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mygif

“Nobody says to a stockbroker, ‘You got mugged? Well, you were walking through this neighborhood dressed all rich.’”

Well, actually, in many conversations I’ve had about rape, this is a prime example used for comparison to a woman wearing a short skirt. A man walking through a “bad” part of town at night with his cash out is like a woman showing her skin.

Wearing a short skirt is also like not locking your car or house. Maybe you’re not *advertising* it’s unlocked, but if a thief tries and succeeds, you can’t really blame him, can you? He was going to try anyway.

What those kind of sick apologists don’t get is that no matter what a woman wears, she is always a woman. She can’t “hide” or “put away” ANYTHING. Unless she dressed like a man and pretended to be a man, anyone on the street can tell she’s a woman, and she has a vagina, and that’s what makes her vulnerable … not seeing more or less of her body.

It’s utterly dehumanizing and idiotic.

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Gustopher said on March 21st, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Even if some woman was dressed provocatively — in fact, lets assume this hypothetical woman was attacked going to Slut Walk, and that she was literally dressed like a Slut (or an approximation thereof) — even if all that were true, that doesn’t justify rape.

Now, the stockbroker on the other hand… He is just a parasite on society, producing nothing, just speculating on the production of others. He probably deserves to get mugged.

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ralphdibny said on March 21st, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Well said, John.

One minor correction: the two rapists, being juveniles, will not automatically be “registered sex offenders for life.” Per Ohio law, a judge will decide after their sentences have been served whether they will go on the list.

http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/03/steubenville-rapists-wont-be-labeled-for-life.html

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mygif

Thank you for saying this, John. It should be obvious, but it could always use to be said again.

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mygif

Brutez is a word is stay away from BC 1 racial undertones 2 dehumanizing rapists lets them off the hook

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Brutes, even

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Canukistani John said on March 21st, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Mr Seavey, at times some of your past postings that get riled up have seemed either over the top or sometimes just not sat right on close examination. But this? This is NOT one of those times.

I have been a 16 and a 17 year old male white kid from a fairly fortunate family. Well, not both at the same time, but sequentially. Yes, you want to have sex when you are that old. Yes, you want to just have your way too because you’re a teenager.

But no, I did not force a woman, nor commit rape, nor help others to do so because… Well, God damn the people that think they are entitled to anything from another human being that way! (This is a prayer, not a curse.)

I made the mistake of reading Gawker’s reaction to coverage on CNN – well done article there… and then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Thank you for just being blunt, plain and straight – it’s wrong, and those that do it can (and should) be dealt the most serious of consequences.

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mygif

I’ve always been a feminist, but ever since I heard about Egalia’s Daughters, whenever something like this comes up I try to imagine what the gender flip scenario would be, and I just get madder when I think about the outrage the flipped version would get compared to the inevitably insuffient amount before me.

http://www.amazon.com/Egalias-Daughters-A-Satire-Sexes/dp/1580051251

“Discussions” like this one on Slashdot today do not help.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/03/21/2218254/sendgrid-fires-employee-after-firestorm-over-inappropriate-jokes?sbsrc=md

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Timothy T. said on March 22nd, 2013 at 1:15 am

It wasn’t just Fox news that revealed the girl’s name.

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mygif

Gustopher, I sincerely hope you were being ironical in your second paragraph.

ralphdibny, that is very distressing to learn. The recidivism rate for sex offenders is extremely high, and I would not be the least bit surprised if one or both of these two were to offend again. I agree with Seavey that these two did not seem at all sorry over what they had done, only sorry that they got caught, and that lack of remorse suggests to me that they will probably do something like this again.

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mygif

What really concerns me isn’t that this happened, but that it almost certainly has happened many times in the past in this school, and absolutely has happened many mny times across the nation. The difference is that without the video evidence it was made to ‘go away’ those times just as the boys expected this time. Hell, the issue almost did manage to go away this time.

Until we as a society society really believe that this crime is awful and terrible and inhuman it will continue to be swept under the rug at every opportunity and we will continue to only hear about it when there is no way to pretend it didn’t happen.

The punishment handed out this time only confirms that we still don’t seem to think it is that big of a deal.

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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on March 22nd, 2013 at 7:18 am

Hell, why shouldn’t they offend again? if they are put on the sex offender’s list, why not? One really galling part of the media coverage has been the fact that many of the most egregious statements have been from female journalists. Men, MAYBE, it could be understood but not condoned or accepted that they say these things, but the ladies should have taken her side and spoken up for her.

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Mitchell Hundred said on March 22nd, 2013 at 7:22 am

Geez, does this really even need to be said, let alone talked about at this much length?

