2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
First, there are the photos depicting the 16-year-old Jane Doe at the heart of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case being carried around by her hands and feet, head hanging lifelessly toward the floor. Then there is the viral video of a high school boy deriding her as “dead” and “so raped.” And then there is the pre-trial testimony from three “Big Red” athletes (also implicated but as-yet-untried) who say they witnessed the unconscious girl being paraded around, slurring her words and collapsing on the ground before being digitally penetrated by Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.
But lawyers for the defense are prepared to argue on Wednesday that she consented to it, every step of the way. Not just consented, but as a drunk, football “groupie” following the “Big Red” athletes from party to party, she was practically asking for it.
As Rachel Dissell reported for the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“Defense attorneys believe the girl, who lived across the river in Weirton, W.Va., made a decision to excessively drink and — against her friends’ wishes — to leave with the boys. They assert that she consented to sex.”
And if you didn’t think the framing could get any more more stomach-churning, it can. Attorney Walter Madison, who represents one of the accused football players, told the Plain Dealer that there is “an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices,” and that the victim, in her impaired state, “didn’t affirmatively say no” to being sexually assaulted.
But the law — and, frankly, common sense — doesn’t require a victim to actively resist or say the word “no” for a rape to occur. And in pretrial testimony, three boys who were present that night told a judge that the deeply intoxicated girl was coming in and out of consciousness while Mays and Richmond digitally penetrated her.
“I wouldn’t say she was passed out but she wasn’t there to say yes or no,” one of the witnesses testified, according to the Plain Dealer. Another said she was “not quite passed out but she was not OK.”
This murky, was-she-wasn’t-she conscious, did-she-didn’t-she want to be dragged by her hands and feet and sexually assaulted “debate” is only as maddening as it is predictable. Focusing on the victim’s behavior — rather than the actions of the accused — is an infuriatingly common tactic used to silence rape victims. Silence that, until her parents discovered a leaked video of her assault online, Steubenville’s Jane Doe also fell victim to.
And as Alexander Abad-Santos at the Atlantic wrote about the details of the case: “Date rape exists.”
That under the law, even though a woman or girl may accompany her attacker, that does not equal consent? And that, under the law, a woman or girl under the influence of drugs or alcohol, willingly or unwillingly, is not at fault for being sexually assaulted? Date rape is a felony under Ohio state law — with two mentions of controlled substances under the National District Attorney’s Association classification of rape.
Mays and Richmond are set to go on trial Wednesday in Jefferson County juvenile court. The country will be watching.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.