Chuck Phelps repeatedly mentions that Tina Anderson was passive. Over the last several days this word has been thrown around again by those who defend Chuck Phelps reappointment to the Cooperating Board of Bob Jones University with those of us who believe he should be removed because of how he handled Tina Dooley Anderson.
Phelps defenders are unanimous that Tina was passive, because Phelps said so. Furthermore, their reasoning flows, if Tina was passive it was consensual and not rape. I find it interesting the same people who have no problem understanding what Phelps meant when he used the word “passive” to describe Tina, but argue over what the word “aggressor” meant after Phelps testified that Willis admitted he was the aggressor to Phelps. But I digress.
If Tina had been mugged and instinctively physically frozen at the time. If she had simply given her purse to the mugger in a desperate, terrified hope that the assault would have ended without further injury. No one would have questioned her cooperation. Chuck Phelps would have supported Tina and assured her that she did the right thing. Nobody would have blamed her for carrying money by saying, “well, didn’t you realize that would only lead a robber on?” Nobody would blamed Tina for all the times you willingly spent money by implying that this means you “have a history of giving it away, so aren’t you just ‘crying robbery’ now?” Nobody would claim that the incident was probably just a cash transaction that “got out of hand” and “she regretted later.”
Yet when the assault on Tina was sexual, Phelps and many others implausibly lose all their insights about the importance of cooperation to reduce harm. Suddenly, the questions about what part of guilt Tina must have had in the course of the attack:
“Why didn’t you fight back?”
“Why are you so passive?”
“Why did you stay quiet?”
“Why did you freeze?”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“Why did you let him in your apartment?”
My first response to those who repeat what Phelps says, is so what? Tina Anderson was passive. What’s your point? However the more I thought about it, I decided to share what research says about how most people respond during a sexual assault.
Tonic immobility,” is the “freeze instinct,” in which the body becomes very still, rigid, and silent. It is a simple survival behavior. During rape, tonic immobility is very common. According to studies, tonic immobility occurs in up to 88% of rape victims during the assault. Tonic immobility is far more common than the fight or flight response we see depicted on TV or in self-defense brochures.
Phelps supporters, ask yourself, why does Phelps have so many inconsistencies in his stories? Why are you continuing to blindly follow him, but no one has bothered to contact Tina? Who is spreading gossip? Phelps, perhaps?
Chuck the CHUCK …http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/chuckphelps/
Chuckles made an error in writing that Willis as her landlord. According to Tina this is incorrect. Thank you Tina for clearing that up.