(hat tip to Groundedchuck)
Trigger warning for rape.
Before you read this story, you might want to take a deep breath and take a look at the tiny turtle eating a strawberry, for purposes of not attempting to kill the entire world.
A seventeen-year-old boy was raped by his eighteen-year-old girlfriend and is being forced to pay child support. The girlfriend in question admitted in front of him and his parents that she “made him” have sex, but currently seems to believe that it wasn’t rape.
Let me count the rape-culture fail in this story:
1) The lede. High school romance? HIGH SCHOOL ROMANCE? Getting raped is high school romance to you people?
2) The statement of Jessica, the rapist: “To destroy my entire family for the simple thing that he didn’t want to pay child support, that’s a very selfish thing to do.” Well, you know what else is selfish? Forcing people to have sex against their will. That’s very selfish.
3) The apparent belief that Kris, the rape survivor, continuing to date Jessica meant that he wasn’t “really” raped. Of course this whole “men can’t get raped” meme wouldn’t have the slightest effect in making it difficult for him to conceive of his experiences as rape. Never! And no one ever has trouble leaving relationships, especially ones that (reading between the lines of the news story, which described it as “tumultuous”) may have been emotionally abusive.
4) The deputy whom Kris reported his rape to who never followed up on the fucking rape survivor and seemed skeptical that a man could be raped. Seriously? Law enforcement, what the fuck? Crime is crime, regardless of whom the crime is perpetrated on. Do your fucking job and investigate it when people report felonies to you. That isn’t going above and beyond the call of duty; that is literally your job description.
5) The idea that age of consent laws somehow don’t apply to boys. Newsflash: “consensual sex” between a fifteen-year-old boy and a thirty-four-year-old woman is not consensual sex. It is rape. The same way that “consensual sex” between a fifteen-year-old girl and a thirty-four-year-old man is not consensual sex, but rape. The power dynamics in the relationship and the immaturity of teenagers make free, full and true consent between a teenager and an adult impossible.
6) The fact that a man who passed out drunk at a party and was raped by a woman, who got pregnant, has to pay child support.
7) AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH MEN CAN TOO BE RAPED HOW LOUD DO I HAVE TO SCREAM SO THAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE ME
Child support is a complex issue and a lot of people have different opinions on it. I find Clarissa’s take compelling:
The fact that a person was created during the commission of a crime in no way reduces that person’s need for food, clothing, medical care, and education. Imagine baby Anna and baby Jessica. Anna is a product of a passionate loving consensual sex act. Jessica is the product of rape (whether by a man or by a woman). Is Jessica going to eat less? Will she be less deserving of visiting a dentist? Should she have fewer toys than Anna? Can anybody reasonably argue that one of these kids should be punished because she has a criminal for a parent?
On the other hand, my heart rebels against the idea of making a person pay child support to their fucking rapist. Of course, the non-rapist should get default custody; however, in cases such as Kris’s, where the rape survivor doesn’t want the child, the situation is far more complicated. Ideally, in that sort of situation, the rapist would have been prosecuted and convicted and their child put up for adoption, but the fucking deputy’s fucking lack of response has prevented that one from coming to fruition.
So I don’t know what to suggest. Child support is already a search for the least bad option on a giant list of really shitty options; adding rape only makes all the options shittier.