While it is totally inadvisable to “revenge” rape with a gun, a la Ms. 45, and impossible to revenge rape with vagina teeth, a la Teeth, I have come to the conclusion that it is totally acceptable to shoot rapists in the face with the metaphorical gun of purchasing power!
Basically, most rapists have jobs. Sometimes they’re really good at their jobs! But if, for example, a rapist is someone who makes movies which you want to see, you have to balance what you don’t know with what you know. Here’s a little breakdown, as far as this relates to noted rapist Roman Polanski, and the film Rosemary’s Baby:
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW: Whether or not you are going to enjoy Rosemary’s Baby, a film made by noted rapist Roman Polanski. It could go either way!
WHAT YOU KNOW: Roman Polanski raped someone.
Now, ask yourself: is it worth contributing, in any way, to the well-being of a rapist? Probably not! But you might enjoy the movie! So I recommend seeing the movie and not paying for it. There are several means of doing this, some of which relate to downloading them, which is TOTALLY ILLEGAL, and the official position of Tiger Beatdown is that you should NOT DO ILLEGAL THINGS. Oh, hey, here is another illegal thing: rape! An activity engaged in by Roman Polanski!
If you, too, would like to participate in my totally fun game, I will share with you another version, which I am playing right now. It is called Don’t Give Money To The ALLEGED! Rapist, and I am playing it with Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock.
So, now, a little storytime for you: in 1999, Isaac Brock, then a resident of Seattle, took a 19-year-old girl home from a bar. A few weeks later, she went to the police and reported that he had raped her. YIKES! That seems pretty newsworthy to me! This was a feeling evidently shared by Samantha Shapiro of Seattle’s alternative weekly, The Stranger. Samantha Shapiro, a reporter, used her reporting skills to report on the alleged crime that had been reported to the police. Then, after she wrote that story (on March 18th, 1999), and a follow-up on the same subject in which she reported that Isaac Brock had still not been charged (on June 24th, 1999), her articles started to appear more infrequently, and she disappeared entirely between the months of August, 1999 and September, 2000; she wrote two articles in the year 2000, and after that she no longer worked for The Stranger! YIKES, again!
Oh, and also: although letters to the editor on the original Modest Mouse story (all, again by magical coincidence, negative toward Shapiro) are easily Googlable, I have been unable to find either of her articles on the subject on The Stranger’s website, and they do not appear in the list of articles credited to Samantha Shapiro on that site.
There are other mentions of the Isaac Brock rape charges do appear on the website! Such as an interview where someone rips into a novelist for writing what would appear to be a fictional account of the event. [EDIT: I originally got an attribution hugely wrong in this paragraph, which is hugely embarrassing. I've taken it out of the post for that reason, but since this is a post about accountability, I want to let you know that I made a mistake and recognized it as such. I'm being more careful with this post than usual, because it's about truth and what deserves to be heard, and am looking over the article to make sure that it only contains things that I can verify for you with links, or else my personal opinion on the matter, and nothing in-between.]
So, did Isaac Brock rape someone? I don’t know! The woman later retracted her claim. I have this crazy theory, that when you report a rape to the police, and your ALLEGED! rapist is so well-connected and powerful within his community that he can levy substantial social pressure against you – when even reporting on the fact that a rape claim has been made draws reactions such as “a rape case shouldn’t be brought to public attention,” or “I have no opinion on the guilt or innocence of either party, but the money I get for [my Stranger article] is going to any future legal defense fund for Isaac” or “funny how [the ALLEGED! victim's] identity is protected when Isaac is the victim of the crime here” or “[it was] poor judgment [to make] a case against Brock using only the woman’s side of the story,” and when the reporter who interviews you is apparently penalized for doing so – you might just be so pressured as to retract your report whether or not it was true. So, I don’t know whether Isaac Brock raped someone!
What I know is that this is how it happens. This is how rape culture is created. The social penalties for reporting a rape are so severe, and the odds for successfully making a case are so small, that we effectively encourage women to let rapists get away with it, and discourage them from holding rapists accountable. Rapes happen, and then they disappear, and the Isaac Brock story seems to be a remarkably clear example of exactly why and how that happens, whether or not he did it: the mechanisms of silencing talk about rape charges are kind of unmissable. So, I’m in the mood for holding folks accountable today! Because, you know, you can get rid of Samantha Shapiro, you can erase the articles from the record, you can take that girl’s story out of the public eye to such an extent that people – people like myself, for example – may listen to Modest Mouse and enjoy them and consider themselves fans without ever hearing about it and may feel disgusted and betrayed when the topic eventually comes up in an off-hand aside in a drunk conversation with someone who was aware of the event at the time, but what you can’t do is fire me from Tiger Beatdown.
The Internet changes everything, right? Here Comes Everybody, and they heard about that time a girl accused you of rape! So, you know, while I don’t have many Legitimate Journalist credentials, I do have tens of thousands of hits per month. Also, unlike Samantha Shapiro’s articles on the Isaac Brock rape charges, I am easily Googlable. [EDIT: You can find the article here, copied into what looks to be a mailing list archive; if you click on the link, it doesn't lead to the original article.] So, I am encouraging [EDIT, AGAIN: Though not requiring! It is a personal decision!] you, the readers of this non-legitimate publication in which I literally cannot be censored or fired, to play a game with me: the game of Don’t Give Money To The ALLEGED! Rapist, which we will play with Modest Mouse albums, concert tickets, and other merchandise which profits Modest Mouse and Isaac Brock.
Oh, look, here is a new Modest Mouse EP! It is called “No One’s First, And You’re Next,” and it will be out on August 4. Hey, let’s Don’t Give Money to it! Wheee!