I was going to write about something completely different this morning – until I saw this story: CNN Reports On The ‘Promising Future’ of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are ‘Very Good Students’ - and I am angry.
I think the majority of people who watched this trial unfold are angry too, but yet, the media wants to downplay the fact that a 16 year old girl got drunk and was raped by her ‘friends’ and focus on the futures of these two “very good students” who raped her and then texted their friends, circulated photos of the unconscious girl being assaulted to people in her school, and LAUGHED about it.
Yes, they may have been very good students, and they may have been very good athletes. Those boys had to potential to go on to college and possibly a very good future. However – they lost the title of good student and good athlete when they decided to rape a girl and laugh about it. They are now rapists. Thankfully, even though their sentence was appallingly short – they still have to register as sex offenders and that gets to follow them forever. From very good student to sex offender.
The media is worried about these boys – yet there is no mention of the life that was destroyed by them. The girl who has to live with the knowledge that she was raped, that pictures of her being raped were spread around her school and community, and last but not least that society doesn’t care about her or her life that was destroyed - just the lives of two promising young men who were very good students and promising athletes whose lives are now marred by the title “sex offender.”
Well you know what? I don’t feel bad for these boys. I am pleased that their lives are ruined. That was the choice they made. They are the ones who decided to rape someone and I don’t feel bad for them or their futures. We have an accountability problem in our country and this is a prime example of how we throw blame around instead of owning our mistakes. Of course these boys thought they would never get in trouble for their despicable acts. Football players – especially in small towns like this are exempt from responsibility; “They are just kids being kids” – really? These boys knew on some level that even if they got caught, they wouldn’t be punished – thankfully, they were wrong. Seeing them cry in court to try and sway attention away from what they did to their ruined lives and wanting people to feel sorry for THEM? It’s disgraceful. Don’t cry because you got caught and punished young men – cry because you are sorry excuses for human beings, cry because you ruined a life (not your own- but your victim), cry because your sentence wasn’t harsh enough; but don’t cry to try and make me feel sorry for you. Apparently though – CNN feels bad for you. CNN thinks that being labeled a sex offender for life isn’t fair to you promising good students.
We have politicians redefining rape, we have a history in our country of blaming the victim. She was drunk, she was dressed wrong, she was asking for it, she should have passed out at home… she she she she…. I’m tired of it. Every woman in America should be tired. Men should be tired of being treated as though they have no control over their actions when a woman wears a short dress or gets drunk. How about instead of teaching women what NOT TO DO to avoid being raped (we should just stop leaving our homes)… how about we start teaching young men not to rape in the first place? Why isn’t that the lesson learned here? Why doesn’t CNN tell young men to not rape instead of crying over the destroyed lives of two rapists? The thing is – these young men’s lives aren’t really ruined. I am willing to bet that they will still get jobs, still go to college, and still have every opportunity to remedy this little hiccup in their lives. “I was young and made a bad decision” will be their defense, and our rape culture society will understand their plight. CNN might even give them jobs once they finish their year in juvenile hall because it is so unfair that the judicial system ruined their promising lives.
Yes. I am angry and you should be too.
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