The Jackie Fox rape disclosure shows we still have a lot to learn

[Read the post]

This is gross. This is amazingly, disgustingly gross. Which is a shame, because the article is so right in so many other ways, but to conflate people who use trigger warnings, often at the behest of others who are triggered by these things, with people who are attacking the victim? Just because one person doesn’t react in a certain way doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t.

Why ruin an otherwise excellent article with attacks on other rape victims? Don’t use a warning if you want, but don’t act like people who do are attacking others, especially when you make direct attacks against victims yourself, for no reason than they have different experiences than you.


Doesn’t an article about rape self-identify as a trigger warning? Is further warning really required?


No, further warning really isn’t required. But neither are direct attacks on people who use warnings. I’m suggesting that the conflation of people who use, or request warnings as being opposite of “decent human beings” is insulting and crass. I expected better from boingboing, but I’m quickly learning not to.


First JK Rowling, now this. Is it own-goal day?

I’m reminded of when Jello Biafra was talking about the difference between right-wing and left-wing movements. The right-wingers pull together. The left-wingers get hung up on who used which jargon, who eats meat or doesn’t and why, what mode of transportation everyone used to get to the meeting…

If there’s an in-context trigger warning (“this article is about rape”), then no, they don’t have to call it out. And as someone who reads trigger warnings carefully ('cos I have triggers), I agree the ones that basically say “don’t read this” are annoying. Usually I’m fine if I know the topic. It’s when it’s a surprise it’s an issue.


I guess it depends on the person, and also the actual content. For example, an article that simply speaks about how victim blaming is horrible and needs to be addressed might not trigger the same way as an article that gives explicit details of an actual rape. But yeah, the first thing I thought when I started reading the article was “WTF? Some actual rape victims really do prefer trigger warnings, why are you minimizing their experience?”


I’ll say, again, that I had no problem with it NOT having a trigger warning. I have a problem with stuff like this:

[quote]Shielding victims from articles with “trigger warnings” about disclosures helps no one. At the moment, the courage of Fox to speak openly of her rape, the bravery we as a society, as decent humans should be applauding, is being buried minute by minute under the statements, retractions and emotions of others.

Where it openly says trigger warnings helps no one. Sorry, but one person’s experience doesn’t count as “everyone”. And to further conflate the warnings as trying to “bury the statements” and as people who request or use warnings as not being “decent human beings” ? That’s my problem. Not that the article doesn’t have a warning.


I’m thoroughly confused by this. If Jett did not witness the alleged event, why would she take any position other than the presumption of innocence?

You seem to be asking for a lynch mob, not justice.


I’m pretty inclined to take any sort of allegation against Kim Foley at face value. I’m sure Fox’s story is essentially accurate. But it’s hard for me to fault Joan Jett for anything here.

Partly because it’s likely that at the time she was in a state where she wasn’t entirely aware of what what going on, or was unable to recall details clearly. It’s hard to stand up and recount a traumatic event. It’s harder when you don’t trust your own memory of it. It’s much harder when people will be grilling you on the details you don’t remember, and looking for holes in your story.

More importantly, though, she was the same age, in the same environment, with the same relationship to the same person. I honestly don’t want to speculate on what she may or may not have experienced, but It’s not exactly a stretch to consider that she might be a victim as well here. I don’t know that I’m comfortable in making assumptions about how she should or should not deal with whatever she may or may not lived through. “Forget it and move on” isn’t exactly an unheard of reaction there.

I think Foley had similar circumstances to Cosby or Kenny Klein- Everybody knew about them. Everybody knew somebody with a story about them. Nobody knew anything that would hold up in court. I think it’s likely that people did say something- They warned their friends about them, they kept an eye on them, they told stories- They just didn’t say anything on the record.


“Poor judgment is not an excuse for rape or for blaming the victim. The shame of rape falls squarely on the shoulders of the rapist. Period.”—They should tattoo that on every frat-boy’s Johnson…

I have some sympathy for those who did nothing at the time…The other band members were also young, impressionable, and, I suspect CHOSEN to be unlikely to stand up against Mr. Fowley. And the victim blaming after the fact sounds like they are creating a narrative where they themselves are less guilty by their inaction. But I people who are now experienced adults to a higher standard. That “If I had witnessed anything like this I would have done something,” sounds like one of the pretty white lies that we tell ourselves…


Joan Jett has a right to her opinion, and may well be PTSD herself. Her music suggests she may be.

Fuck, aren’t we all.

I empathize with anyone hurting from abuse, especially if nobody supports them in their pain.

I can’t comment on the type of pain experienced after being raped in the way described in the definition posted above, but maybe those who are still in pain need to take a moment not to lash out themselves.

Just because Joan Jett didn’t agree with her band mate didn’t mean the events didn’t happen. I played in bands in the 70s and 80s and crazy shit happened a lot, involving young girls desperate to get experienced with their fantasy man, and yes, it’s turned out that it was mostly not fantastic at all.

I still speak to one girl who was a band groupie in those days, and in fact the mere presence of me recently sent her then husband into a fit of jealousy.

She probably should,t have mentioned her party days. She has now divorced her wealthy husband and lives in his house and plays realtor in a large Canadian city with her clever friends.

Thankfully she doesn’t remember our times together as rape.


