Monday, March 18, 2013

We are all victims of Steubenville.

There have been many things floating through my mind since the first images and videos of the Steubenville rape emerged.

My loathing of the misogyny of asserting that we're all someone's sister or daughter, that we're just related to men and that's why it's wrong. My anger at the rape culture and rape apology. The shameful, disgraceful attitude of "woe is them" around the world towards these boys that committed the rape.

I want to discuss another aspect of it, though.  I want to tell the world that all women are victims of the Steubenville rape.

RAINN reports that every two minutes in the United States, a sexual assault occurs. I am a double survivor of those assaults.

When I was not much younger than the girl who has survived the Steubenville event, I was date raped. Too afraid to tell anyone, I suffered in silence for a decade. I survived a violent sexual assault that ten years later, and that's when I admitted everything. No longer could I keep silent.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is potentially forced to endure their torment in silence.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is a sympathetic survivor of that rape, because it could have been or will be her at any time, on any day.

"Slut" shaming is not an excuse.

Getting drunk is not an excuse.

Wearing a short skirt or a low cut shirt is not an excuse.

There IS NO excuse.

So why is the collective we still commenting on how brave those boys must be for enduring the fact that they'll be labeled sexual offenders for the rest of their lives? The collective we would not be so forgiving if they had assaulted an eight year old. So what if she was 16? She's still a child. Granted, they were children themselves, but THAT DOES NOT MAKE THIS OKAY.

I hope when you look in the mirror, look at your best friend, at your sister, your daughter, your partner, your boss, your co-worker, I hope you remember that we are all victims too, and I hope you do your part to change the culture that makes it all okay.

1 comment:

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