Daily Mail calls 12-year-old rape victims 'Lolitas'

Friday, 18 March 2011

When you cover a case which involves the gang rape of girls as young as 12, you leave us in no doubt what you think of the outcome when you publish a story containing the following:

"Reading Crown Court heard how the soccer players were encouraged by the schoolgirl 'Lolitas'"

Lolitas? Really? You think that's responsible reporting?

"The girls told the men they 16 years old and had sneaked away from a party to be with them after exchanging suggestive text messages..."

"The judge heard that the most active of the two girls, mentioned in five of the six charges, could not have been trusted by the prosecution as a witness.

"She was also being investigated over an unrelated false rape allegation and had a fake age on her Facebook page."

"She said one of the males kept asking her for sex. She was initially reluctant but eventually gave in to his persistence."

"They highlighted the lies of the young girl who took part in most of the sexual activity..."

"They added that the careers of the promising young footballers had been ruined by 'the biggest mistake [of their] lives'."

Is it any wonder that the comments on the story go down the very same route?

"I would say these wayward girls were more at fault than the lads..."

"The prisons are over-crowded as it is. Save the space for genuine criminals not misguided young men like these. It's the girl who instigated all of this who should be punished - not the lads."

(sic) that's not rape. the girls were cooperative..."

"It's not rape. But it is slutty behaviour..."

"I think it is absolutely appalling that these boys have been jailed for this. I am female. They were led on and its the girls who should be charged."

"The girls were underage, yes, but claimed to be 16 (and we all know how tarty some young girls can look)..."

It seems that a lot of people haven't heard of statutory rape and that possibly, the Mail hasn't either, considering the story appears to be intent on hammering home just how much these girls are to blame for what happened to them and that it only outcome has been the ruination of men's lives. Whether the girls texted the men or not, whether they were out late at night or not, this state of affairs the Mail seems to have reached where anything is excusable is disgusting and unforgivable.

And there I was thinking that I hadn't seen a 'evil lying woman out to get men' story for a while. The Mail may not have that particular agenda to push at present (I'm sure they'd hoped that plans to grant anonymity to rape defendants wouldn't be scrapped) but you know they're sure as hell going to carry on promoting it anyway. Maybe, like me, they've read the studies and articles discussing the way the media has an incredible influence on public perception of sexual violence and victim blaming. And maybe that's why they do it, even going to the lengths of trying to justify men having sex with 12-year olds because at the end of the day, a rape allegation is usually nothing more than a woman trying to ruin a man's life.

EDIT: more posts worth reading


sianandcrookedrib said...

it's sickening. just sickening. it doesn't matter what they were wearing, or what they said, they are are 12. why are the lives of the girls not mentioned? calling for girls to go to jail for being raped? what is wrong with these people!

Also, as i said on twitter, if the DM reporter had actually read Lolita he or she would know that Lolita is a rape victim. In the book one of the most tragic lines is 'you see, she had no-where else to go'.

I just cannot understand the mentality of people who hear about the gang rape of a child, and a young child at that, and think that anyone but the rapists are to blame. I just cannot understand it.

Lesley said...

hannah - I am speechless. They are children, the adults are responsible for their behaviour, what is wrong with this Newspaper? It is incitement to rape!

B said...

I actually find this almost impossible to get my head round - not just the Daily Mail article, but the attitudes of the commenters. The girls were TWELVE - children - and the rapists were grown men! 12-year-olds do not, no matter what they're wearing or how they're acting, look like adult women in any way. And as for those blaming the girls' parents - it's obvious even from the scant information in the article that the girls have most likely had terrible upbringings, but does their parents' neglect mean they deserve to be raped? That's the implication in some of the comments. And I mean, 'their footballing careers have been ruined'?! I should hope they fucking have!

I'd also be willing to bet any money that the people commenting calling the girls 'sluts' and the like are exactly the same sort of people who would advocate vigilante attacks/the death penalty on those convicted of child abuse. I know it's a cheap shot, but I'd like to see them maintain this attitude if a group of adult men forced or cajoled their 12-year-old daughter/sister/etc into sex.

I find it deeply disturbing that the Mail is promoting these views so blatantly - I don't expect much more from them, but this is one of the worst examples I've seen in a while.

Katy Jones-Gulsby said...

we're dealing with this right now with the case of the 11 year old gang-raped in Texas. but luckily, if a girl is under 16 in Texas then she CANNOT give consent. so no matter what those fuckwads say about her "leading them on," they are going to jail.

but the small town it happened in is victim blaming and it's making us all sick. :(

Rainicorn said...

Just one of the many reasons why I recently resolved to never even look at the Daily Fail website. I don't want to support that disgusting rag by boosting their hit-count, even if I am doing it with a sense of outrage. Between this and the victim-blaming of the little girl in Texas, I am honestly finding it hard to stay positive about the human species at the moment ):

Akela said...

What Blair said.

As you know I deal with kids aged 10-14. I do not believe that a man could possibly mistake a 12 year old girl, regardless of what she was wearing or how she was acting, for a girl 16 or over. The actions of these men were shameful and the reporting hits a whole new low for the Mail and it's horrible anti women agenda.

Hannah Mudge said...

Katy - i had a convo on twitter on Friday where we were wondering if the Mail decided to put this spin on the story BECAUSE of what's happening on your side of the pond at the moment. It wouldn't surprise me. In both cases, the reactions are totally despicable.


Where's malestream media reporting on the actions/activities of the now convicted serial male rapists? Missing of course because the male defendants' behaviour/actions are supposedly irrelevant since it is always women's/girls' behaviour/actions which cause males to rape them.

The only evidence Daily Male reported was the deliberate discrediting of the five female victims and nothing was reported concerning the male rapists' violence committed against these girls.

This is one reason why male sexual violence against women and girls continues unabated because holding men/boys accountable for their violence against women is not considered appropriate. Instead the focus always has to be on women and girls - hence male sexual violence against women and girls does not exist does it?

Unknown Agent X said...

This is too freaking disgusting for words. I think the fact that anyone would blame a 12 year old child for being raped speaks for itself...

Tanya said...

In today's Fail Richard Hartley-Parkinson directs his righteous fury towards a judge in a similar case who used spookily similar reasoning to the author of the article you discuss here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104287/Child-rapists-jailed-just-40-months--judge-said-11-year-old-victim-willing.html

Apparently it's fine for the Fail to blame a child victim of rape for the assault, but heinous if anyone else does it. Half right, and all wrong...


Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger