Tell Amy Dickinson to Correct Her Rape Victim Blaming Advice Column
  • Petitioned Amy Dickinson

This petition was delivered to:

Chicago Tribune
Amy Dickinson
Editor, Chicago Tribune
Gerould Kern
Associate Managing Editor, Features, Chicago Tribune
Geoff Brown

Tell Amy Dickinson to Correct Her Rape Victim Blaming Advice Column

    1. Ruth Fertig
    2. Petition by

      Ruth Fertig

      New York, NY

UPDATE: In a response to criticism from a disgusted reader (one of many) this week, Dickinson defends her original response, claiming while she was "too harsh," she was not victim-blaming. Not only does she misconstrue the failures of her original response, Dickinson still refers to what happened to the victim as having sex -- completely missing the point that "being raped" is not the same as "having sex." She continues to focus on the need for the victim to keep herself safe, rather than pointing out that rape is always the perpetrator's fault, never the victim's.

In a November 27 column, syndicated "Ask Amy" columnist Amy Dickinson published insensitive, irresponsible, and factually incorrect advice to someone who wrote in asking whether she had been raped. "Victim? in Virginia" wrote that she had gotten drunk at a frat party and went to a guy's room, where he had sex with her despite promising that he wouldn't. Dickinson informed "Victim? in Virginia" that she was a victim of her own awful judgment. She equated getting drunk at a frat party with asking to be sexually assaulted. She never said that what the guy did was wrong, and she qualified his behavior, saying that if he was drunk his judgment was impaired. Dickinson's "advice" sends the message that victims of sexual assault are the ones responsible for it, rather than the perpetrators.

This petition demands that Amy Dickinson not only apologize for her bad advice, but also that she correct it -- properly -- in her next column. It also copies her editors at the Tribune, who should make their position against victim blaming clear, if she won't.

 

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