Steubenville: I Knew Guys Just Like This (#341)

As we enter the modern age, as women gain more and more rights, as gay marriage becomes something that clearly must pass…as all of these things come to the forefront, one thing remains:

 

 

MEN AND WOMEN NEED EACH OTHER.

 

MEN AND WOMEN MUST RESPECT EACH OTHER.

 

This respect must be taught at a very early age.  And I am sorry, but men and women must be taught it from different angles.

 

Women (and girls) must be taught that a) they can NOT handle alcohol in the same way that men can.  (This is pure fact.  Women LACK an enzyme in their stomachs that breaks down the booze before it hits the blood stream.  Men possess this enzyme.  Women do not.  So, it goes straight to the blood stream.  Same holds true for Asian people, across the genders.  That means – you can take a fat woman and a skinny man and the fat woman will get drunk way quicker than the man, regardless of weight.)  b) they are (women) the -physically- weaker sex.  c) women (and girls) can NOT stand by when they see another woman in trouble. d) protect yourself.  By every means necessary, protect yourself.

 

Men (and boys) must be taught that a) it’s not cool to just sit and watch as another dude who thinks he’s cool VIOLATES a girl.  b) INTERVENE.  Feckin’ intervene.  If you’re worried about your own safety or having to fight a guy, take your cell phone, walk a block away and anonymously CALL THE POLICE.  c) be your own man.  Don’t just listen to what the cool a**hole says.  Because the cool a**hole is probably only going to be cool in high school.  After that, he may just be pumping gas.  Trust me.  I’ve seen the cool kid become the gas station attendant.  d) the powerful should NEVER abuse their power over the less powerful.

 

Here’s why I’m talking about all of this.  Steubenville, Ohio.  I’ve been following this disturbing story for quite a while, but have refrained from commenting on it until reading the conclusion.  If you don’t know the story, it -unfortunately- goes like this.  Two teenage boys, both star, high school football players attend a party.  At this party was a VERY drunk, 16 year old girl.  Over the course of the night these boys took control of the very drunk girl and paraded her from party to party, raping her, and documenting it along the way.  (Lovely, I know.)  They posted pictures to social media, they made youtube videos describing the girl as “deader than O.J.’s girl” and lovely additional commentary like “she’s so raped.”

 

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio

 

Now, you might say, “Wow, I can’t believe they were stupid enough to post that sh*t.”  I say, “Thank god.”  Because something like this prior to our obsession with social media would’ve been reduced to a “he said, she said” story and they probably would’ve got off.  However, through the boys’ unbelievable text messages and picture postings and videos, the defense was able to put together a timeline of what truly happened that night.  That along with witness testimony convicted these two boys.  They will go to juvenile  jail until they are 21.  Frankly, I’m not sure that’s long enough.

 

The social media postings were important because the girl couldn’t remember a thing from what happened that night.  She was blackout drunk.

 

There are many troubling things about this story for me.  But, to name a few…

 

+  there were many witnesses, yet none of them intervened to help this poor girl.  this goes right back to my post about “teaching your kids to be nosy.  teach them to intervene.”  it’s the only way to stop this sh*t!  it is NOT okay to stand by and do nothing because “it’s not your problem.”

 

+  it took a while for the football boys to even understand they had done something wrong.  eventually the boys apologized.  eventually.  and i think they meant it once they did.  however, when the news of the rape first broke.  the lead aggressor in this case said via text (again), “i don’t know why i’m being blamed here.  after all, i was HELPING you that night.  i should be thanked.”  that from a boy/ man who many witnesses said digitally penetrated a completely passed out girl, took photos of it, AND -days later- bragged about it.

 

Let’s take a moment on that one.  WHO IN THE FECK TAUGHT THIS BOY ABOUT WOMEN??!! WHO?  THE ABILITY TO LACK ANY KIND OF EMPATHY FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IS A SURE SIGN OF A PSYCHO AT THE VERY LEAST.  Yet, this is clearly a gender motivated thing.  Somewhere this kid got the message that women are possessions and you can do whatever in the feck you want with them.

 

football

Honestly, have we learned nothing from Penn State?

 

+  out of all the witnesses, one girl – ONE GIRL – tried to get the victim to leave.  ONE GIRL.  well, someone give her a medal of honor for doing what everyone else should’ve feckin’ done.  the girls “friends” did nothing.  because they had “a falling out with her” and because sometimes the victim “lies.”  ATTENTION:  girls, GET OVER YOUR FECKIN’ SELVES.  GET OVER YOUR HIGH SCHOOL BULLSHIT AND HELP SOMEONE WHO IS WAY BEYOND THE POINT OF DEFENDING HERSELF.  Help someone who is clearly in danger of experiencing the one BIGGEST fear that EVERY woman has.  For god’s sake, THINK.  THINK FOR YOURSELF.