I take issue with a lot of logic in here. I don’t really doubt that Bill Cosby is a rapist, or that Jamie Fox was raped. I’m not on a Jury listening to all the facts deliberating either. But if Bill Cosby’s wife thinks the women all consented to doing drugs and having sex with her husband (highly unlikely), it’s doesn’t mean she believed they consented to be drugged and raped… it’s like the author has reached a conclusion and is using that to prove her conclusion it does no one any favors.


That is because right and left wing are not polar opposites (as the right likes to pretend) but different approaches to life. The right wing is incurious, distrusts change and relies on perceived authority. It believes there are simple solutions. The left wing is curious, seeks progress, and distrusts authority, but it may or may not believe in simple solutions. The argument happening here is a typical left wing argument about ways and means,


I agree with you that this is an excellent article. Further down in this excellent article she states the following:

You’re right, she’s not concerned with the “individual” who might be triggered. She’s more concerned that it’s a symptom of our views of rape and how we must tread very carefully around it in case we might upset someone. I don’t think she’s attacking victims of rape, she’s attacking our society and cultures silence and shame.


I found Jett’s appeal to “anyone who knows me” a little gross. I don’t know Joan Jett and I don’t know anyone else who does, so I have to take her word that her actions align with the values of her brand and absent her from criticism by association with this brand (which seems to be a nice, though kind of a vague vision of female empowerment through rock music).

It’s just weird that she would relate the truth value of the events to herself, finding them more or less trustworthy based on a projection of how she would react in such a situation. It wouldn’t have been hard to say “I didn’t know” rather than making it about herself.

This said, Jackie’s response to other band members’ statements was pretty damn incredible. What an incredibly strong woman worthy of so much respect.


I’m glad I read this. It was just… really really good. Also, I’d heard the story, etc., but had no idea how Jackie Fox laid it out, as far as… it just seemed like the disclosure was a favor to everyone else. Like really eloquent therapy for the world or something.


My assumption is that Joan Jett was also raped, probably more than once. By Fowley in particular? Probably. And now she’s the most famous of the bunch, and people are getting in her face asking her to remember back to that time. Her reaction has seemed to me to be more like a rape victim rather than a silent accomplice. I think she’s protecting herself from having to “go there”, because it was scary and painful and ugly for her, too.

Obviously I could be wrong, but I’ve spent enough years counseling rape victims to recognize the signs.


And despite my sympathy, it’s important to realize just how destructive to victims and enabling to predators this sort of acquiescence by observers is…


Thank you for writing this. What people say publicly matters, becasue we all don’t live in isolation, and how our stories cross paths can make the differnce betwen thriving and utter extinction. The comments below explaining all the many reasons why Jett, doesn’t need to, shouldn’t be judged for her response to Fuchs’ disclosure shocked me, they are devoid of any concept of solidarity as if it were soemthing distasteful, shameful.

As a child I grew up in the 70s under a communist dictatorship, where the prospect of loosing your freedom, livelihood or home for saying the wrong thing was very real. As a tiny kid you learned who your enemies and friends were, and you stuck with your friends through thick and thin. Solidarnos, In Poland it was even the name of a party.

Then in the 80s I lived in Salt Lake City of all places and had the American High School experience, alcohol fuelled parties, and blatant sexual violence-- Girls as playthings for the boys was the accepted norm. The only reason I survived this with my virginity and sanity intact, was that as the cute European kid, I had special dispensation, and although I was slagged off at times for not giving into the will of the ‘superior’ males, I was no way shuned, punished and hounded like the all-american girls were. Well and I was lucky enough that on the one occasion that it really mattered, I had my wits about and left the room just at the right moment.

When two years later in 1988, after having moved back to Europe I visited SLC a number of the girls (from good, educated families, not some repressed Mormons) I used to party with, were pregnant, had children, a number as a result of rape, or trading their bodies for drugs. They were shamed, humiliated and isolated, treated like it was all their fault.

What I am trying to say here, is that power is a powerful, crushing thing, and when you face it alone, isolated, you don’t stand a bloody chance.

Somehow the US infatuation with individualism, with the idea that you, and only you, are your destiny’s maker, that you are responsible for no one and no one is responsible for you, penetrates so deep as to cloud peoples’s judgement. Yes, it’s Jett’s choice what she sais or doesn’t say, but what she sais or doesn’t say is not in somekind of hermetically sealed vacuum, and throwing your weight around, seeding doubt on other people’s stories is a pretty undermining thing to do and most importantly it undermines a sense of solidarity.

The older I get, the more I am becoming convinced that American’s are missing an important trick when they ignore that the individual is part of a whole and how the whole cares for it matters. I am hopeful that #BlackLivesMatter will succeed in reintroducing solidarity to the american vocabulary–Especially, as the women’s movement seems to have failed to do so.


That culture is definitely something that should be pointed out and critiqued, but considering the general pushback from all areas (this is a hot topic among college/university faculty right now, for one) against including trigger warnings… I’m pretty sure that protecting survivors who might suffer from being exposed to certain content by giving a fair and accurate warning and thereby empowering them to decide if they want to be exposed to that content at that time is not the problem there. I’d hesitate to even consider it a symptom of the problem, considering how much survivors have had (and continue) to fight for their lasting trauma to be taken seriously.