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Oh dear god - Steubenville Ohio footballer rape case

(67 Posts)
StuffezLaBouche Sun 17-Mar-13 16:41:03

My heart leapt when I saw they'd been found guilty.
Ten I saw the sentence.
A fucking YEAR!
It's like the whole world conspires against victims of rape...

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 18-Mar-13 07:29:57

Literally just stumbled across the article. Am shocked.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 18-Mar-13 07:35:24

I absolutely don't buy the crap about them being remorseful.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 18-Mar-13 10:36:45

Thanks for the extra info, Phyllis.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 18-Mar-13 12:20:22

What is even more disturbing is, that it appears the US media have largely been leading with 'oh no, these poor boys, this verdict has ruined their promising lives' kind of way, with no mention of their victim and how her life has been affected.

See this report about CNN's coverage

What makes it even more alarming, is in CNN's case, these are female journalists.

I've already tweeted the two women involved (Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow) to point out that it isn't the verdict that has ruined Mays and Richmond's "promising" lives, they ruined their "promising" lives by choosing to rape.

lisianthus Mon 18-Mar-13 13:11:21

The articles do seem to be set up to garner sympathy for the rapists, which is appalling. The other thing that I found awful was that they reported (as if it was a good thing showing decency on the rapist's part!) that one of them apologised to the victim's parents. Never mind apologising to the victim. She's just a "drunken girl" who presumably asked for it. No, its her parents who have really suffered here.

AbigailAdams Mon 18-Mar-13 13:53:47

I believe the victim's name has been outed on Twitter too.

AmandaPayneNeedsaHoliday Mon 18-Mar-13 14:02:35

I agree with the comments on the apology stuff. Didn't the father of one of those convicted say he was proud of him for apologising. Yes, I'd be dead proud too if that was my son. hmm (Lisianthus - understandably, the victim wasn't in court to be apologised to. Not, obviously, that such an apology means anything, but I think that's why it was directed at the parents, who were present).

Freedom - that article is horrid. "Labelled" as sex offenders? No, they are sex offenders.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 18-Mar-13 16:10:24

Abigail - oh no, I hadn't seen that her name was outed on Twitter, I've just between tweeting (as have many, many others) #ISupportJaneDoe. The former shows the worst side of social media.

Amanda - the most terrifying thing is, if you look at any US media site (whether it be a TV station like CNN or even a "trashy" gossip magazine like People), there are regular Americans saying the same thing.

I saw one woman say, "I'm going to raise my four daughters not to go out and get drunk, and to be always be in control of their situation, so they don't allow themselves to get raped." I don't know what worries me more. The fact she thinks if she raises her daughters to not get drunk and be "in control", they'll magically become less likely to rape, or that she thinks that any rape victim allows it to happen.

Many of the comments I've seen, have made my heart sink (and some comments are from UK residents, especially on UK sites like the Hate Mail), and have made me realise just how much work there is still to do (to change rape attitudes). It made me want to cry.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 18-Mar-13 16:12:32

Towards the end of the third paragraph, that should read... they'll magically become less like to be raped. I reworded it a few times and the final time, I deleted some of a rewording, but forgot to change it to read what I wanted it to say.

Curse MN and it's lack of being able to edit!

AmandaPayneNeedsaHoliday Mon 18-Mar-13 17:04:04

God, that is horrifying.

I will try to teach my daughters not to go out and get totally and utterly plastered to the point they cannot remember the night. But that is because it makes them vulnerable to all sorts of things - I have no illusions that it will protect them against rape. And if I had sons, I would be trying to teach them the exact same lessons on behaviour.

Rape myths are just so prevalent aren't they. This woman wasn't assaulted because she was drunk. She was assaulted because the people she was with chose to commit a sexual assault. And that woman who thinks she can 'protect' her daughters against rape by teaching them not to drink. She'd statistically be doing more to reduce their odds by teaching them to spot red flags in a relationship.

I am still trying to work out what I think about the law classifying digital penetration as rape and whether I think we should have those rules.

Darkesteyes Mon 18-Mar-13 17:06:20

What a lot of these unsupportive mysogynist victim blaming parents (like the lady with 4 daughters mentioned above) need to remember is that in our society because of the way our society is structured, it is more likely to be a daughter rather than a son who will be choosing your nursing home.
So perhaps these "parents" need to stop and think before treating their daughters so appallingly and with such mysogynistic attitudes.

AlistairSim Mon 18-Mar-13 17:29:10

I am so pleased (and surprised) they have been found guilty but utterly horrified and depressed at the disgusting attitude towards rape.

