How Many Ways Did The Media Fail Rape Victims In 2014? Here Are 5 Of Them.

We can do better. So, so much better.Trigger warning: Some graphic discussion of sexual assault.

1. When Rolling Stone said they "misplaced trust" in their source, who gave an account of rape.

It's one thing to write an editor's note explaining that simple fact-checking didn't take place. It's another to fully place the blame on the source, a woman who gives a harrowing account of her rape, and to say that the discrepancies in her story mean the trust in her was "misplaced."

Also, as Marina points out above, "discrepancies" in a rape survivor's story don't automatically point to falsehood — in fact, science says it might be hard for a survivor to remember all the details.


2. That time Don Lemon asked a rape accuser a ridiculous question.

When it comes to investigating a rape claim, questions such as "What happened?" and "What did the person look like?" are totally reasonable. "What could you have done differently?" just isn't OK. Let's focus on the person who actually should have done something differently: the perpetrator.

3. When Fox News contributor George Will said people wanted "victim status."

We're not sure how being a rape victim is a "status" that anyone wants. But most of all, we're not really sure what sort of "status" Will is talking about. Stigmatization of rape victims is painfully real, and rape survivors face enormous hurdles when they open up about their experiences.

4. When the Washington Post published an article suggesting getting married would stop women from violence.

The statistics that the Washington Post article presented really don't add up. After all, marrying a man doesn't mean that he cannot rape or assault you. Intimate-partner violence still happens in marriages!

5. Time magazine allowed an op-ed claiming "rape culture hysteria" is a thing.

To quote the article:

"Rape-culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense."

Fortunately, Zerlina Maxwell had an epic response, which Time also published. Here are our favorite parts:

"Rape culture is when women who come forward are questioned about what they were wearing. Rape culture is when survivors who come forward are asked, 'Were you drinking?' Rape culture is when people say, 'she was asking for it.' Rape culture is when we teach women how to not get raped, instead of teaching men not to rape."

Our only response to the unfortunate events in this list:

Let's hope that 2015 will be a less victim-blaming year for all sexual assault survivors.

More
LUSH

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

Keep Reading Show less
Planet
Photo by Annie Bolin on Unsplash

Recent tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have sparked a lot of conversation and action on the state level over the issue of gun control. But none may be as encouraging as the most recent one, in which 145 CEOs signed a letter urging the U.S. Senate to take action at their level.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The fine folks at Forbes are currently falling all over themselves trying to clean up the mess they created by publishing their 2019 list of 100 Most Innovative Leaders.

The problem: The list included 99 men and one woman. For those not so good with the math, that means according to Forbes, only 1% of the country's most innovative leaders are female.

Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

That's how it feels to see a list like this. So how did Forbes come up with these results?

Keep Reading Show less
Innovation

There's something delicious and addicting about those trendy recipe videos circulating online. You've seen them before: the quick and beautiful play-by-plays of mouthwatering dishes you wish you were eating at this very moment.

The recipes seem so simple and magical and get you thinking, "Maybe I can make that five-cheese bacon lasagna tonight." And before you know it, you're at the store loading up on Colby-Monterey Jack (or is that just me?).

For some families, though, the ingredients and final product look a little different. As part of Hunger Action Month, the hunger-relief organization Feeding America is using our obsession with cooking videos to highlight the reality many food-insecure families face when they sit down for dinner: hunger, and no food in sight.

By putting a twist on the bite-sized food videos all over the internet, they hope to raise awareness that hunger is an unacceptable reality for too many families.

Keep Reading Show less
Family
True
Gates Foundation: The Story of Food