ladies against women misogyny sexual assault victim blaming

Arizona Judge to sexual abuse victim: “I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it. …You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.”

Judge Hatch

In keeping with the “women who hate women” theme we sort of had going last week, let’s take a quick look at Arizona Judge Jacqueline Hatch. Judge Hatch, you see, presided over a recent case involving a Flagstaff, Arizona police officer who was found guilty of sexually abusing a woman in a bar. According to the Arizona Daily Sun,

Prosecutors contended that he drank eight beers and then drove himself to the Green Room, where he flashed his badge in an attempt to get into a concert for free. While inside, he walked up behind the victim, who was a friend of a friend, put his hand up her skirt and then ran his fingers across her genitals.

When bouncers threw him out, Evans told them he was a cop and they would be arrested.

The cop faced up to two years in jail for his assault. But Hatch apparently felt the officer, who’d lost his job and served four whole days in jail, had already been punished enough for his crime, and let him off with two years of probation.

She also gave the victim a patronizing little lecture. Again, according to the Daily Sun,

Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.

“If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.

Hatch told the victim and the defendant that no one would be happy with the sentence she gave, but that finding an appropriate sentence was her duty.

 “I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it,” Hatch said to the victim in court. “You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.”

Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims.

 “When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.

Hatch has now offered a half-assed apology for her remarks, saying, in part:

As a Coconino County Superior Court judge, it is my responsibility to ensure that all victims and defendants are treated fairly and in a respectful manner in the courtroom. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I also believe victims should not be blamed for coming forward to report crimes.

In a recent case, my in-court comments to the victim at sentencing did not further these important tenets. My comments were poorly communicated and for that, I am truly sorry if they caused the victim further distress.

No, you communicated pretty clearly. The problem is what you communicated.

200 replies on “Arizona Judge to sexual abuse victim: “I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it. …You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability.””

Pell is one of those trolls who’s obvious lies go far past “obviously lies” into “pant-shittingly hilarious”. At least when he’s not being offensive as fuck.

Niktike, it can be easy to go on “horror overload” if you read too much of the archives.

There are plenty of garden variety misogynists in the world, but relatively few that are explicitly MRAs. (Disclaimer: Is what I think.)

Pell? I am pretty sure he is 13 years old, and he will probably grow out of it, though I suspect he will always be a jerk. Like, I did some stupid things when I was 13, but nothing that involved repeatedly trying to anger and hurt other people. So I don’t think he’ll ever be a good person, just not as bad as he is now.

I am far more concerned with people like nwo and meller who believe everything they say and actively fight against woman being treated as humans. I won’t say pell’s style is harmless but its not too unusual behavior with people his age and hell he might even grow out of it. No, I don’t think he believes everything he says rather he is seeking attention by being a brat. There are a lot of kids like him (and adults too sadly).


Katz, that is hilarious. And I almost cried laughing while watching the video, too. The ending… just, perfect.

I really love all of the commenters here. You guys make me feel so much better about the bullshit that trolls like Pell seriously seem to believe, by reacting to it so surefootedly and making fun of it so well.

dualityheart, I had the opposite experience – once I got visibly pregnant the harassment stopped altogether. Same now that I’m out with the baby. Maybe for some reasonstreet harassers saw me and assumed pregnant=owned by some guy and therefore off limits, but saw you and thought JACKPOT? Different local harassment cultures?

Anyway, good luck with your delivery! Always nice to hear about another ManBaby!

Yeah, polite compliments and attempts to ask someone out that are delivered without implied threats, leering, or heavy breathing are fine. Even if they don’t come from a man the woman hearing them wants to fuck. There’s an old guy who I used to see at the bus stop, 70-something I’d guess? When I was living near a retirement home, and he gave me random compliments occasionally, and even engaged in mild flirting of the “oh if only I was younger” variety. Totally fine – he was a sweet guy, and he wasn’t getting in my space or getting gropey, and he always remained polite and didn’t cross the line into sleazy.

I think these guys really do believe that if only they were handsome they could walk up behind a random woman, honk her boob, grab her crotch, and heavy breathe in her ear, and she’d turn around, declare “you are the only man for me, you manly assertive man you!” and jump on their cock. Because they are completely clueless, and too sexist and self-centered to notice people pairing up all around them and how that works.

