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Rape and Sexual Assault

I Believe Her: All I Need to Know About the Duke Rape Case, and What It Has to Do with Imus

 Violated

The woman who brought rape charges against the Duke LaCrosse players was a young, black, hardworking single mother of two small children, a veteran of the U.S. military.  She was summoned to a gathering comprised of young, strong, athletic, big, rich, intoxicated, privileged white college men who thought nothing of paying strippers to be humiliated and degraded for a few hours for their viewing pleasure.

If I knew nothing else, these two statements:

The accuser said she and the second dancer were barraged with racist remarks and wanted to leave. “We started crying,” she said. “We were so scared.”

 and

The new timeline was contradicted by records of cellphone calls made from her phone and time-stamped photos of her at the party, clad in a negligee.

And that devastating photo up there, tell me everything I need to know about this situation.  She, a young black woman, barraged with racist commentary by men looking to degrade and humiliate her sexually, is dancing in a negligee a  private home among young, drunk, white, racist men.  It is likely she was drugged right after she arrived.

I don’t need to know anything else. 

She says she was raped. 

I believe her.

And I know this.  This decision, and all of its apologists, every last one, including pro-feminists so-called — “allies” my ass — every one who says “I don’t believe they did it,” “I think she was confused,”  “I think she lied,”  “I think she is mentally ill,” sends a revived and reinvigorated message out across this fucked up, racist, misogynist nation of ours that if you’re a white boy, it’s open season on young black women.  Call them any names you want to call them.  Do anything you want to do to them.  You’ll walk.   I know what these boys do.  I know what they do.  They do it, they do it to young women of color, and nobody cares, everybody thinks it’s funny, and nobody believes the girls, or if they do, they say the girls are making a big deal of it, are making shit up.   They — and all of you who defend these and similar men and feel sorry for them — can run it by someone stupid, or racist, or misogynist, or ignorant or naive.

Maybe it was, in fact, this turn of events which empowered Don Imus to call young black woman athletes  “nappy headed ho’s,” to figure that was a-okay.  In fact, with most white men in America, it was a-okay, and still is.  All sorts of people want to talk about rappers and how what they do or don’t do might figure in to, what, I don’t even know.  Myself, I am wondering why nobody is talking about the way the Duke Lacrosse players walking might have figured in to what Don Imus said, about the way the repeated victimization of a young, brutalized black woman, by white men, and white people, might have figured in. 

I have an idea Imus’s career is far from over.  The decision in the Duke rape case pretty much ensures that it is not.

Heart

Discussion

71 thoughts on “I Believe Her: All I Need to Know About the Duke Rape Case, and What It Has to Do with Imus

  1. Wow, Heart! I think you’re right about this – the Imus / Duke connection.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | April 13, 2007, 4:35 pm
  2. Well, Imus said what he said on April 4. And the actual decision dismissing the case came this week. But the dismissal of the rape charges was way back, and the case has been going sideways in forever, this week was just the final chapter.

    Rush Limbaugh publicly called the plaintiff in the Duke case a “ho” a year ago, just about to the day that Imus called the Rutgers athletes that name. So that’s been out there, to the delight of misogynist racists everywhere. Imus was probably just waiting for the right opportunity to say what he wanted to say, when he figured he could get away with it.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 13, 2007, 4:55 pm
  3. And what’s with these old white fart assholes calling women “hos” anyway, like they are down with the brothers of their imagination or whatever. God, this pisses me off to the eleventh degree of heaven.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 13, 2007, 4:56 pm
  4. thanks for this.

    i just wanted to add to the chorus that i believe her too. i do not think she was lying or confused or mentally ill, i think she was raped. for the reasons you listed as well as from my own lived experiences and what i know about men.

    Posted by ms. jared | April 13, 2007, 4:58 pm
  5. I believe her too!!!

    I was very disappointed in many so called feminist who didn’t support this woman more. The only extensive article I saw about her was in a magazine for sex workers. I’ll find and send it to this board. I kept the magazine because it was the only article I ever saw and to hear her side…wow…I know something happened.

    It’s very weird, people always say the feminist movement doesn’t need a third wave and then this kind of thing happens and makes you think maybe it does.

    It’s kind of like the NAACP not supporting the first woman (well not the first, but the first when they got the idea) who didn’t get up on the bus, because she wasn’t the right “type,” she didn’t look “right.”

