Ugly Thoughts

This is not a particularity nice topic, but it is a valid one. I am taking an English class at my chosen higher education institution. I’m very fond of my professor who both makes me think and makes me laugh (apparently that’s all I need in a guy- how hard can that be to find??).
Today’s topic was that of rape and journalism. You may or may not have noticed but anytime a lady – we’ll assume she’s a lady – alleges rape, and an article on the topic is published in the local paper, magazine, or well-respected blog, her name is omitted while the name of her accused aggressor is published. The aggressors name may come with the word “alleged” before it, but the name is out there all the same, implicitly implying that one person is the victim, who needs protection, and one is the criminal, who needs if not prosecution, persecution.
Now many women whose names have been mistakenly released to the press in a rape case (Kobe Bryant, Kennedy kid accused of rape in Florida in the 70’s) have had a terrible time. There is some stigma attached to rape that you don’t have with other violent crimes. You wear your scars in hidden places but when your name is released it can become clear that there is a judgment for sex crimes that doesn’t necessarily start with the sympathy that applies to other violent crimes. In some countries, a woman who is raped is expected to kill herself in shame (article).
Some people, women included, say that a rape victim’s name should not be withheld. She should choose to have it be released, or the acceptable journalistic mores of hiding the name should be changed. By saying these names, perhaps the stigma of sexual crimes will be reduced. The fairness of unbiased reporting will be restored. And maybe, false rape reports will be reduced when the glare of the media spotlight is pointed on the alleged victim.
All that being considered in trying to come to my own point of view, I think the names should be released. However, as my wise professor pointed out, I wouldn’t want that policy to start with me, my mom, my cousins, friends or anyone else I care about.