Friday, October 19, 2007


I hope you've all heard by now about the judge in Philadelphia, Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, who ruled that gang rape of a sexworker at gunpoint was not rape at all, because of course, any woman who would take money for sex deserves to be raped. In fact, read the story and you'll see that not only did she decide that this gang rape was not rape at all, it was rather, she conceded, "theft of services" because the attackers, not rapists, did not pay for their sex.

This week Feministe had this post 10.16.2007
When is rape at gunpoint not rape? When it is theft of services.

These kinds of rulings by ignorant, troubled, hateful people are beyond distressing. Let's all follow the links here to complain about Judge Deni. We can do that.

How did she get to this job I can't help but wonder? Doesn't she know people in her own life who've been raped? Who does she think she is? How can someone so problematic be in a position of power like this? I know, stupid question, eh? Naive, at best.

But the brain doesn't compute this. I just don't understand. To believe that any woman, no matter their day job, deserves to be the victim of a violent crime is to believe that people with more money, who sit behind desks and lead "traditional" lives are better, more deserving of a law that supports them--even more human--than someone who sells sex to pay the bills. This is the most fucked up view of people, the saddest perception of life. Not only is it a blatant misinterpretation of the actual law defining rape--a violent crime that has long-term multilayered effects on survivors--but it paints a picture of a woman, Deni, so wounded and closed off to compassion and emotion that she has lost her ability to see how closely connected she and this single, 20-year-old mother actually are.

I am mad. We are mad. And I am so sad for Judge Deni and any woman whose case she will preside over or has presided over. How many other women has Deni shafted because she can't bear to see how interwoven her own life is with every other woman who has had to struggle, fight, and do whatever she has to do to survive?

Thank you to Gayle and Sarah for bringing this piece to our attention.

Until next time.


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