being a mom

Dr. Phil Wants To Know ‘Where Are The Parents?’ In Steubenville, Something The Rest Of Us Have Been Asking For Months Now

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dp3Akexandria Goddard from Prinniefied will be a special guest on Dr. Phil today and a special guest on Mommyish, if she ever gets my damn interview questions back to me because she is obviously just too busy and too much of a fancy TV star to now do it. Just kidding, she has been traveling and she has dogs to care for and she has been totally swamped ever since she was the first person to notice that things weren’t quite right in a small town in Ohio after a teenage party. I promise the interview will be up soon, and not only does Alexandria have opinions on Steubenville, but she also has ways that we make our teenagers safe online and opinions on stopping rape culture.

The court of public opinion rages on in this case, with people divided between demanding justice for the victim and those claiming that “boys will be boys” and that the facts leaked about the Steubenville case are all wrong. I’m always going to be the person who tends to side with a rape victim, even without knowing all of the facts. I believe that women don’t lie about their rapes. Considering rapes are rarely reported, rapes are just not something a lot of people lie about. I believe our Jane Doe was sexually assaulted. I believe this was witnessed by numerous people who did nothing. I believe that people who witnessed the attack took to social media to “live tweet” it rather than call the police or another responsible adult for help.


I believe that the teenagers who attended this party were supplied with alcohol from somewhere, and I find it odd that no adults have been charged with supplying alcohol to minors. And I believe that we need to start doing something in educating our kids about how to stay safe and how not to rape people.

The only parents who have been interviewed about this case are the foster parents of Ma’lik Richmond, Jennifer and Greg Agresta, who were on The Today show speaking to Matt Lauer.
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And somewhere around the 5 minute mark when Lauer asks if they have asked Ma’lik what happened that night, Jennifer Agresta says no, and it doesn’t matter, because they love him anyway.

And as a mom, I think that is sort of part of the problem. We all love our children unconditionally. Parents all do. But the difference is many of us are explaining in no uncertain terms to our kids that if they rape, or victimize, or hurt, or murder others that as parents we find that unacceptable. It’s not allowed. We don’t offer to “love them irregardless” if they rape someone.

In the promo, Dr. Phil asks where the parents are and even though we all know that a lot of our kids will sneak out of the house and go to parties and drink when they are underage, the majority of our kids won’t be accused of rape. But if they ever are, they know that there will be very severe consequences, the very least which will be our not “sticking by them” if they rape someone.



  1. msenesac

    January 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Ugh! I know that everyone has the right to a fair trial and I appreciate this lawyer defending his client but trying to say that it was consensual. BUT there is a photo of the defendant carrying the victim by her legs. I’m pretty sure that it is 100% clear that that is NOT consensual.

    • Sara

      January 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Not to mention that in the video, they’re TALKING ABOUT HOW SHE’S UNCONSCIOUS. If you’re unconscious, you can’t give consent; therefore it’s clearly non-consensual. Only a moron would believe this was anything other than rape.

    • Karen Williams

      January 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      There should be penalties for lawyers who intentionally lie and further degrade and blame the victim.

    • K.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Sure, but I don’t think that’s what this lawyer did.

      And I think that he IS offering up a reasonable defense by point out that a picture taken at one point in the evening does not dictate what transpired at other points–ie, she could have been unconscious but woken up and consented. To be clear, I personally don’t find that explanation satisfactory, but it’s the defense’s right to present it and the jury’s job to assess it and decide.

      I don’t think that proposing that the accuser had consensual sex with the defendants is “victim blaming” either. In fact, I think the defense attorney in this case didn’t do anything to smear the victim; he barely talked about her, except to say that she consented, which is a reasonable line of defense for his client.

    • [email protected]

      August 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

      The idea that the so called victim is totally innocent is not born out.

    • [email protected]

      August 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Carrying that way is not illegal. It is actually quite common and it up there with trampoline jumping.

  2. Holly Briley

    January 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Maybe its just me, but that would have been the first question I would have asked my child. Maybe that is why she didn’t ask, because she would have been able to gauge his answers and know if he was telling the truth, or lying. As mothers we know when our children are telling the truth and when they are not being completely honest with us. That may be a truth she is not willing to hear, or an explanation she is not willing to take a chance on.
    We have to stop burying our heads in the sand… to do any less means we have failed not only as parents, but as human beings.

