Some things make me hostile. Forgive me a brief rant today, but sometimes I need to get some stuff off my chest. I will be back to my usual shenanigans next week.
You've surely ALL heard the asshattery related to the Steubenville high school boys who raped the girl at the party... she was passed out, which they took for consent... They shared pictures of her naked online...
But wait, boo hoo, look at all this lost potential! They were promising ATHLETES *cough* SEVERAL news stations fell into this pattern. Seriously?
Okay, maybe. I will give them that. There IS a lot of lost potential. These boys have a permanent black mark and some jail time, WHICH THEY EARNED. There is lost potential, but THEY lost it. There was nobody forcing them to rape that poor girl. They had not only a STUPID lapse of judgment (which teens sometimes have) but also a complete FAILURE at socialization. So these poor boys WERE disserviced... by their parents, their community, and our society. These boys have badly failed morals and that is only partially on them.
We live in a society where Kobe Bryant gets away with rape. Where OJ Simpson gets away with murder. Where rapists have shorter sentences than people who use drugs. Where congress dawdles MONTHS before passing the Violence Against Women Act because a huge group of elected officials don't recognize women as PEOPLE.
But you know whose fault these boys' lack of moral character is NOT?
The girl who was raped. And any failure to acknowledge the DAMAGE these selfish little pricks did for WHATEVER reason they think they did it is missing the point. SHAME on the reporters. Shame on ANYBODY who felt sorry for these boys without giving a much LARGER dose of sympathy to the girl who did nothing wrong--who was VIOLATED AGAINST HER WILL.
Folks, we are DOING THIS WRONG.
I saw a joking tweet that was very funny, but sadly I hold no hope for it. After Senator Portman came out in favor of gay marriage (in support of his gay son—YAY, Senator!):
“Eventually one of these Republican congressmen is going to find out his daughter is a woman, and then we're all set.”
I wish I believed that would actually wake them up. But unless they realize their daughter is not only a woman but a PERSON, it probably won't get there.
Sadly, though, that brings me to another point I saw yesterday, which is valid. I haven't had a heaping dose of feminism in a long time and I needed it. People pull out the argument 'how would you like it if this were your daughter/sister/wife/mother?' And nobody would. But to frame it this way makes it so a woman's only value is because of her relationship to OTHERS (meaning men). Women are PEOPLE in their own right. NO PERSON deserves this treatment. Ever. I can give a pass to daughters because I can add sons and know I'd feel exactly the same—everybody has parents and parents can (and should) feel protective of their offspring. But our language needs to change around ALL of this.
We should not be telling girls how to avoid rape. We should be teaching our SONS:
Here is why. A brave friend of mine shared this yesterday, a woman who is a rape survivor:
“Do you know the effects of rape on a female mind? Nothing can cleanse the pain and regret of the situation. Are you internally scared for the rest of your life. Every relationship you will ever have is affected by this incident. An innocent girl dies when she is violated sexually in any way.”
Affects every relationship she EVER has. That's huge. These boys did this to her. Poo on them and their poor prospects being branded as rapists. They deserve that and so much more. Castration has a ring to it. Seriously.
We should also be teaching ALL OUR CHILDREN:
* If you SEE a rape (or a situation that seems to be going that way), intervene (get help, if you don't feel physically able to do it yourself)
* Don't leave your friends alone if they've been drinking. In fact don't leave them alone at all.
* If you notice ANYONE 'out of it' ANYWHERE, designate yourself protector. Keep an eye on them.
If people feel responsible for the SAFETY of others, they are less likely to perpetuate any crimes against people—they've been given a responsibility, and to do the opposite become antithetical. And as a perk people will be less likely to be in that situation because more eyes will be looking out for more people.
Yes. I've had this talk with my kids (one girl, one boy), but it might be time to revisit it.