• Sun, Mar 17 2013

15 Disgusting Twitter Reactions To Steubenville — Because Victim-Blaming Doesn’t Stop After A Guilty Verdict

steubenville

Today, a judge found Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond guilty of raping their classmate. And while a great many people, like those of us here at Mommyish, were relieved to hear justice be done in Steubenville, the victim-blaming didn’t end with guilty verdict.

For every sexual assault survivor who felt a small sense of hope at the idea of a rapist getting the punishment they deserve, there was someone continuing to call the victim a whore. For all the people who wanted to move on towards thoughts of healing for the victim and her family, there were others who wanted to continue to doubt her claims and call her a liar.

This case has taught the country quite a bit about rape culture and how it persists. And the reaction to the verdict can continue to teach us that victim-blaming is alive and well. It is still a problem. And we all need to keep speaking out when we hear it.

We need to remind everyone, from adults to teenagers, that a drunk person cannot give consent. We need to remind people that rape will continue to be a rarely reported crime as long as people automatically shame, doubt, and ridicule the women brave enough to stand up. We need to shout down those who suggest that women need to protect themselves from rape, instead of working to teach men not to rape.

(Photos: Twitter)

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  • Blueathena623

    Number 2 confuses me. She understands that Jane doe was unconscious and couldn’t consent, but she also didn’t say no? Pray tell, how much do you talk while being unconscious?

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      she better hope no one ever tries to rape her while she’s asleep/on medicine/whatever I guess….sheesh

    • Gangle

      Yeah, that one had me confuzzled too. Maybe I should use that same theory to get out of doing stuff I don’t feel like? I can ask my husband while he is asleep if it is okay I eat the last peice of cake, or drink the last beer in the fridge, even ask him to clean the gutters while I go shopping with his credit card… I mean, he wouldn’t have consented, but he didn’t say no right?

  • Cee

    So, drinking/drunk is sexually available? If she can’t say no, it means yes? Having had sex before a rape means she basically wanted it because she has had it before? There needs to be a way to start educating people (children AND adults cuz some adults..oh my gosh) that it is NEVER okay to touch anybody that does not enthusiastically want to be touched and if he or she can’t say no, you do the humane thing and make sure they are breathing and call someone, either an official or a friend, that can make sure nobody lays hand on them while they are incapacitated. Why is it so difficult for people to understand this? Men can get drunk but women can’t because men just can’t contain themselves? Sexual history may now deny you fair treatment? We need to progress from this stuff NOW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Vasquez/1614846603 Frank Vasquez

    Lindsay Cross has got to be a feminist right?

    • Cee

      Yes. And? Whats the problem with being one? You should be a feminist too. Do you have a mother, sister, wife, female friend, distant relative, coworker or otherwise that you believe should be treated equally? Do you think any female you know should be allowed to drink just as much as you or any other man without the fear of getting raped and the blame that comes after it? Wouldn’t you expect that if a female you knew got drunk, that someone around her should protect her and take care of her rather than get abused? Shouldn’t a person care for another person equally when they are unable to drive, move or make decisions because they have imbibed? Why can most men drink to the point of passing out with only the fear of a penis written on their face with a sharpie and women should be afraid then blamed if they do the same? You should be a feminist because like it or not, you come across females every day of your life and they are treated unfairly because they are women. I hope that one day reason and rationality take over your mind, especially if you love someone (mother, daughter, wife..anyone) who is a female because they deserve the same rights you are granted by the simple virtue of your gender.

    • Blueathena623

      Yup, she sure is. I am too. Ain’t life swell? :)

    • LindsayCross

      Short answer: Yes. Lindsay Cross is an extremely proud feminist.

    • Talija

      But only in the abstract, if it doesn’t involve any actual action.

    • LindsayCross

      I am confused as to how you would know my feelings about feminism? Or how I practice them in my real life?

    • rebecca eckler

      Lindsay, forget about this argument. But tell me, am I the ONLY one who doesn’t think the punishment was HARSH enough?

    • LindsayCross

      I don’t think you’re alone there at all! I know I’ve seen plenty of people expressing that if you’re adult enough to rape someone, you should be tried as an adult. And personally, the idea that a year or two in juvie is justice… It doesn’t feel right to me at all.

    • Victoria

      If anyone is a feminist who thinks a drugged/drunk female has the right not to be publicly sexually violated, count me in as well.

