I was going to refrain from writing about the whole Miley Cyrus/twerking/”what’s up with that” commentary. Then I learned of a Montana rapist who was sentenced to 30 days in prison for the rape of a then-14-year-old girl. It seems the judge felt that even though the rapist was 40-something male teacher of the victim, who later committed suicide, that the middle-school victim wasn’t really raped in a bad way, because, well, it wasn’t really violent and she seemed a lot more mature and so had actually consented.
I’ll wait for your head to stop spinning.
As I pondered that, and some other public reactions to young girls who have been raped and blamed for their own sexual assaults because of how they dressed or appeared, I wondered what role the media plays in presenting certain images of girls and young women.
Over at USA Today, I’m wondering — how much do things like MTV’s promotion of Miley Cyrus and her twerking, and other television portrayals of the over-sexualization of girls, impact how people like this Montana judge view underage victims of rape and sexual assault. If there is one judge who believes that a 14-year-old girl is as much “in control” of her actions as those of her 40-something attacker, how many others are there?
I hope you’ll pop over there and take a read. And please remember — I am NOT attacking Miley Cyrus. 🙂
Joanne Bamberger is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Broad Side. She was formerly known around these internet parts as PunditMom, but now she is trying to be herself. She is the author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America (an Amazon.com bestseller and now available in E-book form!). She was recently awarded the Campaigns & Elections Magazine/CampaignTech 2013 Advocacy Innovator Award for her research and writing on the power and influence of women online. Joanne is a “recovering lawyer,” but she is still well-versed in her litigator skills and courtroom practices.