“My client pleads ‘not guilty’ because he doesn’t know what ‘assault’ is”

Many people have blogged about why it should be considered a sex crime, NOT a scandal, to steal someone’s nude photos and put them on the internet without their consent. I wholeheartedly agree, and don’t have much more to add. But what I’m curious about is the mindset of the hacker(s) and others like him/her: people, possibly sociopaths, who live with a dangerous sense of entitlement to others’ bodies and don’t consider themselves predators for misusing them.

Against my better judgment, I’ve read several tweets and article comments that clearly demonstrate we, as a society, don’t have a clear understanding of what a “sex crime” is. Of all the possible crimes that cause direct harm to a victim, we still have this idea that assault victims play a role in their victimization. She chose to take nude photos of herself and store them in her phone. She chose to put on a revealing outfit and go clubbing. Yet we don’t criticize someone nearly as much for hiding a spare key under their welcome mat and finding their home burglarized.

The average person who thinks nothing of looking at a stolen photo of a naked celebrity, or having sex with someone who’s too drunk to consent, may claim ignorance and plead “This is what guys do.” I, however, think they are more cunning than that. I think in cases like these, the foreknowledge that a victim will be held responsible is a prime motivator for would-be assailants. They are well aware of the stereotype that having an X and Y chromosome makes one a perv by default, and they use this to their advantage.

But is there a slim chance that some men are truly ignorant about the definition of assault? This is an idea I want to research for my next book:

Adelaide Scott, esteemed romance columnist for Stunning! Magazine, is smitten with her new boyfriend, Jordan Johnson…until one of his ex girlfriends accuses him of something unthinkable.

To prove his innocence, Jordan gives Addie a list of all his former girlfriends to ‘interview’: to prove he’s the good man he claims to be.

Addie will find out the truth…but it’s nothing like she expected.

It may sound crazy, but this I didn’t know it was wrong! behavior is the most common form of sexual assault, and it deserves to be explored.

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About Beth Caplin

Just an author, blogger, and editor working hard so my cats can have a better life.
This entry was posted in Feminism, Social Issues, Writing & Publishing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “My client pleads ‘not guilty’ because he doesn’t know what ‘assault’ is”

  1. Am I Thirty? says:

    I think the problem is the society that we live in. Boys need to be taught from a very young age that women are not property. That they have no right to a woman’s body unless the woman allows them access. It doesn’t matter how drunk she is, what she’s wearing, etc. And it doesn’t help that when you hear stories about rape, so many times the woman is torn apart by the media just as much, if not more, than the man who committed the crime.

    I think for the hacker it was a superiority thing. I mean I saw so many people referring to him as a hero for what he did.

    Like

    • Beth Caplin says:

      Yes, exactly. I just got a Twitter response to my post about the creativity of the rape victim carrying her mattress around campus until her rapist gets expelled (did you hear about that?). Because what she’s doing is getting more attention than going to the school authorities to report the assault, which more often than not accomplishes nothing. The response to my post was “Well she should just report it.” If only it were that simple. And while I hate to generalize, the responder was male.

      Like

      • Am I Thirty? says:

        I did hear about that. I think it’s awesome what she’s doing. And I don’t want to generalize either, but it does tend to be guys with those flippant “just report it” responses. It doesn’t necessarily come from a malicious place. They just really don’t get it. It’s not that simple.

        Like

  2. Lydia Thomas says:

    Eeek! So excited! 🙂

    Like

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