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mygif

Yes, Mitchell. Because too many people still don’t get it (although I don’t know they’ll be reading this).
The “rich guy gets mugged” comparison does come up a lot in rape-apologist arguments. But of course, when rich guys (or just guys flashing a lot of cash) do get mugged, nobody suggests that this is grounds for not prosecuting or arresting the offenders. Or that someone who steals your unlocked car should be allowed to ’cause you’re so dumb.
Food is a better metaphor. We all have a biological, hard-wired need to eat. But I’ve never heard rape apologists agree that stealing food from a grocery store is okay if you’re hungry and just couldn’t control yourself and the slutty little Publix had all that fresh produce out …

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malakim2099 said on March 22nd, 2013 at 8:53 am

The fact that this is still a “thing” annoys the ever loving hell out of me. Seriously, these two trolls got off VERY lightly considering it was probably premeditated, and they BOASTED about it. Not just the fact that they actually raped this girl, but they then bragged about it on the ####ing Internet, and are getting little more than a slap on the wrist. And the media wants us to sympathize with…them?!? NOT the victim?

Can I rescind my membership in the human race now? Because I’m feeling a bit nauseated with the general conduct of the populace at this point (or at least the media, most people I actually KNOW have been great).

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mygif

Whenever something like his comes up in the news, I’m just astounded. What is going on in the homes and schools that leads people to even consider actions like this? I didn’t grow up in a particularly progressive or feminist home environment, much less school environment, but I’ve never even been tempted to force myself on a woman. Even without rape ever really being talked about, I knew it’s wrong. So is there something out there telling boys and young men that rape is OK as long as you don’t get caught?

And what the hell is with all the victim blaming? These two rapists and their accomplices, defenders, and apologists are not the victims, not the aggrieved parties here. I’m with Seavey: if you’re remorseful, you show it before your sentence is handed down. You show it before your conviction is handed down. You don’t let it go to trial; you confess, apologize to the real victim, and plead guilty without making the victim go through the circus that a trial like this turns into.

How many people were there when this happened? How many people had an opportunity to say, “Stop it, guys. What you’re about to do is rape. What is wrong with you?”

I never used to believe that we have a “rape culture.” But, damn it, stories like this just keep on happening, and every time they do, people come out to blame the victims and apologize for the rapists.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on March 22nd, 2013 at 9:41 am

So is there something out there telling boys and young men that rape is OK as long as you don’t get caught?

Maybe not directly. I think what’s out there are fanatical, insular organizations that believe themselves to be of a higher authority than the law, or anything else.

They can be football teams or church choirs, but they tend to centre around one leader and drill home the lesson that keeping that leader happy is the highest morality there is. If you do that, then anything else you’ve done is therefore justified.

Basically it replaces the ethical question of “did you cause harm to another human being?” with “did you win the big game?”

Maybe these two rapists would have been scumbags no matter what. But maybe it would have been caught sooner if people weren’t so hell-bent on idolizing high school football.

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Charmander said on March 22nd, 2013 at 10:33 am

Very well-written, and I do agree with 99% of what you said. The 1% I disagree with is your assertion that people are somehow required to help drunk people get home safe and sound. Is that a nice thing to do? Absolutely. I think the minimum is to make sure that you aren’t an asshole to them. I think it’s asking a lot of sober people to make sure that every drunk person gets a ride home.

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mygif

I can’t help but think of the recent case in India where a woman was beaten and gang raped on a bus. India got so outraged that laws were changed and a new court was created to fast track trials for those crimes.

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mygif

Mitchell, I saw multiple comments on a Globe and Mail article from a guy who wanted everyone to be clear that this girl wasn’t actually raped. She was digitally penetrated and just being “diddled” a bit wasn’t rape. I haven’t read any of the conviction articles myself so I’m not sure exactly what came out in trial, but when guys are walking around saying that shoving your hand into an unconscious girl’s vagina is somehow better than “actually” raping her there needs to be a continuing discussion.

Sad, but true.

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mygif

“Hey, guess what? I don’t think with my dick. If I can do it, you can do it. If you can’t do it, then maybe it’s not so much that ‘men are helpless against their hormones’ and more that you’re just an asshole.’”

I’ve always had this philosophy. Zero sympathy for the vicious little bastards from the Steubenville trial, and possibly even less (yes, negative sympathy) for their parents, who were obviously asleep at the friggin’ stick.

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mygif

While I agree with everything in this post, and the negative reaction to the sympathetic media coverage in general, I find it puzzling that no one is talking about the problems stemming from underage drinking. Has it become so widespread that we’ve just given up and are now focusing on how to deal with what happens when underage drinking occurs, as a given?

