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A “Pleasurable” Sexual Assault

via Feministing, here’s something that is guaranteed to ruin your morning: A severely disabled woman is sexually assaulted at school by a peer aid, and her parents file a lawsuit against the school district. The district refuses to mediate the suit because their expert says that the attack was “pleasurable”: Indeed, “it ignited her female desires.”

Absolutely disgusting. And according to her parents, the woman’s behavior has changed markedly.

Starr and McArthur said Kalie’s behavior toward men has changed since the assault.

“She was loving and trusting. She went everywhere with us,” said Starr. “Now, it takes 100 percent of one person to manage her aggression.”

Starr said Kalie is still sweet and friendly, but will grab men and pinch them.

This is so sad. I hope her parents are able to find a good counselor to work with her and are able to help her through this ordeal. And I hope they sue the hell out of the school district.

16 thoughts on A “Pleasurable” Sexual Assault

  1. That’s disgusting. “Igninted her female desires”? What crap–that doesn’t make what he did right.

  2. Unfair and preopsterous. I don’t see this as a gender issue, though. I noticed something in schools: Teachers and administrators usually take the side of the bully and tell the assault victim they have to “be stronger” and they “bring these things on.”
    I think this is because no one likes to identify with a loser, adults included. Plus, admitting there is wrongdoing puts THEM in the wrong.

  3. It’s related to the way when boys misbehave and break the rules the teachers act like they’re cute, but when girls dare do so, the teachers remember the rules and discipline them.

    And,yeah, that passive dynamic favoring the bully has been in place a long time. “Oh, now, don’t let it bother you. Just ignore it. He likes you!”

  4. Yeah, Ginmar, I see what you’re saying, but what you’re calling out are specifically gendered examples, right? I mean, *girls* are told to endure bullying — the bully “likes” them.

    Maybe even boys are told to endure bullying, out of a general desire in this society to encourage masculinity — male victims may be told overtly or subtextually to “get tougher” than the bully.

    But is there really a question that the dynamic in this situation is gendered? The woman was sexually assaulted. The excuse is that it doesn’t matter because “she liked it.” It seems like this si something often thrown at women who are victims of rape and sexual assault — the slut was asking for it, she really wanted it, etc. Seems very gendered to me.

    I’m wondering how Dennis can support his argument that it isn’t.

  5. Oh, yeah, but the advice to women is always to get passive or be more passive while the advice to men is to resist and get tougher. Women are always told any attention from a man is flattering. It’s definitely gendered. Women are supposed to shut up about it; men are supposed to learn how to compete.

  6. In the context of non-rape bullying, I think men *are* often told to be more passive. I remember my parents telling me to put up with a bully because, “he thinks you’re [interesting|cool|fun], but doesn’t know how else to interact”. Maybe that’s when you’re younger, though – I certainly can’t envision being told that after about middle school.

  7. Being disabled means you are much more likely than non-disabled people to be the victim of crime. Women with disabilites report a higher than typical rate of sexual abuse and it has been estimated that more than half of abuse of people with disabilities is perpetrated by family members and peers with disabilities and that disability professionals (i.e., paid or unpaid caregivers, doctors, nurses) are believed responsible for the other half. While people with disabilites have a higher rate of victimization, many victim advocates do not have an understanding of how they communicate, if they can communicate at all. So the victim’s side of the story is not always accurately portrayed.

    In terms of bullying, children with invisible disabilities (such as Asperger’s) experience bullying at rates higher than their typical peers. My son (who is autistic) was the victim of bullying this past school year. He’s the perfect victim–can’t speak up for himself when under pressure or stress, and doesn’t read social cues correctly so often confuses non-friendly gestures as friendly ones. I only became aware that he had been bullied because I got a call from the school (who are fully aware of his disability and communication/social problems) saying they were considering an out of school suspension because he had hit another child for “no apparent reason” (of course, the reason was that he finally blew his lid after being victimized for weeks if not months by two boys in his class). The boys received no real punishment, and I was able to barely talk them out of suspending my son but he did have to serve a detention. IMHO the administration in this case supported the aggressor and not the victim.

  8. And,yeah, that passive dynamic favoring the bully has been in place a long time. “Oh, now, don’t let it bother you. Just ignore it. He likes you!”

    Oh, man. I was badly bullied in middle school, and this made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my blood run cold for a moment.

    I too hope those parents sue the pants off the district, and I hope the kid that did it gets counselling and maybe does a bit of time, too.

  9. A point no one has made yet:

    It doesn’t really matter whether she “enjoyed it” or not. Having sex with someone against their will, or with someone who is not in a position to give able to give consent is what defines rape, not the emotional state of the victim.

    To make an analogy, a recovering alcholoic who is really having a hard time de-toxing would likely in some sense enjoy being tied down and force-fed alcohol, as he would get the drug his body is desperately craving. However, I doubt that anyone would see doing so as a benign act.

    So the point is, even if the claims fo this “expert” were true, they are irrelevant.

  10. That’s what we get offered in terms of affection, and because there’s little alternative, we accept it. Asking for more is uppity. Of course that low standard is really easy for bullies.

  11. A rape issue yes, but one with the nuances of the fact that the victim is severely disabled.

    It appears to me that the school is doubly victimizing the victim and also her family who must be reminded of the trauma foisted on their daughter every time she acts out and who must also be the ones to have to resolve the behavior problems.

    That the victim cannot speak for herself is something the school seems to be attempting to make hay with. I only hope they get a ballbusting attorney who will get them for not only their failure to provide a safe environment for their daughter, but also their shameless effort to take advantageous of and belittle the rights of, a disabled person.

    Truly sickening.

  12. If she can’t speak for herself, then she can’t give meaningful consent. So it’s irrelevant whether she enjoyed it.

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