And yeah, another point to add to the vulnerability thesis? I seem to get harassed more than a lot of other women I know in my age range. How tall am I? Just over 5ft2. The two friends who get harassed the most? One is out of the danger zone age wise (mid twenties), but she’s Aspie and usually looks like she’s lost. The other one is 4ft9 and very thin and delicately built, and Japanese (thus probably perceived by creeps as being “submissive”). I had another friend who was still getting tweener levels of harassment in her late twenties – she was about 4ft11, and babyfaced.

It’s totally about perceived vulnerability. I have a hunch that ideas about the victim’s ability to retaliate in non-physical ways plays into it too, because I notice that a lot of women get harassed less when their clothing is telegraphing “I am rich and can probably afford a better lawyer than you can”, and more when they’re in sweats, etc.

Oh my, a Pell meltdown! Was that the fastest one ever? I’ve only seen a few.

Shiraz, that quotation about Freud was excellent, thanks for posting it. I can never fathom how people say he wasn’t misogynist. I’ve never liked Freudian psychology at all, and after the questions raised about whether some of his victims patients had in fact been abused, and he just dismissed it as fantasising about Daddy, I like it even less.

OT, I read a biography by Elizabeth Wirth Marvick once, a Freudian psychologist and *cough* historian *cough*, and it was the ugliest, most demeaning thing – totally lacking in empathy for her subject and absolutely free of a sense of humour. I mean, not getting that little boys love making arse and poo jokes? Not getting the concept ‘joke’ at all and trying to make out a child doesn’t know the difference between the mouth and the anus? Blech.

Sorry for the derail. Thinking about that book burns me even twenty years after I read it.

This is less a post, more a novel, and also rather disjointed, so I apologize for that.

Storytime: the worst case of harassment I ever got was definitely an occasion when I was situationally vulnerable. It was while I was away at college. I was walking back to my dorm from the grocery store with two rather heavy grocery bags in my hands: an obvious encumbrance that left me a little off-balance, since I also had my purse over one shoulder, and unable to walk very quickly. As I left the grocery store parking lot, I noticed a group of four young men (high-school aged, I think, so a few years younger than me) walking ahead of me on the sidewalk. They were about fifty feet away, and they were glancing over their shoulders at me and obviously pointing me out to each other. Then they slowed down, to the point where a toddler could probably have overtaken them, and spread out–two on each side of the sidewalk–so that I would have to walk between them if I wanted to get past. I didn’t, of course, so I started walking even more slowly, but they noticed and came to a dead halt so that I would have to either turn around or catch up to them.

I started walking faster as I passed them, in spite of the grocery bags, but of course it didn’t make a difference. They fell into step around me, one on either side of me and the remaining two flanking me, hovering just behind me where I could see them if I glanced over my shoulders, but only in my peripheral vision.

I tried to put a don’t-fuck-with-me face on and stared straight ahead as if I had no clue they were there. They paced me, silently, in flanking formation, for about twenty seconds.

Then the guy on my left asked me how I was doing. I answered “Fine.” He asked if I was a student. I said yes, since we were about three blocks from campus and my purse is a satchel, so it’s not that big a stretch. He asked what I was studying. And another question, and another. That guy was the only one who spoke to me the entire time, even though his friends muttered and whispered and snickered to each other behind my back.

I kept up the single-word responses until it started getting boring, and then I tried to act really engaging and conversational–asking the questions back at him, saying things like, “How about you, are you a student? Where do you guys go to school?”

But he never answered any of my questions. He ignored me like I hadn’t said anything, in fact. He asked me question after question in his script, robotically, even if it was a complete non sequitur, like it didn’t matter what my answers were. The point wasn’t to hear my answers, the point was to force me to respond. That’s how I know that he was lying, when I finally told him I needed to hurry home “so my milk wouldn’t get warm” and he said, “Hey, hey, I’m just trying to be friendly here. Just trying to have a conversation. Wouldn’t want to ruin your cereal,” and let me go. It wasn’t a conversation, it was an interrogation. A really, really pointless one.

I wasn’t angry, but certainly irritated. I still have no idea why someone would want to do that to a random stranger on the sidewalk. Even if there was no sexual aspect to it, even if they hadn’t been surrounding me and blatantly trying to intimidate me with their silent flanking maneuver… seriously, how boring does your life have to be for you to spend your afternoon pestering people like that?

Go shoplift candybars from a convenience store, or something.

I’ve never gotten non-creepy compliments in public.Or at least, as so many of my initial experience with conversations with random men were creepy I’m now programmed to see them all as creepy.

