Jezebel’s Missoula Weekend

by lizard

Although I have cringed at the titles of her pieces, Katie Baker, writing for Jezebel, has a must read follow up to her initial post titled Entire Montana Town Under Investigation for 80 Alleged Rapes.

My Weekend In America’s So-Called ‘Rape Capital’ documents a literal weekend exploration of our suddenly infamous town.

After four days, here is the gist Katie is taking away from her time spent here:

Nearly everyone I meet in Missoula — on porches, at coffee shops, in bars — agrees on three points. The first is that the city’s police force is a joke, ill-equipped to deal with the heavy interstate narcotics flow (the federal government has officially designated the area as a “high intensity drug trafficking area”), drunk driving (even the head of the student health center has a DUI under his belt), and — yes — sexual assaults that occur on a regular basis. The second point is that rape is very bad. And the third is that the girls in Missoula are the type who “make shit up for attention.” Girls “cry rape” in Missoula, say the girls of Missoula, who are often quicker to blame “sluts” for getting themselves into sketchy situations than are guys. I’m told over and over again that, thanks to the allegations that have surfaced over the past few months, more and more girls are blaming their post-hookup shame on the guys they — in the minds of so many of the Missoulians I meet — happily and carelessly took home the night before.

The picture featured at the top of her post is a highway sign that reads:

Welcome to Missoula (please keep an eye on your drink).

And what Missoula downtown bar more than likely inspired this warning? Based on this from the article, I’d say Stockman’s:

I am dying to meet some football players, and ask everyone I meet if they can help that happen. A few people try, but their Griz friends never text back once they hear there’s a reporter in town. “Go to Stockman’s” is their next best suggestion. I actually start tallying the number of people who tell me to go to Stockman’s if I want to get roofied or raped. (Also, bizarrely, most people I meet, both guys and girls, claim to have been roofied in Missoula at some point.) The one unabashed Stockman’s fan I meet tells me it’s the best late-night bar because “everyone is so wasted at Stock’s that anything can happen. Everyone is wasted, dancing, and it’s the perfect excuse to flirt with the people you’ve seen in class all semester.” But I lose count of those who call it the “creep bar,” or the “date-rape bar,” or the bar that’s impossible to leave without getting groped at least once. These are often the same people who say girls in Missoula are “well, kind of asking for it.”

I commented on an earlier post that I think Stockman’s and the Bodega are two hot spots for predatory drugging, and if this reporter considered tallying the associations with getting “roofied” and going to Stockmans after just four days of casual investigative visitation, I’d say maybe that’s a good place to start asking some questions.

I recommend reading the whole article. It’s tough, but fair.

I also suggest listening to Sally Mauk talking with sociologist Michael Kimmel.

There are some good places to focus some attention in light of this quick American biopsy of a sleepy mountain college town and its problem with its various public institutions and how they respond to allegations of sexual assault.

The prevalence of young women who eagerly participate in victim blaming is one example, as evidenced by Poor Clarissa’s letter that the Kaimin ran.

I wonder how long the Feds will take investigating. My prediction is they will announce their findings after Griz season is over, during winter break, and long after fall elections.




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