Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CNN, Steubenville, and rape culture

If your eyes are at all open, you see rape culture all around you.  If you don't, consider the recent example of the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, and CNN's coverage of the case.  (I won't recount all the details, but on the off chance that you haven't heard of the case, consider going here or here.)

What the CNN reporters did so tragically wrong was not simply show tremendous insensitivity to the victim; by focusing so heavily on the "tragedy" of the young men, the consequences those rapists would pay (a whole year in juvenile jail, possibly to be extended later), the network anchors also participated in our ongoing rape culture, as if somehow the rape was something that happened to the young men.


These men raped a young woman.  Period. 

There is no excuse, ever, for raping someone.  Period. 

Talking about her being so drunk she was passed out does not in any way excuse anything.  They violated her body without her consent.  Period. 

When we talk about a rape case, we as a culture must start with a basic assumption:  there is never an excuse for rape.  Then, and only then, can the rest of the discussion begin.

As long as we even hint at rape as something that "happened," we are excusing it and furthering rape culture.  As long as we even remotely imply that the victim was in any way responsible, we are excusing the rape and furthering rape culture. 

That is wrong.  Period.


Michelle said...

May I also add that those that stood around taking videos of her being violated, should be punished. Those that refused to talk about what they knew, should be punished. Those in authority (Coach and Principal) that knew details but refused to divulge them, should be punished. Using her as a "toy" (their words), is disgusting. Drunk or not, she was raped. This mentality alone deserves punishment.

Mark said...

I completely agree.


Blog Archive