"you could mess up their lives over this"

(8 Posts)
AgeingArtemis Thu 21-Apr-16 18:24:03

I came across this thread on reddit www.reddit.com/r/medicalschool/comments/4fryw7/really_need_some_advice_here/

It may be a troll thread (I hope so!) but unfortunately the replies to it are not trolls.

Basically it is a young medical student who has a "friendship group" of 6 guys and 3 girls. She has recently been shown (by one of the guys) a group chat that the guys have had since they all knew each other (1 year) with very sexually explicit comments (some of the "non-consentual variety" and photo-shopped photos regarding her and the other women in the group. She is asking for advice what to do.

Most of the comments are fine and helpful and supportive, BUT there are a significant minority that, whilst appearing supportive are also saying things like "I wouldn't tell this to administrating, think of the consequences for them" "you could mess up their career" etc

But why should she have to worry about the possible consequences for them? Either the stuff was not that bad, in which case the consequences will be not that bad, or the stuff is really inappropriate, in which case they deserve the consequences. It's their problem, not hers.
This kind of sounds like all those times a woman or girl is discouraged to report a rape or sexual assault because "It's a very serious allegation" "It could ruin his life, do you really want that?" Why is this pressure on the victim to "decide the fate" of the perpetrator only in cases of violence against women, and not things like theft etc?

Also, let's not forget that these men are medical students! As a medical student myself, this is absolutely horrifying. It would be absolutely justified for their university to discuss whether they are fit to practice with these attitudes. I shudder at the thought of them becoming doctors. (also this is in the US, so they will be at least 22, so teenage hi jinks is not an excuse)

VestalVirgin Thu 21-Apr-16 19:48:18

They deserve every punishment they will get, and then some, because I am sure the uni will be too lax with them.

I certainly don't want a gynecologist who jokes about rape, or worse. I wouldn't even be okay with showing such a man the fungus on my feet.
For the sake of the medical profession, if nothing else, they ought to take action.

Why is this pressure on the victim to "decide the fate" of the perpetrator only in cases of violence against women, and not things like theft etc?

Because we live in a patriarchy and women are supposed to suffer to that men can have nice lives even if they don't deserve them?

(There is also this psychological thing about it being easier to side with the perpetrator because he doesn't expect us to take any action, but that's not there with other crimes, so ...)

Your mention of rape reminds me ... there's a thread on AIBU where someone demands death penalty for rapists ... probably only for child rapists, but does no one ever consider that the pressure on women and children to not report would increase if the stakes were raised?

slugseatlettuce Fri 22-Apr-16 20:48:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlueJug Fri 22-Apr-16 23:04:03

So a private chat between mates should be revealed to the Authorities so that they can take action . Lucky my bosses don't know what I say to my mates. Lucky MN is anonymous and some of the "Phwoar!! I would!" threads don't get back to any Authorites - especially if the posters are doctors or teachers.

WellErrr Fri 22-Apr-16 23:12:08

Blue are you serious?

So if somethings private it's ok is it? hmm

I'm not sure you've thought this through....

BlueJug Sat 23-Apr-16 08:56:05

Please don't patronise me because I don't share your view.

I worked with people who had lived under oppressive regimes. They would never, ever express a view openly - on anything. How could they? Every friend/neighbour/colleague was potentially someone who would pass on a comment or a letter, an "undesirable relationship" or an expressed opinion about something - toe "The Authorities" - and the consequences were not pretty.

Is everything you have ever said or written, drunk or sober, with mates or lovers up for scrutiny? Especially out of context Not one of us would pass.

In the world where unless you condemn you are deemed to be equally she who does not "report" or who questions that reporting is putting themselves at risk. And then it never stops.

I do not condone what they wrote. I might disassociate myself, drop the friendship, make my views known... yes - but report to the Authorities??

BlueJug Sat 23-Apr-16 08:58:21

Sorry "Equally guilty" and "putting herself at risk"
Typos abound!

PalmerViolet Sat 23-Apr-16 10:22:08

For me, Blue, the difference between your "phwoar, I would" type anonymous and singular comments and what is described in the OP is enormous.

It's not illegal to fancy someone, or to express that in a joking fashion.

It's also not in any way akin to expressing rape fantasies or photoshopping images of a specific person known to them. It's a real betrayal of trust. Taking a picture of a young woman studying and then sitting in a room with her while you construct rape fantasies about her is creepy in extremis.

If this girl is raped by one of these men at a later date, and it comes out that she had read the group conversation that has been going on for nearly a year, where they have discussed raping her, one of the first questions she will be asked is, why didn't she report that?

We live in a society where victim blaming is the norm. Where society tried to find excuses for male violence. That society would deem her as "putting herself at risk" if she didn't report and something subsequently happened.

Damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.

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