There. I said it. And I fully believe it, too.
I haven't been camping out at the Steubenville courthouse, so anything I hear has been second-hand, but the media aren't looking too good for making the boys out to appear victims. As well they shouldn't. As far as rape goes, that looked awfully premeditated and...well, isn't that the definition of "first-degree"? And yet again, the young woman was blamed for being...what? Overly seductive? Too much of a tease? REALLY? Have some respect - for yourself and DEFINTELY for her. Think about her family. Her friends. Her future. Think beyond your crotch and the next 15 minutes.
So. How not to annihilate rape culture: Exhibit A.
A good friend posted this tonight, and again, I agree with the sentiment. But GOD. As a man (and yes, I place myself in the company of all my brothers, straight and otherwise), this reeeeeallly rubs me the wrong way. Allow me to retort to certain of these 10 tips to end rape.
1. Don't put drugs in women's drinks? Fine. (Already biting my tongue to hold back the snark here.)
2. Got it. The next time I see a woman walking alone, I will leave her the HELL alone.
3. I will do my damndest to hold back my animal urges when I pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down. Actually, tellya what. I won't even bother pulling over. My animal urges might get the best of me.
4. I will make sure not to rape a woman if I happen to get in a lift/elevator and she's the only one there. In fact, I will just stay the hell away from her. Won't even get in the goddamned elevator. Who knows what awful impulse could come over me?
5. I will stay the HELL away from the window of a woman's house. I will stay the HELL away from a woman if she is anywhere near two parked cars. And I SURE AS HELL will not rape her.
6. I am so fucking stupid and violent that I can't keep from assaulting myself, let alone assaulting other people. I am the very embodiment of why the buddy system is so badly needed to protect the citizenry of our good society. Ya know, why don't you just arrest me on account of I may do something rash anyway. Probably better for all involved. Consider it a preemptive strike in the war against rape.
Okay. I can't go on. You see how twisted and perverse I get? This graphic is so incredibly demeaning and condescending and disrespectful and sexist that it just makes my skin curdle. Makes me want to have absolutely NOTHING to do with women. And it definitely makes me want to have absolutely NOTHING to do with anything rape-related. Including helping those who have been raped.
I know that my sentiments come across as infantile when compared to the very legitimate anguish that a rape survivor has to deal with for the rest of his (yes, I said "his"...it's not a crime exclusive to women) or her life. And I admit that I have my emotional funny bones - hit me in just the right spot, and you'll cause a deep, irrational, lingering response. This graphic does exactly that. This is NOT the way to address the issue of rape. It may be a way for women to get their anger and frustration out, but it's perilously close to counterproductive.
Reminds me once of seeing a woman on the college lecture circuit. She was incredibly brave to come forward and talk about her experience of being raped repeatedly one night in college. It was brutal to hear. It was also tremendously unnerving to hear how she had to muster up the courage to report to her RA about it. His response? Silence, at first. Then getting up from the chair, and punching a hole in the wall. Because that's what she really needed to experience after such a violent attack: another indirect form of violence.
Annihilating rape culture. As if that's something that could just be permanently and quickly erased. But here's a start. Once again, our man Hank here to save the day. Key quote: "To me, the problem that needs to be addressed is where in the information chain were the two offenders made to understand that what they did was not wrong on every possible level?" Another key, kickass quote: "...let young people understand that women have been kicking ass in high threat conditions for ages and they are worthy of respect." THAT'S what I'm talking about.
(No. Seriously. If you didn't click on Hank's link above, fucking click on it and read it in its entirety.)