You may or may not have been following, what has become known as, the Steubenville Rape Case. If you have, or even if you simply have a skirting awareness of it from Tweets, Facebook posts or online headlines, you’ll be aware of the ridiculous coverage that the trial, and the verdict particularly, were subject to by the American media. A coverage, of which, that paid no attention to the emotionally scarring and life damaging perspective of the victim; instead opting for a sympathetic view of the strife that the rapists faced now that they had been convicted — what with their promising sports careers. Everyone loves a rapist sports personality.
How dare the victim not feel honoured that these budding heroes of the game deemed them worthy of their penetrative personality.
Anyhoo… the trial, the verdict and the coverage has already been well covered by fellow Chirpser Alice Ash in the following article. If you’re not up to speed with it all, have a read to get a grasp on the already controversial case, including an example of the coverage that has, rightly, caused such a reaction. I mean, feel free to read it before continuing with this article if needs be. I’ll wait.
â˜› Steubenville Back Story : Newsreaders Voice Concern For Promising Young Rapists On CNN
Now, whether just read or already priorly up to date you’re aware of what’s going on with the Steubenville Rape Case. However, you might not be aware of some recent developments to the this case. It would appear that for one the interviews held with the numerous fellow partygoers privy to the rape have made it to the press, and has been recently covered by ABC, in which it becomes alarmingly clear that a number of these partygoers were aware that what happened was happening, but didn’t stop it because they either didn’t know how to or seemed kind of oblivious that what was happening was wrong. A number of them took photos, some filmed, as the victim became irretrievabley intoxicated and was carried away arm and leg, while seemingly entirely unconscious, by her soon to be rapist companions.
Beyond this, many took to the social networks, Tweeting and Facebook status making, in regards to the situation as it was happening. This resulted in a kind of localised social media event, including some video blogs by non-attendees remarking, with laughter, on how much she was being raped right then. On top of this, it would appear one of the convicted is going to be appealing on the grounds that his brain was not developed when he committed the crime; the implication being that he was too young to know that rape was wrong. And as the press made reference to, along with the interviewed partygoers, a lot of alcohol played a part in the nights life destroying events.
â˜› For Something Completely Different – Jim’ll Paint It
Here’s the thing though, I’m twenty two and my brain may or may not be fully developed but during its numerous formative years I was aware rape was wrong — you just know these sort of things. Then there’s the other thing, I’m drunk right now, and have been while writing this article, and have spent a large portion of my life drunk. Yet, you know what? I’ve never become confused about the morality of rape. At no point drunkenly writing this article on the topic of rape did I suddenly think, ‘oh wait, rape… rape is just nifty.’
‘So, what’s all this got to do with Henry Rollins? You tricked us into reading your ramblings with use of his name, why the fuck have you not even mentioned him yet?’
Well, thanks for interrupting, dick, I’m about to mention that. You see, in among all the sensationalism of both ends of the coverage spectrum and the extremities of the reaction to it, myself of course included — as lovable a drunk as I am, a voice came out and voiced an opinion, or at least a contemplation on it all. That voice was the voice of Henry Rollins; heading to the internet to make public, via a blog post, his thoughts and feelings in relation to the story. Now, we’ve already covered a number of reasons why Henry Rollins is still awesome, but here’s one more — that very blog post. I won’t go into the content of it, as I’d prefer instead to leave it to the words of the man himself to put across his sentiment, but what I will say is that Mr Rollins makes numerous points that are informed, educated, well thought out and generally on the money. As stated, I talk too much sensationalist shit, but Henry Rollins is more considered and just plain lovely in his delivery. Have a read. What do you think?
â˜› More On Mr Rollins : Four Reasons Why Henry Rollins Is Still Awesome
For the last couple of hours, I have been thinking of the verdict that was reached in what is now known as the Steubenville rape case.
Since all involved are minors, I won’t use anyone’s name. Two juvenile males were found delinquent of the charges and will be, as far as I understand, incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility until they are twenty-one years of age.
There is, I guess, cell phone generated video content of parts of the crime. It went “viral” on the internet and brought attention to the events.
I got through a few minutes of it but was too disgusted to watch the rest.
The case, the verdict and the surrounding circumstances open up a huge conversation.
These are a few of the things that I have been thinking about.
After reading several posts online, I was not surprised at the vast range of sentiments expressed. Many of the postings were of outrage that the two found delinquent were not tried as adults so they would face much longer sentences. You might not know, but in some states, this sentence would be decades long. Many of the posts spoke of the damage done to the victim and the life she will have now. One person suggested caning the two young men. Many others were angered at the deification of high school football players and how they often receive special treatment. You can read this stuff all day if you want.
After reading posts for quite awhile, I thought first about the two young men. I wondered if the years in the facility will “help” them. What, exactly does one “learn” in one of these places? That is to say, after five years locked away, does the idea of assaulting a woman seem like the wrong thing to do, more than if you were incarcerated for one year? Would you be “more sorry” about what you did? Is that possible? Or, would you just be more sorry for yourself about where your actions landed you? At what point do you get “better”, how many years in one of these places does that take?
What made these young people think that that what they did was ok? What was in their upbringing, the information and morals instilled in them that allowed them to do what they did, minute after minute, laughing, joking, documenting it and then calling it a night and going home? Out of all the people who were witness to what happened, why wasn’t there someone putting a stop to it?
What I am attempting to get at, and I apologize if I am not being clear enough is that this is a failure on many levels. Parents, teachers, coaches, peers all come into play here. I am not trying to diffuse blame or lessen the awfulness of what happened but I want to address the complexity of the cause in an effort to assess the effect so it can be prevented.
Some might say that the two going to the youth facility are as much victims as the young women who was assaulted. I do not agree. The two are offenders. What they did was obviously wrong. That being said, we cannot end the discussion at that point and expect things to change.
I have yet to say anything about the damage done to the young woman involved. It is ironic and sad that the person who is going to do a life sentence is her.
As a testament to the horrific power of sexual assault, I encourage you to see, yet cannot recommend the documentary The Invisible War about sexual assault in the military. http://invisiblewarmovie.com/. The reason I say that I cannot recommend it is that it is so well done, so clear and devastating that it will put you through quite a wringer. I do hope you see it but damn, it’s hard. In the interviews with women who have been assaulted by fellow members, the damage that has been done to these good people is monumental.
Many people are angry that more time was not given to the offenders. This seems to be the prevailing sentiment. I understand the anger but don’t know if adding a decade onto their sentences would be of any benefit. 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? You can execute them both tomorrow but still, there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.
It’s a situation where you would like to be able to point a finger and say, that’s the reason and be done. You have to be careful when you do this because it’s easy to miss.
I think to a great degree, we humans still divide ourselves into two species, even though we are monotypic. There are males and females. We see them as different and not equal. Things get better when women get more equality. That is a bit obvious but I think it leads to better results up the road. If it’s a man’s world as they say, then men, your world is a poorly run carnage fest.
It is obvious that the two offenders saw the victim as some one that could be treated as a thing. This is not about sex, it is about power and control. I guess that is what I am getting at. Sex was probably not the hardest thing for the two to get, so that wasn’t the objective. When you hear the jokes being made during the crime, it is the purest contempt.
So, how do you fix that? I’m just shooting rubber bands at the night sky but here are a few ideas: Put women’s studies in high school the curriculum from war heroes to politicians, writers, speakers, activists, revolutionaries and let young people understand that women have been kicking ass in high threat conditions for ages and they are worthy of respect.
Total sex ed in school. Learn how it all works. Learn what the definition of statutory rape is and that it is rape, that date rape is rape, that rape is rape.
In the spirit of equal time, sites like Huffington Post should have sections for male anatomy hanging out instead of just the idiotic celebrity “side boob” and “nip slip” camera ops. I have no idea what that would be like to have a camera in my face at every turn, looking for “the” shot. I know what some of you are saying. “Then why do they wear clothes like that unless they want those photos taken?” I don’t know what to tell ya. Perhaps just don’t take the fuckin picture? Evolve? I don’t know.
Education, truth, respect, equality–these are the things that can get you from a to b very efficiently.
It must be an awful time for the parents and relatives of all three of these people and I hope they all get to a better place soon.
What else? That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading this. Henry