    With people who believe in capitalism and people who believe in the status quo, well not everyone has gotten to a certain place, but for people who go on and on about men and rich people, but yet they create their own little elitist worlds, it makes me a bit depressed. That’s why sometimes I don’t want to be part of any group. To me a defining group means you’re excluding people, which means you think you’re better than someone, which continues the cycle of jerkdom…

    In my world everyone would be listened too. The people in the ghetto, the people in the trailers. Everyone would be treated the way they wanted to be treated.

    Was this post very hippie dippie…I don’t know….

    Lo

    Posted by Lo | April 13, 2007, 5:34 pm
  6. Hey, Lo, I’d love to see the article you found. I don’t think your comment was hippie dippie at all, but even if it were, nuttin wrong with hippie. 🙂 Not many of us true hippies/freaks were dippie to begin with, that’s anti-hippie-freak propaganda. 🙂

    You’re so right, all the talk about rich people and capitalism and imperialism and yet, you have a woman here who was absolutely marginalized and overpowered and who stands for her? Nifong! :/ And gets clobbered for it by one and all including “leftists,” and “progressives”, and even feminists!

    What. Ever. One thing that is core to me as a feminist: I believe women. And particularly when they tell me they’ve been raped or battered. And especially if what they say, as here, rings true. If I get screwed believing women, if they lie to me, well, then, they lied to me. That will be a tiny drop in the bucket compared to all of the huge lies men tell about women all of the time that I am expected to believe because men tell them. And you know, my experience is, even when women lie, even when they come clean and say, yes, I lied, if you look very close you find out that there was a lot more to their supposed “lie” than meets the eye, that in fact, there was a lot of truth mixed up with what they say was a lie. Women labor under all sorts of crap, including feeling like they are wrong, even when they aren’t, feeling guilty, even when they aren’t, calling themselves liars, even when they aren’t. 😦

    I hate this.

    :”””””””””(

    Well, Lo, I am enjoying reading you. I will add you to the blogroll. 🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 13, 2007, 6:42 pm
  7. And what’s with these old white fart assholes calling women “hos” anyway, like they are in with the brothers or whatever.

    I believe her too. I thought about the timing as well. It is like “Imus (old) can take one for the team, but we (men) can venerate the Duke boys (young) and racism and sexism and the patriarchy can live on forever.”

    The old white farts do seem to be ‘appropriating’ from the rappers. But here is the backfire, the catch, the twist. The rappers cannot protest because it is the big fat white cats paying the bills (record companies) therefore the appropriating can slide and it is not original either, non-rapping men have been using nasty words toward women for ages. Besides, no one is getting hurt in this bonding male relationship but women, because it is the repeated phrase “bitches and hos” not “cracker ass rapist white men.” So no biggie.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 13, 2007, 7:00 pm
  8. Y’all keep me sane, I tell you. When will people get their heads out of their asses and realize that dropped charges =/= no rape? For chrissakes, the statistics on how many reported rapes ever see the inside of a courtroom and how FEW of those result in a conviction aren’t top secret!

    Posted by Melissa | April 13, 2007, 7:04 pm
  9. Great point, cm, about Imus, the old dude, taking one for the team while the Duke boys in their young, white, athletic prime are practically venerated as fucking heroes, you know, those rich boys who hired strippers to come to the house, got drunk, slipped drugs into their drinks, and started heaping racial invective on them, I mean, such stellar guys, we should all bow down and venerate them. ::::::::hurl:::::::::

    So TRUE too about old rich white guys appropriating rap and rappers sitting there with their teeth in their mouth because the old white guys pay the goddamn bills, and for that matter, the Duke guys probably do, too, by buying the CDs!

    Jeezus.

    That photo has brought me to tears several times this morning. Something about it– the head down, clutching the little makeup bag that looks like my daughters’ multiplicities of little bags, the long golden locks, the way her clothes are twisted and in disarray, the burden in the shoulders, dear god. At times it just feels like way too much.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 13, 2007, 7:36 pm
  10. I believe her too. *And* I want to say to women, black or white, of any race or colour or age: do not ever share your depression or whatever with a psychiatrist, physician, psychologist or social worker. Never never never. Their drugs can’t do jackshit for you anyway. Turn to your trusted women friends. Do not ever say you are mentally ill. That’s their label for the social ills we bear.

