Monday, March 18, 2013

On Steubenville

I don't know if things are worse now than they were, say, ten years ago, or if it's just that I'm paying more attention now, but I can't believe some of the rhetoric around rape and sexual violence these days.  It makes me inarticulate with rage.  So I'll pass along a few of the more thoughtful responses I've read and call it a day.

"The Steubenville rape victim was certainly someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. Someday she might even be someone’s wife. But these are not the reasons why raping her was wrong. This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story."  Read it all.

And the always-inflammatory but totally-on-the-money Gawker take on CNN's coverage here:

"For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as 'Good student and excellent football player [blank]' rather than 'Convicted sex offender [blank],' try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether."

Or there's a Catholic perspective on rape culture more braodly here:

"Our culture surrounding sex is violent, exploitative and destructive to the dignity of women. Rape is Rape.....The Didache speaks of the way of death and John Paul II the culture of death, and for me, one clear example of this is the pervasive acceptance of sexual violence against women and girls. When we participate in and allow the persistence of the culture of rape exposed by this case through our complicity (and the complicity of so many others beginning that night but continuing through the trial is striking) we are facilitating the culture of death, we are following the way of death."
Lord, have mercy. 


  1. Replies
    1. So Zillah, do you think things are worse now?

      For a long time, my aunt had a bumper sticker that said "If you aren't completely appalled, then you haven't been paying attention." I wonder if I'm only more appalled now because I've been paying attention...


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