Girl commits suicide after being gang raped, photographed and bullied out of school

17:52 Oct 22 2013 New York, NY, USA

R.P., a teenager committed suicide after being raped, photographed by her rapists and bullied out of school

Elizabeth Plank tells and analyses a story that's now all too familiar: A young girl is violently gang-raped by a group of boys she knows. People stand by. They don't stop it. One of the offenders snaps a picture of the victim and aggressively disseminates it. It goes viral. And people stand by. They don’t stop it. In fact, they spread it like wildfire. Not by accident. On purpose. The rapist wants to share the trophy of his crime. He holds it like a shining beacon of malevolence for the world to see.

In the case of viral rape, perpetrators want to disseminate the evidence of their crime, a photograph of their prey, because it elevates their status. The benefits of the glory are so alluring that rapists — overwhelmingly teen boys in this category — are deliberately spreading evidence of their criminality at the cost of potential legal repercussions. The impetus: these boys want to prove to their friends that they are men. That they conquer, that they pillage, that they are the sexual dominators (no matter how passed-out and unavailable their victims were). That is their sad version of manhood.

The fact that rapists want others to know that they have raped suggests that violating women is a rite passage, a legitimate method to climb the social ladder of masculinity — or at least the bastardized toxic masculinity that they covet
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