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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Victim

I wept today.

I heard the verdict of the much publicized Steubenville rape case and I wept.  The trial frequently made my blood boil.  The sheer amount of privilege that is present in this case burns me up.  "I didn't know what rape was".  "She has a history of lying".  "Yeah, she was puking and I thought she was dead, but she consented."

All tired lines brought on by a rape culture.  All so insidious that no one really realizes just how damaging they are.

Women are still property.  Women are still meant to be playthings for the "good kids".

I am sorry, but if they were really "good kids", there would not have been a rape. 

Probably an inflammatory statement, yes.  But there is such a pervasive sense of "I am sorry I got caught..."  One of those kids even said in his statement to the victim, "I am sorry that those pictures got sent around."  Not, "I am sorry I violated you and degraded you and raped you".

The parents stood up and tried to blame alcohol.  Not ONE SINGLE PERSON tried to stop and think, "Maybe we should just NOT RAPE.  Maybe we are NOT entitled to sex.  Maybe a woman CAN and SHOULD consent."

People are still worried about the "bad light" that has been shed on Steubenville.  This frequently happens when unexamined privilege and systemic biases are yanked out from behind the curtain.  This stuff does not happen in isolated incidents.  Violence, drugs, rapes...society supports them.  It is not just Steubenville.  They just happened to have gotten caught.  Everyone needs to change.

How many more victims do we need to have before this happens?   I just hope that it is not too late to rehabilitate those boys.  I hope that the victim gets some measure of peace, though I know this is unlikely.  I hope that the community looks within itself to change.  I fear that this is also unlikely.

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