Teaching Girls We are Supposed to Get Raped

03.20.13

Immediately after Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays were sentenced to short stays in juvenile detention two powerful women in media took to the airwaves to lament the young rapists’ ruined futures. Adult women who made massive sacrifices to rise to the top of their professions and find themselves hosting TV News or reporting from courtrooms. These are educated women. Arguably the cream of the crop.

Just hours after the verdict the victim in the Stubenville rape trial was threatened via Twitter and Facebook by 15 and 16 year old girls who are currently in juvenile detention.

It would be easy to look at Stubenville, a town that appears more interested in football than academia or financial success, and assume that they’re not a very bright group of people and their teens just don’t learn their lessons.

Except that we have the same problem in Connecticut. And we probably have the same problem in a million small towns but these are the cases that have hit the national news.

I’ve never felt like a local slutwalk mattered but, to be fair, without the internet I’d never have seen things like this before. Slutwalks matter.

Slutwalk

Image via Eric Parker creative commons

In Connecticut two adult football players from Torrington High School have played out the year even though their coach (Dan Dunaj) knew that Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio were charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. I don’t know the particulars of this case but Gonzalez and Toribio have accused and if they are guilty so be it. That makes them bad people, it doesn’t make them sick or victims of culture. People who sexually assault other people are bad and ought to be incarcerated, not because they can be rehabilitated but because they should not make it dangerous for other people to walk the streets.

Much like the town of Steubenville, Torrington kids are willing to excuse and even honor their accused sex offenders. I hold us all responsible for this. Every time we call a woman slutty (I’m very guilty of this), or whorish and every time we teach our daughters how to not get raped while forgetting to remind our sons to not rape we have made the world a little more dangerous.

Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow use CNN as a platform to teach women how to revictimize one another and younger women use the media they have at their fingertips to do this in Torrington.

Torrington High School Sexual Assault Lory Ramirez

Shelby Kulinski Torrington High School Sexual Assault

Ladies, this is what we’ve taught our daughters. We have failed.

Our sons are no better. This is the chatter of dangerous boys

Torrington High School Sexual Assault

You ruined two peoples lives Torrington High School Sexual Assault

These kids sound like our newscasters. We are 100% to blame.

In India women are jumping out of hotel windows, breaking both legs and risking death to get away from rapists.

In Punjab a woman and her father who reported sexual harassement to the police was beaten roadside… by the police. The video is disturbing.

We are no better. We are a nation at war with young women. How dare they be sexual? How dare a 13 year old girl look like a 13 year old girl? And girls who flirt want it, we all know that right? 14 years old and kissing a 17 year old boy? Obviously you want sex, you’re going to get it. And then after you’ve been raped girls like Lory Ramirez and Shelby Kulinski will shame you, will say you wanted it and protect the boys who are alleged criminals.

They do this because we’ve trained them to. They do this because we do this.

If a crazy or drunk lady is walking down the street naked you do not have permission to put anything in her vagina, not your finger, not your penis, not your mouth. If a girl passes out at a party but was horny and kissy before passing out you still do not have permission to put anything in her, touch her breasts or any other part of her body.

Why is it when guys pass out at a party we see this?

passed out at a party

And when girls drink too much we rush her to the emergency room for a rape kit?

Stop telling our daughters they deserve to be raped.

And don’t you dare joke about men getting raped in prison. When you do that you’re part of the problem.

 

Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow are Sad When Rapists Get Caught Raping People

03.18.13

Poppy Harlow Candy Crowley

On the off chance that you’re unfamiliar with the Steubenville Rape Trial, let me bring you up to speed. According to court findings a 16 year old girl drank too much and was digitally penetrated by at least two boys who were also 16. Other allegations exist and a grand jury is quite likely. A number of boys who were present struck deals with prosecutors and will not be prosecuted. Unlike their friends they will not be registered sex offenders. They are, however, sex offenders and they are dangerous people.

The reason we all know that Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays are now convicted rapists is because in addition to the sexual assault he was convicted of Mays took pictures of a naked victim and circulated them on the web. That’s actually called child pornography.

Oh, there was also this guy Michael Nordianos and his twitter feed...

The mother of the victim spoke at the sentencing and I think her words to her daughter’s rapists merit repeating:

“It did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you’ve played, human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent.  It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code.”

She stops short of calling them evil. I don’t. When talking about her daughter the woman says:

“This does not define who my daughter is. She will perservere, grow, and move on.”

And with a mother like that I believe she will.

In the previous 250 words I have described to you two of the most detestable young men in America. They are convicted rapists who worked together to assault and humiliate a young woman. I’ve inserted almost no opinion.

On the other hand CNN (which is a network that’s typically above the fray) had two reporters on who did all they could revictimize the young girl. Candy Crowley starts her newscast by describing the boys as, “Two Star High School Football Players in Steubenville Ohio.” Well, before being remanded to prison they were football players so I suspect that is a fact.

Candy Crowley then asks Poppy Harlow to talk about the emotions in the courtroom. This is when I’m waiting for Ms. Harlow to talk about the victim’s mother and her statement or perhaps the anger of the bystanders, but no, Poppy Harlow talks about the ruined lives of Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays. She also incorrectly reports their sentences as being 1 and 2 years when in fact those are minimum sentences. Juvenile court is structured differently.

At about 4 and a half minutes in Candy Crowley notes to Paul Callan (the CNN legal contributor) that a 16 year old was sobbing in court, her voice changes to an almost maternal tone while she shakes her head and seems to have a difficult time stating that the two convicted rapists are what the courts have deemed them to be. She says, “What’s the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of [pause] rape essentially.”

Forgive me Candy, did the judge say, “Rape essentially.”?

Well, for at least a year and up to five years no girls in Steubenville will be raped by these two young men. Hopefully they won’t assault anyone in detention but I think we all know that is a very real possibility. For the rest of their lives these two men will register as sex offenders and the towns they live in will be somewhat safer knowing the identities of the men who have raped before.

During sentencing Trent Mays said, “I would truly like to apologize. No pictures should have been sent around, let alone have been taken.”

Yes, we all know that if you’re a high school football player the lesson learned here is to never instagram your sexual assaults. Perhaps Candy and Poppy can teach a class on that for the next round of poor young boys who have their promising football careers cut short by a slutty girl who dares to drink to much.

Sadly there will always be rape.

I’m hopeful that one day there won’t be women like Candy and Poppy who seem to believe that rape victims ruin the lives of football stars.