Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WTF, Steubenville, Ohio? Rape is NOT a sport!

(Note: this entry has been edited to reflect some info I didn't have at the time I wrote this, and no, I'm not sure why the links don't work- I'm still learning the kinks in  this thing.  Try copying them and pasting them into your browser-window- that should do it.)

I'm gonna keep flogging this one until these assholes are brought to justice.  Seriously, WTF, Ohio?

Imagine yourself at a party, a place where you are supposed to be having fun, you pass out from too much booze, and then a couple of guys from the local football team think it's okay to use you as a cum-dumpster all night, even taking your unconscious body to other parties and doing it again, as if you were some kind of blow-up doll.  IMAGINE that.

Then, imagine having to wake up the next day, feeling strange, with fragmentary memories of the night before, and then having to piece things together over a period of weeks to find that your peers, the people you have to go to school with, have been laughing at you with comments and VIDEO-commentary of the event (not actual vid of the attack, but it may have been made while it was happening in another room- the reports aren't clear), like others would with a pal who'd gotten peshed and they'd drawn stupid crap all over their face or something and had taken photos of it for 'posterity'.  Humiliation of an incredible sort, and the local 'justice' system is apparently just dragging their feet on this.

Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it's embarrassing to them, somehow (as if THAT fucking matters).  Maybe they love their football team more and count it as being more important than the life of one girl who is now a definite candidate for whatever STD's those pukes may have had, getting pregnant (assuming she wasn't on the pill- hell assuming she was even normally sexually-active at only 16), depression (who could go through this and come through emotionally unscathed?) and possibly even suicide.

Why?  Because some 'men' couldn't keep it in their fucking pants.  Because some 'men' thought they were being 'cool' and 'just having fun'.  Because some 'men' don't understand that women are people and should not be treated that way, no matter what they're wearing, where they are, who they are, or whether they've been drinking or doing drugs.  You just do not treat another person that way.

And that brings this up; do these people understand that they're hurting another human being?  Do they not understand that women are people, worth just as much, are just as important, as their 'god-like' male selves?  Do they even get that?

This is a HUMAN BEING, you fucktards, not an object placed there for your express pleasure.  The fact that they would rape anyone is telling, but the fact that they were heartless enough to video yourself laughing with your friends about it it, shrug it off as if it's no big deal, post it to the fucking Net so even more people could laugh at and mock her, and then the TOWN EVEN SEEMS TO CONCUR WITH THIS OPINION, is a horrible thing to learn about any person, let alone a whole, massive group.

I weep for the women these creeps are dating, if any.  I can also hope that, on finding out about this, that they break up with the cretins before they think to rape them when they're intoxicated some day.

I will NEVER go to this town, never spend any money there, never in ANY way possible, support a place and people that don't understand that they DID SOMETHING HORRIBLE TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

Go here, sign this, and get some justice for a teen who is probably hiding in her home right now, unable to face a world where she's 'just an object' for the mockery and sexual-amusement of a precious football team (although I hear she's made of stronger stuff, and wants to help others who have gone through this kind of crap.  Good on her): http://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/steubenville_video?referring_akid=296.87083.-STfDe&source=facebook

Incidentally, some other questions about this come to mind, but they're of the kind that few who haven't been routinely marginalized, picked on and bullied might even think to ask:

-What was the girl's status with her peer group?  All of us who have experienced bullying might recall knowing (or being) the oddball no one invites to parties... unless it's to find a way to mock them.  We all know about the kid who is the "tag-end Charlie" that the "cool" kids only let hang around to make them feel generous and make them look good.  We've all heard of the girl who always seems sad, yet sleeps with a different boy every week, and who sometimes shows up to school wearing too much make-up.  We all knew the school 'pariah' that no one wanted to associate with- even if we liked them- because we were afraid of being treated the same way they were...  Is this why no one tried to help her?  Because she'd failed a popularity contest?  Yeah, ask THAT question, and see what answers pop up.

- Or how about the local society?  Racism/economic bigotry.  It's ugly.  Few enjoy talking about it, especially admitting to it.  I don't know what ethnicity this teen is, or if she simply came from a lower economic strata.  IE: not rich and those who did this to her were upper middle class, where she wasn't, but it makes me wonder if this wasn't a factor in having such a large group of people mocking her like this.