I’ve not been harassed (except a couple of times) but I also wouldn’t count any comments random men make about my appearance as “stupid” at best and “creepy” at worst. Favourite seems to be a variation on “you’re wearing too much clothing” – from an old bloke who lives near me who’d always make jokes about it being Siberia when I’d walk past (he knew perfectly well that I go to work at six in the morning and it’s fucking freezing on the trains then, regardless of the time of year), and once, bizarrely, from a stranger who asked “Are you a visitor?” and when I said, very shortly, that I’d lived in this city all my life and what was it to him, said, “You’re wearing much more clothing than people from around here.” The suburb I was in has a lot of sex workers, so he could have been making an oblique reference to “Hey, you’re not wearing fishnets and heels, you’re carrying a coat, you don’t belong here!” or some such crap, but really, what a loser. Just FUCK OFF, you’re about as interesting as a soggy crouton.

@drashizu – that is one scary experience you described. I’d have been half expecting to be robbed, at least.

Hey Kittehs’ Unpaid Help, I’m glad you liked the quote.
Lots of people think Freud lied about his own dreams (because all psychoanalysists must undergo therapy sessions themselves during their training) so that he could avoid any embarrassing diagnosis. Obviously, his issues with women were freaking HUGE, and he generally normalized all his personal hang-ups and projected them on to everyone else.

I guess the theory that pell is a kid makes sense. The grammar alone — essssh. I keep wanting to call him Mr. Pissy Pants because of the stellar tantrum. I don’t understand how people conjure up the energy.

One guy did show me his penis once, as I was waiting for the light to turn red so I could cross the street. He looked really proud, and gave me this toothy grin. I said in a really dull voice, “Wow, it looks like a penis, but smaller.” He just frowned at me, like he was confused or something.

BWAHAHAHA “it looks like a penis, but smaller”!

I read a weird but amusing claim about Freud once, that he had a phobia about ferns. Yup, ferns. Unfortunately that was all it said!

Wonder if that included pot plants like aspidistras that were so popular then?

The funny thing about the PUA whine that women just don’t like compliments if the man delivering them isn’t hot enough is that most of the sweetest compliments I can recall came from elderly men*, like way out of the age range in which I’d even potentially consider someone as far as sex or dating goes. Those compliments weren’t OK because the men giving them were just so alpha, they were OK because they were just compliments, with nothing expected in return other than maybe a smile (and delivered without a flat-out demand that I smile). With stuff like that, I usually will smile or say something friendly back. It’s not about what the guy saying something looks like, it’s about the difference between a friendly comment and a hostile demand. Like drashizu’s story – those guys could have been a group of Abercrombie and Fitch models, and she would still have been creeped out and annoyed, because that’s threatening, hostile behavior.

*Not that all comments from elderly men are nice. The one who stopped in the middle of Market Street in San Francisco, leered at my knee boots, and said “did you catch any human fish with those hooks”? That was one seriously creepy dude.

Ugh Ugh Ugh….Today I was riding my bicycle home for lunch to see my daughter and this gross guy on a bike who was going the other way TURNED AROUND ON HIS BIKE after passing me and started whistling and catcalling and shouting lewd things in Spanish (I speak serviceable Spanish so…..yeah…). I felt REALLY unsafe and worried. I’m already 8.5 months pregnant and awkward as hell on my feet- my bicycle is fun to ride and I go pretty fast but I’m slower now that I have a big old baby bell yin the way so I was seriously concerned this guy was going to catch up with me on his bicycle and try and stop me and god knows what he intended to do.

Luckily, I got past the levy (which is where the incident occurred) and got to a more populated area and the guy turned back. When I stopped being afraid, I started getting angry. HOW DARE HE MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED?!

It’s shit like this that makes me wish I had Spider Jerusalem’s Bowel Disrupter. I would have set it to Screaming Anal Agony and shot that bastard right in his gross lewd face.

You’re riding a bike at 8 1/2 months pregnant? Kudos to you.

But yeah. Vulnerability theory, data point # 343423423.

Sometimes I feel weird saying this, but I rarely get bothered or street-harassed. I’m pretty small (5’2) and young-looking. But I have a serious case of bitchface, so maybe people figure it won’t be worth the effort? I feel strange admitting it, like people will think I’m saying ‘oh, I don’t get bothered in public so obviously you’re lying about your experiences’ but that’s really not what I mean. Also, another sign of how fucked-up things are when I feel like I have to apologise for NOT getting catcalled or something.

