Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

BBC buys into rape culture…again

The BBC appear to be on a mission to uphold rape culture within our society at every opportunity. Every time I open an article about male violence against women there seems to be misinformation, misleading implications, inaccuracies, victim blaming and shifting the focus away from or minimising appalling male behaviour. This article  about a boy who repeatedly rape his young sister is no different.

The main sentence I have an issue with is:

"The attacks ended when the boy, now 18 and from South Lincolnshire, formed a sexual relationship with another girl."

This a sentence loaded with implications. And none of them good.

The inference of this is that the boy was having a sexual relationship with his sister too. He wasn't. He was violently abusing her. In fact, abuse is a word never used in the article. It was systematic and deliberate. The further implication of this was that he was only raping his sister because he wasn't in a relationship with another girl. This is inaccurate and victim-blaming. It also positions the boy as not having control over his actions. He had to fulfil his sexual desires so he raped his sister. Over 50 times. Rape isn't about sexual desires. Whilst the act of raping his sister probably satisfied some part of him, that isn't sex. That isn't a sexual relationship. It is entitlement, power, control and violence. The fact he got off on those things has absolutely nothing to do with sex.

There is the very real suggestion in that sentence that girls/women are interchangeable objects. One replaced another. It is hugely dismissive of the trauma his sister must have gone through. And yes, the boy was undoubtedly hugely dismissive of his sister's feelings and emotions and treated her like an object, but that does not mean the reporters should do the same thing.

I also have an issue with the words 'sexual relationship' in the same sentence as girl. The girl with whom he then entered a 'relationship' is given no age. But the implication by using that word is that she was young. Younger than an adult. In that case was it even a sexual relationship? Or more systematic abuse? I hope she is OK too.

BBC please start looking at your reporting of male violence against women and girls. The victims of these crimes deserve better.

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3 thoughts on “BBC buys into rape culture…again

  • Fenna Vlekke says:

    Very good article and you’re totally right! Minimising and victim blaming are so ingrained in our culture that most people don’t even know they’re doing it. And that’s what makes it so incredibly damaging.


  • Redskies says:

    Thanks for writing this article. I was relieved to see the BBC at least use an appropriate headline for case – until you showed me what a low bar that sets them.

    I too was horrified by the implications of

    “The attacks ended when the boy, now 18 and from South Lincolnshire, formed a sexual relationship with another girl.”

    as my first thought was that she was underage and that this was another case of grooming and rape. Please let it not be so.

  • Hecuba says:

    In reality rape is about male sexual pleasure; male sexual entitlement and male eroticisation of the male’s sexual pleasure. This is why innumerable males refuse to accept that rape is rape, because males believe they have not committed rape but merely enacted normal male sexual behaviour.

    Women and girls who are sexually preyed on by males do not experience what the males subject them to as ‘sex’ but as always womens’ and girls’ experiences are constantly erased. Sex continues to be defined by men from their male perspective which is also why so many women and girls have to deal with these conflicting male lies. If what the male claims is ‘sex’ why then do women and girls experience it as ‘a violation of their bodily autonomy?’

    If rape was merely about male power why oh why then do innumerable males rape so many women and girls? It doesn’t make sense unless one recognises the males are enacting their pseudo male sex right to females.

    This is what the boy rapist enacted – his pseudo male sex right to females and fact he sexually preyed on his sister proves it. This boy has learned the Male Supremacist Values which are limitless male sex right to females and we need look no further than malestream media; misogynistic popular culture and mens’ pornography industry to see these male created women-hating lies are being promoted and justified as ‘male sex right to females.’