    If you do ever, it will be used against you, in cases like this, or if you ask for help with your children, or if you apply for a job, or a tuition loan, or a bursury.

    You will be labeled for life, with THEIR words, and you will never overcome it. This is what happened here. This woman was not believed finally, because in some kind of misogynistic caused grief, she once, somewhere, sought help.

    Never.

    Posted by Pony | April 13, 2007, 7:48 pm
  11. I don’t get an image Heart. Not that I need to.

    Posted by Pony | April 13, 2007, 8:08 pm
  12. I believe her as well.

    The News and Observer carried a story on Crystal Mangum, the accuser, today, and it was simply heartbreaking, both in what it said and how it said it.

    At age 14 she ‘took up with’ a 28-year-old man. No, she didn’t ‘take up’ with him, she was raped by a child-molesting pervert. She charged him with rape but didn’t provide a written follow-up statement (because I’m sure that there was so much sympathy and support for her at the police station), so they dropped the case. The rape is documented in her diary, and is believed by her former husband.

    The story says that she was treated for bipolar disorder and depression, and that she would enter into what looks (to me) almost like fugue states, where she would appear coherent one moment and completely intoxicated the next. Reports have her in one of those states at the party, which means that no one bothered to seek treatment for an obviously ill woman.

    While I think the fugue state stories may be true, I don’t think it negates her charge…I think it accounts for the discrepancies in her stories. She was subjected to a traumatic experience that would be hard enough to process if you were fully alert, so it’s no surprise to me that her story keeps changing.

    I’m local to the story, and what I hear simply infuriates me. The documented behavior of the players, the proven racism and misogyny, is being discounted, and they are being painted as little saints. There’s even some story about how maybe this ‘should’ change the practice of not revealing a rape victim’s name in the news. The paper has already changed to referring them to rape ‘claimants’, and everyone’s babbling about the need to change the justice system.

    I’d like to change it myself, especially in the light of two women being shot to death by their exes in the last month, but who the hell cares about that? Wealthy white boys are being inconvenienced OMG! To arms!

    Posted by Miranda | April 13, 2007, 8:15 pm
  13. I believe her.

    Posted by cooper | April 13, 2007, 9:36 pm
  14. Thanks Cooper, you gave me a thought. I put this picture up in an entry on my blog with nothing but the title “I believe her” and no option for comments. I think everyone should do it too (if they want to that is).

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 13, 2007, 10:58 pm
  15. Great idea, cm! I had the thought to do something similar, like make an “I Believe Her” ribbon, but your idea is better.

    Pony, I wonder why you can’t see the image? :/

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 13, 2007, 11:08 pm
  16. Despite continued assurances from the prosecutor’s office and general idoltry of the scumbag Duke players, I can’t shake the idea that something definitely happened.

    It just doesn’t gel that she would’ve fabricated the story out of thin air. I mean, what did she get for it? She was called a slut and a whore; her life was publicly analyzed, condemned, and berated; her picture and information were plastered all over the country… and now she’s being crucified to placate the wounded male population who wants the world to believe that women lie about rape.

    I don’t endorse believing anything and everything any woman says – partially because I think it’s foolish to unquestioningly believe anything anyone says – but I do not believe women frequently lie about being raped.

    I’m not sure what happened that night, but I know that reading about the decision to drop the charges made me think of the Kobe Bryant rape trial, as did the appallingly illegal and groteque behavior directed at the accuser throughout the court process.

    Posted by gingermiss | April 14, 2007, 1:14 am
  17. Heart, I had the same thought about Imus and this case.

    Here are some talking points for confronting the creeps at the office/classroom/in the home/whatever about this case:

    1. They weren’t “found innocent.” There’s no such thing in the legal system as “found innocent.” The Attorney General was exaggerating when he said they were innocent. Charges were dropped because of “insufficient evidence,” that’s all.

    2. SHE WAS NOT LYING. No proof exists that she was lying. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty as well–it doesn’t just apply to white guys. If you think she’s lying, PROVE IT. If her story was inconsistent, this is because rape is a traumatizing crime. If someone raped YOU, would you remember everything perfectly afterwards? (This last question is especially effective when directed at macho men who can’t imagine empathizing with a rape victim because it would make his head implode to imagine himself a WOMAN OMG OHNOES!11!)

