I don’t think either of the two young girls who posted messages on Twitter after the Steubenville rape case verdict was announced were really going to “Beat the shit out of ” or “commit a homicide” towards the 16-year-old rape victim, Jane Doe. I think they were just being stupid, as teen girls sometimes do. Maybe their parents never talked to them about the proper attitude of sympathy and support for rape victims. Maybe they don’t fully realize that they have a one in five chance of being a victim of a rape themselves.
Yesterday the two girls were ordered home on house arrest and told not to have any contact with the victim, who resides in West Virginia. They were also told they can’t use social media, with no actual list of websites but both Twitter and Facebook included. Although what these girls did was a shameful and nasty thing, I don’t think they are any worse than the number of adults I have seen on social media cracking jokes about the case and suggesting that maybe the victim was “asking for it.” Including notorious failtroll Michael Crook.
We have covered the victim-blaming here before, but with local residents planning a rally for Coach Reno who may have attempted to shield his players from their crime and monitoring twitter to argue with anyone who discusses the case or offers support for the victim, it still strikes me as incredibly bizarre and sad that so many adults just don’t get that rape is a crime, and a serious crime that will all need to do everything in our power to combat.
The two teens girls who posted those hateful messages on social media were just mimicking the attitudes the adults in their lives hold about rape. Same goes for all of the teens who attended the parties of August 11th and 12th who did nothing but stand around and laugh at the rape victim. It has been argued with me numerous times that no one knew it was a crime, and that if people didn’t know it was a crime they shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. Now that everyone is fully aware that not reporting a rape is an actual crime, I find it hard to believe people are still claiming ignorance. If you now understand that rape is a crime, and failure to report rape is a crime, and that two boys have been charged with raping a young girl, then it’s really time to stop the victim-blaming.
AND speaking of victim blaming, and why I always read things right when my story is published, we get this doozy from the IB Times:
In shocking comments, the president of the Steubenville chapter of the NAACP places the blame for the rape case that has shocked the nation on the 16-year-old victim.
Royal Mayo, a lifelong resident of the Ohio city that gained national infamy following the rape of the girl by two Steubenville High School football players, says that attention should be focused on the role of the young woman, whom he calls the “alleged victim,” saying she was drunk and wanted to go out with one of the football players. He also claims that other teens involved in the incident were let off easy, because they were “well-connected.”
“You hear local people saying, ‘We got this out of the way, let us just heal, let the community start to heal.’ It’s like these two were sacrificed, the poor black kid and the white kid who is from the next county, in the next town over, who were sacrificed over all the other dirt and corruption that would be uncovered if you come into Steubenville,” Mayo says.
So even though Mayo sounds just as victim-blamey and awful as everyone else, the allegations he makes against Steubenville are pretty inflammatory. Once again, we’ll see what the grand jury investigation brings.