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RSS icon Comments on Offender Outtake: The Women's Movement and Sex Offender Laws


As the child of a rape victim, I say there isn't a punishment severe enough for violent sex offenders. If you can't bring yourself to kill them, paralyze them from the neck down.

Posted by elswinger | March 30, 2007 10:56 AM

" Iím also sorry that he was apparently molested by his father and that society never addressed it.
But I feel even more sorry for the two women he is raping a child more wrong than raping a 30-yr-old woman or a 70-year-old retiree? "

i'm not defending this guy, as he is clearly a predator, but this letter exemplifies what i've come to dislike about feminism. women's rights/needs aren't MORE important than that of children, men, the planet, the family, or anything else. they are AS important, and in some instances, (dare i say it?) less important. she actually admits that she has more sympathy for the rape of grown women than for a small, helpless child--maybe if we weren't talking about a male child she'd sing a different tune. despicable.

Posted by ellarosa | March 30, 2007 11:23 AM

Eli, I loved this piece. Great reporting. How'd you convince the parents to speak with you? This young journalist would love to know more about it!

Posted by Sam | March 30, 2007 11:37 AM

Thanks, Sam. I actually didn't have to do much convincing, which surprised me. Glad to hear you enjoyed the piece.

Posted by Eli Sanders | March 30, 2007 11:47 AM

@2: Just pointing out we have no idea whether the writer of the letter was a man or a woman.

Posted by Gloria | March 30, 2007 12:01 PM

5, my point would stand, no matter the sex of the letter writer, but i would be very surprised if the writer were male--i 've encountered this attitude only from woment--but its' not impossible, i suppose.

Posted by ellarosa | March 30, 2007 12:11 PM

Very true; just thought I'd make the point in case.

Posted by Gloria | March 30, 2007 12:19 PM


I think you are misinterpreting the letter writer. In the sentence just before she talks about how there is a clear need to rate sexual offenders, with the more violent and repeat offenders getting a higher rating. Then she says that raping a child is no worse than raping an adult woman. I dont' think she was talking about the offender's childhood molestation, but rather about the common perception that attacking a child is somehow worse. There are valid reasons for thinking a crime against a child is worse (more vulnerable victim, more undeveloped psyche, less chance of getting caught etc.) but I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with the writers opinion either.

Posted by hattio | March 30, 2007 12:52 PM

sorry, 8, but the writer leaves no room for misinterpretation. he/she is clearly more on the side of the adult female victim. how is it more wrong to rape a child? let me count the ways...oh, that's right, you did that already. it's a myopia, using feminism to justify what is essentially a solopsistic world view, and i won't tolerate it. i consider myself a feminist, and i don't want these types discrediting it.

Posted by ellarosa | March 30, 2007 1:23 PM
...she actually admits that she has more sympathy for the rape of grown women than for a small, helpless child...

Maybe the writer is saying that she has more sympathy for two women, who probably have never harmed other people at any points in their lives, than a man who chose to deal with his past abuse by brutalizing two complete strangers. If that is what the letter writer was getting at, then I completely agree.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 30, 2007 1:57 PM


It's possible to have more sympathy for the adult innocent victims than for someone who was abused and then turned around and inflicted that on somebody else. That's a far cry from thinking sexual assault of a child is somehow not as bad as sexually assaulting an adult. And while I happen to think assaulting a child is worse (for the reasons I mentioned before), that's far from clear to me. If that means I'm somehow giving feminism a bad name, I think feminism will somehow survive the black mark.

Posted by hattio | March 30, 2007 3:31 PM

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