    3. Their lives weren’t “ruined.” Their acquittal has been blasted from all corners of the media. Most people acquitted of crimes don’t get that privilege, because they can’t afford fancy-schmancy lawyers. The very fact that you’re aware of them, but you’re not aware of others who were unjustly accused or convicted, proves that their lives weren’t “ruined.”

    As much as I would LOVE to refuse to talk to men and antifeminist women about this case, I think it’s really important to forcefully counteract the malicious gossip about this woman.

    I believe her as well.

    Posted by Lanoire | April 14, 2007, 3:35 am
  18. There is a quote from somewhere (the source slips my mind at the moment) to the effect that the true moral measure of an individual is ‘not how one acts towards those who are more powerful than oneself, but rather how one acts towards those who are weaker and more vulnerable’. Said quote, I feel, speaks volumes about the supposed ‘fine young men’ that the Duke Athletic program cultivates.

    Apparently, rape must now be on a varsity-sport-footing at Duke, judging by the well-honed and practiced way that these cowardly tapeworms banded together to team-perpetrate their sadistic and criminal aggression, so from here on in I will just drop the ‘Lacrosse’ play-act and call them the ‘Duke White-Male-Rapist Team’.

    I KNOW they did what they were accused of, and I think that Heart is right-on when she suggests that Imus ‘thought he could get away with it’ in part because of the Duke W-M Rapist Team’s legal success. I also think he thought he could get away with saying what he did because he and his ilk look at Female athletic teams as ‘pretenders’ who have ‘no right intruding’ in the (supposedly) holy male bastion of Sports. In his Thoracic Abyss (he has no heart) I think that he is secretly upset because any one of the Rutgers Women could easily trounce him on the basketball court, decrepit and whiny old geezer that he is…

    Posted by akkarri | April 14, 2007, 6:52 am
  19. I believe her.

    As Gingermiss said, like most rape victims, she had nothing to gain by making up a story. Also too, to ‘make up a story’ when there are so many bonded-witnesses would be fool hardy at best.

    Far more men lie about having raped, than women do about having been raped. Just look at who gets the benefits.

    Posted by stormy | April 14, 2007, 9:43 am
  20. I believe her too.

    Posted by delphyne | April 14, 2007, 2:11 pm
  21. Me three.

    Posted by sparklematrix | April 14, 2007, 2:37 pm
  22. I believe her.

    Posted by CoolAunt | April 14, 2007, 2:56 pm
  23. I believe her too.

    Posted by Branjor | April 14, 2007, 5:01 pm
  24. I believe her.

    Posted by anonymom | April 14, 2007, 6:48 pm
  25. I believe her.

    Posted by Joanna | April 15, 2007, 12:33 am
  26. I believe her.

    Posted by manxome | April 15, 2007, 1:32 am
  27. i am not a woman, nor “feminist.” but i believe her, too.

    don’t know if i’m allowed to comment on your blog, i understand if you delete this, but i wanted to say so.

    Posted by nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez | April 15, 2007, 2:23 pm
  28. Hey, nezua, you are welcome to comment, and thanks for doing so!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 15, 2007, 4:09 pm
  29. I believe her.

    Posted by witchy-woo | April 15, 2007, 8:41 pm
  30. I believe her.

    Posted by Laurelin | April 15, 2007, 9:26 pm
  31. I definitely believe this young woman. No, those young white men’s lives were not ruined. They are privileged and powerful unlike this young woman. There is an excellent article on male sexual violence entitled ‘Won’t Believe The Hype, written by pro-feminist activist Byran Profitt. http://www.xyonline.net/ Yet again misognystic and racist myths have been used against this woman. The young men’s attitude and behaviour conveniently ignored by the media.

    Posted by jennifer drew | April 15, 2007, 9:55 pm
  32. I believe her.

    Posted by Johanna | April 15, 2007, 10:20 pm
  33. Her story was in the 2.3 issue of spread. I’m still looking for it in my messy apartment.

    http://www.spreadmagazine.org/buy.htm

    You’ve got to read it.

    My boyfriend has always been very bothered about this case. He looked at them and was very much, “Yeah they did it.” He’s a white and was raised in the south, I don’t mean to say that to say he has more insight, but from the beginning and he told me exactly how and why he thought it happened.

    I already knew exactly how that situation probably happened, but I think people don’t think that having money in this country makes a difference.

