Reporting was unfair to women


To the Editor:

I am writing about the article I read about the case against Adam M. Smith. I was horrified to see such flagrant victim blaming and sexism. I hope to see you remove this article.

It is believed somewhere between 70 to 90 percent of rapes go unreported. There are numerous societal factors as to why this is the case. I fear that your paper, in choosing to publish such a biased article, is one of them.

There are five paragraphs about the woman’s behavior and two about Mr. Smith (the person alleged to have committed the crime you claim to be reporting on). The woman had been drinking, yes, and was over the legal limit but she was on holiday, and was not driving. Why am I being told she takes Adderall? I hope you were not trying to imply that she asked for it, or that she should have been more careful. I can tell you what a woman should expect when she goes out drinking. A hangover, just like a man.

Women are victimized for being sexually attractive to men their whole lives. School dress codes insist on girls covering up their shoulders and legs, so boys can focus on work. Maybe we as a society should focus on teaching our boys how to be near bare shoulders without losing control?

I’m disappointed to be told that Mr. Smith has never been near a jail as if this somehow excuses his behavior. Given the statistic I quoted at the beginning of my (letter), that doesn’t prove anything. In the interest of impartiality, I should be hearing more about what kind of man he becomes when he drinks; I’ve not even been informed of his blood alcohol content or what drugs he is prescribed.

Women should be lauded for coming forward. Far too many are like her friend, who suggested quietly taking a taxi and pretending nothing happened. It is articles like the one published here that causes rape to be massively under reported. In turn this gives rise to such low conviction rates.

I understand the defense has a job to protect their client but that is within the courtroom. I object to having such morally questionable attitudes perpetuated further in society. Think of it this way: If the woman had left a car outside a bar and it had been stolen by Mr. Smith would any of these comments be made?


Roisin Weintraub
West Tisbury