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Busy Philipps just called out a major publication on the way it talks about rape

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Pip Cook
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The actress took on the L.A. Times for a headline it published about the rape of a 12-year-old girl

Busy Philipps is known for being outspoken when it comes to issues such as sexual assault and abortion, and she’s no stranger to using Twitter as a powerful platform to express her views and encourage others to do the same. 

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After Alabama introduced their incredibly restrictive abortion laws in April, the actress took to Twitter to launch a campaign encouraging women to share their abortion stories – #youknowme – after revealing that she herself had an abortion at the age of 15.

She wrote: “1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let’s do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let’s share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.”

And in the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of rape against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Philipps took to Instagram to share her own experience.

The actress shared a photo of herself at 14 years old alongside a caption “#TBT This is me at 14. The age I was raped. It’s taken me 25 years to say those words.

“I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it 4 months ago. Today is the day we are silent no more. All of us.”

Philipps added: “I’m scared to post this. I can’t imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now.”

And on Saturday 13 July she took to Twitter to take on the L.A. Times over its coverage of the rape of a 12-year-old girl. 

Last week, the L.A. Times published a story to its site with the headline “An Orange County man who had sex with a 12-year-old girl he met on the Tinder dating app will spend more than a year behind bars, court records show.”

“HE DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH A 12 YEAR OLD” wrote Philipps.

“HE RAPED A CHILD. ENOUGH! CORRECT THIS MESS!!!!!”

Busy’s tweet sparked outrage among Twitter users, many of whom joined her in outrage at the language sometimes used by media outlets to talk about rape.

“Thank you @BusyPhilipps for this justifiable rage,” wrote one user.

“So far @nytimes and other major news outlets keep committing this serious solecism. In criminal law in NYS and FL, there is simply NO SUCH THING as an adult “having sex” with a minor.” 

The tweet prompted calls for the L.A. Times to admit it had made a major blunder.

“@latimes step up and call it what it is,” wrote another user. “What a mess of a title.”

Finally, the L.A Times tweeted a revised version of the article in which the phrase “sex crime” replace the previous use of “sex”.

“We’ve revised the article to provide a more detailed description of the case,” read the tweet that accompanied the post.

The post faced further backlash, with many users now calling the outlet out on their use of the phrase “more than a year”, arguing that it was belittling the man’s crime rather than focusing on the short duration of the sentence.

“will spend LESS THAN TWO YEAR behind bars,” commented one user. “OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM IS FAILING THIS CHILD.”

“Failed again” wrote another. “I fixed it. ‘An Orange Country man who admitted RAPING a 12-year-old girl he met on the @Tinder dating app will ONLY spend more than a year behind bars’ Words matter and also #Tinder should be held accountable for allowing children use their service.”

Here’s hoping publications will learn from the L.A. Times and think about their headlines a little more carefully before they publish.

Images: Getty, Instagram

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