-Or in the town in general?  Why would the police not be taking this seriously (assuming they aren't.  I don't know about that- two boys have been arrested, but there may be others they have as suspects)?  Why aren't they going after the people in the videos and comments?  If knowing of a crime and not reporting it is a crime in Ohio, why aren't these people being charged, especially that 18 year old schmuck who videoed himself joking about the rape- possibly while it was still happening- while his friends laughed their stupid asses off over it?  What makes them so special that they can get away with letting a girl be raped, possibly right in front of them?

Admittedly, the above is just my own snark about how people behave, and may not be at all why things happened the way they did.

Other questions came to mind:

-How is it that this girl was so out of it, that she didn't wake up during transport or during the multiple rapes?

-Who drinks that much booze?

-And if she was that blotto, why wasn't she taken to the hospital?  That level of intoxication can kill you, especially if you're not very familiar with booze or your own limits.

-Why was a sixteen year-old girl drinking anyway?  I know teens will get their hands on alcohol any chance they get; peer-pressure and accessing the forbidden thrill are motivators enough, there.  But, how could she remain unconscious that long?  This must have taken place over a period of hours...

-Did someone roofie the kid?  This one really gets to me, and may well explain why she was unable to wake up during all of this.  'Encourage' her to drink... a lot, and when her guard is down, slip her a little pill to make sure.  If this is the case, then this was planned.  If this was the case, this girl could have died, and would anyone have cared? (VERY much my own speculation, and to be taken as such- this is NOT a fact of any kind)

In this benighted place, I doubt anyone would have.

If it does come out that she was roofied, get those boys for planning this horror, and throw attempted manslaughter on top of it.

And this last: why did no one make any attempt to stop this?  What kind of a town culture is so sick in the collective head that they would not only allow this to go on, allow people to record and post to the public what happened, but to essentially pad the boys involved from justice?

Holy fuck,Steubenville, Ohio, really?

Now, for some of the other side: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3399893-74/steubenville-case-rape#axzz2K44w79hs

-How much of this is being blown up, or just plain misunderstood?  Possibly a fair bit, but a lot of what I suspected, such as the hero-worship of the football team, seems to hold water.

-All involved are 16, and the two boys who are being directly accused of the rape are 'star-athletes' on the team.  Okay, fine.  So, maybe not more than these two actually raped her (though other articles point to the possibility of there being more), but they took her to other parties while she was unconscious or semi-conscious.  That's a problem.

-The video in question is a recording made by another, older teen 'joking' about the incident, while his buddies laugh off-screen.  Callous and pretty cold-hearted, there, man.   Still looks bad.

-There is a theory that this case might not have made such a splash if it hadn't been for the India gang-rape that sparked riots.  They even have a psychologist commenting on that, also claiming that few people would actually help if given the opportunity, for whatever reasons.  Personally, I call bogus on that one, but hey, I might be unusual.  I don't know about you, but I've pissed off a lot of cops in my time because I 'interfered' with a crime-in-progress.  At least, I like to think 'most people' would call the fucking cops!

Another article on the Stupidvi- er Steubenville incident, with some interesting commentary, for and against, mostly against how the situation is being treated and the hell it's putting all involved through.  Surprisingly, it's from the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/01/the-lessons-of-steubenville.html

Or, how about another case, remarkably similar from the year before?  Savannah Dietrich was also 16 when she was assaulted by two boys from a Catholic school's lacrosse team in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.  Worse, she was ordered by the judge on the case to not talk about it!  Wait.  What?  Read about it, here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/12/09/thanks-for-ruining-my-life.html

It is the 'culture of silence' that gets to me a lot.  Victims of rape, violence and sexual assault get pressured to keep quiet a lot; by peers, family, even the law and the courts.  Certainly we're pressured to zip it by overall society and how rape is currently perceived in the wider culture.

People ask stupid questions like "are you sure you didn't consent?"  "Did you let him kiss you? (as if this somehow gives him the right to do anything else)  "What were you wearing?"  Seriously?  Shut the fuck up.  Or my personal favourite, which came from my own brother when I outed the Step-monster: "Is it possible that you could have mistaken your attacker?"  Wow, son, that's just a fucking special breed of stupid.

