Al Gore and the sexual assault accusations

20 Jul

See Jaclyn Friedman’s article here. My favorite quotes:

“The truth is, there are hundreds of filthy rich, incredibly famous men, and only a small handful of them have been accused of sexual assault. If inventing a rape accusation were a great way to make money, it would be a lot more popular.”

“Authorities didn’t take the charges seriously? Not surprising: if law enforcement took sexual assault allegations seriously, there wouldn’t be tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of rape kits languishing untested in police labs across the country. No wonder 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported.”

” Sexual assault is scary. We want to think it could never happen to us or to anyone we love—or committed by anyone we respect. We want it to be easy to stay safe. We want to avoid thinking about our own vulnerability so much that we weave a web of soothing fiction: she wanted it, what did she expect in her line of work, she’s obviously just after his money. And, of course: he’s a really good guy. He would never do something like that.”

AND the clincher:

“What’s more, our fierce attachment to the idea of the obvious monster has the exact opposite of the intended effect: it puts all of us in great danger. Every time we indulge it, we give cover to the actual sexual predators among us: we discourage victims from reporting because we’ve already told them we won’t believe them, and, when charges do get filed, we’ve already encouraged the police, prosecutors, judges and juries to make like we do and find whatever reasons they can to dismiss, diminish and deny justice. All of which means that these guys—these nice-seeming guys in your community—are free to attack again and again. Which, research shows, they do.”

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2 Responses to “Al Gore and the sexual assault accusations”

  1. Molly July 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    So here is my question, are you saying these quotes are ironic or ridiculous OR are you trying to emphasize how important and terrifying they are?

    • annanettie July 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      those quotes re: al gore are important, i think, because they point out our tendency to doubt survivors/survivor-blame. the entire article is wonderful, and the quotes are important and terrifying, especially in context.

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