When rape victims fight back (5×8 – 12/12/12)

When you can’t muzzle technology, protesting straight weddings, the bell-ringing marathon, dreaming of a blacktop Christmas, and how do we keep Kevin Love happy?


Well, there it is, 12/12/12. The last time we’ll be able to write the date with the same numbers until January 1, 2111. Pretty exciting.

Moving on…

1) YOU CAN’T MUZZLE TECHNOLOGY

The country could use a few more people like Savannah Dietrich. She was raped last year and the two boys who did it agreed to a plea bargain, but the judge ordered her to keep her mouth shut about the entire situation.

So she did what a courageous teenager does. She tweeted about it, calling out the boys and the justice system that knows how to gang up on rape victims. With technology, people can fight back.

Newsweek Magazine has the story…


In some ways, the case exposes age-old hurdles that women and girls face when reporting sexual assault. But it is also a blunt reminder of the transformation of the American teen experience, as technologies make it possible for youthful stupidity to become known far beyond the community where, perhaps less than a generation ago, it might have remained. Photos, texts, and tweets–successors to handwritten notes passed under the desk then discarded in the trash–can be considerably more potent, both for the victim and for the accused.

The story also raises the question of protecting juveniles from the glare of a criminal spotlight. Are there some crimes when kids don’t deserve to be shielded?

Related: A third woman has been sexually assaulted at night in Minneapolis. (Star Tribune)

2) A NEW GAY MARRIAGE PROTEST IDEA: STRAIGHT WEDDINGS

Now that gay marriage is becoming legal in some states, the New York Times provides an idea for gays to protest their inability to marry in states where it is not legal to do so — boycott the weddings of straight friends and relatives.

Steven Petrow, who writes the paper’s Civil Behavior discourages the idea but says a straight wedding is a good time to make a point.


All that being said, you need to choose the high road and go to your niece’s wedding. I’ve always believed that family trumps politics, especially in matters like this. Assuming your niece didn’t actively campaign in favor of Amendment One, don’t make her pay the price for it. I’m guessing you’ve celebrated a lifetime of milestones with this young lady, all as an expression of your love and support for her. How will she feel about your absence on this important day? And how will you feel in 5, 10, or 15 years about having boycotted it?

Still, this doesn’t mean you need be a rollover kitty. Why don’t you use this as an opportunity to write your niece and explain how you feel, using the opportunity to persuade her to become yet another straight ally. You might even ask her to make a statement in support of your right to marry, as are increasing numbers of straight couples who are wearing white wristbands at their wedding in support of marriage equality. As you can see, I think you can accomplish more with your words than your pique.

What say you? Boycott or attend?

Related: Will more openly-gay cops change a culture? (MPR)

3) BELL-RINGING MARATHON

Jeremy Lilyquist of Hudson, and Derek Gilbert of North Hudson are at it again at the Hudson County Market. The Pioneer Press reports the pair stepped in last year to take over for a woman who started the Salvation Army bell-ringing marathon; a woman who made it clear this isn’t one of those phony you-get-rest-breaks-in-the-middle-of-it marathons…


Last year, Lilyquist and Gilbert took over for Helen McCombie, who stepped back from the marathon after doing it for several years. Lilyquist knew McCombie and approached her with the idea that he and Gilbert continue the tradition.

“We thought something this good couldn’t fall by the wayside, so we grabbed the bull by the horns and just ran with it,” he said.

They first proposed doing the 30 hours in shifts — an idea McCombie shot down, said Lilyquist of Hudson.

“She was pretty clear that it was 30 hours straight when she did it, so we should man up,” he said.

4) DREAMING OF A BLACKTOP CHRISTMAS

Things we didn’t know until this video (which looks remarkably like a segment of WCCO’s new mobile weather unit) was posted today: There’s a Minnesota Drive in Anchorage. Also, it appears it’s in better shape than many Minnesota roads.

Of course, the controversy continues in the Twin Cities, almost three days after the storm that dumped a dozen or so inches on the area, leaving roadways in pretty tough shape.

It’s a perfect mix for a columnist like Joe Soucheray at the Pioneer Press.


Why? What has happened? With each passing year, it seems as though the snow gets the better of us. It is tempting to blame poor plowing, but the streets have been plowed.

I guess it’s too much snow falling on a still-warm Earth, so that by the time the plows get out there they are too late to recover pavement and thus the washboard ruts that have every fender-and-body man in town rubbing his hands in anticipation of a big Christmas payday.

