I should begin by saying that I’m not one of those people who hates cops on principle. This is despite the fact that the NYPD polices the city I live in.
Members of the New York Police Department have perpetrated a number of heinous crimes, every one of them inexcusable and infuriating. But as a person with a vag, I’m especially
disturbed enraged by the NYPD’s stance on rape.
In the past few months, the local authorities’ cavalier attitude toward sexual assault has made international headlines. For me, it strikes much, much closer to home: Not only is my neighborhood being terrorized by at least one rapist, I also live three blocks from a police officer who was recently, and shockingly, acquitted of raping a woman while on duty.
This summer, it’s become increasingly apparent that even the cops who aren’t actually rapists themselves don’t give a shit about rape. Why am I so sure of this? Because the local rapist(s), while amazingly persistent, is fortunately not super competent. We aren’t dealing with a criminal mastermind, here. I feel pretty certain that even a tiny bit of effort — at some point in the past five months — would have resulted in an arrest. (They did arrest a man, though he’s obviously not the perp; he turned himself in after his photo was released, maintaining his innocence. The attacks have continued unabated.)
The sick fuck’s MO is pretty consistent: Grab a lady from behind while she’s walking home from the train, usually from the Prospect Avenue or Seventh Avenue stations. At least seven women have been attacked in the past several months, most of whom have been able to fight off the diminutive predator via screams and fingernails. One of them was not so lucky.
But not only have the cops not caught the man who has struck fear into the heart of every woman from South Slope to Bay Ridge, they’ve stopped responding altogether. A few nights ago, a mom was attacked right next to her home. The cops never bothered to show up. This is in addition to the cops refusing to even look at video footage of one of the attacks several months ago.
Here is the footage:
They can’t be bothered.
Instead of doing their jobs, they say that we vaginal ones shouldn’t walk around by ourselves at night (which starts at 8 p.m.); we shouldn’t listen to headphones; we must be constantly vigilant. What? I’m supposed to be accompanied by a chaperon or stay inside? Welcome to Brooklanistan.
I’m all for everyone being aware and being safe. I believe that all of us should know our physical strengths and weaknesses in the event of a physical altercation. For example, I don’t wear heels and am good at running; I have fingernails and most rapists have eyeballs.
But I also know that allowing fear to determine your most mundane actions does very little to protect you. Being fearful does not keep you safe; it only makes your life worse. I’m not spouting; unfortunately, this is something that was proved to me at a very young age.
I’m also bothered that so many people still think that our neighborhood predator and others like him are motivated by sexual desire, a mysteriously male inability to control their own urges. I was discussing this with RZ the other day, and he made a great point: “If women were generally bigger and stronger than men and had protruding genitals, women would be rapists, simply because some people have a really twisted urge to dominate.”
I know that rape happens everywhere, but the stance we’ve encountered recently strikes me as being uniquely NYPD. In other U.S. cities, I think (hope) public outrage would have been too great for the local authorities to remain blasé, even if it was their inclination in the first place.
At this point, I’m even more angry about the official response than I am about this twisted little man who seems to harbor such a grudge against women. Ladies, it’s time we took matters into our own hands.