Feminism: Arresting Survivors

[Content Note: Rape, Police Detention]

This is an actual headline in the real world: Prosecutors Arrest Alleged Rape Victim to Make Her Cooperate in Their Case. They Made the Right Call.

Those words up there are the title to a piece written today by Amanda Marcotte, a very well known feminist. In the piece, she argues that it is a good thing to arrest and detain survivors if that's what it takes to convict rapists, and that it's "understandable" that prosecutors would do "everything within their power" to get their conviction. (That link is a DoNotLink url because I don't care to provide click-bait views to Slate over this.)

I am a rape survivor. I do not find carte blanche powers to arrest and detain survivors "understandable".

I like to think that I don't find giving prosecutors a blank check to victimize survivors at will "understandable" not because I am a rape survivor but rather because I care about the autonomy of survivors. Because I care about not victimizing them all over again. Because I understand that the choice to kidnap and detain a woman at the will of the state is not necessarily less of an abuse against her than the choice to kidnap and detain the same woman at the will of the man on trial. But maybe that's just me.

I don't even know what to say about this except to recommend this letter in response, and to 1+ everything said there. I am literally shaking and crying at the idea of being detained by police in order to convict one of the men who raped me. And, in my lexicon, if your anti-rape activism actively triggers survivors and loudly calls on the state to transgress their bodily autonomy all over again, then you are not, in my book, trying to help survivors. You are trying to win at a game in which you're willing to use the lives of survivors as game pieces.

I am horrified and disgusted.

(Hat-tip to Melissa.)


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