If you are friends with me on Facebook, you might have noticed that I've been posting a lot about the Steubenville case. Or rather, the world's reaction to it.
I am angry.
Not so much at the rapists. I mean, I am no more angry at them than I am at any other rapist. What they did was terrible, but unfortunately, it is not all that uncommon. (Don't want to believe me? Read this post. Or this one. Or this one. I'm not going to keep going, though I so easily could.)
A lot of us were drunk when we were raped.
So the takeaway (the victim-blaming) is that women, especially young women, shouldn't drink. Especially at parties where young men are around.
I find this interesting, because I used to get drunk a lot. Working it out mathematically, it seems that I was raped far less than one percent of the times I was drunk. Something like 1 in 800 times. Which is far less than my chances of dying in a car accident or a fall, but no one is saying that people shouldn't drive cars or stand up.
The other thing we should note is that while some people are raped while drunk, not every person who is raped is drunk. Plenty of sober people get raped too. In fact, the National Institutes of Health say one half of the people who are raped are sober.
So even if young women never got drunk at parties, there would still be rapes.
But it would be so much harder to blame the victim if every victim was sober, wouldn't it?
Do you know what EVERY SINGLE RAPE VICTIM* has in common? Sober or drunk?
Being around a rapist.
The tragedy for those young men of Steubenville is not that they got caught committing a crime. It is not that their futures are ruined. It's not that their families are sad.
It's that these young men with good grades and sports abilities and other blessings thought it was okay to rape someone. They thought that raping a drunk girl was funny. The tragedy is that they were so completely able to dehumanize another human being, not that they can't play college football.
I am angry.
I am angry that we are not telling our sons, maybe you shouldn't drink, because then you might dehumanize another person. Why are we not emphasizing that not only does no mean no, but that silence means no? Drunk means no. "I'm not sure" means no.
I am angry at every person who says, "Well, those boys were drunk too." As I mentioned before, I've been drunk a lot. I have done stupid things while drunk. But I never killed anybody, much as my drunk self may have wanted to, because I knew that was wrong. I knew that in the marrow of my bones. I never robbed a bank while drunk, or even stole easily accessible money. Even when I was drunk and broke. Because I knew it my bones that it was wrong.
Why didn't these boys know in their bones that raping this girl was wrong?
Why didn't anyone else around them?
I am angry.
I am angry that we still have to talk about this in 2013. I am angry that victim blaming is so pervasive, other young women are threatening her. I am angry that we live in a country where people think anyone ASKS to be raped.
Are people with cars asking to be carjacked? Are people with wallets asking to be mugged? Are people who own things asking to be robbed? Are people who talk asking to get punched by people who disagree with them?
I am angry that the supposedly liberal media is more worried about the rapists than the victim*.
*Hey media folks, did you know that when something bad happens to someone, that person is a victim? People who get mugged are not "assault accusers". People whose homes get flooded are not "flood accusers". People who get raped are VICTIMS (and survivors), not accusers.