Tonight, I have to write about something that's very heavy on my heart: Steubenville.
Everyone knows what happened in Steubenville last August. It's been all over the news lately. And if you haven't, I'm pretty sure that you live under a rock.
But if you haven't, here's a great summary of what happened, what I'm so upset about, and what you're going to read in the following paragraphs. (Or you can read more about it here.)
How the media is covering the verdict. ABC News made excuses for the rapists. This is what CNN News said on air:
“I cannot imagine how emotional the sentencing must have been…a 16 year old, sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, they still sound like 16 year olds. What is the lasting effect of two young being guilty in juvenile court of rape essentially?” Candy Crowley, CNN. Not one word about the victim.
“…Incredibly difficult to watch as these two young men who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.” Poppy Harlow, CNN. Not a word about the victim.
(For more, see: I Am The Blogger Who Allegedly "Complicated" The Steubenville Gang Rape Case)
But mainly, my beef is with the real people. These are real tweets from real people on the day of the verdict:
“There is not justice in Steubenville today. The girl asked for it and wanted it, in my opinion They gave it to her. No crime. Appeal!”
“Disgusting outcome on #Steubenville trial. Remember kids, if you’re drunk/slutty at a party, and embarrassed later, just say you got raped!”
(Writer’s note: Let’s remember that victim was passed out, unresponsive, and some people even thought she was dead when reading this tweet.)
“Steubenville : Guilty. I feel bad for the two young guys, Mays and Richmond, they did what most people in their situation would have done.”
What the public is saying about the victim:
“Steubenville football players found guilt. [sic] Too bad the girl can’t also be sentenced for being so stupid and putting herself in danger.”
“Fuck that whore seriously. Bottom line she’s a whore. She GOES. She would have fucked anyway because she got trained before SOBER” [sic]
“she’s the town whore anyways. She’s hasn’t stop [sic] drinking yet. Just pray, cause God’s gonna get her worse then anyone can”
This 16-year-old girl was brutally raped, urinated on, then forced to experience the shame and embarrassment of having videos and pictures passed around to the entire world, and she’s still being blamed for it after the perpetrators have been found guilty.
Not just that, but her life is being threatened. Two girls, who are now also in jail, made threats to the victim on Twitter, menacing her with homicide and bodily harm.
All because she was raped and she reported her rape. Which, by the way, is still illegal, in case anyone has forgotten. I’m pretty sure the media has. And a lot of the population has, too.
Because otherwise, why are we still trying to support the men who rape? Why are we still blaming the victim for being raped? Why is rape, as one tweeter said, “what most people in their situation would have done?” And why are we accepting this kind of attitude in our society?
This is rape culture. This is a problem.
You would think that by 2013, rape victims wouldn’t be blamed for being raped. That the rapists would go to jail and no one would care that they were star athletes because they raped an innocent girl. This is what life without rape culture would be like.
But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where people are more upset that the careers of their star athletes are ruined than the fact that their star athletes raped someone. Where it’s okay to rape and urinate on a girl who is passed out and then send videos and pictures of it to your friends. Where it’s automatically the victim’s fault that she was raped because she was drunk.
This is 2013 rape culture.
I’m pissed about it.
You should be, too.
This is one woman's reaction to all of this: I Am So Sick of Teaching Our Daughters Not to Get Raped
I agree with every. single. word. said in this blog post.
It is still rape culture when we are teaching our daughters to not get raped instead of teaching our sons not to rape them. Coming from someone who has experienced serious sexual assault on different occasions in her lifetime, I'm sick of being taught this.
It's time for us to teach a new lesson.
It's time for us to stand up and teach our sons.
It's time for us to put an end to rape culture.
So, I was feeling pretty down about humanity tonight--really upset about how people exist, and then my youth leader from home shared this link on Facebook: Another Example of Why I Don't Want to Live on This Planet Anymore.
Just read the comments.
Read the comments and be sickened because these people are rejoicing over the fact that PEOPLE died. People that just as easily could have been them.
I don't understand.
After reading this, reading reactions from the Steubenville trial, and seeing how badly people are treated in the Greek system here on campus, I really just don't want to live on this planet anymore.
I think I'm going to buy an island and only let nice people live on it.
Or move to Canada. I think the people are nicer there.
Or at least more human.
So, I'm super depressed about humanity.
We have Jesus!
And we have parents, like this amazing mom, who are standing up and teaching their sons to be men. Not just men, but GODLY MEN who treat women and girls as the DAUGHTERS OF GOD that we are!
I am super excited.
Read this article. Please.
After Steubenville What Our Sons Need to Know About Manhood
After you've read this article, share it with the parents in your life who are raising young children. Share it with your church families. Share it with your kids, your kids-that-aren't-actually-yours-but-might-as-well-be.
Start conversations about respecting other, about humanity, about treating people as CHILDREN OF GOD.
Because ultimately, that's what we all are.
And we all deserve to be treated as such.