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Reasons I Am Not Approving Your Post

July 28, 2009

Anyone who read my article in the Prospect yesterday can guess that this here very blog has attracted its share of sports misogyny apologists in the last few days. Which might make you wonder – how come I can’t see ’em in the comments?

Well, here’s the thing. They have the rest of the interwebs to spout off, so I really don’t see why we have to give ’em air here. Plus, WordPress (the free version, anyhow) has this weird thing where you can’t ban commenters. You can only approve or not approve them the FIRST time they post. Once you’ve approved one post, they’re free to run roughshod over your blog and there’s little you can do to stop them. Therefore I’m pretty cautious about approving even the posts that might be from jackholes, and might just be from dumb people who lack reading comprehension. I don’t want to find out the difference later when it’s too late.

That said, some people are downright IRATE that I haven’t approved their posts. Fortunately no one has accused me of iminging on their freedom of speech yet, but I thought I might clear some things up before it gets to that point.

So, without further ado, your (possible) trolls and my responses to them. Jump in in the comments section and add whatever I left out:

Isnt there two sides to every story? The fact that you used Ben rothlisberger, a story that all the facts are not known completely ruins your argument. There are girls out there who will use such accusations to get money from rich people. Im not saying that he did not rape her, I am saying that we do not know what happened. Doesn’t it make you wonder why the police are not bringing up charges? I’m sure police they would if there really was something that happened. Shit they dragged Michael Jackson into court for ever just because they thought he was molesting children. Sexism works both ways and you are promoting it.

This one fails on several levels. 1) Sexism does NOT work both ways, it’s an institution of systemic oppression. What About Teh Poor Menz = FAIL. 2) Unfailing trust in the police proving you are a privileged jackass = FAIL. 3) Not knowing all the facts doesn’t ruin my argument, which is based on the facts we *do* know, which is what she’s alleged. FAIL. 4) I have a feeling we’re going to need a new version of Godwin’s Law for Michael Jackson, so I am not even going there. Feel free to help me out in the comments if you want. FAIL.

Would the moderator please explain why the comment below, which I posted last week only to have it apparently removed today, was deemed unfit to appear on this site? Here’s the reprinted comment:

There’s a potential problem with your analysis.

When did the victim make the decision to proceed in civil as opposed to criminal court? The strategic advantages available to a civil ligtigant could be entirely beside the point, if it were shown that the victim, who I presume is not a lawyer, made the decision to forego criminal prosecution without the benefit of a legal consult. In other words, it’s entirely possible that many of the strategic benefits you have listed played no role in her decision, and thus cannot be used to portray her decision to waive criminal law enforcement as reasonable.

OY. OK, first, this post never was approved or appeared on this blog, so FAIL on hallucinating that. Second, this is a great big FAIL on reading comprehension. This dude is so excited to prove me (and the alleged victim) wrong that he didn’t actually read my post, which said that we don’t know anything about the alleged victim’s reasons for filing in civil court. What we do know is why many other victims chose that option. FAIL.

So, if convicted of rape, she aint gonna get a settlement in the millions ?











How come pro athletes are never in the news for rape outside the us ?

OK, there’s clearly a grammar fail in here, which I’m not even going to get into, because the big FAIL on this comment is a lack of basic research. No, she’s not asking for millions. She’s actually only asked for $440,00 from Roethlisberger, which is not a lot when you factor in lawyer fees, lost wages, and medical care. She’s also asking for punitive damages to be decided by the judge, but whatever number that is is decide by the court, not her.

As for his other question, well, I’m sure you spend all your time combing the international press and are an authority on that subject, dude. Also, if pro athletes are in the news less for rape outside the U.S., perhaps that has something to do with the U.S. sports misogyny culture? Nah…

a strong explanation for “Rape culture” though! A woman is too strong to sense the coming mishap. A sensible, smart, and wise woman is always cautious about the surroundings. If she smells a rat, she never enters the area and even if she does, she takes protection with her.

Ugh. Victim-blaming FAIL.

OR…here’s another possibility….

the “victim” can win a large cash settlement in a civil suit versus a criminal one. she can subvert the legal process in order to maximize her award.

how about treating that as a possibility instead of jumping through hoops to defend this crazy woman’s rationale.

please, look at the facts of the case as we know them. it’s pretty easy to determine that she’s making this all up.

Pot-meet-kettle FAIL.

Innocent until proven guilty. Why is that basic and fundamental tenant ignored. OJ was proven innocent, much to the dismay of LA, and the the civil case got him. That whole double jeopardy thing, nah its nonsense.

Hmmm… should we give this a reading comprehension fail, a Poor Menz fail, or a failure-to-comprehend-the-basics-of-our-justice-system fail? Tricky.

Perez Hilton calling her a gold digger may as well be proof that Big Ben was guilty. Hey Ben, when Perez Hilton is the one backing you up, it’s not a good sign!!

Her flirting with him at the desk is not ‘rape culture,’ it’s women being stupid. Him ‘blocking her exit and raping her’ THEN having a reasonable idea that he would get away with it free and clear, is ‘rape culture.’

Oh! Thanks for EXPLAINING that to me. You clearly know more about this than a stupid woman could. FAIL.


“While there, he flirted up a female host at Harrahs, the casino hotel where he was staying. Whether or not she voluntarlily flirted with him is unknowable – as a rich, high profile celebrity, he knew that it was her job to flirt with him, and so did she. That’s rape culture.”

I have no idea what happened and I don’t claim to know. This isn’t directly related, but I thought it’s still worth noting – you’re making assumptions about something you state you don’t know (what her reasons were for engaging with the man) and then declare those assumptions to be the root cause of the problem. That’s hardly a good argument. There are indeed quite a lot of women who will flirt with rich, high profile celebrities, and I think it’s more than problematic to connect this, or any kind of, flirting with rape. If anything, it makes rape cases easier to dismiss if you have to add a “real” so people don’t confuse it with “flirting”.

