I happened across this description of a cheerleader who had been thrown off a cheerleading squad for refusing to cheer for her (they’ll want to stick ‘alleged’ in here, you watch!) rapist. He had pled guilty to a misdemeanour charge to avoid jail, claiming a misunderstanding (and that is awful enough, given the circumstances, as detailed here) so they were still at school together. Both courts she faced found her claim ‘frivolous,’ said that as a member of a cheerleading squad, she represented her school and not herself, and have ordered her to pay (a substantial amount) in court costs.
It’s so breathtaking it’s hard to know where to begin. It never ceases to amaze me how often women are required to set aside their emotional states to protect men from the consequences of their actions. And now it’s being legally mandated that she set herself aside, that she find some way to act ‘cheery’ about him… and her protest against being required to treat him just as she would treat any other basketballer marked as ‘frivolous’. Oh yes. This reminds me of the discussion I explored over here. Because, unlike almost every other transgression of social norms, when men assault, abuse or harass women, the only consequence should be legal. And survivors and victims will be required to protect those who harmed them from the consequences of their actions. Legally. That’s equality for you.
More from S E Smith, over at CommentIsFree.