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Rape Culture

The Steubenville Rape case has been a hot topic and the subject of many blog posts. So I figured another one wouldn’t hurt even though I’m so late in the game. There has been outrage about CNNs comments during their coverage of the Steubenville case that displayed the existences of a disturbing rape culture. The comments came after a guilty verdict was delivered in a court case that was basically a formality with the amount of concrete evidence there was against the two individuals being tried for rape. These “young men” were not only accused and found guilty of rape there was video evidence of them committing the crime against an innocent young women. Yet, in their coverage CNN choose to focus on the somber mood surrounding the criminals and the “bright futures” that were lost that day in the courtroom. I guess CNN didn’t consider that those “young stars” lost their bright futures the moment they decided it was okay to publically rape an unconscious girl and gloat about it afterwards. While CNNs coverage sparked the outrage, the entire discussion surrounding this case from the beginning has put on display the appalling nature of our rape culture and our society in general. Steubenville, Ohio exhibited that appalling nature when residents came out in swarms defending these young boys and attacking their victim. Those people and CNN should be ashamed of themselves. We need to make it clear, through our outrage that their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Rape culture is not okay, blaming the victim and identifying with the perpetrator is not okay and there should serious implications for people and national organizations/companies that take part in such actions. This holds true for every case of rape and we as a society need to start taking a stand.

Another issue I found really troubling was the lack of severity in the punishment these criminals received. An individual busted for possession of marijuana would have to serve a lengthier prison sentence than the 1 and 2 year sentences they were given. Our leniency on punishment and our rape culture is encouraging rape. Rapists get away with their crimes and the small percentage of them that get identified face dismal rates of prosecution and punishment. They see the consequences of raping someone as minimal and therefore they do it and they do it repeatedly. So the next time you want blame the victim for being drunk, for wearing a short skirt and going to a night club, or you want to identify and sympathize with a rapist, consider that your actions may well be the deciding factor in whether someone gets raped.


4 Comments

  1. jasonjameson says:

    I agree, the Steubenville Rape case is despicable. I remember watching the video where a young man who I think did not participate made jokes out of the tragic events.


    [graphic video]

    That helps to show we do live in a rape culture. I suppose it was good that the boy made his video since that got the investigation going. [I think]

    With the emergence of smart phones I suspect more crimes will be caught. People have near instant access to cameras and can even video tape. They can send these documents off the phone in a matter of minutes. Also there are text logs of conversation that can be used as evidence or used to substance other evidence.

    I had read that the Steubenville Rape perpetrators often carry out these acts. This was not an isolated event where people were drinking and making bad decisions. They premeditated these acts and had carried out similar acts in the past.

    I hope as a nation we learn from these young men’s actions and we learn to not blame the victim.

    • ninazm21 says:

      i didn’t hear anything about them caring out similar acts in the past. Interesting how the media never brought it up if there was even a possibility those acts occurred they could have at lest mentioned it especially in case thats got so much media attention. But, I agree on the social media aspect, it’s going to make things much more transparent. But even with all the evidence in this case the victim still got blamed and ridiculed.

  2. jasonjameson says:

    Yes, I believe there were more.

    “Wait, how many more people are involved in the assault?

    The hackers allege that there are more than two boys who perpetrated the alleged crime and that there are more victims. On September 4, a second alleged victim of Steubenville High’s “Rape Crew” came forward. Anonymous also suggest that one of the parties that the unconscious girl was dragged to actually took place at the county prosecutor’s house. The leaks read:

    When the family of the victim went to file the charges, Jane Hanlin [the prosecutor] was present. She strongly discouraged them from filing. Hanlin frightened not only the victim, but the parents as well. Telling them that her name was going to be dragged through the mud, she will be in and out of court for well over two years, the press wouldn’t leave any of the family alone once the crime was made public. Scared out of their wits, the parents said they didn’t want that and Hanlin then said not to worry just leave it up to her and the detectives on the case.”

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/01/steubenville-high-football-rape-crew/60554/

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