 

What troubles me is that I have known boys like the above and girls who wouldn’t do anything out of fear and cattiness.  I have heard women talked about in horrible ways by men.  Hell, at times, I’ve been one of them.  Thank god, I DID have good female friends that would’ve drawn a line at me being passed out drunk and passed around.  Thank god, I would’ve done the same.  Thank god, even at that young age, we had a stinking feeling of when something went way past the line of high school bullsh*t and into “oh my god, they may never recover from that” territory.

 

I don’t know if these were boys who truly fucked up (because fecked seems too light of a sentiment right now) …boys who fucked up trying to be the cool kids or if they are truly psychopaths devoid of any feeling.

 

All I know is that I have seen -many times- men who behave like this.  I have seen these guys – men who can be described only as, men who hate women.

 

The trouble is… what do we do about them?

 

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Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest to 365 consecutive posts.  If you’d like to follow this blog, you can do so by clicking the “follow” button at the top, right of the page.

 

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What Made You?

 

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Photo creds:

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio-NYTimesfootball-pic

 

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62 thoughts on “Steubenville: I Knew Guys Just Like This (#341)

  1. As mother to a young man, I have taught him to respect his own body as well as the rights of others. I think we need to teach girls the same. As a little boy, my son was subjected to the little girls chasing him to kiss him. The teachers thought it was cute. He got very angry because he felt he was being violated and I intervened to get the teachers to stop harassing the boys.

    I bring this up because I think it’s important to understand that boys receive mixed messages about girls. At the same time, girls receive mixed messages about themselves. I never told my daughter that being pretty was important, yet she thinks it’s important and even struts around like a model. Boys didn’t teach her that that is attractive. Our society taught her that.

    I agree with everything you’ve said, with one little tweak that is actually very important. I have taught my son to call us when he’s in a situation where someone could get hurt. Doesn’t matter what it is; we won’t judge. WE will then call the police. Kids won’t call the police, they just won’t. But they WILL call their parents and let their parents call the police.

    So, one more thing we have to accept: parents need to prepare their children for the world that exists, not the one they have in their minds. And, I still don’t see a notify of comments button on your page. Am I missing something?

    1. yes, but you are a good and INVOLVED parent. my sense is that the parents of these children were less involved. and when that happens a 16 year old SHOULD be able to call the police. these were not 12 year olds. they were juniors…only a year or so away from college. but, i will agree that — i don’t care who gets called, as long as someone who is a reasonable adult gets called. that’s the important part. hmmm, not sure on the notify thing, i’ll check into it… xo, sm

  2. What the two boys did was horrible, that so many kids participated by watching and then spreading it across social media makes it so much worse. I have two teenage boys. I know they would never be the perpetrators of something like this, but I fear the ease with which these things happen and other kids do nothing about it. As simple as this … one of my kids goes to bonfires hosted by one of his friends. At the last one, one of the kids did donuts in a freshly plowed field. Almost all of the kids eventually knew who did it, but apparently were unwilling to spill the beans to the kid and his parents. Why the hell not? What that kid ended bonfires for the year.
    I’ve talked about Stuebenville with my boys … they say all the right things. Hard to know if they’re in a situation like that, whether they’ll do the right thing though.

    1. raising young humans has to be the hardest thing in the world. but, the fact that you’re talking to them about it MUST be along the right path. i don’t think these boys were talked to about how to treat and respect women/ other people. it’s sad. and it’s sad that because they played football, people wanted to look the other way. the BIGGEST issue to me is that no one got her out of there and there were tons of other party goers – male and female. sigh. like you said, it IS hard to know how to steer kids towards making the right choices. really hard. thanks for reading, king. and for your great comment. sm

      1. You can’t begin to imagine how hard it is to raise teenagers in the world we live in, where so few people believe there should be standards and where technology has created such an immediacy of response.
        I agree, one of her friends should have just ignored her pleas to stay and hauled her out. That they left her there …

      2. agreed. I can’t not believe someone didn’t get her out of there. but, it reminds me of that famous kitty genovese case in bklyn. a woman stabbed to death, 100 witnesses, and no one did anything bc everyone thought the other guy would…

  3. There’s so much to say. But it’s hard to wrap my mind around it all. We just recently watched the Masshole’s nephew for 4 days. He’s 14. The last time she saw him he was 1.) present and didn’t have his nose in his phone and 2.) not an asshole.
    This time, he was both of those. Teenage boys behavior is very present in my mind right now. We keep wondering when did he become such an assh*le. He disrespects women and asked if one of our dearest friends is a fairy and a rainbow chaser. All because he’s following his idiot friends lead rather than pave his own path. We kept trying to tell him the cool kid sets the bar, never follow. I wish for more kids to be able to stand up for themselves and what’s right.

