Annals of Victim Blaming: First Serena, Then Whoopie


You probably heard about the remarks tennis star Serena Williams made about the victim in the Steubenville rape case in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine. According to Deadspin,

The RS story is by Stephen Rodrick, author of the new book The Magical Strangerand this great Dennis Rodman profile that you can read at The Stacks. He visited Serena in Florida three months ago, and she gave him, well, a few pungent quotes.

Here, for instance, is Serena with an unfortunate “she wore the dress” take on Steubenville:

We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV—two high school football players raped a 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Now Serena has publicly apologized for her insensitive comments, and according to ESPN she also

spoke to the victim, her mother and a family lawyer for about 30 minutes Wednesday….”Serena was very nice, very sincere and it was a very well-received conversation among two women and a young lady,” attorney Bob Fitzsimmons said Thursday….

The victim’s family welcomed Williams’ apology in its own statement Wednesday, saying it was “proud of her” for the updated remarks.

“We are sure Serena has & will continue to use her God given talents to advance women’s equality and send the message that rape is never acceptable under any circumstance,” according to the statement released by Fitzsimmons.

“We are fans of Serena and will continue rooting for many more championships but more importantly watching her advance the cause of rape victims who are never to blame.”

Unfortunately, the ladies of the View decided to discuss Williams’ remarks yesterday and managed to dredge up lots more victim-blaming stereotypes. Whoopie was the worst, but some of the other women said offensive things too. Luckily Margaret Cho was there to counter some of the nonsense. Here’s the video:

And some commentary from Jezebel:

In the segment’s intro, Whoopi says that the Steubenville victim was “allegedly” raped, later in the clip, Sherri Shepherd says that boys who rape are “just as culpable” (not more) than girls who go out and drink too much and Barbara Walters, when discussing convicted rapist Mike Tyson, feels the need to qualify that Tyson is now “a wonderful performer.” (Thank the powers that be that Margaret Cho was there to act as a voice of reason and empathy, otherwise our collective head might actually explode.)

As a closer, Whoopi — she of the infamous rape-rape comment — turned the conversation into a discussion of women’s personal responsibility in situations like the Steubenville one. While she would like for boys to better respect women and maybe not rape them, she put more emphasis on what girls should do — which is always wear clean underwear (???), carry cab money and avoid getting drunk. Congrats, Whoopi! You just solved rape!

“Neither party comes out of this well,” she says at the end of the segment. “So we have to do a better job with our young women.”

What is wrong with these women? None of them even seemed to notice that the Steubenville victim was an underage child! Isn’t it bad enough that we have to put up with these kinds of excuses for rape from a lot of men? But let’s face it, plenty of women buy into the rape culture. I can almost understand it from Barbara Walters who is older than dirt–but even she was more in touch with reality than Whoopie Goldberg who is quite a bit younger than I am. How does someone move in 21st century entertainment circles and hold onto such 1950s attitudes? I just don’t get it.

Please discuss or use this as an open thread.


23 Comments on “Annals of Victim Blaming: First Serena, Then Whoopie”

  1. NW Luna says:

    There is no excuse for rape. None. Brainwashed women make me sick.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yeah, me too. Why is it some people can never let go of their childhood conditioning?

    • Hate to say it, but some women like Whoopi ‘rape rape’ bull contribute to the rape culture that allows it to continue. I can recall the three young women being threatened for saving a teen who was being gang raped in the De Anza Rape Case…some were WOMEN! The narrow vision of The VIEW!
      Stop Rape Culture (Trigger Warning)

  2. littleisis says:

    Call me crazy, but I’d say whoopi and Barbara’s personal responsibility towards their viewers to not perpetuate rape culture is a lot greater than a little 16 year old girls responsibility to not drink too much. Give me a break. Last time I checked its 2013 not 1965.

    • Sickening to listen to them go on attacking girls, while practically crying for the adult rapists. Whoopi’s comment about ‘Rape Rape’ was about a thirteen year-old little girl, who was raped by a old adult.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    LA Times: Michael Hastings was researching the Jill Kelley privacy lawsuit against the DOD and FBI before he died.

    During the weeks before he was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles, reporter Michael Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.

    Hastings, 33, was scheduled to meet with a representative of Kelley next week in Los Angeles to discuss the case, according to a person close to Kelley. Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed.

    Kelley alleges that military officials and the FBI leaked her name to the media to discredit her after she reported receiving a stream of emails that were traced to Paula Broadwell, a biographer of former CIA director David H. Petraeus, according to a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., on June 3.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Texas Rep. Steve Stockman says people on food stamps deliberately buy overpriced food.

  5. Fannie says:

    Whoopi pisses me off, allegedly raped, and rape rape……….those are her words, who is she trying protect, she needs to break on through to the other side. I’d like to know if Serena wins tennis because she was taught from a textbook, or does she win because she is damn “lucky”.
    While these ladies are on tv telling women how to teach our girls and our boys respect, maybe they ought to talk about something unique like torture and dying, and ailments of the mind that will last a life time from rape, how about a simple statement, like STOP RAPE, we do NOT allow it in our society…………….Cho got it, she was extraordinary in her response to rape, explaining the pain of just having a vagina. I didn’t like the comparison to Tyson, he’s an animal, not only did he rape but he will eat you alive…………I was so ready to start swinging, glad I wasn’t on the view.

    Here’s Mandy telling everybody that the GOP men don’t believe women and girls claiming to be raped, and on the same hand, the View is out telling women they don’t believe it either.

    • The View makes me sick, they have from the beginning…they are hateful bitches. And I hate to use the word, but “cunts” definitely comes to mind. (Sorry to offend.)

