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.