Rape: Still Judged by Your Relationship to the Rapist

Well, if I’m ever feeling dry in Noe Valley, I know where I’m going – a place where nobody knows my name, but the barstaff have my back:

This was in a bar in Noe Valley that draws a mostly local crowd — early on most days, the patrons were older folks like the 93-year-old who got upset when the bar manager took a week off. Later, when the restaurants on 24th Street close for the night, a younger bunch of waitstaff and kitchen workers dropped in to watch sports on television or play pinball.

Over the years, the bar has seen a lot of incarnations. When the neighborhood was mostly blue-collar Irish and German, it was Doyle’s, and then it became the Connection. As yuppies moved into what became million-dollar Victorians in the 1990s, it became Noe’s Arc, and now it’s Noe’s Bar.

Not a place for trouble. Not the kind of place where what looked like an attempted date rape would occur.

Bravissime to the barstaff, Hannah Bridgeman-Oxley and Karri Cormican, for catching a wannabe rapist in the act.

But why didn’t the San Francisco Chronicle use the phrase “attempted rape”? It is amply clear from the rest of the article that the almost-victim was on a date, and that her date had planned to drug her drink and carry out god-knows-what nefarious plans, which we have assumed to include rape. Plain old, puttin’ your penis past the point of consent rape, which, according to the titillation-maximizing style guides of the popular press, should be described differently depending on whether the victim was doing something nonsexual (“rape”), potentially sexual (“date rape”), or definitely sexual (“unfortunate, but she should have seen it coming”) at the time.

[via Bitch, Ph.D.]

Comments

  1. Lab Lemming wrote:

    22 months to get a plea bargain? And then he only does 6 months. This asshole will be out by the 2nd anniversary of the attack- and since it’s a drug charge, they can’t register him.

    They need to seriously beef up the penalties for drugging people- with the medicalization of the Western world this kinda thing is way too easy for this kind of wrist-slapping horseshit to be a credible deterrent.

    Oh well. At least he isn’t responsible for the welfare of thousands of children anymore.

  2. Kerrick wrote:

    The feel-good tone of the article does rather miss out on some of the key details. Like the fact that Szlamnik’s plea-bargained charge of “transporting and furnishing a narcotic” makes it seem like Tatianna would have willingly taken the powder, which would (if true) implicate her in illegal drug use. And that’s fucked up. Joseph Szlamnik is not a dealer in pharmies to willing and satisfied customers, he’s a would-be rapist. And that “would-be” is assuming his other attempts have failed.

    Also, is it just me, or is it only the Chronicle that would linger lovingly over the brands and descriptions of the import beers in an article like this?

  3. yami wrote:

    Any paper with a similarly yuppified audience would’ve done the same. Import beer, sex, the latest revisions to the Crate and Barrel product line… all equally titillating!

  4. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Where’s Noe Valley?

  5. yami wrote:

    It’s in San Francisco.

  6. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Yes, but it is in the part of San Francisco that is beyond a drunken stagger distance from either the caltrain station or AGU, so I didn’t recognize the name.

    I thought San Mateo was south of Mission. Or perhaps Sponsorstick Park.

  7. Hob wrote:

    I think there’s an extra layer of creepiness in the way the “date-rape” euphemism distracts from the obvious horror in what you described as “god-knows-what nefarious plans” – I mean, putting sedatives in someone’s drink may be part of an attempted robbery, attempted kidnapping, attempted rape, attempted murder. The reporter had no basis for assuming it wasn’t all of the above, and the tone of the article leans toward “what a sleazy guy” rather than “holy shit they may have just stopped a Ted Bundy”.

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