Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Steubenville Mess

Warning: This post is disturbing as fuck.

I've been wanting to write about this for a few days, but I've been so full of rage and feelings that it would have come out something like this:


I'm a little more contained today.

We'll start with a little background, in case you haven't heard of the Steubenville rape case. Back in August of 2011, a sixteen year old girl went to a party in Ohio with a bunch of football players. She got drunk, as teenagers occasionally do. Through the wonders of Twitter and Facebook, it known without a doubt that she was horrifically raped and abused by a group of boys who dubbed themselves "The Rape Crew". They assaulted her while she was unconscious and unable to give consent. There are pictures. They urinated on her, and after they dragged her passed out body from party to party, doing whatever they wanted with her, they dumped her on her front lawn and drove away, with zero concern for whether or not she lived or died.

If you want to throw up in your mouth, watch this video taken the night of the attack. (Not OF the attack, of some drunken piece of trash talking about it.)

In a perfect world, there would be very little story here. The perpetrators would be arrested and punished, and the victim would find support and love in her community. But of 'course, this is 'MERIKA, and we love our football players, and boys will be boys and we ALWAYS blame the drunk sluts, and we don't REALLY know what happened, especially when there's familial ties to the district attorneys' office, and the whole thing turned into a nationwide clusterfuck when Anonymous got involved.

So, yes. Awful. So awful.

The two accused rapists went to trial in juvenile court last week, and were found delinquent, Ohio-speak for guilty. Juvie, sex offender registry, maybe not enough punishment, maybe too much, depending on who you ask.

See, like I said, in a perfect world the victim would be treated with respect and support and the rapists would be treated with condemnation and judgment.

But this world, it ain't perfect.

Via Facebook

Yeah. YEAH. Not only that, multiple networks aired the name of the rape victim. THE TEENAGE VICTIM.


Oh, and yeah. Two teenage girls were charged with threatening the life of the victim through Facebook and Twitter. Because, obviously. That makes perfect sense. 

And, you know, this. If you really, really want to lose your faith in humanity. 

It makes me want to cry. 

I wish I had a brilliant perspective to add to the discussion, some insight or wisdom, but I have nothing but sad faces and rage. There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said already by someone smarter than me, so I just have a few links for you, and then I need a hug. 

This article is awesome, and something I've never even considered. A plea to stop using the "it could be your wife, mother, sister!" argument when discussing rape.
"Saying these things is not helpful; in fact, it’s not even helping to humanize the victim. What you are actually doing is perpetuating rape culture by advancing the idea that a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man.
The Steubenville rape victim was certainly someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. Someday she might even be someone’s wife. But these are not the reasons why raping her was wrong. This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story. "
A Letter To My Sons About Stopping Rape is absolutely worth a read. 

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