Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town Missoula discussion


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Jason Oliver First, I have to say wow! This book has changed my perspective so much in regards to rape victims. After reading this book, I am ashamed to say that previously I was a skeptic when it came to rape allegations. Example, Bill Cosby, I believe he is guilty, but I was inclined to believe the majority were copy cat accusers looking for a payday. Or Ben Roethlisberger's accuser was looking for a payday. Hey, he had eye witnesses vouching for him. Now my world is flipped upside down and I plan from this point forward not to discredit rape allegations. This was a real eye opener and is on my "different perspective" book shelf.

So I've thought a lot about this book. I've meditated and done some self evaluation and would like to share my thoughts and get some feed back. This book focuses on football players and briefly mentions a high rate of rape in among military members studied. The news always has an athlete in the news for rape especially football. I love sports of all kinds, from American to European sports. Why do athletes and military have such problems with rape? These are extremely high testosterone and high confidence professions. Male dominated and large egos are required. These are aggressive professions where you are taught to take. Take a life, take the ball from the other team, take the win, take their dignity. You are taught if you want something bad enough you can take it. In these cultures you are taught to give into the intensity, to lose yourself in the intensity. The more intense, the more aggressive, the more egotistical (the yes I can, you can't sto me attitude) the better. Without proper balance, this attitude can easly consume a person and be their life. Can be them. Starting in High School, should these professions have required social counselors? Would it be wrong to single out these groups? All men need to learn about what is rape, the damage of rape, the statistics of rape, and what no means no really is. But I see these fields, sports in general but specifically football and military possibly breeding grounds for rape culture. Thoughts?

I also have a year old daughter. I fear for her in the future especially since I now realize I have to worry about her friends more so than the boogy man in the bushes. I can't help but notice that most if not all of these examples in the book involve copious amounts of alcohol. I understand, even before reading this book, that victims are never, ever to blame for what happened to them. It is not their fault. However, can we teach our girls to make wiser decisions? Help prevent them from putting themselves in a situation to where they are taken advantage of? Whats the old saying? "You can't change the other person but you can chance your actions?" These girls made poor choices. Heavy drinking to the point of affecting decisions and reactions,, alone with boys they didn't know well in one example. These are not excuses of why they were raped. They were raped because the man raped them. I do feel they put themselves in vulnerable and unsafe conditions. Example, If I don't lock up my house when on vacation and I come home and my house is robbed. Its not my fault my house got robbed. If I had of locked up my house, I might still of gotten robbed. But locking up my house reduces the chances of being taken advantage of by a thief. Adding a security system and advertising I have a security system, and having someone house sit further decreases the chances of being taken advantage of. I feel these girls could take preventative measures and not put themselves in unsafe situations. It is sad that they should have to think about taking safe measures, because it is not their fault, but it is a reality. You can control another actions, only your own. Thoughts?

Thank-you for letting me ramble on for a while. I look forward to an articulate and intelligent discussion.


message 2: by Pat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat Parkhurst I was strolling around on here and came across your thoughts on this book. I agree whole heartedly about teaching our children to make better choices, especially for young girls. I do think that society still , generally speaking, puts most blame on the girl in these cases... oh she shouldn't have dressed a certain way, she shouldn't have acted this way or put herself in that situation... and the list goes on and on. However when these incidences are something of a 'norm' for academic institutions and has been handled in a way that pushes these rapes and sexual assaults under the rug....and to side with good boys who play such great sports for their great team, their great school....just further pushes away the awareness of the reality of what really happens and presents a skewed reality that becomes the typical way of dealing (or not dealing) with the situation.
I think society still goes with the status quo especially in the tornado of social media.. which is a whole other conversation.
Our kids, from early on need to know that line to not cross, Be taught respect and what that means to live by those ethics which clearly defines right and wrong. It's my opinion that that those lines get fuzzy in today's times but then again this is not anything that hasn't been a problem before now. We need to keep pushing for awareness and know what is acceptable and not. And hold those accountable , including the institutions who choose to push it under the rug.
Our daughters need to be empowered to stand up to say "enough is enough!" But when the powers to be, including the legal system, is not working on your side... it's all for nothing and the rape victim lives with further humiliation. Rapists, being young testosterone filled athletes should not get a free pass.
This book shows what a fight it is and the work involved in bringing these topics to the front burner.
Both girls and guys need to know not to cross those lines and be cautious not to be in certain situations and environments.
Locking the doors will help,
And.... accountability .. that would be good.
I'm very passionate about this topic and apologize for going on a bit of a rant.
I was on a jury once that was a college dorm rape case... it was SO incredibly sad for both sides... I wouldn't want to be the parent of either the accused or accuser


Jason Oliver Thankyou for your comment. bow that I have had an inside look into rape cases and the struggle women have to gain credibility I agree with your comments 100%. Also, to be clear, I am against blaming a woman for being raped. They are not at fault, no matter the choices they are making.

The question I had to ask myself after reading this is why is it so easy to decrepit rape claims over other crimes? I was this person, doubting the claim. I have yet come up with an answer. Is it a cultural problem? Way it's presented in the media? Lack of being close to a rape case or victim? All of the above and more? I can't put my finger on it.


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