There has been a lot going on regarding the Stubenville trial.
A lot of it heartbreaking.
A lot of it just down right disgusting and ugly.
As a nation, as a society (the entire human race?) we are conditioned to seek out a scapegoat- something or someone to blame unspeakable actions on.
The media, video games and movies and musicians, religion, money…it goes on.
One type of blame shifting drop-kicks my stomach: blaming victims. Or, as it is better called, victim shaming.
By now, I’m sure everyone has heard about the Stubenville trial- kids (yes, kids) on trial for raping a girl. They received (from what I’ve heard) a one year jail sentence each and have to register as sex offenders.
Do we really think that is punishment enough?
The coverage of this is completely mind blowing. People everywhere are blaming the girl. Because she asked for it. You know, by drinking with people she knew…she asked to be raped. We hear it and and see it all the time. “They shouldn’t have worn that.” “They shouldn’t have been there.” “They should have had so much to drink.”
Are people (men specifically) not able to control themselves? Is this hypermasculinity, this macho-ness, so strong a force that it overrides any idea of decency and morals?
And the media…how does one cover a rape case and focus on how the trial and testimony has “ruined the lives” of the criminals?
“Oh, they had such promising futures!” Did they really? Just because they got good grades and played football better than the rest of their team? Is that an excuse to not prosecute them as criminals?
Despite what could have been, think about the now. They might have been good students. They might have been good athletes, but, now, they are just rapists.
There is no one else to blame. You can blame society, you can blame their parents or the media…whoever you want, but you will be wrong.
Blame rests solely on the rapists. No one thinks rape is the right thing to do. Not a single person. They knew what they were doing was wrong, it’s as cut and dry as that.
No victim deserves to be blamed. No criminal deserves to be defended just because, once upon a time, they were “good little boys.”
It’s times like these that make me disappointed in humanity. Not in that “oh, boy, humanity, you dropped the ball this time” disappointment. But in the disappointment that cuts to the core, like when your parents or someone you look up to or love gives you that look that breaks your heart, the look that says “I thought you were better than this, but I was clearly wrong and now there is no going back.”
Humanity, society, I’m disappointed, outraged…I’m sickened because of you.