This just disgusts me so badly I don't even know what to say about it. Sick: Republican Lawmaker Likens 11 Yr Old Rape Victim to a "21 Yr Old Prostitute": Displaying the standard Republican concern for women and children, Florida GOP lawmaker
March 17, 2011

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This just disgusts me so badly I don't even know what to say about it. Sick: Republican Lawmaker Likens 11 Yr Old Rape Victim to a "21 Yr Old Prostitute":

Displaying the standard Republican concern for women and children, Florida GOP lawmaker Kathleen Passidomo had this to say about a recently publicized case in which an 11 year old girl was allegedly brutally gang raped:

There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed up like a 21-year-old prostitute. 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.

Passidomo made her comments during a subcommittee hearing about the vitally important issue of banning saggy pants in schools. When queried about her horrifying statement, she naturally just deflected the blame: "Thank you for your concern, I was not referring to my own opinion to the cause of the rape, but to the cause implied by a March 8th article of the New York Times."

Here's more from Think Progress -- FL GOP Rep. Says 11-Year-Old Was Gang Raped ‘Because She Was Dressed Like A 21 Year-Old Prostitute’:

A Florida state house subcommittee passed a bill — the so-called “Sagging Pants” bill — that would require state school districts to adopt a dress code that prohibits students from “wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.” “This would make for a better school district and more productive students,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Hazelle Rogers (D). Referring to a horrific story of an 11-year old girl in Texas being gang raped by as many as 17 men and boys, GOP florida lawmaker Kathleen Passidomo — taking a page from Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s book — applauded the measure with an offensive justification:

See the above quote from the AlterNet article.

And again from AlterNet -- What Kind of Sick Culture Blames an 11-Year-Old for Being Gang-Raped?:

Recent coverage of a young girl's rape in Texas reveals our twisted assumptions about sexual violence.

The memories have faded, but still they float to the surface at times: being 12, 13, 14 years old in an insular West Texas town where you could walk from one end of town to the other in half an hour. Most walks home from the store or school were uneventful, but a handful of times, young men in their late teens or early 20s would slow their cars down and lean out the window while you walked. “Hey, why are you walking? Don’t you want a ride?” Faces full of concern they never seemed to have when dealing with young girls in any other setting.

I always said no. I was too young to have any inkling of what could happen if I accepted, but I figured it was not likely to be good.

But one 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, Texas, a rural town in the eastern part of the state, did say yes to the ride. And what allegedly was done to her is the sort of thing that begs for an explanation. She was taken to one house and then to an abandoned trailer. She was threatened with violence if she didn’t comply. She was sexually assaulted by multiple men in their teens and 20s, some of whom recorded the event and posted it online. How could these young men allegedly do this?

he answer to that question lies in large part in attitudes unearthed in recent coverage that quotes accusations that the victim is to blame, and were reported, without comment, context and certainly no criticism, in the New York Times and in the Houston Chronicle. Read on...

And from The Houston Chronicle -- Girl's sex assault rocks Cleveland:

All Maria wanted was to see her 11-year-old daughter.

Weeks ago, the girl had been hushed away to a "safe house" for her own protection - after the phone calls started, and the disturbing, sexually explicit videos began surfacing in this town of 9,000 about 50 miles north of downtown Houston.

Seventeen men and boys, including a middle school student and adults in their 20s, have been charged with sexually assaulting Maria's daughter, a sixth-grader, in a dingy trailer. That number could grow to 28.

Last week, while hospitalized for an illness, Maria finally received a brief visit from the girl.

"My daughter was crying and crying and hugging on me," Maria said. "She didn't want to leave. She misses her family and wants to come home."

But the family's tiny gray wooden home off a long, dark forested road on the outskirts of town is no longer considered safe for the 11-year-old. Child Protective Services put the girl in a foster home for her protection and restricted her family from even speaking to her, the family said.

Local officials say the attack has devastated this close-knit community, leaving many to wonder who will be charged next. There's talk that a star athlete at Cleveland High School was seen sexually assaulting the girl on the video. The son of a local school board member is involved, too.

Someone has been making phone calls to Maria's house. Police fear they're coming from people seeking retribution.

"They keep calling and asking for her," said Maria, whose last name is not being printed to protect her daughter's identity. "They don't believe me when I say she's not here and cuss us out. They're trying to find her. This is the time when she needs us the most." Read on...

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