Our Picks from the Mercury's "Worst Person in Portland" Essay Contest!
Last week, former baseball player Jose Canseco tweeted to 515,464 followers that he had been accused of rape. But the accusation didn't shame him into a spiral of Lady Macbeth handwashing: Instead, Canseco tweeted the alleged victim's name, telephone number, and work address to his horde of fans. He handed an angry mob a witch to burn and didn't even give her a cool pointy hat to flatter her cheekbones. This type of behavior is why so many rapes go unreported. My least favorite piece of misogyny this week is Jose Canseco's public outing of his rape accuser.
Don't worry, angry straight white men with all the power and opportunities in the world, I'm not advocating censorship. These gags I brought are purely for pleasure. I am, however, attempting to advocate for being a decent human being. So calm down.
(I hate that some men get so defensive and angry about rape culture. It's like, yeah, well, we don't like living in a world dominated by a violent agency-stripping crime, sorry that offends you so much. Also, it doesn't exactly make you seem like a good guy that if someone mentions sexual violence your first instinct isn't empathy, it's Doctor Octopus-level crazy evil. Men getting defensive about rape culture is like if I got defensive when people complain there's too many fairies in the world. Yeah, maybe there is a fairie surplus, but I'm their queen, so it's not really any skin off my glittery back.)
Most rapes go unreported because the victim is afraid of backlash or retribution. Canseco's tweets epitomize the legitimacy of that fear. Any victim who hears about this will not be encouraged to step forward.
Reportedly, Canseco had been spending time with this woman earlier that evening. She and the former athlete were having a ball. Later that evening he was investigated in allegations about a sexual crime. Whether or not it actually happened is not the issue. My problem with this situation is that he used an army of twitter followers in mob numbers I'm jealous of, (@barbara_holm, follow if you're not a rapist!) to threaten and frighten a woman. This perpetuates and enforces rape culture. Please, be a good person, don't bully or shame an alleged victim, just the culprits. I give you my consent.This has been my least favorite piece of misogyny this week, tune in next week to find out what dark deal I made in exchange for this eternal youth.