Quick Hit: Today in ‘equality’

Stylised silhouette of a cheerleaderI 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.

There’s a Change.org petition happening, if you’re so inclined.

More from S E Smith, over at CommentIsFree.

Categories: gender & feminism, media, social justice, violence

Tags: ,

9 replies

  1. $45,000?! On top of everything else? That poor girl. There is no fucking justice.
    As an aside, I notice that the source of the accompanying photo is a collection of photos of the same group of cheerleaders, but the one selected to illustrate this article about a cheerleader who was sexually assaulted just happens to be the one showing the most panties!

  2. Yeah… don’t ask about the stuff I had to filter through before I chose the red-and-white silhouette above!!

  3. I’m inclined to see if the money can’t be raised for her. I don’t know how right now, as I’ve been awake for a while already and I’m super busy, but is there maybe a fund we can donate to?

  4. It’s a great thought, FP. I haven’t seen a fund anywhere, but the story is getting such enormous coverage now that I wouldn’t be surprised if one were to pop up soon. I’ll keep an eye out!

  5. “I have no hard feelings towards the girl” Bolton is quoted as saying to a reporter. Everything about this case is utterly topsy-turvey.

  6. Yeah, that quote left me agog too Orlando. Outrageous.

  7. From the comment thread on this, very good, article: politicususa
    this is the best I can find for a place to donate. It’s just a U.S. bank account number, so might be a bit tricky to work from over here, but I’m sure it can be done:

    From Larry Watts, the victim’s attorney: “I have activated a State Bar IOLTA Trust Account at Bank of Texas to receive donations to HS and her parents for court assessed costs, her legal fees and expenses. Contributions should be sent to Watts Associates IOLTA Routing Number 111014325, Account No. 2902216304.

  8. Thirding orlando and fuckpoliteness.

  9. Well done Orlando! I have no idea what a ‘routing number’ is, but I’ll try to figure all that out once this essay is handed in!

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