They are remorseful, of course they are!
They are beyond sorry they got caught.

FairPhyllis Mon 18-Mar-13 18:32:15

I agree they are only sorry they got caught.

CNN's reporting has been disgusting. Apparently they actually had a headline saying 'Realizing rape is a crime'. FFS. The NYT, which broke the story nationally and the Atlantic Wire have had pretty decent reporting on this. Here is a pretty good article about what happens next in terms of who can potentially also be charged.

The comments on those sites are also better.

It is also reassuring to see that the Ohio Attorney General knows where it's at: he's made some very sensible statements which clearly identify and attack rape culture. I think he is going to go after everyone he possibly can.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 18-Mar-13 20:12:37

It's good to see better coverage on the Steubenville case in the links above.

There is talk that this could be a watershed moment in how rape is treated, especially when they "hero" footballers are involved, but the attitudes of the media and many Americans, shows how much work there is to do.

I spoke to my American relative today - the one who was raped by a "star" footballer on her college (university) football team - and none of the reaction has put her off carrying forward with her criminal complaint. She knows that if and when it gets to court, she'll probably experience a similar response in the (local) press and from the wider public, but she is prepared for that.

It is disgraceful though, that women have to prepare themselves to be 'slaughtered' in the press, just because they've dared to proceed with their complains against these "star" athletes in schools and colleges.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 18-Mar-13 21:04:26

I am sickened beyond words...

The third paragraph contains this phrase: I don't believe for one second that "rape" exists.

WARNING: Reading this blog entry will make you want to track down who this man really is, get a flight to where he lives and hit him. And I don't usually advocate violence of any sort, but having read this, that's how I felt.

NB: On his Twitter (@Michael_Crook for anyone interested) he says he's from upstate New York.

Going to try and calm myself down now.

kim147 Tue 19-Mar-13 07:44:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 19-Mar-13 08:07:26

Do any of you know 'The Onion' ?

NicholasTeakozy Tue 19-Mar-13 12:16:07

Henry Rollins wrote the following on Sunday:-

"For the last couple of hours, I have been thinking of the verdict that was reached in what is now known as the Steubenville rape case.

Since all involved are minors, I won’t use anyone’s name. Two juvenile males were found delinquent of the charges and will be, as far as I understand, incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility until they are twenty-one years of age.

There is, I guess, cell phone generated video content of parts of the crime. It went “viral” on the internet and brought attention to the events.

I got through a few minutes of it but was too disgusted to watch the rest.

The case, the verdict and the surrounding circumstances open up a huge conversation.

These are a few of the things that I have been thinking about.

After reading several posts online, I was not surprised at the vast range of sentiments expressed. Many of the postings were of outrage that the two found delinquent were not tried as adults so they would face much longer sentences. You might not know, but in some states, this sentence would be decades long. Many of the posts spoke of the damage done to the victim and the life she will have now. One person suggested caning the two young men. Many others were angered at the deification of high school football players and how they often receive special treatment. You can read this stuff all day if you want.

After reading posts for quite awhile, I thought first about the two young men. I wondered if the years in the facility will “help” them. What, exactly does one “learn” in one of these places? That is to say, after five years locked away, does the idea of assaulting a woman seem like the wrong thing to do, more than if you were incarcerated for one year? Would you be “more sorry” about what you did? Is that possible? Or, would you just be more sorry for yourself about where your actions landed you? At what point do you get “better”, how many years in one of these places does that take?

What made these young people think that that what they did was ok? What was in their upbringing, the information and morals instilled in them that allowed them to do what they did, minute after minute, laughing, joking, documenting it and then calling it a night and going home? Out of all the people who were witness to what happened, why wasn’t there someone putting a stop to it?

What I am attempting to get at, and I apologize if I am not being clear enough is that this is a failure on many levels. Parents, teachers, coaches, peers all come into play here. I am not trying to diffuse blame or lessen the awfulness of what happened but I want to address the complexity of the cause in an effort to assess the effect so it can be prevented.

Some might say that the two going to the youth facility are as much victims as the young women who was assaulted. I do not agree. The two are offenders. What they did was obviously wrong. That being said, we cannot end the discussion at that point and expect things to change.

I have yet to say anything about the damage done to the young woman involved. It is ironic and sad that the person who is going to do a life sentence is her.

As a testament to the horrific power of sexual assault, I encourage you to see, yet cannot recommend the documentary The Invisible War about sexual assault in the military. The reason I say that I cannot recommend it is that it is so well done, so clear and devastating that it will put you through quite a wringer. I do hope you see it but damn, it’s hard. In the interviews with women who have been assaulted by fellow members, the damage that has been done to these good people is monumental.

