Councilors say more closing-time police patrols not enough to protect women; will look at how to change rape culture

With two women kidnapped after leaving Boston clubs in a month's time - and with one dead and the other one allegedly raped several times - city councilors today said they plan to look at how the city can make public spaces safer for women by helping to dismantle a pervasive rape culture.

Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George (at large) proposed the hearing. She emphasized she is very grateful for the work done by Boston Police and other law-enforcement agencies to solve the two cases and to step up patrols, but said it's time to address "the sobering reality of culture of these nightlife venues."

Councilor Kim Janey (Roxbury) said enough is enough with "rape culture" and said that any successful efforts would have to include educating young men and boys to respect women as co-equal partners in our society." Women have the right to celebrate, to drink, to wear short skirts without fearing they will be harmed or killed just for existing, she said.

The next step is for the council's Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, chaired by Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale) to schedule a hearing at which representatives from police, local nightclubs, and the licensing board would be invited to speak, along with members of the public.

The City Council today approved a proposal by Councilor



Free tagging: 



Pump the brakes

By on

The "culture of these nightlife venues" has nothing to do with these two horrific crimes. These were unhinged, evil predators, who happened to strike at around the same time. Nothing in "nightlife" culture, or our "culture" in general, caused these crimes to occur. They were deviants, who if (when) convicted should be punished.

Public hearings will win city councilors political points, and make some people feel better, but won't accomplish anything.

(And no, I don't have an answer about how to prevent tragedies like this in the future. But making up terms like "rape culture" isn't it.)


Are you a rapist?

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Sounds like you have lots of excuses for them.

We live in a rape culture. When you have young men told time and again that they can't control themselves and women are to blame for tempting them?


Stop being a made-up fake man. Grow up and pay attention to the messages that surround you.


Straw men

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I don't see any of those points in Lunchbox's post.

I agree

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I like that the city council wants to do something but this issue goes far beyond Boston and Massachussetts

I wish them the best of luck on tackling a problem that is much larger than they are.



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I wish them the best of luck on tackling a problem that is much larger than they are.

I do too, because they can chip away at it. They can have an effect. Your attitude is weak. If you won't be part of the solution, then take a seat and stop criticizing those who are trying to do something.

It would...

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It would be great if we could just tell people to respect each other and all bad things would stop happening, but thats not the way the world works.

It would be even better...

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It would be even better if disingenuous clowns stopped pretending that "just tell[ing] people to respect each other" was the plan.

Closing Time

Closing times force everyone to leave, even if they are feeling slightly unsafe and would rather stay in a somewhat protected location. (Most assaults happen outside, not inside the bars/clubs.)

The same logic applies to drunk driving too.

Better public transportation options would reduce the pressure to accept a ride from someone.


Yes, and later closing times could actually help as well

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Part of the problem, especially in areas where there is a high concentration of bars and clubs, is because they all throw patrons out on the street at the same time due to our archaic liquor laws.

Stretch last call later and people will leave on their own on a staggered basis. Patrons would not have to compete for taxis, Ubers and Lyfts simultaneously (and maybe surge pricing would be less an issue) since the T has long been closed.

Even if alcohol sales were stopped, encourage clubs to stay open "after-hours" with just music and dancing.


That's a nice thought

But, you know, good luck with that. When people discuss rape culture and how to change it, I don't think "Boston City Council" is very high on their list of agents who are likely to accomplish significant change.

So just throw up your hands, then?

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Or not even bother doing that (throwing up your arms takes work) and just tut-tut and go back to reading Barstool Sports?

Yeah, by design, the city council doesn't have much direct power over anything. But it has a bully pulpit and it can hold hearings on which to focus attention (and it does have the say over entities that might have more of a direct impact, from police to public health). So it's a start.


You're a fine one to talk

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Did you not just, in essence, proclaim that the Boston City Council can't solve all of rape culture and therefore shouldn't try? That is a false dichotomy right there, bub.

No I didn't

Did you not just, in essence, proclaim that the Boston City Council can't solve all of rape culture and therefore shouldn't try?

No I didn't. I didn't say they can't solve "all of rape culture". I don't think they can solve any of rape culture. This is a problem that's been ingrained in human culture for literally centuries (if not longer), and the idea that a city council is going to have any affect on it is laughable.

They're like the ant trying to move the rubber tree plant. High hopes are fine, but when you're talking about a dysfunctional government entity with limited resources, I would prefer them to concentrate on goals that they actually have a prayer of accomplishing (e.g. "improving public safety" as opposed to "changing the culture").

But hey, if you think this bunch is actually capable of changing rape culture, more power to you.

Some low-hanging fruit

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1. Don't punish establishments for calling the cops.
2. Call the cops, don't just kick a predator out.
3. Have a communication channel between establishments identifying known predators.
4. Train staff on how to identify if someone has been roofied or looks like they are being coerced, and have plans in place for when that happens.
5. Make it easy / inconspicuous for bar patrons to ask staff for help.
6. Adequate staff presence inside and outside the club.


Great ideas

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Every call to the police should not generate a a hearing before the Licensing Board. Maybe let the police and board members/staff discuss the incident before they decide a hearing is warranted.

Am I the only one bewildered

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Am I the only one bewildered by the term "rape culture"? It sounds as ridiculous as "rapey vibe".


Probably not

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And that's part of the problem. It's not really a hard concept to grasp, especially not when we have Google and typing "rape culture" into the search box quickly brings up some links that will break it down for you. If you're bewildered at the concept of "Google," though, you might want to ask your parents for help.



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Google and other search engines return results for many things that are tough to grasp or just flat out nonsensical....evil people do evil things, how does that tie into rape culture? It’s a good talking point on Huff Po though.

If there are too many big

If there are too many big words, maybe you can ask a grown-up for help.

Google and other search engines return results for many things that are tough to grasp or just flat out nonsensical....

no you're not

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in fact there are whole subreddits and 4chan boards just for super well-adjusted people like yourself.

it would be better, I think, to read up on what it is. because it is very real.

No but...

By on may be the only one who didn't simply Google "what is rape culture" and find out.

Rape is about predators and

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Rape is about predators and vulnerable individuals, men and boys get raped too Councilors.
Greater Boston has a huge problem with human trafficking, because of hands off drug use policies, the amount of women being bought, sold, and abused in metro Boston is horrific. many are addicts. Why is anybody surprising the boundary is being pushed over and "regular girls" were kidnapped, raped and murdered. The councilors are a collective joke, out of touch and out of their depth.

Yes , address rape culture

Absolutely. We could address misogyny in hip hop. Confront the program directors of Boston radio stations Jammin 94.5, Urban Heat 98.1 and Hot 96.9 about the portrayal of women in the lyrics of the music they play. These radio stations are especially popular with young men who are still forming their view on gender and relationships. Especially young men in minority communities.
We could also speak with the DJs who repeat these same songs in their sets at the nightclubs.



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Then we won't have to even think about addressing the misogyny in rock, alternative, contemporary Christian, etc.

Sounds great! Why talk about white people misogyny when you can just point fingers at brown people!


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White men saves brown women from brown men. Yup, that'll fix everything.

Read the video captions from Wed 13 Feb Boston City Council

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Read the video captions from the Wednesday 13 February 2019 Public Meeting of Boston City Council, scroll to end at

"Disclaimer: This is
an unedited copy of
the video captions
provided by a third
party. These are not
the official Minutes
of this meeting."

      Not the hidden edited on site public funded Stenographic Record, more complete than Minutes, more accurate than flawed produced off site video captions.