why the steubenville “rape culture” is a first world problem
or The Beheading Culture
Don’t get into it, I told myself.
It won’t do you any good to jump into the discussion. You’re just gonna make a mess.
But here I am.
Rape culture. Is it the new violent video game or gun control dilemma in that it divides people and incenses both sides a lot more than it really should? Or is it the latest suffrage movement that may finally and decidedly give us all the right to vote on who we sleep with?
Steubenville. Two drunk teenagers get a little too frisky with another drunk teenager and all of a sudden all of us Internet assholes on both sides have something new about which to exchange our fistfuls of shit.
The allegedly unsympathetic media treatment of the victim has a lot of mouthy, hair-trigger bloggers pulling their hair out. To me, that is just called responsible reporting. That the perpetrators were promising students or ball players, or that the victim was drunk are called facts. They’re not even verbosely slanted one way or another. The boys were indeed promising. The victim was indeed drunk. They’re facts. They are exactly what happened, who it happened to, and why it happened.
You interpreting those facts as excuses, well, that’s called rape culture.
I would strongly wager, having been a drunk teenager in the recent past, that if the victim had been a few drops less drunk, Steubenville would have just been another messy-but-consensual teenage sexual encounter. The fact that she was (too) drunk was what made it rape. That’s why the media included that strictly-descriptive adjective.
There is such a fine line between being too drunk to give consent and being just drunk enough. Anyone who has skipped along that tightrope wire knows that, and that’s why there was such a controversy and such an extended trial about whether or not it was rape. In the end, it was. Prison time will be served.
The Feminists Who Cried Rape
There are far more deaths than rapes in the world today.
So do we live in a death culture? No, because there’s no question about when someone is dead. Death is generally a pretty open and shut case. Rape isn’t. The timid nature of consent, the nebulous nature of sex, the unpredictable nature of drinking, and the evolving nature of marriage and relationships make being raped something that is not as obvious to the outside observer as being dead.
There is no rape pulse you can check. So obviously, there’s going to be some controversy.
Rape, like death, is a very strong word associated with some very powerful imagery. You consent nazis and certain feminists are using a word with a powerful connotation for an act that was completely different in this case. I’m not saying it wasn’t rape – legally, it was – but what actually took place was definitely worlds away from what pops into most of our heads when we hear the word rape. We’re not talking about forceful, bloody, battering, violent, tearing, painful rape. We’re talking about some drunk teenagers getting slightly too frisky with their fingers in a car.
While you may think you’re burning your opinion into other peoples’ minds, all you’re actually doing is watering down the word rape.
You’re crying wolf with the word rape. You’re using it to describe an act devoid of violence, force, trauma, or physical or psychological damage. Since the victim couldn’t remember what happened, I would venture to say that any psychological trauma she suffered was from the national exposure of the case, for which you are partially to blame.
Let’s be clear. Rape is deplorable in all its forms. Women should always have control of their own sexual agency.
I’m not against calling what happened in Steubenville rape. I’m against the vehement and vindictive demonizing that goes along with the word you insist on using – a demonizing which, in this case, I don’t think applies. What the boys did was bad. It was poor judgment. It was cruel and misogynist and hateful, and they’re going to prison for two years. I don’t think they need any more demonization.
Real Demons and Lucky Victims
Which brings me to your whole idea of rape culture. When two drunk kids go the legal definition of barely overboard with another drunk kid who was the legal definition of just barely too drunk (barely enough that they had to have a huge nationally publicized trial for a case that was definitely not open and shut) and they get years and years in prison for it along with a lifetime of humiliation, somehow that pushes you crazy attention whore extremists over the edge and all of a sudden our whole culture is rape?
Sorry, but that’s bullshit.
I live in mexico where drug cartels control entire states of the country. You can’t go to certain places because you will get killed. It’s easy to get killed here and not just killed, tortured and then beheaded. During election time, the man who is now our new president practically got elected because he promised to stop fighting with the drug cartels and let them do what they wanted because it just wasn’t worth the violence and national death toll.
So you could say down here we live in a beheading culture.
Most of the people I know would probably love to spend one drunken night in your horrible rape culture if it meant being able to go to a club sans the fear of getting beheaded for looking at a drug dealer wrong. Many people would give everything they have to live in your rape culture even if it meant spending every night from now till the day they die with a drunken teenager’s finger inside of them.
And hordes of people would even love to be in this beheading culture to get away from their countries’ worse problems.
So be happy with your first world problems of non-violent, highly-prosecuted, slightly-too-frisky-teenagers rape. Untangle your bunched up panties – your dangerous 17-year-old rapists will be behind bars for the rest of their youth. While the kidnappers and beheaders of this country’s non-rape culture run around guns blazing with full immunity.
Maybe there are people here who get fingers inserted into them unawares while they are sleeping. We don’t really know. We’re all too focused on not ending up limbless in a shallow grave.
I understand you’re running out of problems up there to get all pissed off about. I’m sorry you have to teach your girls to be careful about what they drink. I’m teaching my friends who visit how to avoid getting beheaded.
I watched the leaked video and was disgusted by the jokes and the mindless stupidity of a few of your teenagers. But I still don’t think that a couple of kids whose most destructive crime was their cavalier sense of humor should be demonized to that degree when there are real demons out there.
You obsessive activists are always insisting that we sex writers tailor every article to the lowest common denominator, keeping in mind rape and abuse victims and making sure every word is perfectly selected to avoid enabling perpetrators. Well, if we’re going to get riled up about things, there are lower common denominators than those, and they involve bloody machetes and headless victims swinging from pedestrian bridges next to warning signs.
You get offended by the fuss a few people make about treating the boys like victims when the poor girl is the real victim. That’s true but, frankly, I’m slightly offended by the huge fuss you’re making about this painless and aptly-punished crime when my next-door neighbors are getting tortured to death.
Legitimate Rape Culture
I understand if rape is your pet cause and the specific area where you want to make a difference. Maybe it’s more personal to you than killings and hits closer to home than being tortured. That’s great, but there are places in the world where rape is actually a brutal problem that leaves lifelong scars and goes unprosecuted.
There is an actual rape culture out there, and it ain’t in Steubenville, Ohio.