josh lueke is a rapist and why we should continue to say so

Stacey May Fowles has written an incisive, biting, and definitive piece about shaming men who rape. I can scarcely quote from it (although I will), because every word is not only necessary but perfect. Please join me in reading this stellar essay, and in cheering for Fowles and every survivor of sexual assault, and in calling out every Josh Lueke we can find.

May I add, too, that this essay explains exactly why I will never stop saying animal torturer and dog murderer every time I hear or read the name Michael Vick. A blog reader recently told me I should give it up because Vick has "done his time" and "expressed regret". To which I politely say: fuck that.

Stacy May Fowles, "Josh Lueke Is A Rapist, You Say? Keep Saying It.":
I know that a lot of us are well aware of what kind of person Josh Lueke is, and that rape is a very bad thing. We don't need reminders to be secure in that knowledge, nor is it likely we'll forget. But with all due respect to Mr. Hahmann and his ilk, the onslaught of tweets calling Josh Lueke a rapist is not for you. It's for the thousands of rape survivors who watch games and know that what they love is sullied by baseball's willingness to turn a blind eye to the kind of suffering they themselves endured. It's a gesture on the part of fans who know it's unlikely Lueke will ever see his career end as a result of those actions, but refuse to tolerate his inclusion, who believe that, while a team may opportunistically decide to field a talented player who has committed an act of sexual violence, it shouldn't be immune from the disgust of the public.

That disgust is healthy, too; it reinforces the taboo and militates against the impulse of big-time sports to normalize and flatten out even abhorrent behavior like Lueke's. (Josh Lueke is "moving forward" from his difficult "situation," says MLB.com, as if he'd done nothing more serious than strain an oblique. Five years from now, he could very well be just another ballplayer with a vaguely checkered past. Was it some legal thing? Drugs, maybe? Who can remember, anyway?) Saying something out loud is a small token that takes very little effort, and perhaps it doesn't "do anything" in the traditional sense, but for someone like me who understands what it's like to be violated and to watch the man who altered my life forever live on in relative, undisturbed success, it certainly means something. In many ways, the gesture means even more within the confines of sports culture, a place that is generally ruled by the most toxic kind of masculinity.

Apologies to those for whom these Josh Lueke tweets interfere with their enjoyment of a game, but the threat of sexual assault interferes with how a vast majority of women enjoy life.

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