Saturday, April 29, 2006

Injustice and the Female Rapist

I was immensely disturbed by an Oprah show that I saw this past week. The topic of the day was on the increasing number of female teachers who have recently been apprehended for sexually molesting their pubescent (and sometimes pre-pubescent) students. The Smoking Gun lists profiles for several of these cases that are being prosecuted in the U.S. right now, and CNews has also documented some of the most recent cases. Anyway, Oprah interviewed several of these criminals, none of whom expressed any convincing remorse (as far as I'm concerned) for their despicable actions. One woman, who is currently serving her sentence, claimed that her student was flirting with her and had asked her to "be his first," to which she alleges she initially responded with, "No, you're not ready yet."


Anyway, the show made a point of noting that these women often did not get the same sentences that their male counterparts would have gotten for the same crime. If a 34 year-old male teacher was caught having intercourse with his 12 year-old student, he would have received a lengthy jail sentence and been convincted of statuatory rape, aggravated sexual assault on a minor, plus a multitude of other charges. He would be labelled as a pedophile and registered in the national registry for sexual offenders. He would be shamed by society, and probably victimized in prison after being placed with the general population of inmates (sexual predators against children are considered the "lowest" of the low in the prison hiera
rchy). When he finally got parole, he would be banned from pretty much every public place where children might be, and would likely be court-ordered to continue to attend therapy sessions for the rest of his life. His own children would most likely be taken away. His face would be on flyers posted throughout the city, and an advisory warning in both the newspapers and TV news would be issued prior to, and immediately following his release.

However, this is apparently not the case with many female offenders. The women on Oprah's show went to jail for a very short time, relatively speaking; in general, most female offenders either do not go to jail (if they are deemed to be mentally unfit or their victims are too traumatized to testify against them), or are given suspended sentences or short jail terms. None of Oprah's "guests" were charged with rape; the official convictions were for varying levels of sexual misconduct with minors, even though most of these women had committed rape on these children. All of the featured women had conditions placed on them upon their release from custody, but they were allowed to keep their own children and have more children, and did not have to hand them over to Social Services. Many of these women also did not receive the same public shame as men typically would; some people have even argued that it is a "rite of passage" for young boys to have sex with an older female, and that this is a boy's fantasy come true. Upon release, these women were allowed to relatively anonymously rejoin society; there weren't the flyers or the media attention.

I am irked about this issue for many many reasons. One of the biggest problems I have is that it is completely unjust. A crime is a crime, no matter what gender the perpetrator happens to be. The punishment should be given consistently across the board, and if we as a society believe that it is unacceptable and despisable for an adult in a position of authority to take advantage of their power and use it to sexually harm a person under the age of 18, then this belief should apply equally to both women and men who are committing these crimes. Gender should not even be considered a factor in the sentences and the convictions. For an equal crime of equal devastation to the victims, why aren't women getting the same punishment as the men? I think that both genders deserve equally severe consequences for their criminal actions.

Anyway, that's a piece of my mind on that. What do you think about this whole deal? Grrr!


Anonymous said...

I am a 51 year old male victim who was publicly given a 'rite of passage' by a female prostitute at 17, because I couldn't fit in school and my illegitimate social worker father and female counselor thought I should be interested in girls.
As sad as this might sound, the real crime is there is not one single person; professional mental health, clergy, or even close friend who I can disclose this to without being labeled mentally ill or a perpetrator.
Even the rape and sexual assault centers have denied me, and are allowed under current federal law, the discriminatory practice of refusing male clients because 'male rape is not a recognizable crime'.
Great observation and position you take. Thank you for your insight to publish this blog.
Tom S. in Tn.

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Tom. I'm very disturbed to hear that nobody has been courageous enough to step up on your behalf :(

May you journey into healing, and find peace from this very awful violation.

Nikki_Jilton said...

Male Rape is a recognized crime in the United States. I know this for a fact, my mom's a lawyer. You need to get yourself a good attorney Tom because you can not only receive counseling but you can probably get it paid for if there is a place that is violating the law by turning you away. Email me if you need legal representation.

Anonymous said...

I was a victim of Male Rape facilitated by a trusted older female friend and guardian at the age of 15. She took me to see a stranger that I did not know was her boyfriend and gave me water with some kind of drug added to it. Afterwards as I started going under she left the room. I frantically tried to escape but he blocked my way and raped me. Afterwards I went to her for help and she laughed in my face saying I got just what I deserved. She sent me to walk across town to my mother's home alone at 2 am in the morning, bleeding and in a state of agony. On the way home, someone else tried to pick me up in a car and rape me. I went home and vomitted and bled. I was in such a state of shock I could not speak about this for weeks. I just want people to know that rape happens to young boys and teens, and sometimes women are direct accomplices in this form of abuse.

Anonymous said...

Bravo I completly agree with this argument. I think we should lobby Congress to put more if not the same punishments on female sexual predeator.