Petition Closed
Petitioning Blogger, Houston Press Richard Connelly and 1 other

Tell The Houston Press To Apologize For Sexy Sex Offenders List

 

The Houston Press recently ran a top 10 list of the "hottest women on the Texas sex offenders list," featuring photos of the women as well as the ages and genders of their victims on their "Hairballs" news blog. After numerous complaints and comments online from readers dismayed by the trivialization of the sexual assault of children and the misguided emphasis on the women's physical appearance in an attempt at humor, the paper said that the list was intended to help readers "realize there are people out there like this and they all don't look like the obvious stereotypical pervert" -- something never mentioned in the original post.

Of course, there is no "stereotypical" pervert when it comes to female sex offenders--unless, perhaps, they're portrayed as "hot" teachers giving teenage male students the times of their lives, in which case the Houston Press is perpetuating, rather than challenging, a stereotype. But sexual abuse and assault, perpetrated by anyone, is not a joke, but a reality--as we can see from the listing of the Texas women's victims, who are aged as young as two years old. We doubt these young victims of sexual assault are thankful that their assailants were "hot."

Tell the Houston Press to apologize for its list and, if it truly intends to inform Texans about sexual assault, to do so with a thoughtful article that addresses the realities of sexual assault and abuse of children--after all, 44 percent of sexual assault and abuse victims are under 18, according to RAINN.

 

Letter to
Blogger, Houston Press Richard Connelly
Editor In Chief, Houston Press Margaret Downing
I am writing to ask for your apology on behalf of the Houston Press' Hairballs "news" blog for the classless, offensive "10 Hottest Women On The Texas Sex Offenders List."

I'm sure you will agree that sexual abuse and assault, perpetrated by anyone, is not a joke but a reality--as we can see from the listing of the Texas women's victims on the list, who are aged as young as two years old. Concentrating on the sex appeal of these perpetrators list trivializes sexual abuse and implies that perhaps the victims got some benefit out of their ordeal. I doubt a three-year-old victim of sexual assault is thankful that her assailant was "hot."

I do not believe that this was, as the original blogger posted in an addendum to the piece, an attempt at service journalism to help people better understand the nature of sexual abuse--especially since this reasoning was never explained in the original post. If the Houston Press truly intends to inform Texans about sexual assault, I implore you to do so with a thoughtful article that addresses the realities of sexual assault and abuse of children--after all, 44 percent of sexual assault and abuse victims are under 18, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Please apologize for this thoughtless, offensive list.