Somehow, despite my having mild prosopagnosia (face-blindness.  Look it up), I'm pretty sure I will have no trouble, whatsoever, in identifying the man who raped me anally several times a week, always at HOME.  How in the world could I actually mistake who it was that was raping me, a person who's body I could describe in detail, the texture of his fingers, his smell...  What gets me is this was from the brother who is a fucking scientist, who reveres logic, who is an atheist, like me, who I can actually have intelligent conversations with and not have to dumb things down, and he asks that...

Now, I understand that horrible things occur all the time, some far worse than this in terms of violence, such as the attack on the young medical student in India, where she was attacked by several men, beaten with a metal pipe, raped repeatedly, then thrown from the bus to 'hopefully' die on the road.

She didn't die.  At least, not right away.  Instead, she hung on for agonizing weeks while doctors tried to rebuild her insides.

Meanwhile, thousands RIOTED across India in her support, and to protest the culture of indifference that so many rape-cases have been getting in the area the woman had been attacked in.  The city offered to pay all of her medical bills, and they were probably huge, considering she had to undergo several surgeries to repair her internals.  She died anyway.

Or how about the practice of "Jack-rolling" in South Africa?  Look it up.  Guaranteed, it will repulse you.  Gangs of boys, or grown men, will corner some female, often beat her into submission, then rape her, one after the other, all in order to 'prove' their 'manhood', retain their power over women by making them feel helpless (who wouldn't feel helpless against a gang?  Honestly?  Fucking cowards), and to keep them under submission.

A survey had been taken in Johannesburg asking young males about it.  Their 'guaranteed anonymous' answers?  "It's fun.  Just a game.  Good fun."  Yeah, just a game to horribly hurt another person, even kill them.  Some of these boys also admitted to having done it, a few before the age of twelve.

Another survey asked 4000 women if they had been raped.  One in three had been, most before the age of thirteen and most multiple times.  Sometimes it was the 'normal' relationship they had with their boyfriends or husbands.

Look up "corrective rape".  There are places where being gay is seen as so 'awful', that lesbians are being stalked, beaten and raped as a way to supposedly 'make them straight' so they'll be available for the men who fear losing control over 'their' women.

"Virgin cleansing": in an area ravaged by HIV, it has become a ridiculous myth that one can 'cure' themselves of the disease if they had sex with a virgin.  Too many times, these virgins are children, even infants less than a year old.  The saddest part of it is too often, a man who refuses to use a condom, contracts AIDS, and potentially passes it to every person he has sex with, and when he starts to realize his health is going, learns about the disease, and the myths surrounding it, then rapes a child believing it will cure him- most often one of his own.


How about child-brides?  Girls as young as five to eight years old can be married off in some places.  In many of those areas, it's considered a breach of good conduct to try to have sex with your child-wife before she'd hit puberty, but many ignore this.  I have read reports of nine year olds being forced to have relations with their 'husbands', who don't understand that what they're doing is evil because 'she's my wife' and think it is his right to have sex with her, even if she isn't ready, isn't wanting to, or even just NOT LARGE ENOUGH TO SURVIVE THE EXPERIENCE WITHOUT DAMAGE.  Some men have married a girl, raped her, injured her during the process, blame HER, she often dies of her injuries (whether from the severity of her injuries- he may have beaten her first- or from sepsis) and the creep goes on to marry another youngster who's family is probably marrying her off to gain her dowry-price because of poverty.

Yeah, I know horrible things happen all over, and I wish I could do something more than educate, educate, educate... and sign as many petitions as I can fit into my day.  But my reach only goes so far, and if signing a petition to get some politician to notice what's going on in their state or country, and maybe do something with their power other than accumulate more- if that helps, then yeah, I'll do it.  I've signed petitions from all over the world, and some have gotten notice- not because I'm so special, but because thousands, hundreds of thousands of people had come together and added their names and comments to hundreds of petitions on often the same subjects.

When you have that many people in the world, that much media attention showing you up as a failure as a human being for ignoring it and putting their gimlet eye on you, you get nervous, and dammit, maybe that will cause something good to happen and maybe save some woman/girl/child the agony of being chattel, of being a sex-toy, or of being nothing more than a cum-dumpster for a fucking football team in fucking white-bread, corn-fed, clean-cut, All-American, Steubenville, Ohio.