Last week, the world learned about the town of Cleveland, Texas, where 18 teenage boys gang-raped an 11-year-old girl and, according to The New York Times, caused the community to rend their garments about how the crime would ruin the lives ... of the rapists. There were many lessons to learn. Lessons like: maybe reporters who cover stories like this shouldn't exclusively focus on the adversity faced by rapists. Or: Maybe everyone in Cleveland, Texas is actually some kind of awful monster?
Here's the lesson that Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo took away from the awful event: the state should step in and regulate the wardrobe of 11-year-old girls! Seriously! This is a thing that is happening in Florida, and in our lives, somehow. Per David Edwards of Raw Story:
"There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute," Passidomo declared.
"And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it's incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn't happen to our students," she added.
What an excellent idea! In Afghanistan, the Taliban required women to wear the full-body chadri in public, and that solved the problem of institutionalized violence against women forever, yay!
Here's Brandon Thorp of the Broward/Palm Beach New Times, responding appropriately:
Whoa! We can debate the merits of the bill a little later, but I think it's incumbent upon us, as sentient mammals, to devote a moment to a collective wince. As a genus, politicians aren't the brightest wicks in the candelabra, but they usually possess sufficient self-awareness to shield the public from the horrorshows of their minds. Blaming the rape of an 11-year-old girl on her parents' sense of fashion -- and to do so out loud -- smacks of rank amateurism. A devastating attack ad will probably result from this slip-up, and unlike most attack ads, it will be richly deserved.
This is where I remind you that Florida is where state lawmakers have twice failed to pass legislation that would make having sex with animals illegal, probably because how else would they make more Florida legislators, right?
Republican lawmaker blames 11-year-old victim of alleged gang rape [Raw Story]