Rape culture and media complicity

Steubenville verdict
Feeling too devastated to write today. Not enough that a 16 year old girl is raped, degraded and humilitated by high school star athletes who feel entitled to use her body as a plaything. Not enough that in this internet age, pictures and video online add to her humiliation. The boys are convicted, but then the cable news media, by airing her name, ensure that there is no escape from the humiliation ever. How far the news media have fallen. It feels like one step forward, two steps back in the rape culture we live in. A childhood misstep will haunt her forever. She could have been my own child.

So I’m just going to link to some writings of others.

CNN’s coverage, preoccupied with the devastating effect the verdict had on the football players “such promising futures … watched as their lives fell apart” juxtaposed with The Onion’s perfect satire forseeing the whole thing as basketball player is able to “overcome his rape.”

Blogger who “complicated” the case by collecting evidence from social media, at xoJane.

The problem of Toxic Masculinity in our society, by Jaclyn Friedman at The Prospect

Or, as former NFL quarterback and newly-minted feminist Don McPherson recently put it, “We don’t raise boys to be men. We raise them not to be women, or gay men.”

Plus, efforts that are showing promise to lead to a change in attitude.

Rebecca Hains, on teaching boys about consent and respect at age 4.

Ask Moxie on teaching young boys about not being a bystander.

Henry Rollins comments on the rape verdict

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.

And, I might add, comprehensive media literacy.

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