What’s Current: Protests in Spain after judges reduce charges for five men who gang raped a teenage girl

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

Image: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
  • Demonstrators throughout Spain and outside the justice ministry in Madrid are protesting the conviction of five men for sexual abuse, rather than rape, after the defense argued that the accused had lesser culpability based on footage taken of their victim laying still with her eyes closed.
  • A man who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl by a canal in Manchester has been found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.
  • The suicides of seven Indigenous girls in a year in Northern Ontario has authorities and community leaders taking another look at what can be done to address the pain of intergenerational trauma and recent abuse by a traveling Anglican minister and former police officer.
  • A widowed Irish mother with one lung and a congenital heart defect was forced to carry a pregnancy to term that she says has damaged her health and likely shortened her life, leaving her concerned that her children could lose their only remaining parent.
  • Kenya’s Film Classification Board has banned the Cannes-nominated film, Rafiki, saying that its portrayal of a lesbian relationship was “too hopeful.”
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • Eva Jasmena

    Once a person is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape, I say give him one of three choices:
    1. death,
    2. a life of economically-productive prison labour, or
    3. surgical castration followed by at least one year of group or other therapy followed by the recommendation of at least two psychiatrists for release.

    And then we can add on to that punishment depending on the severity of the crime.

    • Can’tUnseeIt

      Unfortunately, I don’t think surgical castration would eliminate the urge to rape. More likely the entire brain needs to be surgically excised.

    • Anthocerotopsida

      I’m curious, are you proposing this system where a convicted criminal can choose their sentence just for sexual crimes, or do you think this should be applied to other/all crimes as well? Either way, that would be, like, really different from how we (the US) have been doing things all along. And I’m not sure I understand the advantage of such a dramatic change to the system.

    • Jani

      “such regimes based on not only death but torture and “cruel and unreasonable punishment” have always been extremely cruel to women, to poor people, and to racialised people.”

      Absolutely correct. I’m a survivor of a sexual assault carried out by a gang, involving some degree of violence. I was 13 years old. These guys got away with it, in fact they took great macho pleasure in telling the tale. I became “othered” in my neighbourhood so the effects of what they did persisted for years. I can’t say I agree with any of these suggested ‘punishments’. All I would ever want is an admission that these guys did something very wrong and they are truly sorry for what they did and the consequences. I don’t want to see any of them dead or chemically castrated. I would just like them to take responsibility for their behaviour and admit to their wrongdoing. I’d like them to acknowledge the effect it had on my emotional health, my physical safety in my own neighbourhood, my inability to attend school and so on. I’m against the death penalty and always have been. The other alternatives suggested don’t do anything to remedy the faulty mindset of a rapist or abuser, nor is there any sense of restorative justice. I’m not against prison sentences. I actually believe that rapists should be deprived of their freedom and taken out of circulation so that other women and girls can be safer. There has to be something in place, in the prison system that educates men into acknowledging the real world effects of their behaviour.

  • lk

    -Males in Spain gang rape a woman, video it on their phone but the legal system does not charge them with rape.
    -Man in England sexually assaults a child and will only receive 5 years in prison.
    -Woman In Ireland must risk her life because the laws in her country deny her the right to an abortion.

    Laws and the justice system matter tremendously. While theoretically the legal system is supposed to be fair and just, men in power have consistently created a legal system that benefits them and hurts women:
    -light sentences for sexual assault/dv/rape crimes
    -male dominated police, jail and court systems
    -laws against abortion
    -no jail time for men who solicit prostitutes, but jail time for women who prostitute

    (Also, on the sidebar of the spain article there are a list of articles that are most viewed in the us…the title of one of them is “Was I right to pay for a prostitute for my husband?”……..SMH….)

  • Tobysgirl

    I don’t spend my time thinking about how to help men not commit such crimes, nor do I think much of men who buy sex then contemplate suicide. What a load of old shit!

    • Eva Jasmena

      If you’re a feminist, I bet you do since I assume you would want to reduce the rate of recidivism, no?