OK. We must start with SPELL MY NAME RIGHT FAIL. Beyond that, this is a deeper reading comprehension fail. My argument is that there’s no way, given the power dynamic between the female casino host and the super famous rich male sports celebrity, she has no opportunity to freely choose to flirt with him because it’s ALREADY her job. She’s not just a random woman he meets, she’s being PAID to kiss his ass no matter how she feels. The power dynamic exists before any motives either of them might have developed individually. That really is rape culture.

What I find most disturbing is the obvious bias here, and the assumption that he must be guilty simply because she said so, a year later, with no physical evidence of any kind, and a history of mental problems, including falling in love with an imaginary Iraq-deployed soldier.

I’m willing to consider this woman’s story. Why won’t so many people consider the man’s?

Reading comprehension FAIL, Poor Menz FAIL, plus you’re also evidently willing to accept as fact crackpot invented internet conspiracy stories with not even a first-hand account to back them up. FAIL.

What if Mr. Roethlisberger is innocent? What if the lady is lying?
If he was not a high profile celebrity, would anyone care?
This rush to assume guilt is another part of “rape culture”

Unfamiliar with the concept “rape culture” FAIL. Also, false rape claims happen no more frequently than other false claims of violent crimes – about 2-8% of the time. So we can be at least 92% confident that she’s telling the truth, which certainly makes her allegations worth considering, which is all we’re doing here. Plus, y’all are working overtime everywhere else on the web asserting how sure you are she is lying, so counteracting that with some confidence in her here – not gonna apologize. FAIL.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2009 10:26 am

    This is beside the point of an awesome post, but you can ban commenters here. Settings > discussion > comment blacklist. Pop the IP in there, and you’re good to go. (Or just mark them as spam instead of deleting them.)

    (Having said that, I still make first-time commenters go through moderation, and it helps a lot.)

  2. jaclynfriedman permalink*
    July 28, 2009 11:03 am

    Oh, lawd, thank you, Kate! I knew it seemed wrong that I shouldn’t be able to ban…

  3. July 28, 2009 11:42 am

    You can also set it where you have to moderate ALL comments even from people you approved before…but that is the issue…you have to moderate ALL comments. LoL It can get tedious if you have a lot of commenters. It is in the discussions tab but not sure where exactly..

    And I agree with everything here. They have the right to talk about whatever they want to everywhere else, but this is your house and your rules.

    Most of the time people just don’t realize the culture or they have been conditioned to be blind to it. You know, the “typical male” mentality. I thought that with my ex husband…it wasn’t until years later that I realized that he abused me and raped me…

  4. MKG permalink
    July 28, 2009 1:01 pm

    For those taking issue with your analysis of whether or not she “had” to flirt with Roethlisberger… Arlie Hochschild wrote _The Managed Heart_ way back in 1983 about how certain jobs, mostly held by women, required one to “professionalize” or “commodify” emotional responses and feelings as way of doing one’s job successfully. Hochschild’s very convincing example was flight attendants, who are required to put aside their own moods, worries, and cares in order to provide a “pleasant experience” for demanding travelers. Part of their job is to be cheerful and interested in the customers, whether they want to or not. Anyone who has ever worked in a customer service position, and especially anyone who has ever worked in a position that requires interacting with people who are used to being pandered to, complimented, and served, knows that certain behaviors including what might be perceived as “flirting” can become part of one’s job. That’s no justification for subjugating or harming another person in any way.

  5. July 28, 2009 3:13 pm

    The Joy of Trolls….

  6. emrez49 permalink
    July 28, 2009 6:30 pm

    I can’t say much else except THANK YOU. Best response to people-who-don’t-get-it ever.

  7. Joseph permalink
    July 29, 2009 10:55 pm

    Trolls like this make ALL of us look bad… even though they delude themselves into thinking they’re doing good. There are guys who do care about women’s issues after all… but (unfortunately) many of us are on our own when it comes to finding the right resources.

  8. Hannah permalink
    September 1, 2009 7:00 am

    “How come pro athletes are never in the news for rape outside the us ?”
    Maybe because this person thinks the world revolves around the US. It doesn’t. Just like here in Australia we don’t hear about US athletes raping women, in the US, you wouldn’t hear of the same problem we have here
    Honestly. Teh stupid much.
    AFL (australian rules football) and Rugby are full of rapists asshats. It’s every other week that you here of somebody getting sexually assaulted by one of these players, but of course, no other country has pro-athletes in the news for rape.
    Anyway, great piece

    • April 21, 2010 5:09 am

      In the UK it’s football (soccer) that’s full of the asshats. Though they’ve mostly hit the news for violence and physical assault other than rape. Not that there haven’t been sexual assault cases as well.
      Rugby seems to be alright in this country – most of their players are pretty well behaved. But then we don’t, as a country, have as much mania for Rugby (except when the six nations is on).
      There does seem to be a strong correlation between how much publicity and praise a sport gets and the asshattery of its big players.

  9. Catlein permalink
    September 7, 2009 10:44 am

    I just stumbled across this blog and you = WIN!

    I have yet to quite understand why some people seek out areas of the web in which they know they will be uncomfortable in a way that will not cause them to seek to change their actions. No, instead they have to yell at us for daring to think about something that conflicts with their happy personal view of the world. Obviously we feminists are causing them DEEP PERSONAL TRAUMA. And I think we should continue 🙂


  1. Feminist Peace Network » Jaclyn Friedman On Sports Apologists and Sexual Assault

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