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mygif

“Has it become so widespread that we’ve just given up and are now focusing on how to deal with what happens when underage drinking occurs, as a given?”

Underage drinking can be solved by more effective parenting, IMO.

And I’m not talking taskmaster parenting, either. I’m talking “Sorry, but you’re not going to be a stupid little savage despite other parents allowing their kids to be stupid little savages” parenting.

I’m about to become a parent, and I plan on being a very “hands on” parent in the sense that I intend to know what my kids are doing, who they’re associating with, and who the parents are.

Most of the underage drinking incidents I’ve seen are the result of a parent who decides to buy alcohol for their underage kids and their friends, sometimes unsupervised. Yeah, that’s stupid.

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mygif

Also, apropos of very little, there seems to be a tendency to meet indiscretions like this with screams of “But FOOTBALLLLLL!”

This is stupid. Punishingly stupid.

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mygif

@MonkeyWithTypewriter: Not really. I expect sympathy from decent people, which may include either men or women. I should think that anyone, regardless of sex, can sympathize with someone whose bodily autonomy was violated.

It IS galling that female journalists weren’t more sympathetic. But talking to enough people, you realize far too many women buy into rape culture. There was a post on Slate XX that spoke on this … the women who can’t believe they associate with a rapist, because that realization means they’re in danger too. They also refuse to believe that they can’t control their circumstances or acquaintances, so it’s easier to put blame on the victim, because they’d never act like she did and therefore never be raped.

And as long as we’re sharing outrageous comments, I saw one commentator on Slate who claimed he/she was a parent, and if something like the Steubenville incident happened to his/her daughter, he/she would have asked whether she had had was completely blameless (e.g. flirting). And then followed that with saying that it’s so unfair that we never examine the woman’s “role” in rapes.

In the end, I’m glad people are talking about this, especially the people who didn’t believe we had a problem before.

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mygif

I’d like to thank you, John, for defining rape culture in a way that I can agree with, which is both mature, sensible, and fair. Too many insane extremists insist that “rape culture” is a concept that conveniently demonizes everything they dislike, from rape jokes to chivalry. You have saved the term from the garbage bin for me.

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JCHandsom said on March 22nd, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I hadn’t heard anything about this before, and now I’m pissed. And the funny things is I was in a good mood today…

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mygif

THIS.

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highlyverbal said on March 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 pm

@MonkeyWithTypewriter: “Men, MAYBE, it could be understood but not condoned or accepted that they say these things, but the ladies should have taken her side and spoken up for her.”

Sorry, but no special duties exist because some journalists have vaginae. Please work harder to be equally outraged by clueless journalists.

This sentiment is definitely not part of the solution.

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Kate the Short said on March 22nd, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Thank you for this.

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mygif

Maybe not directly. I think what’s out there are fanatical, insular organizations that believe themselves to be of a higher authority than the law, or anything else.

That seems to be a lot of the problem in Stubenville. It’s not just a problem of “rape culture”; it’s that Steubenville has an notoriously-corrupt police force and political system. Most of those crooked cops and city councilmen were on the high school football team themselves.

And since Steubenville is a shithole with no jobs and nothing to do but drink and watch high school football, and everyone in power used to be on the high school football team, being on the high school football team means everyone’s going to look the other way whenever you do something you shouldn’t be doing. They can be complete assholes and face no consequences.

I would bet any money that high school is an absolute living hell for anyone not on the football team, and that this is but one of many, many incidents, and the culprits all got away with it because the teachers and coaches and authorities all turned a blind eye. Wouldn’t want anything to mess with the Big Game, after all, now would we?

It’s not just “rape culture” that needs to be dealt with; it’s that everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions and required to treat other people like human beings. We can’t have people doing whatever they want without fear of consequences because they’re part of the right social clique.

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Mark Temporis said on March 23rd, 2013 at 9:30 am

‘it was just fingers so its not rape’ ?

The correct answer could be something like:
‘So it wouldn’t count if I used a strap-on, then? If it was YOUR bum, I think you’d disagree.’

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mygif

@Oddstar; the recidivism rate for juvenile sex offenders is extremely, extremely low, actually. That’s why they’re treated differently.

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/21/how_to_save_a_teenage_rapist/

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mygif

While I absolutely agree with not blaming rape victims, if my bike was stolen after I left it unlocked outside downtown, I would fully expect to have blame heaped on me.

I would be heaping some of it on myself.

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malakim2099 said on March 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 am

@Trevel: Well, what if you were next to your bike, and someone beat the hell out of you and took your bike. Would you heap the blame on yourself then?