The worst I get is people telling me to smile. Which is annoying as hell, but hardly on the level of some stories I hear.

I get what you’re saying, twomoogles – I feel the same worry when I mention not getting harassed much, that it could sound like the ‘doesn’t happen to me, therefore doesn’t happen’ thing. But that’s not how I read your post at all.

I really wish bitchface worked consistently for everyone, because I can muster some serious bitchface when I want to (when I met up with one of my old teachers years after graduating she told me that her first impression of me had been that I was the most intimidating child she’d ever met). It tends to work in situations where the would-be harasser actually makes eye contact before they approach, a good glare can often scare them off, but it doesn’t work at all if they’re approaching from behind, or the side, ie if they can’t see my facial expression.

I think the problem is that the way my face is proportioned, even when I’m trying to look “mean” I still look kind of “cute.” I have really big eyes/eyelashes, a semi-larger forehead that makes me look semi-youthful, “happy eyebrows” (that’s what my sister calls them anyway), and the result is like an almost anime-like shaped face. It doesn’t help that my haircut really accentuates my youthful features. I always kind of look nice, even when I’m scowling (I’ve tried to look mean in the mirror and it always looks kind of silly). I hear that I have “pregnancy glow” too- so I’m sure that doesn’t help.

I don’t wear make up, and I’m wearing standard office garb- stretchy skirt and shirt that are not revealing at all because WORK and stuff.

I think it’s more because I bicycle and walk. If I drive, I would probably suffer a lot less from street harassment, but I hate driving and I live close enough to work to ride my bike and it’s good exercise (and good for my health), plus the parking lot for employees at my work requires walking either under what we call the “troll bridge” (where scary people tend to hang out) or you have to “frogger” across a four-lane busy street that has no crosswalk. So I actually go faster on my bike.

But yeah. Gross people are so gross.


Also I get pestered more when I’m not wearing any make-up, which again I think is the vulnerability thing, plus no make-up and hair in ponytail = looks younger.

I commute by bus to and from work, and I am more likely to get harassed by tiny children wanting to play with/watch me play my DS. Seriously, this happens at least once a month. But I can only think of one time creepy guys tried to creep me on the bus. And one of them asked if I wanted to ‘hump’ him. Who even says that…

My best friend and I travelled around Europe together and were expecting to get harassed or hit on all the time, because we heard so many stories about female tourists getting yelled at/flirted with/pursued. But it rarely ever happened! And then there’s that stupid feeling that’s like, ‘what, are we not attractive enough for people to creep on us?’ Which is moronic. But still there in the back of the mind because of the idea that ‘attractive women have to beat off men with a stick!’ Jerky brain…

Ditto on the not-getting-harassed-much thing, but I think in my case, it’s not all the Bitchface Factor (though I have an excellent one), but also partly that I’m walking around in places I’ve known my entire life, so I usually appear to know where I’m going; that I walk very, very fast; and that I tend to shut out the world around me. So for all I know, people yell things at me all the bloody time, and I just never pick up on them.

From the point of view of ignoring/not noticing street harassment, portable music players and headphones are the best thing that ever happened.

I think ethnicity is a part of this too. I get harassed more, and in nastier ways, when people read me as Hispanic, which happens sometimes.

@Cassandra- the worst part about wearing headphones is the fact that if I wear them while riding my bike it’s technically illegal. So the cops could technically pull me over for it, even though they never have so far. And the other thing is that like in every “don’t get raped” email I’ve ever been sent, it’s always like number two on the list of things “not to do if you don’t want to be raped”- because apparently if you are wearing headphones and someone sneaks up behind you and assaults you, that makes it Your Fault.

I am rapidly running out of ways it could Not Be Your Fault when it comes to fucking rape culture bullshit. *sigh*

I think these guys really do believe that if only they were handsome they could walk up behind a random woman, honk her boob, grab her crotch, and heavy breathe in her ear, and she’d turn around, declare “you are the only man for me, you manly assertive man you!” and jump on their cock. Because they are completely clueless, and too sexist and self-centered to notice people pairing up all around them and how that works.

