Do you guys have any idea how utterly difficult it is to flip the bird at your computer and hold a cup of coffee at the same time? Because that is precisely what I just did while reading this amazingly inflammatory article about the Steubenville rape case trail in the Columbus Dispatch this morning. Ever since the case of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly raped at a party during the night of August 11th and the morning of August 12 has attracted media attention, it seems like Steubenville and its residents, save for some of the people who reside there who actually think that rape isn’t cool, have been doing everything to whine about their own victimization and how awful it has been that their town has gotten this media attention and wah wah wah, the amount of victim-shaming and utter disregard for the victim in this case is one of the most shocking aspects about it. We have had adult women compare their plight of living in Steubenville and the attention the town has received to the atrocities committed against concentration camp prisoners. We have had women appear on national television to complain about some imaginary desk city where children (and yes, adults were actually letting the kids be this freaked out because for some reason, no adults were present to lead them to the restroom) vomiting and urinating all over themselves. We have witnessed peaceful protests were girls as young as twelve have stood up and spoke about rape and people have driven by and screamed “fuck you” while the little girl attempted to talk through her tears. And now we have this from the Columbus Dispatch:
Now, what outsiders know about Steubenville centers on a drunken night of partying last summer.
The town is vilified as looking the other way to protect an outsize high-school football program, of condoning a player “rape crew” whose actions were the stuff of brazen jokes on Twitter.
Um, no. Listen, I follow every single Twitter account who has been involved with the Steubenville rape trial. Whether it be protest organizers, some residents who also want justice for the victim, other writers who have covered the case, and ordinary people who just really don’t like rape. You know who made the “brazen” jokes on Twitter about the “Rape Crew” and their actions? The “Rape Crew” themselves. I have NEVER seen a single joke about the rape or the victim or the case from anyone unless you count the tweets the (self-proclaimed, let’s not forget) “Rape Crew” made themselves.
This “Rape Crew” belongs to you Steubenville. These are YOUR kids that YOU have raised.
City Manager Cathy Davison has had to divert time to defend her city of 18,500. “This has been hurtful. Our community has closed together to protect each other,” she said.
Really? really, really? This has been “hurtful” for you. When we have a 16-year-old girl who was victimized by at least two boys, who had 60-80 party attendees watch as she was dragged around like a piece of meat, vomited in the street, had her clothing removed, and then had to deal with the entire social media lambast of the numerous tweets and photographs that the “Rape Crew” posted on the internet, plus a 12 minute video where a kid joked about her being ” So raped right now… she is deader than Caylee Anthony” and you have the utter gall to say this has been “hurtful” to your community? You know what is actually hurtful? Being raped.
Finger-pointing blogging by a former Columbus resident, a lengthy Dec. 16 story in The New York Times and gut-wrenching material on the Internet elevated the story to international attention.
Knight Sec, a cell of the hacker-activist group Anonymous, accused city and county officials of corruption and cover-ups to protect Big Red football. The perennial powerhouse plays in a 10,000-seat stadium that’s bigger and better than most on small-college campuses.
Soon, members of the Occupy movement showed up at protests in Steubenville; some included Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing Anonymous members among the hundreds calling for justice. Protesters plan to return for the trial.
“Finger Pointing blogging.” Are you referring to the eloquent and lengthy and in-depth reporting of Alexandria Goddard, who had to deal with lawsuits and death threats because she is dared to question why more hadn’t been done in investigating the rape case involving a 16-year-old girl in a town she grew up in. Alexandria is a hero, fuck you. She cared enough to explore this case, to report about this case, to demand that people pay attention to the fact a young girl was horribly victimized and no one seemed to care. Same with the article in the New York Times. And yeah, bully for you that you have such an amazing sports stadium in your city and yet you don’t even have an in-town rape crisis center where girls and women and men can go when something horrible like this happens to receive counseling. Priorities Steubenville, we are all really impressed.
And don’t you dare say anything about the involvement in Anonymous in this case, people of all walks of life who have sacrificed so much in order to come to YOUR city and speak out against the vile crime of rape. People who have missed work, spent their own money, who have tried to come up with peaceful and empowering ways to shed light on rape and rape culture. Women young and old alike who had the courage and bravery to stand outside in freezing temperatures and who brought so many of us to tears by speaking about their own victimization and rapes. An Anon who drove to YOUR city to commemorate One Billion Rising by filling her car with bouquets of beautiful flowers to hand out to residents while women gathered around the courthouse to let their voices be heard.
City resident Ken Feist, 48, was taking a smoke break from work outside Scaffidi’s, one of the many pasta restaurants reflecting the town’s Italian heritage.
“This is a strong community. It’s an undeserved black eye. Let the law and the justice system run its course.
“They’re here to cause an uproar,” he said of protesters. “Why aren’t they spending their money on unsolved rapes in the big cities, something you can get a result on? We have suspects in custody, and they’re going to trial.”
Why aren’t they spending their money on unsolved rapes in big cities , something you can get a result on? Did he seriously just say that no justice can be found in Steubenville because of it’s size, and that we should ignore the rape of this girl and instead focus on women who are raped in bigger cities?
The Rev. Vaughn Foster, of Christ’s Community Church, and fellow leaders of the ministry will offer hope at a unity prayer service on Monday evening at the ornate St. Peter Church near the heart of Steubenville.
“Things seem to be turning around,” Foster said. “This is an amazing community of people who really care for one another. This situation has been so negative.
“But the good thing about black eyes is that they heal. They don’t last forever.”
I’m sorry your situation has been so negative, but maybe for a few minutes stop and think of how the victim and her family feels. While you are having your candlelight vigil for all your non-raped community members, Anonymous plans to be in town for the trial set to begin on the 13th. And they will be thinking of the VICTIM.