Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Three of the lacrosse players have been indicted in the Duke assault case. They claim that, while they may have been taunting her and generally disrespecting her due to her race and gender, they did not sexually assault her. The spokesperson for Duke University urged people not to jump to any conclusions, to exercise compassion and reserve judgement, as an indictment does not a conviction make. 
My question is, who was he urging to exercise compassion and for whom?
I can only hope he was referring to the three lacrosse players and their families, who are heaping insult upon injury as they scramble to clear their names whilst casting not-so-subtle aspersions on the character of this woman. let's all have some compassion for her.


sailorman said...

Compassion for the victim as a victim of rape will (should?) come after a trial, when/if the accused are found to be guilty.

Compassion for the accuser as someone who has obviously had a rough time (but not necessarily been raped) is easy to have.

However, compassion for the accused is ALSO appropriate. Because if they ARE innocent, they they are going through a world of shit.

I am a general supporter of the rights of the accused. Though I think the Duke boys are quite possibly guilty, and I find their admitted actions highly distasteful, my ethics prohibit jumping on the "lock 'em up" bandwagon until after the trial.

I am always uncomfortable with posts which suggest an assumption of guilt.

Do you think you're better than a jury?

Wrkinprogress said...

Girl MD, this is yet another reason that I faithfully check your blog for new posts -- you have a good heart and a kind soul. Indeed, what about the woman who was abused in whatever way(s) she was? A person's occupation, no matter how distasteful to some, is no excuse to assault or otherwise abuse them.

Let's hope something positive comes from this hideous episode and that these young men somehow learn that their behavior was and is deplorable.


girl MD said...

No, I do not believe that I am better than a jury. But I am also uncomfortable with assumptions that women accusing men of sexual assault are liars and out for revenge for some perceived slight.

Compassion for the accuser seems to be in short supply in this case (not so easy). Is it because she is African American? Or perhaps because she is an exotic dancer? I don't know.

Your comment implies that you do not believe she was "necessarily" raped. Why is that?

What I have observed, and what I did not explicitly state in my post, is that there seems to be an overwhelming amount of compassion for the accused. Yes, you are right that if they are, indeed, innocent, it sucks to be them.

But which is worse? All things being equal (or not so equal), is being accused of a crime you did not commit (and being acquited by a jury of your peers once all the facts are heard) worse?

Or is it worse to have the guts to stand up for yourself when you were trampled upon, to have your entire life exposed for public dissection, to have your integrity and veracity questioned (if not disbelieved outright) due to the inherent discrimination in the society in which you live?

I would argue that the latter is worse. The latter is more degrading, more humiliating, than the accused (if innocent) can even begin to contemplate.

There is a reason that most rapes are not reported. Let us all ponder that ugly phenomenon for a while.

All that being said, I applaud your efforts to remain dispassionate and impartial.