Friday, April 24, 2009

The complainant

So regular readers of this blog might remember that there was a time when I wrote about a wider array of subjects than Joss Whedon's latest television show (although on that topic to call Dollhouse awesome beyond the telling of it is selling it short). A few months back I started, and promised to finish, a series about feminism and prisons. I probably won't resume that series regularly until the end of May, but I hope to post a few things that have come up before then.

In the future I want to explore how feminists support the current (in)justice system, what does the legal system provide for survivors of rape?

Anna has discussed the rape myth's used in the recent trial of a taxi driver rapist. This was the second trial, as a previous conviction was overturned on appeal. One of the reasons that the appeal was successful:

The prosecutor was also criticised for "personalising" the issues and repeatedly using the victim's first name instead of calling her "the complainant".

Could there be a clearer indication that rape trials are not allowed to be about rape survivors. It is a mistrial if a rape survivor has a name.

I'm sure this could be changed, if enough effort was put in then eventually this decision could be over-turned. Eventually rape survivors would be allowed names.

If that was achieved, then it would be a step - a name is a step towards being allowed a control, being allowed a story, being allowed to exist. But I think

I don't expect this one issue to persuade anyone to abandon reform of the trial system. But I hope it will make it helps people understand the size of the problem, and maybe consider the possibility that there may be better ways of getting justice.


  1. simond7:07 pm

    Hey Maia, have found a job yet? I can offer you a job if you want to.

  2. I think u write very good reviews actually, I like your analysis of things in general, your politics are similar to my own. (even though I don't watch anything u review and I've only read 2 of the Harry Potter books as well.) xo