Modern Primate Talks about Steubenville Football & Rape Culture

January 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

In “videos I wish didn’t have to be made ” news, here is Chris’ take on the recent Steubenville football rape story. For those of you who haven’t heard, several high school football players in Ohio raped a teenage girl in August, posted videos and pictures of the assault online, and then went about their lives as usual because, you know, football. They were even publicly defended by their coaches, because according to Coach Nate Hubbard, the girl was probably just embarrassed she got so drunk and needed an excuse for her behavior. Which — I mean that’s what all rape defenders say. The problem is never THE MAN WHO COMMITTED THE RAPE, it’s the girl who let it happen to her. It reminds me of how people always blame the victims of random shootings for leaving their houses, or robbery victims for having things to steal. Oh wait, no one blames those victims for the crimes other people commit? Huh, I wonder why that is. But I digress. Anonymous ended up getting involved, which the local authorities didn’t like; they have since created a website in order to debunk (at least, attempt to debunk) the assumption that law enforcement was involved in a coverup, because, you know, football.

Chris’ video discusses the story, but is careful not to restrict his condemnation just to Steubenville’s football team. What those boys did to that girl is repugnant, inhumane, disgusting, the list goes on — but they are far from violent, anomalous monsters. If only they were. As it is, rape –and the culture that engenders it– is so deeply engrained that it has become almost normal, something 20% of all women can look forward to experiencing at least once in their lifetimes (though of course that statistic is misleading; 1 in 5 of women REPORT having been raped, which doesn’t account for the untold numbers of women who haven’t). And not just because some men are rapists. But because lots of men (and women) normalize the conditions in which rape is likely to happen. That’s the tragedy. That this isn’t an isolated event.

This is another one of those cases where the only kind of justice –at press time anyway– is of the vigilante variety. Yes yes, there are always risks with these kinds of interventions; the information provided by Anonymous (and everyone else who has disseminated information about the involved parties) could be wrong, and innocent people could end up in the crosshairs. But it’s difficult to muster any sympathy for the people who belong there.


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