    It makes a big difference.

    People also think rape is guy in an alley takes you from behind type of scenario and usually its not like that.

    Rape most of the time (and I haven’t done any studies, I’m just guessing) is you’re already in a situation where you’re naked or making out with someone and you don’t want to keep going and the person decides that they are no longer going to listen to you.

    I think what happened was she was dancing and then they wanted her to do something and she was kind of like, “I don’t know…” She wanted to just say no, but she was working and she still wanted her money and then they probably just got more and more aggressive and then she couldn’t not say no because she felt she’d already gone too far already…but to me when you intimidate someone and scare them into having sex with you because you have money and power that’s still rape. Now I don’t know if that’s rape in the courts and I don’t even know if what I’m saying happened, but deep down in my gut I know something like that happened.

    In the article in Spread it said that she left all of her belongings at the party, it just doesn’t make sense. I hope they don’t make her say sorry.

    What kind of people hire a stripper and then treat her like crap, I know they did that. I guess that kind of says what men think of strippers, which is sad, that’s a job someone has and just because taking off her clothes is part of her job doesn’t mean she’s not a human being.

    The way people talk about her now too, it makes me very say for her. It’s not very decent of people. Even the people who don’t believe she was raped she was treated very shabby and that’s documented. They did say nasty things to her and they didn’t treat her very nice. They were not nice boys.

    It’s funny the men that are all defending these Duke students probably wouldn’t even be allowed to sit in the vicinity of these “shining” examples of American priviledge cuban cigar smoke, but yet they want to be part of these assholes club. Well if you act like the oppressor and defend him maybe you can be the oppressor…that’s America for yah…

    Lo

    Posted by Lo | April 16, 2007, 12:37 am
  34. I’m glad I tumbled upon this site. Excellent writing, views and observations all-around. I keep hoping beyond hope that these “slips” of the neocon mentality will result in a backlash — of a duped and brainwashed middle-America waking up and realizing, with proper horror, who they’ve gotten in bed with. It still hasn’t happened.

    And while we may have heard the book shut on this case, I believe the future will tell a different story. Rapists don’t stop being rapists, and getting away with it once is license to do it again.

    Posted by Jane Devin | April 16, 2007, 1:07 am
  35. I believe her too.
    Having a case dismissed for lack of “evidence” means exactly squat. I know from personal experience that being believable also makes no difference to the legal system. my siblings and I were believed by a judge, a pschycologist, a sherrif, CPS, and the leading polygraph expert in the U.S. about the abuse my parents inflicted on us. The case against my parents was dismissed not because my siblings and I were not “believed” but for lack of “evidence”.
    Eyewitness testimony from those who are vulnerable/oppressed is not considered acceptable “evidence” in today’s legal system.

    Posted by lookingglass | April 16, 2007, 2:48 pm
  36. “It’s funny the men that are all defending these Duke students probably wouldn’t even be allowed to sit in the vicinity of these “shining” examples of American priviledge cuban cigar smoke, but yet they want to be part of these assholes club. Well if you act like the oppressor and defend him maybe you can be the oppressor…that’s America for yah…”

    Lo, I couldn’t agree more about what I call the GOB (Good Ol’ Boys) Club. However, the GOB Club is not limited to America. It encompasses the entire Western World, all of which lives by patriarchal rules, rules that defend the misogyny of the GOB Club.

    Posted by CoolAunt | April 16, 2007, 6:53 pm
  37. I believe her. I volunteer on a rape crisis line and most women who call never even report rape, and only 5% of reported rapes result in a conviction. I can’t imagine the figures are much different in the US so what did she have to gain by lying?

    Posted by emma | April 16, 2007, 7:39 pm
  38. I believe her.

    Posted by hippie | April 16, 2007, 7:44 pm
  39. I always had a bad feeling about what would happen to this case. It is so hard to get a rape conviction in any event. Whenever there is the slightest hint of confusion or inconsistency in the woman’s account, or questionable actions by the prosecutor, it becomes next to impossible. Unfortunately all those elements have plagued this case, so it seemed a foregone conclusion the guys would walk and other guys would use the occasion to reinforce their propaganda about women making up rape stories.

    All that is to say, I also believe she was sexually assaulted, but I expected this outcome. When no evidence of semen could be found, and she said her attackers did not use condoms, it was a virtual certainty the case would go nowhere. The legal system is too hostile to women to allow me to expect a different outcome.

