Tuesday, April 2, 2013

14 Year-Old Glasgow Girl Raped on Public Transit; No One Cares.

Trigger Warnings: Gang Rape, Public Assault

News reports from Scotland share a story of a 14 year-old girl who was raped by 2 men. ...On public transit. ...While other passengers (and not to mention a driver) were present.

The article in Herald Scotland focuses mostly on the utter surprise of how something like this could happen "right here in good ol' Glasgow" (which, ironically, lends itself to be the most crime-ridden city in all of Scotland). Not surprisingly (as seen with Steubenville and half of Fox's top 10 athletes to "fall from grace"), the article ignores the fact that a young woman's life has been thrashed, slashed, and thrown to the trash for an indeterminate amount of time until she's able to learn to overcome the terror, anxiety, and crippling emotional blows that come with being sexually violated - except for one edgewise quote from the presiding police officer who mentions the victim's trauma. Thankfully, the editor took the liberty to frame the word "trauma" in oh-come-on-it-can't-be-THAT-bad quotes to really nail home that we don't actually need to be concerned about the victim.

And, of course, what would a misogynist, patriarchal society be if that was the ONLY issue here?

The two men who raped the 14 year old girl were "ejected near Queen's Park at Pollokshaws Road at around 12.30am [two hours after committing the rape]" because "they are said to have become increasingly loud and were making lewd and crude comments to other passengers."

The company says that the "driver was not aware of the assault [in spite of the bus being equipped with CCTV]. Unfortunately, the incident took place on the top deck of the bus and therefore out of our driver's eyeline" but that "bus travel is an extremely safe form of transport," as they're apparently very well aware since they're able to see all areas of the bus at any given time.

This, however, is all secondary. Why are we concerned about the (now apparently questionable) safety of public transport and NOT the fact that a gang rape went unnoticed and/or uninterrupted by the other riders? Why are we not raising red flags over the fact that this happened in a culture where this sort of monstrous act is apparently acceptable to do in public; more acceptable, in fact, than being boisterous and lewd on a bus. And why in the HELL aren't there discussions about ramping up awareness and visibility of these buses where blind spots in the CCTV angle are so wide that a young woman can be gang raped by 2 men for nearly a quarter of an hour without a single shred of visible evidence. This is absurd.
Where is the shameless pitch for a local rape victims support group in a city that already aids 20% of the entire country's victims of sexual violence. WHERE IS EVEN A SUBTLE ALLUSION THAT THIS ISN'T THE ONLY RAPE THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN GLASGOW and that this isn't just a one-in-one-trillion, rare as diamond occurrence that will never happen again in our lifetime? This is absolutely absurd.


  1. As I told you in class, I absolutely love reading your blogs. You always bring up topics that the general public may not be aware of and really break it down to all of its components. It is absolutely rediculous that something like this could ever happen in a public place with multiple witnesses, and have there be no evidence! Thanks for bringing this topic to my attention and adding your snarky little comments in there....always makes it fun to read!!

  2. I was not aware of this incident before reading your blog, so thanks for the attention it brings. That being said, this is sketchy news reporting at the very least! It seems that they don't even have all the information and yet somehow are able to turn it into a defense of the bus system and the city as "safe." I have to agree with you-that is just sorry!!!

  3. There is certainly a major lack of understanding around rape (ex: "legitimate rape"). And on top of that this idea that "women will always say no" to sex whether they mean it coyly or really mean it is very harmful. Thanks for bringing this topic up, hopefully the situation has gotten ridiculous enough to create action. In some says I suppose it is (maybe not this issue alone though). http://feministing.com/2013/03/18/new-poll-finds-the-majority-of-women-voters-consider-themselves-feminists/

  4. This is an amazingly good, point. In nearly every news outlet we see, it's always about the situation or the rapists. Never once have I seen a mainstream news outlet even say "rape is bad" or "you shouldn't rape." It's always feeling sorry for the underage rapists' and their potential, or how "rape is rare in [X situation]." The conversation needs to have its focus changed, lest we keep letting atrocities like this happen. And the question is, how do we do that in the mainstream culture?

  5. I could really tell how passionate you were about this topic both while hearing you talk about it in class and reading this blog. I do think it is both an issue of people not standing up and trying to stop something so horrible happening, and also how the blame and focus is shifted to something completely unrelated.

  6. I think this was a strong blog. Like Whit mentioned, there's a pervasive sentiment of "this is so rare" or "Well, this ruined so-and-so's potential." Similarly, when star athletes like Pistorius kill their partners it's always "he snapped." It's incredibly frustrating.

  7. You're such a good writer and always find topics that no one has heard before. I think its sad that a lot of us had never heard about this assault. Rape culture can't be swept under the rug because it simply wont fit. We either need a bigger rug (NO THANKS) or we need to give a voice to sexual violence. SLowly but surely, we are. Thank good ness TBTN is coming up. We all have a lot of tears to spill, a lot of respect to be given to survivors and victims, and we all need to get riled up against rape.

  8. Ugh, this makes me sick. The fact that we have so little concern for this story (I had never heard about it before now!) or standing up to fight awful events like this, makes me so angry. It is a sad sad world when we cannot even travel in what we think are "safe" public transportations. I love how passionate you are all about this blog, and about all the blogs you write, and really put into perspective the topics you choose to write about. I always enjoy reading your blog because you can see how invested in the stories you are and how much you do want to make a change. True activism right here. Nice job!