“You Guys Are Scaring Me”
January 28, 2020 10:24 AM   Subscribe

How a woman processed her rape by New York Mets Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, and Daryl Boston, fought for justice, and got discarded as a “groupie” during the “Year of the Woman.” Daniel Engber weaves her story together with the media coverage of Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment of Anita Hill, William Kennedy Smith‘s rape of Patricia Bowman, and Mike Tyson’s rape of Desiree Washington; sexual and domestic violence by numerous Mets players including David Cone amid the team’s early 90s decline; and the widespread cultural backlash to 1992’s version of the “Me Too” movement.
posted by sallybrown (7 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
This piece might be the most effective I’ve ever read at setting an individual rape in the context of its time and showing how larger cultural messages about rape shape victims’ choices and treatment by the justice system. I can’t recommend it enough.
posted by sallybrown at 10:27 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]

The end (especially) is a gut punch.
posted by misskaz at 11:01 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]

posted by corb at 11:54 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]

As a 2nd grader in 1988 I received my first baseball card: a Dwight Gooden Topps. Even tho I lived in Boston, the arch geographic rival of everything having to do with New York, I became a fan.

Path dependence is important.

Almost everything that has happened in the intervening 20something years as I matured, understood sport, understood fame, understood the moral iceberg that is more important than both of those...I am no longer a fan.

Information is important.

Thanks for posting.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 11:12 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]

I don't even know what to say about this. It feels exactly as things were designed to be.

I cannot feel sympathy for these men and I don't when I say that sports culture for men is/has been so seriously fucked up.
posted by amanda at 8:44 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]

This paragraph, though:
One woman did get some measure of vindication right around this time. In February 1992, Mike Tyson was found guilty of one count of rape and two of criminal deviate conduct against Desiree Washington, an 18-year-old beauty pageant hopeful. Upon Tyson’s conviction, however, prominent figures quickly spoke out in his defense. Donald Trump said, in a series of interviews, that the boxer had been “railroaded,” that the trial was a “travesty,” and that Tyson’s teenage victim had “wanted it real bad.” Alan Dershowitz, who would represent Tyson on appeal, wrote a cover story for Penthouse: “The Rape of Mike Tyson.” Dershowitz said that Washington may have felt that she’d been raped, but Tyson “reasonably understood” that he’d gotten her consent.
Why is it always Trump and Dershowitz?
posted by hydropsyche at 10:22 AM on January 29 [6 favorites]

Why is it always Trump and Dershowitz?

Right? This article is a prime example of how life seems surreal right now, like it’s an arc in a very dramatic television series that brings old characters back.
posted by sallybrown at 2:14 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]

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