Every now and then I read about the things people do to each other and am deeply saddened. I guess now is the time to talk about one of the most horrifying crimes – rape. Especially rape done by minors to other minors, which feels to be even worse than when it is done to adults, but is really not – it’s the same.
The Steubenville case exposed the ugly underbelly of the beast that is rape culture.
I was horrified when I learned of the videos and photos of the young victim (I did not watch any out of compassion for the victim – she was exposed enough, I think); but I was not totally surprised – wherever there is something bad or wrong going on, people’s first response is to pull out their mobile phones and film the entire event.
But what was going on in these people’s minds at the time? There were so many students there who could have stopped the event, or got the girl some help. My first instinct when seeing someone so drunk they are unconscious would be to freak out and call for an ambulance; not abuse and degrade her then put the video on the internet. The bystanders are appalling people in my mind, though I can understand somewhat what group mentality can do to a bunch of teenagers. It’s no excuse though – they just need to put themselves into her shoes and they’d instantly realise this is no way to treat a person.
I am also very incensed that the media leaked her name. Really? Was that necessary? She will need years to get over the horrors of that night and the resulting backlash from the society, not to mention how all the hate and public shaming will play out on her family and town.
It is a sad day when people need a reminder to treat other people with respect and dignity – it’s so simple dammit! Don’t do anything you don’t want other people to do to you. One rule – that’s all you need to remember. *sigh*
Here are some of the best posts I’ve found this morning (thanks Society Images):
A wonderful post by The Belle Jar on the issue of rape culture and the trial in Steubenville. A must read for everyone:
A Jezebel post on the media coverage of the trial:
A post on rape culture which drew parallels to Abu Ghraib:
I just hope people start talking more about the underlying issues here and not just treat the case like a singular event – we are not living in the dark ages anymore. Everything points out that the objectification of women and the conservative rhetoric (it’s the women’s fault, always – UGH!) have a lot to do with this resurgence of violence against women and girls. Rape culture is a serious problem and when third-world countries can do it and turn things around and protest against it (Liberia, India), why couldn’t America do so as well?