I don't usually post controversial things on my blog, but this is something that has been weighing on my mind lately, something I need to get out there to the masses and get out of my head.
Unless you've lived under a rock the past few weeks, you've heard about the Steubenville, Ohio rape, where two high school boys raped a 16 year old girl that just happened to be intoxicated. For some reason, the media has taken it upon themselves criminalize this young girl and, somehow, try to paint these rapists as upstanding young men.
"What’s the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?”
Those are the words of CNN's Candy Crowley after the judge in the case handed down a guilty verdict.
REALLY?! I'm sorry, maybe this is callous of me to say, but who the eff cares about the last effect of those two? If they didn't want a stigma against them, they shouldn't have raped a girl. I figured that was pretty plain to see.
CNN wasn't the only media outlet that basically empathized with the rapists. ABC News basically said that, because the rapists were "star football players", they were in "celebrity mood." So what. Actually celebrities are often in that mood and you don't see them raping people. NBC News kept emphasizing the rapists' "promising football careers". So because you're some big shot HIGH SCHOOL athlete, that gives you the okay to take advantage of an UNCONSCIOUS young lady? USA Today kept stressing the fact that she was drunk. Okay, I don't condone underage drinking, but come the frick on, man.....yes, she made a bad call on getting drunk, but that does NOT negate the fact that SHE WAS RAPED! Getting drunk doesn't mean it's open season on the lady parts.
It absolutely sickens me the way that this world is looking at rape now days. You've got politicians telling us that rape isn't real, that our body can shut down when a rape happens and that prevents us from getting pregnant. Some people even think that just because a woman is dressed provocatively, she is inviting the rape to happen. I've even heard people say that rape only happens when the victim displays whorish behavior.
So let me ask you this.....that 12 year old that was raped just walking home from school....what whorish behavior did she display? When I was 5 years old and I was raped, what whorish behavior was I displaying? How was my shorts and t shirt that likely had a cartoon character on it provocative?
Furthermore, when did we, as parents, stop teaching our children right and wrong? I am a mother of three children and I make DAMN sure to teach my children right from wrong. Don't hit, don't make fun of people, don't walk in the middle of the street, etc, etc. That's my job as a parent. That's all of our jobs as parents. But maybe we should take it a step further, take a step we never really thought we'd take.
My son has the potential to become an athlete. (I say potential because he is just recently showing any kind of interest in sports) I will talk to him about how to win graciously and lose graciously, how to be a team player and, most importantly, to not let his status go to his head. WE (my husband and I) will talk to him about how no means no and forcing yourself on someone is absolutely NOT okay and that, if he sees something like that taking place, he is to report it as soon as possible and, if possible, help the victim. We will teach our girls to protect themselves, to not be afraid to scream, to hit, to kick if they are attacked.
Today, it seems, sex is STILL a very taboo subject and many young ladies (and young men..they can get raped too) could be to embarrassed or worried about their parents reaction to tell them that they've been raped. THIS IS NOT OKAY! Sex absolutely can NOT be a taboo subject. I'm not saying to give them a porno and tell them to go out and screw anything that moves. But teach them about safe sex and the importance of it not being had with every Tom, Dick and Harry or Sally, Jane and Betty. Teach them that it's sacred and meant to be between two people that love each other, not just the head football player or captain of the cheerleader squad.
Bottom line, the media needs to stop portraying rapists as victims. They aren't victims, they are monsters that have an inflated ego and feels powerful over the victims. And when they hear that the media is basically JUSTIFYING or SIDING with them, that just adds to their egos. Why give them even more power, even more reason to get out of their little spanking (really, a year in Juvy or held until 21? That's it?!) and do it again. And again, and again and again because they will feel that the media will side with them.
Rape is NOT okay. It's just not. And we, as a country, need to stop criminalizing the victims and stop victimizing the rapists. We need to teach our boys RESPECT for women and our girls strength. We need to teach our athletes that being humble is a virtue. And we need to tell these backwards politicians to stop with this BS against rape.
Want to know what some other bloggers have to say? Check out DeBie Hive's post on ending rape culture and about what we should teach our daughters and son about rape, as well as what Humble Writes Words has to say about what she will teach HER children. These are two awesome bloggers that are using their voice to fight the good fight.
Something we ALL should do.