While it is true that “boys will be boys”, there are some things–whether you are Christian or not–that you just don’t freaking do. Ever.
There are some lines–particularly when it comes to sex, whether you are Christian or not–that you don’t freaking cross. Ever.
The two Steubenville football players crossed those lines. The community–seeking to mitigate the incident in deference to the two football players–nearly denied justice to the 16-year-old girl–I shall call her JD (for Jane Doe)–who was raped.
While JD was wrong for getting drunk, she did not deserve to be raped. That she compromised herself by being stupid did not give others the right to her body.
I fully support the prosecution in this case, and those two guys deserved what they got. While I would be hesitant to beat them down the way I would an adult offender, they need to feel some pain here. They need some valuable training in boundaries. They need to apologize to the victim–and offer some restitution–not just for violating her but also for employing digital media in the process.
With that out of the way, we have this screed by Marthe Weyandte.
Photos and videos were circulated among acquaintances, making light of the incident. There were witnesses, although nobody stepped in to stop the attack from happening.
This is nothing new. It is not uncommon, for example, for public assaults–not just those against women–to go uncontested. There is a predisposition among Americans not to mess with other people’s businesses. That is both a good and a bad thing. Complicating matters, the larger question is what kinds of people are going to be present at those kinds of parties? When I was in high school, I almost never went to parties. The few I did attend had no alcohol and were chaperoned by coaches who were of good repute. We had none of this type of mayhem.
OTOH, I knew of other parties–hosted by others of less repute–where the drugs (including cocaine and pot) and alcohol were plenteous. And yes, there were hookups, although that was mostly on the fringes. The types of folks who went to those parties were not the kinds of folks who would have intervened if there was an assault going on.
Now let’s look at Weyandte’s take on why this happened:
1.) We live in a misogynist society. It is improving, albeit slowly.
Bullhockey. We live in a FEMINIST society. We have a system that PEDESTALS women. Our education system is DESIGNED around girls and PUNISHES masculinity.
None of that, however, explains why these boys did what they did.
My take: they were party animals, veterans of the hookup culture, and were having fun. In doing so, they totally crossed boundaries that no one should ever cross. Sadly, JD will pay a terrible price. The boys will also have to face the reality that they did a very bad thing that cannot be undone.
2.) We trust our politicians and our scions of industry and our entertainment execs and our friends to teach our kids right from wrong. This is ludicrous.
Who teaches American kids values like empathy, respect, patience and compassion? Television execs? Violent video game distributors? Jersey Shore? Maybe politicians like Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin with his Dark ages stance on gender relations?
Parents and concerned citizens, do you think most of these people really care what happens to your kids beyond a healthy bottom line?
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
CNN can go to hell, in my opinion. The victim had a ‘promising’ future too. Nobody seemed to mention that. But we can only blame CNN so much. Major news networks almost always follow the status quo anyway.
If those boys lived the straight life as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) has, they would not have committed rape.
Having said that, it would be nice to know what kind of parental instruction these kids had regarding how to treat a woman. If a child grows up seeing his parents respect each other, he will learn to do this. If a child grows up in a home where parents are actively teaching them to respect other people’s bodies, they’ll learn to do that. Some will still do horrible things, but those occurrences will be less likely.
3.) Social networks are detaching us from reality.
We live in a culture that promotes disconnection from others through entertainment, media and social networking. People are pixels and bytes and status updates, not hardly human. We are more self-involved and more narcissistic.
One of the most striking features of the Steubenville rape was an almost-sociopathic sense of detachment from the victim coupled with over-developed sense of entitlement displayed toward the victim. This young woman became a toy, an object to her attackers who carried her, like prey, from location to location. This sort of depersonalization is characteristic of wartime atrocities. It has made its way onto violent video games.
I’m not biting on that. It’s easy to blame these acts on the vices of the day–today it’s social media and video games whereas 30 years ago it was various brands of rock music, combined with movies.
In fact, I could make the case that, but for social media, those boys would not have been prosecuted.
4.) Hook-up culture is rampant in our society, but that old double standard still holds true in many places.
There is a sort of cognitive dissonance. Guys who have sex are studs. Girls who have sex are sluts. The double standard isn’t right and it isn’t fair, but it is very, very prevalent in the American subconscious. Nobody wants to touch that one. Not with a thousand-foot pole. Parents remain mum on the topic. High school sex ed programs, who either hand out condoms like candies or promote abstinence.
Television networks feature hook-up heavy reality shows like Jersey Shore. Self-respect and emotional maturity are in short supply. Men demonstrate their prowess with endless sexual conquests. Women who do not fit conventional standards of beauty are referred to as ‘grenades.’
The double-standard exists in no small part because women are the gatekeepers for sex. It is quite easy for a woman–even one who is not attractive–to get sex. The same is not true for a man: even an Alpha is only successful about 30% of the time.
This is why women who have many partners are viewed negatively by men whereas men who have many partners are viewed positively by women.
Calling me names will not change that reality, because I didn’t create it.
Oh, and you can thank feminism and their ardent supporters–including Bill Clinton–for the hookup culture. As President, he insisted that oral sex doesn’t count. After that, the percentage of teens engaging in that skyrocketed…
5.)Where is the love?
We live in a throwaway society at times. We pitch everything from Starbucks cups to sexual partners without a second glance. We need to talk with our kids about the emotional complexity of relationships. Respect and concern for another’s needs is an integral part of any consensual relationship. Respect can not be a two-way street when one of the parties is pressured or forced or obliterated out of his or her mind. This isn’t rocket science, but then maybe rocket science is easier to learn!
Yes, where is the love? We live in a throwaway society, where women are allowed the throw away their babies if they don’t want them. We live in a throwaway society, where people can throw away their marriages with near-impunity, two-thirds of such dissolutions pursued by the women.
Please don’t lecture us about how horrible this society is, because you have the society you asked for.
You wanted the prerogative to be as promiscuous as the men, and you got it.
You wanted to be able to end a marriage at will, and you got it.
You wanted to be able to kill your babies in utero, and you got it.
You wanted a government that pedestals women and attacks masculinity, and you got it.
You wanted unwed motherhood destigmatized–even pedestaled–and you got that.
So don’t sit here and complain about the unintended consequences.
Having said that, it would be a stretch to blame the Steubenville rape on these factors.
We must hold individuals responsible for their actions, and–while society has issues–what those boys did was nothing new, and we are doing ourselves a disservice by pretending otherwise.