This wonderful little gem popped up on Patheos and I chose not to blog about it until today because well, we’re gonna need a cat video after this one. Read this for the cat video. But yes, it is that bad: Idaho judge says rape is ‘a direct consequence of the social media system’.
I am not making this up.
The girl in question was fourteen. She said no. Her rapist, while a teen, wanted to use young children for sexual gratification. So this guy got jail time, right? He’s never going to see the light of day again, because it’s fairly obvious that he’s a predator and will hurt others? The judge had the common sense to say, “That’s it. You’re done, buddy,” right?
Wrong. He’s getting probation with the condition that he not have sex out of wedlock. You are reading that correctly. No sex until marriage. Oh but he’ll also have to attend a year-long therapy program, so it’s not like he’s getting off scot-free, right? RIGHT?!
Oh, but it gets worse. It always gets worse in these cases (emphasis mine).
In handing down his striking judgement last month, Stoker imposed the additional condition of celibacy outside of marriage, and also railed against what he suggested was today’s hook-up culture. He questioned Herrera’s level of remorse and noted the young man’s proclivities – a taste for pornography, an astounding number of partners, and fantasies of sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Okay, so what does “hook-up culture” have to do with this? This was not sex. This was rape. This was a violent crime. What in the hell does “Oh, them kids nowadays just keep hookin’ up ‘n havin’ sex with whoever” have to do with this?
Oh yeah, that’s right. It wasn’t about this being a crime. This was about sex in the judge’s “mind”. Silly me.
Modern-day technology, he added, was at fault.
Because that there rapist never would have raped if Facebook wasn’t A Thing That Exists! Yep, it’s all the fault of that there Twitter machine/Google box!
In case you’re wondering, it’s taking all of my strength not to smack my head against the desk. The stupid is strong with this one.
“I have seen dozens, if not hundreds of sex cases since I’ve been on this bench,” the jurist said. “Our society has come to a point of, I don’t even know how to explain it, you know? I am 66 years of age. When I was 19 years of age, the sexual proclivities of young people wasn’t anything, anything like I see today.
“I think it is a direct consequence of the social media system that we have in this country,” Stoker continued. “I can’t tell you how many times I have seen these cases: ‘How did this happen?’ ‘Well, I met somebody on social media.’”
(Before you ask: oh yes, I have been waiting to use this one.)
Okay, so the judge in question is 66. By my estimation, he was born in 1951, give or take a year. Back in 1951, date rape was a thing. It has always been a thing. The only problem? No one talked about it, let alone had the wherewithal to go to the police if it happened to them or their daughter. If the woman in question was impregnated by her rapist, she didn’t have a lot of choices in the matter: she could have the baby and let her family raise it, she could be forced into marrying her rapist or she could be disappeared and her child placed for adoption.
I had a coworker who told the story of one of her aunts, while on her deathbed, told her “younger sister”: “You’re not my sister. You are my daughter and you were born because I was raped.” There is a story in The Girls Who Went Away of a woman who was raped in Wisconsin and was forced to marry her rapist. She endured fifty years of abuse. As for the last one? Just Google “Baby Scoop Era” and you’ll see the stories, which will break your heart. But what do all of these have in common?
No one talked about it. This was the victim’s private shame. It was not spoken of, ever. But staying silent about this does not mean that it did not happen. It did. Again, emphasis mine.
Stoker conceded that Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other sites might not be the direct cause of all the sexual assault cases he has presided over in the deeply conservative Gem State. But he said “the vast majority” of such cases originate online.
“I can’t change that,” he said. “If I had my way, I would eliminate the internet, and we’d all have better lives. But I can’t do that either. It also says something about, I guess, the level of morality in this country. I can’t change morality. People are going to do what they’re going to do.”
Ah ha, morality. See, it wasn’t a crime but a failure of morals! Let’s just eliminate the internet altogether and we’ll all be happier! Things will be great, just like in Leave It To Beaver!
Yeah, Leave It To Beaver was a damn TV show. It was not and is not real life. Abuse–sexual, physical and domestic, along with all the other types–happened. It just wasn’t talked about in polite company. A lot of “unsavory” things happened in the 1950s; no one talked about any of them.
You know what also happened during the 1950s? Racism. Kind of like a white man raping a disabled black team-mate with a coat hanger. The rapist in question also got a slap on the wrist in this case, thanks to the prosecutor. The judge who was sitting on the bench for this case? None other than the “honorable” Randy Stoker.
Seeing a pattern here? I am.
If you want to give this guy a piece of your mind to feast upon, here’s the pertinent information:
“Honorable” Randy J. Stoker
P. O. Box 126
Twin Falls, Idaho 83303-0126
Phone: (208) 736-4036
Fax: (208) 736-4155
Remember, be professional. Let him know that yes, you are displeased by this ruling but keep it cordial. As for me, I’m gonna go binge some cat videos for a little bit. Because my brain is absolutely full of fuck right now.
Ah, that’s better. Brain bleach in the figurative and literal sense.