Which brings us to this morning’s Tweet of the Day…

Related: A salute to snowy streets (streets.mn)

5) OH, KEVIN!

Just when we thought Kevin Love was perfectly poised to become the most popular athlete in Minnesota, he goes and complains about the burden of playing in our fair state.

In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Love made it clear he’s not over being insulted by his four-year, $62 million contract from the Timberwolves.


“I have a very, very good memory, and I always remember the people who have done right by me, and the people who have done wrong by me,” he says. “It will be embedded in my brain, and something I won’t forget about. There’s no telling what will happen. I would love to compete for a championship in Minnesota, but …”

But?

Jim Souhan at the Star Tribune still loves the guy…


Hate him for complaining if you like, but Love has become the ideal pro athlete.

He’s overachieved, shutting up all the Minnesotans who couldn’t believe Kevin McHale would trade O.J. Mayo for the dorky kid from UCLA.

He’s improved dramatically each season, dedicating himself to conditioning and his craft, transforming his body and his career arc.

He did the Wolves proud as an Olympian, once again playing better and becoming more important to his team than anyone could have expected.

He connects with fans and undertakes his own charitable initiatives, like his annual winter coat drive.

The Wolves are lucky to have Love. They’d be lucky to keep him.

Bonus: The Dropkick Murphys have released a new album and an instant Christmas classic.

TODAY’S QUESTION

A small asteroid came relatively close to Earth on Tuesday, and a larger one is passing by at a greater distance today. Yesterday’s asteroid was discovered only just before the encounter. Today’s Question: If an asteroid were to strike Earth within an hour, would you want to know?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The news stories you missed in 2012.

Second hour: Revitalizing rural America.

Third hour: Minnesota’s moose population.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Climate scientists discuss its global warming and its impact on severe weather, at a Commonwealth Club of California event.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie. The 2012 election concludes in Louisiana. DeMint’s departure sets up a three-ring circus in South Carolina with both Senate seats and the Statehouse up in 2014. And, as the president prepares to reshuffle his cabinet, speculation swirls about 2016 and Hillary Clinton’s plans.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - MPR’s Laura Yuen provides an update on the Central Corridor light-rail project, and the race to get it done in time for 2014 and still keep businesses in business.

  • david G

    re #1: If you take the judge’s instructions literally, the victim wouldn’t even be able to discuss what happened to her with a therapist. Bizarre.

  • Kassie

    #2- thoughts on how to promote equality

    #3- 30 hour bell ringing marathon against equality

    I wish the media would stop giving only good press to the Salvation Army. They actively discriminate against LGBT people. Can we all just stop supporting them now?

  • BJ

    4) DREAMING OF A BLACKTOP CHRISTMAS

    Seriously I watched 3 minutes of that video, is it all just someone driving around? No talking, nothing?

    Bonus: The Dropkick Murphys have released a new album and an instant Christmas classic.

    Oh the 30 second mark :) Ice cream

  • BJ

    //giving only good press to the Salvation Army.

    Kassie I don’t fault a religious organization for their beliefs. Besides not offering benefits to its gay employees, something the State of Minnesota doesn’t do at this time, what other ‘bad press’ should the media be giving them?

  • Matt W

    Aahhhh, good ‘ol Minnesota drive. I spent 6 months driving all over Alaska photologging the highways for the state, but Minnesota Dr. will always stick in my memory. Every day during the three weeks we spent working in Anchorage seemed to end with the lazy drive up that road to Northern Lights Blvd and then the awesome China King buffet. Nothing soothes a psyche dealing with 4 hours of sunlight like a little reminder of home and unlimited sweet and sour chicken.

  • kennedy

    Re #2 – In my opinion attending is better than boycotting. A boycott would be hurtful. It’s very difficult to have open dialogue with someone you have intentionally hurt. Attend the wedding with a partner and show a positive example of a healthy relationship.

  • Kassie

    BJ- They actively lobby against pro-gay legislation and policies including attempts to make consensual gay sex illegal in other countries.

    I’ve worked with Salvation Army Harbor Lights for years. My LGBT clients were afraid of that place. They offered no protection for LGBT clients from harassment. They refused to allow my transgendered clients to sleep in the area for the sex they identified with. My LGBT clients almost universally preferred the street to the shelter when Harbor Lights was the only choice.

  • essjayok

    The Salvation Army has discrimination written into their mission. I’m with Kassie.

    Let’s invest elsewhere…

  • Disco

    Please don’t say I’m defending the rapists, because I’m not. But I think that mother and father need to ask themselves why their 16-year-old daughter is drinking to the point of unconsciousness.

