever considered "feminist" in the first place? Don't want to go googling porn stars at work.
2
Thank you for writing about this!
3
Thanks for the analysis. I wasn't sure what to make of these allegations. It boggles my mind how a (hetro) man with such access to sex partners both professionally and personally and reputation as a feminist would be really the exact opposite. I wonder if this is conscious and he was just putting on an act, or he somehow has convinced himself that he actually had consent like many rapist do.
4
To the extent that Deen's brand included feminism, that has been damaged, but I don't think that "feminist porno guy" was an image Deen ever chose to cultivate. if anything, the image he chose to cultivate was that of a (fantasy) rapist. Will being publicly branded as an actual rapist hurt his image? It will be interesting to see what happens. This may actually help him in terms of his core porn-watching audience. One thing is sure: as long as there is money to be made somebody is going to keep working with him.
5
I feel that Stoya [et al] should go to the police.

Not for a remedy, because the chances are basically 0, but for the people that come after her. Typically the reasons for not going to the police are a low likelihood of arrest and conviction, but more importantly, having to "out yourself" and talk through what happened over and over - the stigma. The more people report to the police as a matter of course, that will erode away the stigma and perhaps lead to changes in the legal system that make more winnable cases. Over the past few years I've read numerous articles written by people who were raped [can we stop using the term 'rape survivor'? If we've learned anything, it's that a vast majority of rapes are not of the beaten-and-raped variety. People survive things that ought to have killed them, like cancer, or a terrorist attack, or an encounter with police] and one of the sticking points is seeing their assailant walking around [campus, the job site, the social circles] NOT feeling the stigma.

Anyway, Stoya's "outed" now. She won't be more stigmatized by going to the police at this point. Sure, it's a token gesture, but one I think is valuable down the line.
6
Its unclear, are you telling sex workers "Dont go to the Police" If they've been raped?
7
Icky statements like "you can't rape a whore" don't belong in the discourse.

HOWEVER, back when it was just Stoya, it seemed like another high profile rape accusation that could be false. It's not like we've had a shortage of them. There was the dude who accused Bryan Singer (and was convicted of fraud this month in an unrelated investment scheme). There was last year's UVa woman, whom we ALL had to believe because frat systems amirite? You know, until we found out that it was all Rolling Stone's fault for publishing it and believing her story.

Not that I don't believe Stoya. But, back when it was just her words against him was when The Frisky dropped him as did other porn companies. A false rape accusation can still fuck up innocent people's reps if not proven false.

Yes, women who actually do go to the police with rape charges are treated unfairly (and there are shitton of untested rape kits still out there). But, publicly and professionally ruining a guy based on one ex's tweet seems harsh.

That's how it seemed at the time. If these accusations have been a long time coming and there are other women coming forward, then there might be merit.
8
@7, this is strictly my anecdotal observation, but here's the problem as I see it: something like 3% of sexual assaults result in a conviction, which is obviously horrible, a direct symptom of rape culture, and at least partially attributable to the misperception that women make up rapes...and it's this that's very problematic.

The reality is that a small percentage of reported rapes are false and/or fraudulent. Unfortunately, it's these false reports that get much of the press. Maybe it's because these accounts are so sensationalized (i.e. the UVA frat case); and/or maybe it's because celebrities are more susceptible to false rape allegations because of their fame/wealth...and thus get more press

Regardless, the false reports taint the legitimate claims of everyone else...and I don't know what the answer to that is, except to change the culture so that the gut response is to believe woman upon initial report, and not do the "innocent until proven guilty" slut shaming routine.
9
Thank you for calling attention to this. I stand 100% with sex workers and victims of sexual assault. Anything less is absolutely disgusting and it is incredibly sad that we to have to tolerate such misinformed opinions in our society.
10
Regarding Christy Mack, as soon as she produced evidence she was believed. Nobody accused her of lying or misrepresenting the injuries. They saw evidence and accepted it. You bringing up the legal defense is irrelevant - you're quoting the one person tasked to side with the defendant. I bring this up because the people who reasonably ask about evidence regarding Stoya are not being assholes because they want proof. They'd be assholes if proof was presented and they still defended JD.
11
I can't follow how a police officer abusing his authority and preying on sex workers over 1,000 miles away is justification for women in LA to not report an assault. Yes, I accept that going to the hospital or a police station might be a daunting proposition - especially right after the attack - but can't the police at least send a female officer to the victim's home for a statement, even at a later time?