I totally agree with this, but I think there’s another source of the “women only call me creepy because I’m not a sex god” sentiment. Sometimes I think it’s about what happens after a man hits on a woman in a totally non-creepy way. Like, imagine there’s a woman at a bar hoping to find someone to go home with, and a man approaches her in a respectful, interesting way. Not creepy! Maybe she finds the guy attractive, and wants to talk to him a bit more, get to know him better. So they continue talking, share a drink. Still not creepy!

But maybe she doesn’t find him attractive and turns down advances. If he walks away at this point, he’s not creepy; but if he hangs around, tries to keep talking to her, buys her a drink she doesn’t want, that shit is creeperific. I figure, the creepy guy thinks: “This is exactly what the hypothetical attractive guy is doing. He gets to keep talking to her, gets to share a drink, and he’s not creepy for doing it. But I get called creepy? Just because I’m not as good looking?” But the creepy thing isn’t talking or drinking, it’s ignoring boundaries. What the creepy guys are upset about is the fact that women get to decide who they want to interact with, by the criteria they choose.

/lots of speculation

Illegal? Seriously?

I love both headphones and cell phones because using them is the international symbol for “don’t talk to me right now unless its an emergency”. Which of course some people ignore, because they’re rude.


Yep, agreed. What differentiates creep from not a creep is being willing to accept other people’s boundaries, when you come right down to it. I think there’s some genuine cluelessness there in terms of how some of these guys interpret things, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem if they’d accept the fact that women are allowed to say no for whatever reason they please, even if it’s a reason that seems stupid to other people.

@dualityheart – OMG that crocheted bowel disruptor is the best!

I wear earplugs on the train. On the odd occasions I want to listen to a CD, I use noise-reducing headphones, big ones that block the ambient and don’t ‘leak’ noise. My main thing is blocking out other people’s incredibly noisy headphones. Seriously, if they want to give themselves tinnitus and go deaf, that’s fine by me, but I really, really do NOT want to be made to listen to their choice of music!

LOL, I would drive you nuts. I’m the person listening to screaming heavy metal and industrial to wake myself up first thing in the morning. Plus years of going to shows and standing right in front of the speakers to take pictures can’t have done my hearing any good.



I’m actually really sensitive to loud music, to the point of developing IBS from the stress of years of loud neighbours. Makes me uncomfortable just writing about those years, and I’m a lot less tense about it than I was.

>Melvin totally thinks you made a good call with the public masturbator, but are you perfectly sure your judgement is always so good?

now what happened to us when we were in Rome with our class for a week is that some dude in business attire wiped out his dick and started wanking off in front of the tiny, conventionally unattractive girl in our group.

On a public bus as packed as the Tokyo Subway during Rush Hour, mind you. none of us noticed in the jam and she only told us after we got off. So nah, I don’t think that the majority of those masturbator suffer from mental illnesses.

Speaking of the subway in Tokyo, there’s a reason creepy dudes do their groping their rather than, say, in the middle of a department store where there’s space for other people to see what they’re up to and security cameras, and that reason is that they are not mentally ill, or stupid, they are just bad people. If they really were acting out of some kind of uncontrollable compulsion they’d be doing their groping anywhere and everywhere, but nope, they quite deliberately choose to do it in the situations where they’re least likely to get caught.

@VIscaria: I think you’re totally on to something. Lots of guys probably think that “Me and Mr Hot did exactly the same thing, because we both bought two drinks for a woman and talked to her and asked her out. Then I’m labelled a creep but he’s not. The only difference is in our appearance”.
When in fact their behaviour was NOT the same, because Mr Hot bought two drinks and talked to and asked out a woman who was continuously flirting back with him, while Labelled Creep just kept following a woman after she had turned him down and tried to get away from him.

Blue gun thugs get away with everything. They are the enforced for the feminist state so they will never be condemned by feminists.

I’m not sure it is really a woman’s physical diminutiveness that accounts for harassment, to respond to some earlier speculations. I’m quite tall, and though I’ve never been fat, I don’t have a weak or flimsy build. I have been harassed endlessly, and, as far as I know, considerably more than most of my petite friends. Being tall makes one visible, obvious, and I also have what is considered a “sexy” body type: large breasts, small waist, full hips. But, whatever it is, (some) men have felt free to say things to me and to touch me since I was in my teens.

I’ve learned my lesson. I will never run my hands across the genitals of a female in the green room or any other place in Arizona. I’ve had many a woman run her hand across my genitals in similar venues, but Arizona and any room that is green is off limits as far as I’m concerned. Green is a bad color anyway.

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