        • newdealdem1 says:

          This show needs to go off the air NOW. I agree with everyone who posted here about. this crap. As has been noted, this is not the first time that Goldberg has in effect took the side of the rapist. She did so when she defended Roman Polanski some while ago on this shame of a show: she appears to me to be very male oriented as many women have been in times long ago and some still are as has been witnessed this week by Marsha Blackburn and her GOP female colleagues who argued for the anti-woman (anti-humane) bill advocated by her distaff cave men to prevent women from making grown up decisions on whether or not to control their own bodies.

          I am also thankful for someone like Margaret Cho who has fought all her adult life for women and girls against those who would try to control women/girls body image to look like some adolescent boy (those weight issues that Hollywood exploits and has caused so much harm in our culture for girls/women).

          What makes me even more weary is the timeline you and some others have commented on since the NSA reveal was published by the Guardian (a newspaper I respect and have read for a dozen years now). And, that is this: Snowden met with Greenwald and the filmmaker Laura Poitras before he was hired by Booz Allen. That should wake up even the most stalwart libertarians at least those who want to seek the truth about all of this and so far none that I’ve seen have asked any questions about the “full of holes and very disturbing time line” here. If that time line holds steady, that means that Greenwald and Poitras colluded with Snowden whose mission was to download files he had access to which exposed the depth of what the NSA was doing. If this holds true, this doesn’t speak well for Greenwald or Poitras who can be implicated in what Snowden did before he did it.

          Why is no one but a few bloggers (let alone MSM types) like yourself gloaming onto this?

          In addition to these points, I don’t like the fact that Snowden made public that the US and the UK were spying on Russia and China. Russia and China have been spying on the US (and most probs the UK) for years now. Personally speaking, I have a security program on my notebook that tracks where malicious attacks come from based on the IP addresses and the overwhelming majority come from China and then Russia. That countries spy on each other via the internet is no secret but what Snowden did was to make this a one way street when exposing what the US and UK did but not what China and Russia have been doing for years. As if everyone with half a brain didn’t already know and which is supposed to be the main mission of the NSA. And, to make that known when the Obama (who I didn’t vote for: voted 3rd party) Administration was meeting with the G8 in Ireland was meant to do harm to the US and had nothing to do with protecting the rights of Americans vis a vis the 4th amendment as was his excuse for the NSA reveal in the first place.

          I remain a skeptic of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras’ motives even as I object to the overreach (as you have also objected, BB) of the NSA.

          Once again, thanks for your continued sensible reporting in this regard.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Hi NewDealDem1,

            Thanks for your insightful comment. I wish you’d comment more often. But even if you don’t want to, it’s good to know you’re here.

          • Yeah, I agree. It was a blog post worthy comment NewDealDem1.

          • Fannie says:

            I couldn’t have said it better………….No more VIEW. Your insights are spot on…………we need your voice, it gives us purpose.

    • janey says:

      I think a lot of you are missing the point. The girl was raped, yes, but she could just as easily be dead from her own hand. Alcohol poisoning is just as serious and deadly as rape and if you drink enough to pass out and have memory loss, you can drink enough to kill you. You all are acting as if she had the right to drink that much and be protected. Would you say that of someone who was driving under the influence and passed out at the wheel? If we want women to be able to stand up and live their lives we also have to teach them to take charge of their lives. And getting blotto is not taking charge of your life.

      • Janey, I am reading your comment at 5:00 am…because I had to go online and login to wordpress to document my killer migraine on my private migraine calendar blog. So, that being said, my brain is not working correctly and I may have misread your comment. Are you saying that because a woman drinks enough to get “blotto” and pass out, she has lost the “right” to be protected? It must be that my headache is causing so much pain between my ears that I am unable to fully grasp your thought process…because surely that is not what you are suggesting.

        You all are acting as if she had the right to drink that much and be protected.

        No, that isn’t the migraine messing with me… you are telling us she was asking for it. Because who the fuck do you blame when a woman is raped? The woman.

        I don’t give a flying fuck if she was drunk, doped up or high on life, she was raped. Period. Nobody asks for that.

        You all are acting as if she had the right to drink that much and be protected.

        You’re goddamn right we are!!!!!!!!!!!

      • bostonboomer says:


        I think it’s pretty clear she was given a date rape drug. All the evidence points to that. And she wasn’t the first girl those boys did it to. But none of what you say about drinking has anything to do with a child being raped.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Jindal is no more economically literate when it comes to the budget. He thinks it’s laughable that liberals say the government never has to pay back its debt … but it’s true! We don’t. We haven’t. The government isn’t a household. It can roll over its debt forever — and grow out of it. Here’s a true story: we still haven’t paid back the money we borrowed to fight World War II. But, as you can see below, we still brought our debt-to-GDP ratio down from a high of 122 percent in 1946 to a low of 32 percent in 1974, despite only running seven surpluses over that period, because the total size of the economy grew faster than the debt did.

  7. newdealdem1 says:

    Thank you, BB, JJ and Fannie. Thank you so much for your response to my post. I promise I will be posting more often now on this site. It’s not that I didn’t feel welcomed before, it’s just that I am a bit shy of expressing myself on more than one blog if I’ve not been posting continually on that blog. But, consider this my second post in a continued series to all of your continued, insightful, intelligent and witty posts.

    • bostonboomer says:


      That’s great. I totally understand your hesitancy. I don’t post very many comments on other sites. I’ve gotten accustomed to discussing things here even if I read lots of other blogs. But I think we are pretty welcoming to new people and I’ve certainly noticed your “likes” and knew you were checking in. I look forward to “talking” to you more often in the future.