  3. Sara

    January 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Yup. When did loving your child unconditionally become synonymous with excusing abhorrent, illegal behavior and protecting your child from the well-deserved consequences of said behaviors? This makes me sick to my stomach, to think that there are such clueless, head-in-the-sand parents out there. WAKE UP! Your son didn’t become a rapist just suddenly, out of the blue. No, parents aren’t responsible for everything their children do, but if my child raped someone, or stood by and watched a rape without doing anything, or laughed and tweeted about said rape rather than doing something to help, you’d better believe I’d be re-evaluating the messages I’d been sending and my approach to parenting.

    You can love your child without being a total coward. And being a good parent involves a lot more than just loving your child. It also involves holding him accountable and teaching him right from wrong. Clearly, these parents missed that memo in a big way.

  4. CMJ

    January 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    My parents love me unconditionally, but if I did something stupid I was always told I must accept the consequences of my actions. Then again, my stupid was throwing out a cigarette from my car window in front of my mother’s car…but still.

  5. K.

    January 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if this woman can’t bear to ask her own child what happened at the party that night, then chances are, he did it.

    Why? Because if you’re the sort of parent who can’t broach the subject, then you probably haven’t been doing much ‘parenting.’ Parents love their children unconditionally, but loving them does not include making excuses for them.

  6. Karen Williams

    January 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Where ar the parents? More like, where are the parents’ morals. THAT is the question. The parents of the rapists and their sympathizers are ALSO THE PARENTS, who are covering this crime up. Could someone please debrief the Dr. before his next interview?

  7. Karen Williams

    January 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Boys will be boys is a despicable and repugnant excuse for violence against women and it clearly suggests all male behavior gets a free pass, at the expense of the female population. Boys need to be held accountable and not be told their behavior is beyond their control. If the male’s behavior is beyond his control then he is a danger to society and should be incarcerated. There is no excuse for this free pass for men, and especially when there is no such free pass for women. It is blatantly sexist and reprehensibly unfair.

  8. Karen Williams

    January 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Laid back? How is that personality trait telling of his hatred for women, his sense of male superiority and other character traits that led him to degrade this victim in a most horrific violent sexual assault?

  9. Are you KIDDING me?

    January 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Obviously she wouldn’t put it past her kid!!! If you have to wait to respond THAT LONG for a question of that SEVERITY, SOMETHING isn’t right.

  10. Are you KIDDING me?

    January 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    ‘How do you coordinate this idea between consensual and CONSCIENCE’? pft, my goodness.

  11. Victoria

    January 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    No. I’ll come right out and say they do *not* love their child. If you love your child, you spend some time teaching them about how to treat other people, including preventing violence and rape. If you love them, you hold them responsible for their behaviors, large and small, over the years. And you do not use ‘loving them’ as an excuse for not acknowledging their sociopathic behaviors. They didn’t even *ask* the kid for his version of what happened that night? Why? Because they think that this way they can keep up a mental fiction that their kid isn’t a rapist? And then they can’t love him anymore? They need to get their heads on straight. Loving a child isn’t just some kind of determination to stand by them no matter what. It’s a little more than that.

  12. RCIAG

    January 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    OK, this is completely off message here but PLEASE STOP USING THE NON-WORD IRREGARDLESS!!

    OK, back on track.

    The Columbine killers parents didn’t know their kids were messed up, the Dahmer’s had no clue their son was a gay, serial killer, same with Bundy’s family, his mom just died & she believed he was completely innocent for a very long time, that is until he started confessing to all sorts of murder while on death row.

    Sounds like these parents (really his foster parents) were clueless too. I just have a feeling these kids have always gotten trophies even when they didn’t win, they’ve always been told they’re “special snowflakes” & can do no wrong, add into the mix the sports “hero” phenomenon that we’ve created & it seems to be just a recipe for disaster at some point somewhere.

    I just wonder at what point do you say “I love you but…”? I know there’s some that never say that, maybe these parents won’t either, but there’s gotta be a line somewhere.

  13. Rocky Ewing

    February 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

    She only lived here for a few years she isn’t from my city so she can shut up n mind her own business and do what she does best which is eat apparently

  14. Rocky Ewing

    February 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Yes they should n will b punished I can feel that and they deserve to b punished with the max punishment

  15. anonymous

    March 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    these “guardians” are absolute idiots. the woman cannot even get her thoughts together and formulate a response. She always has a blank look on her face….like she is medicated. They don’t love this black kid….they just wanted what ever benefit came from being a guardian to a black kid. This husband is on the school board and related to someone in authority in the community also. The community is incestuous run by organized crime.

  16. [email protected]

    August 21, 2013 at 9:05 am

    We have no idea ot the total time line nor what happened when. Considering all were intoxicated it could be proven that none were able to give consent and in that case it should have been a wash. The law in Ohio is very broad and no penile in vagina occurred.

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