Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman has been alleged guilty of assisting Jeffrey Epstein recruit and sexually abuse girls including teenagers, appealed not guilty to both conspiracy and perjury charges on Tuesday.
The victims of sexual abuse, who were under 18 years old and as young as 14 years old, were allegedly known by both Epstein and Maxwell. In several cases, Maxwell herself allegedly took part in the abuse. Maxwell has denied the said allegations but was denied bail, according to BBC News.
As stated by Maxwell's attorney, Maxwell is not Epstein. But a lot of people consider her case evenly dismaying and horrifying.
Maxwell proves Abuse has No Gender or Class
The Maxwell case upsets people since it takes a stand against stereotypes about predation, class, and gender. Often times, people would not think women as sexual violence offenders, specifically not women who are part of the British aristocracy. But according to sexual violence experts, these cases emphasized how incomplete and incorrect people's ideas are about how this type of abuse happens and who is capable of committing it.
Laura Palumbo, National Sexual Violence Resource Center communications director, considered sexual abuse as not a behavior usually associated with women, adding that women are expected to protect other women, or that children will be protected by women, but Maxwell's case is, unfortunately, the opposite. She added that people of different classes perpetrate sexual assault and harm.
Studies and research about female perpetrators are minimal and uncommon. According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), Maxwell's case pushed them to study more and look deeply at female offenders, but these are more complicated to study since women perpetrators are often not caught.
RAINN President Scott Berkowitz uttered that Maxwell's present sexual abuse charges caused their research team to go through their hotline data, and review if there were recorded female offenders and try to find patterns are learn anything, USA Today reported.
Women are not normally seen in society as violent individuals. Rather, women are thought of as having pure hearts and deeds. In a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, it came out that "nurturing" and "empathy" are among the tops women traits admired by society. Startled at the case Maxwell is being charged with, reflects stereotyping women as being emotional, gentle, and in need of protection. Women are not expected to harm, and definitely not to the level of inhumanity Maxwell is being accused of.
Men, oftentimes, are being negatively stereotyped as dominant, violent, and having uncontrollable sexual urges. But as experts say, it is an incorrect idea to think of sexual offenders as people who are expected to be aggressive. This is why men having that "good guy" reputation is being overlooked as sexual abusers, just like the cases of Matt Laue and Bill Cosby. Sherry Hamby, a psychology professor at the University of the South and American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Violence founding editor, articulated that one of the psychological defenses of humans against having the feeling of being vulnerable is to give rise to an idea that it takes some kind of beast to perpetrate sexual abuse or commit other types of sexual offenses.