This Anti-Slut Shaming Rule In Derrick Rose’s Case Has A Major Flaw

Derrick Rose, the NBA star who made headlines this summer when he left the Chicago Bulls for the New York Knicks, is preparing for a civil trial this fall about an alleged gang rape. Rose has been accused of raping an unconscious woman in August 2013; the woman was Rose's girlfriend at the time. Rose has argued he "didn't do anything wrong" when speaking at Knicks Media Day on Monday, Sept. 26. But the details of Rose's defense, and the slut-shaming surrounding the case, are just as gruesome as the alleged assault.

In August 2015, a woman known only as "Jane Doe" filed a lawsuit accusing Rose and his friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, of raping her while she was unconscious. Jane Doe is seeking $21.5 million in damages, claiming she has endured "severe physical injury" and "emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder."

In the lawsuit, Doe claimed Rose asked her in 2013 if she would have sex with his two friends; she refused. Two months later, Doe claimed Rose drugged her at his residence, then brought her back to her apartment, according to the lawsuit. (The lawsuit also stated that Doe remembers drinking liquor at Rose's residence, including vodka and tequila.) Later that night, Rose and his two friends allegedly trespassed into Doe's apartment and gang raped her, according to Doe's lawsuit.

Rose and his defense team contended that the sex was consensual. In June, Rose's defense moved to have the case thrown out, but the judge denied the motion. Now, the judge wants Rose and his lawyers to stop slut-shaming the alleged victim in their defense — a strong statement against the way rape and sexual assault victims are portrayed by their alleged perpetrators and, as we saw in the Brock Turner rape case, the court system.

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According to ThinkProgress, Rose's defense team has been trying to characterize Doe as sexually aggressive and promiscuous, which somehow makes her less likely a victim of rape, or so the defense has claimed. In a brief filed in August, the defense brought up Jane Doe's social media accounts, which reportedly featured pictures of her wearing "provocative attire."

From Rose's defense, via ThinkProgress:

Of special note, Plaintiff is publicly portraying herself as sexual. The production includes photos from Plaintiff's Instagram account that are sexual in nature. In these images, Plaintiff is dressed in provocative attire, is in sexually suggestive poses, and is in photographs indicating that she engages in sexually charged encounters with more than one man at a time. Plaintiff's use of twitter and other forms of social media further belies her apparent desire for anonymity.

It's an appalling case of slut-shaming, and the judge saw it. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that this victim-blaming rhetoric would not stand in court:

The Court is uncertain what to make of this reasoning. Defendant Rose appears to suggest that women who publicly portray themselves as "sexual" are less likely to experience embarrassment, humiliation, and harassment associated with gang rape. Such rhetoric has no place in this Court. No matter how Plaintiff chooses to depict her sexuality on social media, her allegations of rape entitle her to the protections of anonymity.

However, Fitzgerald then made a counter-intuitive move. Although this statement on slut-shaming rape victims is huge progress, the court recently took that progress one step back. The judge ruled that Doe will have to use her real name in court, despite her wishes to maintain anonymity and save herself from future harassment. According to the Associated Press, Doe also wanted to use a pseudonym because her family still does not know about the alleged gang rape or the lawsuit.

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Much of Rose's case against the alleged victim is in clear contradiction of her own views of their relationship. According to the civil lawsuit, Doe said she was "uncomfortable" with certain sexual acts that Rose wanted her to perform, including masturbating over Skype. "Jane began to believe that there was something wrong with the prudish way she was raised," the lawsuit stated. "She had not masturbated before and thought only guys did it." The lawsuit also claimed that Doe thought Rose believed she had "hangups and was relatively less sexually expressive than most."

"I want to share my story so women can know that they are able to come forward and remain anonymous and not to have the burden or the worry that their loved ones will find out," Doe told AP. Her conservative upbringing has no doubt impacted her reasoning for bringing the civil lawsuit against Rose and keeping her identity private. Now, having her name revealed seemingly contradicts the judge's statement against slut-shaming victims of rape and sexual assault — and, worse yet, it could discourage victims from coming forward.