    Posted by Aletha | April 17, 2007, 4:31 am
  40. I too believe her. But black women are hypersexualized, BY BLACK MEN IN RAP CULTURE, and thus guilty… we are ho’s, bitches, sluts, whores, baby mama’s… the sludge at the bottom of the barrel. Anything that happens to us is “ok” because first of all, were just black, and second, were just women.

    I have been specifically OUTRAGED by the black male response to this… and to Imus and the connections made to rap culture. I wrote a blog about it over at myspace, two in fact. Sometimes I just really want to scream especially when the justification lies in, she isnt worthy of being heard or taken seriously because of her profession, or her “character” or her clothing etc. It is ok to treat us this way because of who we are presented as, to the major demographic of rich suburban white male, which is all negative. None of our claims are to be taken seriously! Why should they be, after all a black woman is ONLY a sex tool. That is all we have ever been, from the plantations to present day society. Not much has changed at all.

    Posted by Divine Purpose | April 17, 2007, 2:58 pm
  41. I believe her
    x

    Posted by Mill | April 17, 2007, 6:32 pm
  42. From a white boy:

    I believe her.

    Thanks for the cogent piece.

    Posted by Socratic | April 18, 2007, 9:02 pm
  43. I believe her and it kills me that they are stubling all over each other to apologize to those creepy freaks. My daughter is white and Mentally handicapped and was raped by two members of 50 Cents G-unit rappers. Her case never even went to the grand jury. How can they say that those men are innocent just because they couldn’t make the case. Something really bad happened to that woman. When it happened to our kid nobody would help us. It also happened at a rich college where my kid was the “townie”. She was only 17. She was bleeding rectally and crying when they took her to the ER. But they said they couldn’t PROVE she didn’t consent? Yeah right, consent to be brutalized and then tell your mother? If she had wanted to have sex with 2 rappers she NEVER would have told me. She doesn’t share her sex life details with her mother–would anyone at age 17, when their parents would disapprove of all sex? NO–those Duke jerks are not innocent. Iwent to HS in Garden City in the 1960s and the Lacrosse players were all date rapists even then-racist,sexist,rapists. then and now–some things never change–I would love to help their victim, but she , unlike them, is in hiding while they are getting offers from Wall Street–Barf

    Posted by Jane Wilder | April 19, 2007, 8:44 pm
  44. Wow, I’m late to the party…thank you so much for this.

    I believe her.

    – J

    Posted by ubuntucoalition | April 27, 2007, 3:09 am
  45. i believe her. absolutely. always.

    Posted by emily | April 27, 2007, 3:48 am
  46. Yes I have always and will continue to believe her

    Posted by Nia | April 27, 2007, 5:36 am
  47. I believe her. Towards a world free from sexual violence…

    Posted by saltwaterthirst | April 27, 2007, 12:32 pm
  48. i believe survivors of sexual assault. i believe her. i am that woman.

    Posted by alisha | April 27, 2007, 1:27 pm
  49. I believe her.

    Posted by Anne X | April 27, 2007, 3:58 pm
  50. Great to hear from all of you women, Ubuntucoalition, Emily, Nia, saltwaterthirst, alisha and Anne X!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 27, 2007, 4:12 pm
  51. I believe her.

    The lies about rape in this culture are mostly (sadly, not entirely) offered forth by those with power and privilege, i.e. mostly by men.

    Blessings on her and you all.

    Posted by rrede | April 27, 2007, 4:45 pm
  52. I believe the word of Survivors because it is the right thing to do. Sista, I believe you. Always.

    Posted by Dannette | April 27, 2007, 5:15 pm
  53. i believe her.

    Posted by pippi's sister | April 27, 2007, 7:20 pm
  54. I absolutely believe her.

    Posted by Rebecca | April 27, 2007, 7:33 pm
  55. I believe her because I know what it feels like to be all alone in your belief. I believe her because if we can’t believe in ourselves and in our own sisters who will?

    Posted by Rayo | April 27, 2007, 8:15 pm
  56. I read an article (and I know I saved it, but now I can’t find it) that said rape reports have gone down dramatically since the Duke fiasco.

    Gee, I wonder why?

    Posted by Johanna | April 27, 2007, 8:27 pm
  57. I believe her

    Posted by a davies | April 27, 2007, 10:51 pm
  58. I believe her and will never forget her. Never.