  • Phillip

    I agree with kennedy, a wedding is a public affirmation of a relationship and attending is important to show the couple or person you know that you support them and wish them the best. I think it might be appropriate to ask the couple if they would mind including the white wristbands or ribbons in my friend’s case. (which I wish I had known for my sister’s wedding)

    Disco, that discussion would have to be very narrow to avoid any victim blaming, the behavior separate from the outcome.

  • snaab

    Disco,

    I’ll bet her parents have asked themselves that question, and there may not be a good answer except that is what teens sometimes do. Maybe you didn’t (I was on the herbal side of life then) so i didn’t, but plenty of my peers did drink themselves silly, just like now. They make impetuous decisions, sometimes they learn, sometimes not, but all teens make bad judgement calls, how many is the key.

    If they have not asked themselves that question, does that then justify her rape?

  • B Joe

    Disco,

    Why would the parents ask themselves that question? The answer is super obvious to anyone who has been a teenager. A lot of 16 year olds use alcohol. This has been true for a long time, and it is true completely independently of the quality of a particular teenager’s parents.

    A more interesting question would be why you feel that it is important to imply that the victim’s parents are somehow at fault. Is it some sort of reflexive response to an uncomfortable reality? Does the assignment of blame (regardless of whether that assignment is justifiable or not) somehow make you feel better? Why?

  • Disco

    “A lot of 16 year olds use alcohol. This has been true for a long time, and it is true completely independently of the quality of a particular teenager’s parents.”

    Ehh. I don’t think that’s completely true. And “using” alcohol is different than passing out drunk.

    Are a child’s parents responsible for that child even at the age of 16? I would say yes.

    I knew my comment would elicit some “rape is justified” remarks.

    My point is, why would their daughter drink herself to unconsciousness? In her dad’s home while he was away? What factors in her upbringing led to that happening?

    Did anyone know (or CARE?) what the hell she was doing that night? Did her mom or dad know what her plans were? Did they know that she drinks unsupervised? I would bet any money that the answer to these questions is a resounding NO.

    These two guys who did this caused real trauma to this girl. It’s a good thing they got in trouble for it. But I also believe it could have been prevented by parents who were more involved.

    I think it’s a bit hypocritical for her mother to fly off the handle at the botched legal proceedings. Imagine her daughter’s life if mom had put that much effort into mothering.

  • Bob Collins

    Don’t take this the wrong way, Disco, because I’m really only asking for information purposes, but have you ever raised a teenager?

    My general observation is if more young people knew what raising kids through the teenage years is like in real life, the species would be dead in a generation. It would be the end of sex.

    I don’t know anything about the young girl’s life or whether this particular incident defines her or her upbringing. If one party or one bad decision defines the entire parental performance, I’m not qualified to speak on being a good parent, even though — as it turned out — I raised two fine young compassionate, responsible, ethical men.

    One of the things I learned early on, though, was that anyone who’s tried to be a good parent, doesn’t pass judgement lightly on other parents. They know the entire process can be an entirely unique kind of hell.

  • B Joe

    It has been my experience that the people who think that parents are in absolute control of their children, or that children behaving badly are the result of poor parenting are people who have spent very little time around children.

    Perhaps you aren’t one of these people, Disco. Perhaps, through some magical combination of rigid authoritarianism and obsessive micromanagement, you have raised children (or you know parents who have raised children) who don’t do things they aren’t supposed to do and never make mistakes. Probably not, but whatever. Sounds like a horrible way to prepare a kid for being in the real world, where mommy and daddy aren’t around to hold their hand and the only realistic way of not making mistakes to simply do nothing ever.

    What I’m more interested in is what motivates these types of tangents. It seems like every story I read online that involves any sort of tragedy always brings out anonymous online commentators willing to place the blame solely on people other than the perpetrators based on completely arbitrary and often ill-informed notions about how people ought to act. Like the people who responded to the recent instance of the guy getting hit by the train by saying “That’s why you don’t stand in between the tracks and another person.”

    Is assigning blame to strangers really that gratifying?

  • Paul

    //Well, there it is, 12/12/12. The last time we’ll be able to write the date with the same numbers until January 1, 2111. Pretty exciting.

    Am I missing something? What about Feb 2, 2022?

  • B Joe

    Not sure how my last comment got connected with “Disco’s” name. Perhaps in my flu-induced stupor I entered it as the name? Anyways, Disco’s last comment should have B Joe as the name.