When you say, "If it was rape, why didn't you go the police?" here's what it really means: If you don't go to the police, you're not allowed to talk about your sexual assault. Rape is like a ticket in a parking garage, apparently—if you didn't get it validated by the powers that be, you will pay for that later. This is a silencing tactic, nothing more. No one spewing about "due process" to a sex worker who's been assaulted until her ass needs stitches actually gives a shit about the sanctity of law.


That seems unfair. I think that a sex worker should be able to report a crime committed against her, whether she was assaulted, her property was stolen/damaged, whatever. A crime is a crime, how can she not have the right to report it, regardless of her occupation?Police reports are how it typically comes out that such behavior is even going on, and it's also the only way to have the offender face justice for their crimes. Statements made on Twitter are not valid as evidence in a trial; previous police reports against that person are.
12
@8 The way I see it is that a small percentage of women and men make false accusations, but that percentage rises in higher profile cases. The reason cases go high profile is because of the calculatedly prurient details can play to our exact fears. And, it kind of seemed like Stoya's accusations played to those fears. Plus, as you say, he's a celebrity of sorts, so these accusations can go viral.

Saying an accused rapist is "innocent until proven guilty" is not slut shaming in and of itself. Saying "you can't rape a whore" is slut shaming. Saying "I don't have enough proof to paint this guy as a rapist, and I'm not going to forever treat him like one based on one ex's accusations" is reasonable.
13
@12 fears? I'm sure you meant "fantasies". This is America.
15
I don't know why people are impressed by Kink.com and Evil Angel disassociating themselves from James Deen. Neither company has taken down any existing scenes with in, they are still making money from him. In any case, Deen withdrew all his own films from Evil Angel last year and moved them to other sites. He is still on the site, but only as a performer for other directors. As for King . com, they are just trying to cover their own backsides and avoid responsibility for failing to provide a safe workplace.
16
There is one force that is *at times* very strong: workplace health and safety regulations. Perhaps one of the reasons the porn studios reacted so quickly is at least some of the allegations occured at work.

An overzealous application of EH&S laws by an antiporn bureaucrat could seriously affect the studios. When I saw the studios reacted so fast my thought was this is a professional HR system protecting workers and the organization from a bad employee.
17
I have a number of Trans-Female friends who 'Work.'

Many of them don't report their assaults to police. One of them, who has no reason to lie to me, told me a police officer in NY forced her to give him oral sex or he would arrest her.

18
@7 This line from the article: "Unpleasant stories about Deen have circulated in the sex-work community since well before they were a couple" lead me to believe that this action was not based solely on her tweet. I rather got the impression of an industry that had been turning a blind eye and went flying into CYA mode rather than let the story turn into "How the porn industry protected a rapist for years."
19
Mistress Matisse is the best. MM I hope you DO read the comments. I think you're awesome. I'm not a masochist or into bondage (or straight), but if I was I'd want YOU to tie me up and beat me. :-)

Your analyses are always really clear and I've heard you on Savage's podcast so many times I can hear your voice reading this piece. Excellent.
20
Yawn . . . .
21
comment #12 M.M.
this comment captured my feelings on this matter almost as if i had been posting myselfbut written better.
katgoturtounge
22
"...something like 3% of sexual assaults result in a conviction, which is obviously horrible, a direct symptom of rape culture..."

Most don't result in convictions because only 1/3 of rapes are reported to police, sometimes the victim refuses to testify in court even after filling a report, DNA exonerates 1/4 of the accused when rape kits are tested*, or there's otherwise reasonable doubt. None of that is "rape culture."

*In cases of stranger rape, it's worth noting that eyewitness identification of strangers is notoriously unreliable, and only accurate about 1/2 the time in any crime. That the wrong person was accused does not mean the victim was lying; it can be an honest mistake.
24
@12
Except it wasn't just "ONE ex".

This case seems similar to Bill Crosby's, where for years women he assaulted kept silent because they were afraid no one would believe them, until someone couldn't bear it any longer, and risked speaking out. Then others were able to come forward.

A friend of mine was abused and raped by her wealthy, influential father for years. When she tried told her mom, she wasn't believed; so she tried to kill herself, several times, both by actual attempts and indirect attempts with reckless behaviours. Then her uncle came and took her to the police. When the police started investigating, many other young girls came forward, and he was finally convicted and went to prison; almost two decades later than it should have been.
25
*when she told..."
29
So if it isn't rape when it's with a pornstar, does that mean we can all rape James Deen? Who's with me?
30
I'm trying to understand. Did this incident happened while during a porn shoot or did this happen prior or/and after?
31
Pfft! I don't know anyone would think reporting rape or any crime to the police was a good idea. They treat women and minorities like shit.

https://www.propublica.org/article/false…