    • Justme

      I don’t being against rape and assault is a “feminist” idea…..I think that’s just called being a good human being.

    • C.J.

      What difference does it make whether or not she is a feminist? I’m petty sure more than just feminists are disgusted by what was done to that poor girl.

    • whiteroses

      And thank you for saying that.
      If being a feminist means that I respect myself, teach my son how to respect women, fight for women who are voiceless, and by example hopefully show my neices that being a woman is a wonderful, amazing thing— then count me in as a feminist. It amazes me that people still think “feminist” is an insult.

    • Gangle

      Totz, Frank. Here at Mommyish we don’t care if a woman is the Virgin Mary or the Whore of Babylon. We beleive that raping women is seriously fucked up, and if you do it, we want your blood.

    • lea

      And you appear to be a victim blaming moron, so what’s your point?

    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      And you must not have a daughter, right?

    • Makabit

      Dunno. My grandpa didn’t identify as a feminist, and he was quite keen on rapists going to jail. Old-fashioned Midwestern man who was brought up to believe a man is supposed to protect women, not victimize them.

  • whiteroses

    I sincerely hope that some of the people who tweeted read this. If you’re one of those people, let me break it down for you.

    1) Unconsciousness implies that she did not consent. There is some evidence she was drugged.

    2) She waited for two days because she had no idea she’d been raped. She found out through a text message exchange with her ex-boyfriend.

    3) Okay, so because she drank underage she gets arrested. Sure. Everyone who’s had a beer at a party before you were 21, get prepped, because the cops, they are a comin’!

    4) There are some things in life that have absolutely nothing to do with race. This is one of them.

    5) I’m sure that, being 16 and having been threatened by nearly everyone (including putative authority figures) she may have had a few moments of doubt. However, there’s really no question she was raped. Photos. Videos. Texts. Tweets. There is what they refer to in the law as a preponderance of evidence.

    6) If you’re old enough to rape someone, you’re old enough to face the consequences of your actions. I feel bad for the girl. Her life is the one that’s been destroyed. I could give two craps about Ma’lik Richmond’s football career or Trent Mays’ prospects. And I surely don’t care that Michael Nodianos will never get another date again if the women around him have access to Google.

    7) I don’t care if she was a virgin or the town bicycle. If she didn’t say yes, sex should not have happened. And I don’t care if she was buck naked and drunk. She did not say yes. SHE DID NOT SAY YES. Do I have to put this in Twitterspeak? “She didn’t say yes. Therefore, she was raped. #Steubenville #youareanasshole”.

    8) Her past behavior and character don’t matter in the slightest. See number 7.

    All these people need to shut the fuck up. I normally don’t curse. It goes against my nature and my religion. But I am so angry over this situation, and the more I read about it the angrier I get. It amazes me that in this so-called “enlightened age” we have these morons spouting off. And it amazes me even more (though it probably shouldn’t) that some of these…. people… are female. Way to stand up for someone who could have easily been you, if the circumstances were right! I’ve wondered how some of the girls at the party didn’t step in and help the victim- and now, unfortunately, I have a pretty good idea.

    • Blueathena623

      I agree with every point, and beautifully written, but I read that the tox screen came back negative for drugs.

    • whiteroses

      I didn’t know that. In an odd way, that makes me feel worse. That means that she trusted them, enough to drink around them- enough to have multiple drinks- and they watched her drink and still did this.

    • Tinyfaeri

      If she took a couple of days to get to the doctor, drugs might not show up in a test.

    • lea

      Also, her drink could have been spiked with more alcohol. There was a spate of this in Aus a few years ago. Where women’s drinks were having extra, really strong alcohol added so they got really really drunk from only a few drinks.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Sigh. There should be a country somewhere where women (and men) don’t have to be afraid of this kind of bullshit. Maybe we should all pitch in and buy an island.

    • whiteroses

      I agree. South Pacific anyone? I’ll start pricing.

    • http://religionconfidencetrick.blogspot.com/ jonny

      Will the women there wear clothes to hide their mothers’ naked shame of human biology?
      Will the women there wear cosmetics to deceive men into thinking their intent could be decent when they’re wearing a billboard on their face that says “I want to deceive you”.
      Will the women there have a biological need for a blinding emotion used to kill men and children; a need for emotional vulnerability they leverage men’s artificially induced needy into?
      Will the women there need secrets and privacy, coquette and coy; will they allude, speak in vague terms of value for existing and a desire for unconditional love; will they resort to subtleties, innuendo, unspoken looks and other manipulative tricks designed to communicate their insanity to anyone in particular and everyone in general?
      Will there be any honest women there who don’t need to lie?
      Will there be any women there who are Self-reliant as opposed to worthless and needy?
      Will the women there want to have their Toddler cake and to eat it as well?
      Will there be any women there or will it just be full of Earth’s whores.

