Wisconsin Republican Roger Rivard was recently quoted in a newspaper talking about the rape of a young girl at a local high school with the words "some girls rape easy." If your mouth just dropped open, you'll understand why the state representative is trying to back away from that one as fast as his little legs will carry him. But in typical politician form, he may have come up with an excuse for bad behavior that's potentially worse than his original gaffe.
The way Rivard tells it, he wasn't trying to excuse the 17-year-old charged with the violation of an underage girl at all. Nope, not de-legitimazing the rape of a child. He was just trying to relate an old tale from his dad. Warning: Pops sounds like a mysoginist. Apple apparently didn't fall far ...
According to Rivard's backpedaling, er, explanation:
[My dad] also told me one thing, 'If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry.' Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she's not going to say, 'Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.' All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she's underage. And he just said, 'Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,' he said, 'they rape so easy.'
Oh! So what he meant to say was girls who say they were raped are just a pack of filthy liars. Sooooo much better, isn't it?
I'm tempted to remind Rep. Rivard of the adage, "rape is rape is rape." But with a thick skull like his, I'm afraid that isn't enough.
Here's the deal: maligning the reputations of young women by insinuating that they simply "cry rape" to get their parents off their back makes you sound like a royal jerk. Rape victims have enough trouble working through the trauma they've endured to come forward, to actually make a claim to the cops. More than 50 percent never even find the courage to do it! And when they're underage, like this girl, it can be particularly difficult. They're young, they're scared, they're confused.
These women, these girls, these victims, do not need some state representative with some 1920s thinking telling them that their trauma isn't valid.
What do you think of Rivard's "excuse"? Is it any better than his original statement?
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