I’d had a bunch of other topics bouncing around in my head for manic momday. But as a mother to two amazing young girls (4 mo and 4 years) and a fantastic almost 20-year-old stepdaughter, this story just blows me away.
You’d have to live in a cave to not have heard about the Steubenville Ohio High School football players, convicted yesterday of rape and assault on a fellow 16-year-old female student.
What you may not have noticed, is how sympathetic everyone seems to be to these “boys.” These young men who had “such promising careers and futures.”
Pardon me while I vomit. I am appalled that the media, former brethren and sisters of mine, would actually molly-coddle and sympathize with these young adults who chose — were not forced or coerced — to violate a young woman, film it, joke about it, and then try to claim it was consensual just because “she didn’t say no.”
Well no shit, Sherlock. She was passed out and in your own words, “like she’s dead.” Does your defense now give other rapists the right to ducttape their victims mouths and say the same?
Even four-year-olds are taught in pre-school to KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELVES.
I think even more appalling to me as a woman, mother, and former police reporter is just how “oh boys will be boys” and “she was asking for it” the media has been.
Just a sampling, image from the Ms. Foundation for Women (http://www.facebook.com/MsFoundationforWomen)
Really? I thought this sort of reporting and excusing sexual assault went out in the 1980 & 1990s.
Have our children been raised such self-entitled, lacking consequences heathens that we’ve just decided to stop teaching them to keep their hands to themselves? That it’s ok because you’re an athlete, or she’s drunk, or it wasn’t “really rape” because you didn’t film yourselves forcing intercourse?
Did we over-schedule our kids so much we forgot to teach them basic right from wrong? Let the TV and game consoles be their parents too much?
Thankfully, the Ohio Attorney General isn’t suffering from a cranial-anal inversion, and is still investigating the 40+ other party-goers who videotaped, photographed, and shared the assault without stopping it. They’re also investigating the adults who knew (some coaches, some parents) who also failed to act.
And thank the dear lord the jury at least had decency and common sense and convicted these young men. I won’t call them boys. At 16 and 17, there’s no way you can convince me they knew it was ok. Most crimes (burglary, theft) are crimes of opportunity. Nobody made them rape the victim – they saw it as an opportunity.
In the mean time … we’re told to teach our daughters to “be modest” and “don’t drink too much.” We also suggest they watch their drinks, be situationally aware. Not just at home, but that’s the message they get at school, from their first health classes in middle school through college, where an estimated 25% of female students are raped annually and more than 50% go unreported because of the culture of shaming the victim.
How about we ask the parents of sons (and educators who teach girls to protect themselves) that:
- Unless she says yes, it’s rape.
- Keep your hands to yourselves.
- Just because you have parts that stick out, doesn’t mean you can stick them in anyone, anytime, anywhere, because you can.
And finally, to make sure they know “No answer, is a NO answer.”