Many people are angry that more time was not given to the offenders. This seems to be the prevailing sentiment. I understand the anger but don’t know if adding a decade onto their sentences would be of any benefit. To me, the problem that needs to be addressed is where in the information chain were the two offenders made to understand that what they did was not wrong on every possible level? You can execute them both tomorrow but still, there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

It’s a situation where you would like to be able to point a finger and say, that’s the reason and be done. You have to be careful when you do this because it’s easy to miss.

I think to a great degree, we humans still divide ourselves into two species, even though we are monotypic. There are males and females. We see them as different and not equal. Things get better when women get more equality. That is a bit obvious but I think it leads to better results up the road. If it’s a man’s world as they say, then men, your world is a poorly run carnage fest.

It is obvious that the two offenders saw the victim as some one that could be treated as a thing. This is not about sex, it is about power and control. I guess that is what I am getting at. Sex was probably not the hardest thing for the two to get, so that wasn’t the objective. When you hear the jokes being made during the crime, it is the purest contempt.

So, how do you fix that? I’m just shooting rubber bands at the night sky but here are a few ideas: Put women’s studies in high school the curriculum from war heroes to politicians, writers, speakers, activists, revolutionaries and let young people understand that women have been kicking ass in high threat conditions for ages and they are worthy of respect.

Total sex ed in school. Learn how it all works. Learn what the definition of statutory rape is and that it is rape, that date rape is rape, that rape is rape.

In the spirit of equal time, sites like Huffington Post should have sections for male anatomy hanging out instead of just the idiotic celebrity “side boob” and “nip slip” camera ops. I have no idea what that would be like to have a camera in my face at every turn, looking for “the” shot. I know what some of you are saying. “Then why do they wear clothes like that unless they want those photos taken?” I don’t know what to tell ya. Perhaps just don’t take the fuckin picture? Evolve? I don’t know.

Education, truth, respect, equality—these are the things that can get you from a to b very efficiently.

It must be an awful time for the parents of all three of these people and their relatives and I hope they all get to a better place soon.

What else? That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading this. Henry"

I've read it a couple of times, and think he, a punk rock vocalist, has put it better than the experts employed by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, Fox et al. This sentence Education, truth, respect, equality—these are the things that can get you from a to b very efficiently. sums up a viable solution and demonstrates that feminism still has miles to go to educate our young men to not rape.

Also, he's right that rape isn't about sex; it's about power, control, humiliation and fear.

PretzelTime Tue 19-Mar-13 13:34:32

A group of teenage boys have done something completely inhumane, why are people talking about girls drinking? I mean I know we've got patriarchy and stuff but I don't understand people.

Can someone explain why a victim stops being a victim if she had been drinking?

I don't see any logic in that, a group of guys attacking someone who is even more defenseless because they're drunk should make their punishment more severe, right? Because they cowardly attacked someone who were even less capable of defending themselves than usual.

And drinking is what you often do at parties.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 19-Mar-13 13:40:47

Thanks for that blogpost, NT.

wrongsideoftheroad Tue 19-Mar-13 13:46:58

"A group of teenage boys have done something completely inhumane, why are people talking about girls drinking?"

^ this. A hundred times this ^

MrSlant Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:44

Wow NT, what a fantastic, thought provoking piece, I've always had a lot of respect for Henry Rollins but now I think he should be president!

PretzelTime Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:44

My questions are actually sincere, I can't understand this type of reaction at all.

If the girl is to blame for being drunk and near boys - like a tourist is to blame for getting to close to wild lions and eaten - then it's like saying that we should see all boys like wild violent beasts who are dangerous to humans.
Yet the boys should be given sympathy? And no punishment? Lions who eat humans are shot. Does this make teenage boys evil aggressive beasts AND poor little innocents at the same time in those people's minds, how does that work?

mungotracy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:05:40

As Sassh points out Sentencing is not actually complete.....before people start being righteous.... lets wait and see before the usual baying mob starts..... They were found guilty that is a win.

The jury was probably excluded because due to the internet.... it was no longer possible to find unaffected jurors rendering them all ineligible.....blame social media for that. Its a two sided coin and can severely damage the chances of a conviction happening. Anonymous is not a fit group to comment on any issue and their actions could well have undermined the entire case.

Its always tricky in the states as the law differs in each state and sometimes by county as well.....its a federal system. Unless we have an expert on Ohio procedure.... We will have to wait a while to get the full result.

mungotracy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:08:47


"Yet the boys should be given sympathy? And no punishment? "

I cant find anyone with that reaction at all....please link the post.

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