— Ms. Norbury, Mean Girls
Now that the verdict is in for the Steubenville case there is this huge divide amongst people who have been following the case, those who feel justice was served with the trial and who want to give their support to the rape victim, and those who aren’t happy with the outcome and want to express their feelings that the rape victim is a “slut.” The Steubenville verdict reactions are all over the place. You mainly see these sentiments expressed on social media or in the comments section of articles.
I like to think I am privy to a lot of what goes on with this case because I have been following it a long time. I have seen people, some men included, but I’m not focusing on men here, say really awful things in regard to the Steubenville case. The two teenagers who have been arrested with making threats to the Jane Doe victim were BOTH girls.Â
Yesterday Lee Stranahan, and it is no secret that Lee and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many things, posted that Jill Watkins, a resident of Steubenville has been the recipiant of threats of rape and murder.
Some of you may be familiar with Jill, because she went on Dr. Phil and spoke about the “Desk Children.” Â I am familiar with Jill, because I made a parody video of her appearance on the Dr. Phil show, because I couldn’t find any evidence of high school students urinating and vomiting on themselves in a desk city.
I removed this video yesterday. It had a LOT of views, many positive comments, including one from Jill herself, and we started talking after she emailed me after viewing the video and we both spoke about her town and the case and being moms. And even though the idea and video and comments about DESK CITY that came after Jill’s talk show appearance served as a joke during a very ugly and serious rape trial, I was sickened and appalled that she had actually received death threats and threats of rape after appearing on the show. When I said this on twitter, a few people asked me:
Eve, can you really believe anything Stranahan says?
And ya know, I don’t care what Stranahan claims, because I choose to believe a woman who says these threats were made, because isn’t that sort of what a huge component of what a lot of crime cases involving women are? People not believing women. I believe these threats were made to her, and I believe that the police will find out who made them, because they should be able to trace phone calls. I also believe that NO WOMAN should ever be threatened like that, ever. It’s enraging and disgusting.
Another recipient of some really ugly vitriol is Alexandria Goddard, aka Prinnie, aka “The Blogger Who Started It All.”Â I consider Alex my friend. I admire her, not only for writing about the Steubenville case, but because she is smart, and funny, and kind, and even when things get really ugly and trust me, they have been soul-crushingly ugly for her at times, we can still talk about nail polish and dogs. Alex gets comments like this:
From an adult WOMAN. Who says she is a grandmother.
Now, I’m not going to re-hash all of the name-calling and ugly comments a lot of people have received because they dared to suggest that “Hey, a young girl shouldn’t have been raped.” Â or “Hey, I think those boys were innocent.” I know see it happening on both sides and it is depressing me to no end. What I am going to ask people to do, especially women, is to stop making nasty comments and insulting each other because you don’t agree.
I’m sorry, it’s disgusting. And how can we teach our own sons and daughters not to call other women “whores” and “bitches” if people turn around and do the same thing on the Internetz? Now, yeah yeah, people may not agree with my pleas for solidarity and unity but I believe it is imperative, if we want to stop the rape culture that is so prevalent all over the world, if we want to raise all of our children to quit raping and bullying and being so awful to each other. We are the adults here, it has to start with us.
(Photo: Mean Girls)