*Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault*
Loathe as I am to give creedence to TMZ, this seems pretty hard to argue with. It’s an October 2009 police report where a woman accuses Johan Santana of sexual battery. The description a woman saying "no" while a man persists in forcing sexual contact. Afterwards she cleaned herself up with her underwear and went with him to watch him play tennis with someone else. The police department decided her statement was inconsistent with other witnesses and there was no evidence to prove lack of consent.
Lack of consent is what needs to be proven. Welcome to Rape Culture.
Santana was never charged with anything.
I believe in the U.S. Justice system, and innocent until proven guilty,, but I can also recognize and relate to a woman who experiences a sexual assault her friends would just call "a bad date" or a situation she put herself into by going for a walk with a guy, who doesn’t know how to get out of the situation afterwards. Who walks her attacker to the door, even.
Rape Culture tells us that clearly if she went to watch him play tennis afterwards the sex must have been consensual and there’s no way she was just too confused/scared/hurt/without personal transportation/intimidated/socialized not to make a scene to run away screaming. And what does a bruised calf prove? Just that this lefty ace has a firm grip, amirite?
I know that there have been women who made false accusations, but I know that a lot more often women trying to make file valid reports are told not to be silly, or asked to really think about what they might have done to invite the "attention", or "You don’t really think it was rape, do you?" or gotten urged to think of the greater good that comes from not ruining the reputation of a powerful, famous man with their little personal problems.
Even as I’m typing this I feel the tug of "but you don’t know for sure" and "but you love Santana" and "Isn’t it more fun just to love baseball?" and, quoting Santana’s rep, "as far as the police investigation is concerned, this is over."
Maybe if we lived in a world that never victim blamed, where violent attacks were never swept under the rug, where women were never silenced, I could give the benefit of the doubt to Santana in this case. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s not my world.
I don’t think I can cheer for #57 anymore.
[ETA: In case I didn’t make it perfectly clear, I am sad and hurt and freaking furious, and, it shouldn’t need to be said, in favor of dismantling rape culture and leaving it in a shattered pile by the side of the road.]