    Posted by secondwaver | April 27, 2007, 11:32 pm
  59. I have known a lot of straight men, a lot of lacrosse players and a smaller number of men who visit nude dancing clubs. I have seen them all at their most drunken and least enlightened.

    I have NEVER heard a straight man, a lacrosse player or a patron of a nude club or dancer talk about sexual gratification from the thought of ripping a woman’s skin off, as one Duke lacrosse team fantasized about in an email that got him suspended.

    To me, this is beyond abnormal. Now there may be someone with a pile of literature to back up the connection between nude dancing before a male gaze and violence, but I have never heard of such a fetish, perversion, predation being so casually stated one teammate to another on a sports team.

    The culture that found this email within the bounds of acceptable discourse was the cultural gauntlet that the dancer met when she walked in the door; it didn’t change in the following 6 hours. THAT’S why I believe she is a survivor of sexual violence from that incident.

    Posted by Bruce | April 28, 2007, 3:02 am
  60. I believe her too, and I too have hurried away afraid for my life. Stop abuse, stop shame, and stop rape!!

    Posted by roamaround | April 28, 2007, 3:59 am
  61. I believe her.

    Posted by KaiJen | April 29, 2007, 2:26 am
  62. I believe her.

    Posted by allecto | April 29, 2007, 9:23 am
  63. I believe her.

    Posted by NotAPrettyGirl | April 29, 2007, 3:40 pm
  64. I believe her.

    Posted by Kiuku | April 30, 2007, 2:52 am
  65. I may be late to the party – but I was glad to see this post.
    I believe her.
    I haven’t seen much out there defending her.

    I think that in addition to the Imus thing – that this case relates to the US attorney scandal – in that it is that mechanism of control. If you can control the prosecutors – control what cases are tried and which ones are dismissed – then you establish who controls society. As in protect the powerful, punish the weak.

    I think that Nifong was doing the right thing. He held a grand jury – the grand jury found evidence for a trial. So not only did the victim of the assault have to be discredited (by the establishment – rich, white, men – and their cohorts) – so did the prosecutor.

    It was utter bullshit that removed Nifong from the case. And it’s like other recent cases where US Attorney’s were removed from their jobs – because they didn’t do what what was demanded by the Republican establishment (they were supposed to bring up bogus charges against Democrats and instead they were bringing up reasonable charges against Republicans).

    The Duke case is a blatant travesty of justice. The initial violence and the way it unfolded in the media and in the courts.

    Posted by meret | May 3, 2007, 3:32 pm
  66. I believe her.

    Posted by profacero | May 7, 2007, 1:05 am
  67. Hi Heart! I was wondering where you retrieved these quotes:

    “The accuser said she and the second dancer were barraged with racist remarks and wanted to leave. “We started crying,” she said. “We were so scared.””

    and

    “The new timeline was contradicted by records of cellphone calls made from her phone and time-stamped photos of her at the party, clad in a negligee.”

    in your piece so that I can quote and cite them for a research paper I am doing on the rape of black women by white men in America. I would really appreciate it, thanks!
    And I certainly believe her too. My heart goes out to her and all the women of color who have been abused and never had their attackers brought to justice.

    Posted by Lara | May 8, 2007, 3:31 am
  68. I still beleive her. And I cannot help but wonder why there is such a big deal being made out of this whole case. The prosecutor being disbarred today etc.

    If this had all been about a woman with a “good” reputation, be she black or white and the alleged perps were black, and it turned out the way this case did. You can bet it would be all swept under the rug. It would quietly go away. But since the case involved rich white boys and the victim was a black woman who was a stripper, they make a big old deal out of it.
    But nobody points this out. Nobody.

    In a perfect world, the victim would come back and say, enough is enough.

    You boys are not off the hook and I am going to nail your asses. You might have thought you got away with it, but you didn’t.

    But in the real world, this just does not happen.

    Jackie

    Posted by Jackie Mullinix | June 17, 2007, 3:37 am
  69. You are so right, Jackie, under white male heterosupremacy, a man who dares to prosecute racist stripper-hounds stands in danger of losing his job.

    Nobody out there points it out.

    But we do. Here, we point it out.

    I STILL BELIEVE HER.

    I will always believe her.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 17, 2007, 3:47 am

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