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@malakim2099

Absolutely not. I do not agree with rape victim blaming; I just know that there ARE situations where we are willing to point out that the victim’s carelessness contributed, even though the victim is not at fault. The initial post implied that we NEVER blame the victim, except for rape. That is not the case: we also blame the victim in bike theft. Blaming the victim is generally an instinctual reaction; one of the first questions people have in response to a tragedy of any sort is “what did you do to avoid this?”

Which doesn’t change that women should not have to do anything to avoid being raped. Men shouldn’t have to do anything to avoid being raped, either, for that matter.

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mygif

Travel the difference is that blame in rape cases is linked in with “therefore the person should be let off” or “therefore you can’t blame the guy for just doing what comes naturally so cased dismissed” repeat ad infinitum.

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mygif

Agreed on all points but the last; “Geez, does this even need to be said…?” Yes.

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mygif

Sean C., that’s very reassuring to read, but it doesn’t convince me that these two should not be listed on a sex offenders’ registry, or that these particular two individuals will not reoffend. As I wrote, these two strike me as, at least up until now, altogether unrepentant. They seem sorry that they got caught, but they do not seem sorry for what they have done. If, at some point in the future, they evince real repentance for their actions, and real awareness of the wrong they did, then I would change my assessment.

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highlyverbal said on March 24th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

@Travel: “That is not the case: we also blame the victim in bike theft.”

Absolutely false. Do you think if you managed to catch whoever stole your bicycle, that in the courtroom you would have an uphill battle convincing the jury that the theft shouldn’t have occurred?! That the thief didn’t have a right to your bicycle? That leaving it unlocked didn’t mean ownership was up for grabs?

The analogy breaks down. It breaks down in ways that could be educational to you, if you weren’t so busy denying the analogy while insisting you were still politically correct.

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mygif

Skipping the comments. I just wanted to say thanks for writing this.

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Carlos Futino said on March 25th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I think highlyverbal hit the nail on the head regarding the “blame the victim”.
With other crimes, we may personally assign some repsonsability to the victim, but that doesn’t factor into how we deal with the crime itself or the criminal.
The same isn’t true for sexual crimes. If the girl was “flirting”, “dressing provacatively”, or any such nonsense, people tend to alleviate the criminal of blame. It’s like sexually assaulting a girl because seh was fliritng is less of a crime then raping, say, a nun. It’s not.

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mygif

It reminds me a bit of the Chris Rock routine MGK mentioned a while ago, where he joked about people who claim that they’re good, upstanding members of society because they don’t beat their kids or do drugs. That’s not being a good person; that’s the bare minimum of not being a totally bad person. “Not raping unconscious drugged women” isn’t an act of supreme restraint; it’s just inaction.

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mygif

When I first read about the CNN coverage, I was A) horrified (as usual) at all the victim blaming bullshit going on (also unfortunately as usual) but also B) kind of getting an inexplicable bad vibe from a lot of the responses to the coverage.

Then I realized that the reason for the bad vibe was many, many years of hearing “compassion? what about compassion for the victim?!” as an argument for applying the death penalty dubious circumstances (like, even more dubious than usual).

THEN I realized that the usual source of that argument was pretty much those same jerks on CNN, who I can only assume have recently discovered a heretofore untapped wellspring of human kindness that for some mysterious reason* does not extend to women who have been raped.

*I suspect it may even be the same mysterious reason as why all those emails I used to get from Geraldo Rivera advising me how to not get raped were mistakenly marked as being from campus security. The world sure is a mysterious place!

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Hypo-Calvinist said on March 28th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

@Gloria

“-Not really. I expect sympathy from decent people, which may include either men or women.”

Absolutely. Of course, the duties of a TV journalist tend to exclude one from the set of “decent people”, but I agree with you wholeheartedly.

@MonkeyWithTypewriter
If your point is that someone who by virtue of her gender has almost certainly been subjected to harassment at the least, should be sympathetic, I get where you are coming from, but it moves into kinda creepy territory for me as it imposes a deeper responsibility upon the victim and her whole gender.

The worst thing about this case is that we are only aware of it because of the video and the sensational nature of the case making it good for page views and advertising. The number of women who have been sexually assaulted is astoundingly high. The number of women who report said crimes is not nearly so high. I certainly don’t blame them, being raped or otherwise abused is obviously horrific, and I can’t imagine what it would do to a person psychologically. If coverage on CNN and other “news” outlets were more sympathetic to the victims and put more of the cultural context into the story, I can’t help but think we would have more complete statistics, and less shame felt by the victims who have done nothing wrong.

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