Obviously, this story is very disturbing.
From ABC news:
“Shocking details surfaced in the death of 15-year-old Karen Perez. The South Houston High School freshman’s body was discovered late Monday night, days after she vanished. Search crews found her body partially nude and stuffed in a cabinet under a sink inside an abandoned apartment at 1600 Avenue N in the city of South Houston.
Her accused killer faced a judge in juvenile court Wednesday morning. Prosecutors revealed the 15-year-old suspect, whose identity has not been made public, was her boyfriend.”
“Police found text messages on the boyfriend’s phones, according to prosecutors. The messages showed the boyfriend texted Karen, demanded she skip school on Friday, and meet him by the tennis courts. Surveillance video from a nearby restaurant shows Karen with the defendant and another person, leaving there shortly after noon. She never returned home again. If she didn’t, the message said he would kill her and her life will “end on bloods.”Prosecutors said cell phone video from the boyfriend’s phone captured Karen’s final moments alive. The video was black but the audio was clear. In it, they said the boyfriend could be heard forcing Karen to have sex with him. He called her by name. As Karen told him she didn’t want sex, prosecutors said the boyfriend began choking her. Investigators said in the audio you can hear Karen cry out, “I don’t want to die.”
Unfortunately, men raping women (and even teen boys raping teen girls) and recording the crime, usually on video, is not rare. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, who committed suicide after her classmates filmed themselves raping her. Men do this because they love rape; they are proud of raping women, and they want to be able to watch it again and show it to other men. It’s very rare that rapists are ever prosecuted, even when the evidence is clear. An entire cultural narrative that permeates every aspect of society tells us that women are liars, that we enjoy being abused, that we cause our own abuse by doing or wearing the wrong things, and that if we don’t behave in exactly the right way after a rape, then it wasn’t really rape. Recently in Canada, serial abuser Jian Ghomeshi was declared not guilty of overcoming resistance by choking. This is because the women he abused continued to contact him after the abuse, and even still had some feelings for him. Because the women he abused did not behave the way the courts deemed appropriate after the abuse, Ghomeshi’s strangulation without consent was declared legal and not abusive. (I can’t believe we even have to specify that the strangulation was without consent, but we do.)
Strangulation is, in fact, popular with abusive men. Kinksters think it’s an edgy and intense way to have sex. They call it “breath play.” The euphemism “breath play” obscures the fact that strangulation is the act of killing someone. It shouldn’t even be necessary to spell this out, but if you think it’s sexy to imitate killing someone during sex, you are an abusive asshole and a horrible person. I don’t care who I kink-shame by saying that.
There are no other criminals who regularly film their crimes other than male rapists who target women. You don’t see people proudly filming themselves stealing money or robbing banks or breaking into buildings. These are crimes that the criminal wants to cover up in order to not get caught. But rapists who rape women are proud of their crimes, and they can be reasonably sure that they won’t be prosecuted. They are often regarded as heros by other men, and protected by their male peers. They can openly talk and joke about raping women without fear of being ostracized or called out on abusive behaviour.
It’s no surprise that men are proud of raping women and that they film their crimes. A multi-billion dollar industry selling videos of men raping women is currently one of the biggest money-makers in global capitalism. Women and girls are for sale in nearly every country. It is legal to film a rape and sell it; it is called “free speech” and “business” by the men who profit from it. Children as young as 11 are now watching it on their cell phones. Women who challenge this industry that profits from the abuse and dehumanization of women are called “anti-sex,” and “prudes.” We are supposed to fully embrace the sale of our sisters and daughters in the name of sexual freedom. It is of course only freedom for men. Freedom for women would be the freedom to NOT be for sale—the freedom to be in charge of our own lives and not be subject to this kind of abuse.
It is horrible and tragic that this 15 year old boy recorded himself raping and strangling his girlfriend to death, but it’s not surprising. The next generation of boys are all being taught through ubiquitous and high-quality media that women are there for them to use, and that the more violently they use us, the sexier it is.
Pornography and BDSM are incompatible with women’s humanity, but rest assured they will remain enormously popular as long as we live in capitalist patriarchy.