      Mothers perpetuate misogyny.
      Men are blamed for all women’s malice (done for men’s sake, to men – of course).
      Children are broken-in and tamed and abused until they suffer to please their needy tyrannical leech.

  • http://twitter.com/StormCat9 StormCat

    why do people keep saying that she lied? It wasn’t her testimony that convicted them, it was the boys’ FRIENDS who testified that she was assaulted. Jane Doe didn’t know until the witnesses put it on Facebook.

  • Edify

    Wow. It’s amazing that a guilty verdict still manages to paint these boys as victims.

    It’s interesting to think that in the days before social media, the opinions we are seeing here would be the same ones uttered in the local town gossip pool. It’s not that what we are reading is worse, it’s just that we weren’t privy to it outside of the community before

  • Sarah

    Who says things like this? How can anyone think that is right? A lot of faith in humanity was lost tonight. This saddens me immensely.

  • K.

    The narrative that we seem to have internalized as a culture is that perfectly average teenage boys have overactive libidos and sometimes their libidos can get out of hand, especially in the presence of machismo social groups and alcohol–and, of course, all those gosh darn flirtatious girls who don’t know their limits or how ‘confusing’ their mixed signals are, what with their short skirts and slurred speech. Then, most of us say–rightfully so–that regardless, it doesn’t give oversexed up teenage boys the right to force flirtatious drunk teenage girls to have sex with them. And that’s correct. But there’s this underlying bias consistently focused on women’s sexuality and its supposed effects on men and here are the obvious flaws in that bias:

    1. WOMEN DO NOT TURN MEN INTO RAPISTS. Men either are rapists or they are not. Period. (and I apologize for putting this into gendered language–most rapes are committed by men and most victims are women, but that’s not to say all are. I’m defaulting to the gendered language in regards also to this particular case).

    and 2. VICTIMS DO NOT ‘INVITE’ THEIR RAPISTS; RAPISTS SELECT THEIR VICTIMS.

    Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond are sexual predators. They are not two HS football players who got overwhelmed by their insatiable sexual appetites and lost their wits in the bacchanalia of a party or because Jane Doe was just so dang flirty that they just couldn’t say ‘no.’ Sexual predators generally target women who are the easiest to make a victim out of, and so Mays and Richmond targeted Jane Doe because she was vulnerable that night (–and in this case, vulnerable as in unconscious). So instead of scrutinizing Jane Doe’s actions and whether she ‘invited’ her own tragedy, we should look at these two boys as two rapists who selected their victim, isolated her, and then violated her. That is what happened.

    We have to start understanding that rape is not a crime of passion; it doesn’t just ‘happen’ when the circumstances are right. It is a deliberate act, committed by deliberate actors.

  • justiceday

    Jane Doe wasn’t a classmate she dated one of their friends and broke up with him. Some believe this was planned out and she is not their first victim. Not that both boys have done this before but the area believes one has. They called themselves the rape crew they knew what rape was and had that poor girl been more conscious it may have been worse for her. If you read the texts of Trent he wanted more but physically couldn’t get her to do things due to how bad she was.

    That town loves football not people and there are so many more cases to come.

    But that is becoming American culture look at the US military

    http://www.theusmarinesrape.com/FaceBook.html

  • Eva
    • Eva

      Sign the petition if you want CNN to apologize for sympathizing with the Steubenville rapists.

    • http://www.whatwouldshethink.com/ Rachelle

      I pretty much had my TV on CNN the whole time as I was livestreaming the verdict and a few hours after. I’ve seen the broadcasts people are referring to and… I just didn’t ever get the sense that they were sympathizing with the teen boys. Yes, they said there lives are pretty much sadly changed for good. It’s true, you can’t deny that. They fucked up and are going to pay consequences that will affect their lives pretty much forever – they never said “in a way they don’t deserve” or “oh, those poor, poor boys”. How that deserves demonizing CNN because they pointed that out, I don’t grasp.

  • Amy

    Ugh, I wish I didn’t start my day with this. What is it like to live in the minds of these people?

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