    1. i so agree. i think the leader of all this was the one deemed the ‘cool kid’ — i think he was the instigator and a lot of the others just kept quiet or followed his lead. peer pressure is addressed a lot in girls and maybe not so much in boys? and ugh about your nephew. he’ll regret that he acted that way, one day. probably when he comes out. looool. xo, sm

  4. Apparently only media has evolved since 1989. I live in Glen Ridge NJ. Look it up if you want to see what horrifically inhumane acts people are capable of. Haven’t parents and educators gotten the message?

  5. This is way beyond gender, race, sexuality, and so many other things I can’t even think of right now, SM. This is about being taught to be a human being, one who respects Self and self, one who understands that one cannot harm anyone else without harming one’s own self. This is about all of us, every single person on this planet standing up and saying: Harming ANYONE is NOT acceptable behavior.

    I grieve that on this earth, at some point, these acts were thought of as “just in fun.” I mourn the harm suffered by everyone, the victim as well as the victimizers, for these were not simply the events of one evening. These were life-changing decisions. And I celebrate that this was not swept under the rug. I celebrate the apologies and the remorse. And I look forward to celebrating a time when RESPECT, for everyone, comes first. xoxoM

  6. Can I sign my name under this with all my limbs, please? This is so damn important. Aarrrgghgh this story is outrageous – didn’t hear about it earlier. I am so sorry people can be so fucking stupid! (my apologies)

    I fear the day I have kids and those kids become teenagers. I really do. I don’t know how well I can teach them, but most of all, how well other kids would have been taught. This is really depressing.

  7. I have been astounded by the stories that took the boys side in things – that this girl asked for it – that these boys have such potential and it is a shame that a drunk girl could cost them everything. These stories have been in legitimate publications and it has boggled my mind that football could ever outweigh this girls dignity. That these young men believed that their status as heroes of the gridiron entitled them to take advantage with no consequences speaks volumes. I was glad to see the verdict – the sentence is far too short. That poor girl will be dealing with this for the rest of her life.

    1. well said artsi. it is astonishing and something needs to be done this “cultural norm” of protecting/advocating for male perpetrators of violence against women…otherwise our girls and women will continue to be violated and have to deal “with this for the rest of her[their] life[lives]”…over and over and over

  8. Clearly this is a very emotional case/story and I will not add my two cents to it, as a)it will be way too long and b) that type of angr and frustration can not be properly expressed online.

    What I will say is THANK YOU for bringing this issue up as it covers soo many levels that you brought up (girls, boys, cover up, parenting) and you are awesome for bringing it up online!!

    You rock!

  9. I’ve never been able to get that drunk because I get sick far sooner than that. Therefore I’ve never understood people who can’t feel the physical cues and stop drinking. I don’t think the kids are psychopaths or sociopaths of any type. I think they truly thougth it was funny. Part of me wants to say that they didn’t realize how wrong their actions were but the use of the word ‘rape’ happened to often in the messages flying around that they knew damn well just how bad it was. The use of the word ‘dead’ to describe the girl means that they were all clear that she wasn’t aware enough of what was going on to have given consent or not. So it is ALL bad on their part. I don’t think enough people were charged, there seemed to be a lot of people aiding and abeting that have gotten away with it.

    I don’t feel bad for these boys in the least. I feel bad for their families who will be asking themselves where they went wrong. But it isn’t fair to always blame the parents and families for not teaching their children any better. Sometime the parents think they have. At some point, the teenagers just have to take ownership of their own actions and it isn’t anyone elses fault.

    I could blame computer games, but I’m a gamer and I still know the difference between on screen fiction and what is right and wrong. You can’t it’s different because these kids have grown up with it. I may be 42 but I grew up with gaming consols and every advancing games. The first gaming computers came out when I was in grade school. Even if the first game was Pong. It came with a gun and I started out on shooting games.

    I won’t blame movies either. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, the high school movies were mostly R rated movies about teens or college students after booze and sex. But I still know the difference between movies, stupidity, and correct behavior.

    1. there was a boy who threw a frozen turkey off of an overpass in long island many years ago. the turkey hit a car travelling underneath and almost killed the woman driving. she had to have over 100 reconstructive surgeries. at sentencing, the woman forgave the boy and the boy/ man got on his knees and cried. you could tell he was truly remorseful. it’s hard to know what is a childhood horrible mistake and what is true malice. regardless, these guys should’ve known better. i think they should be punished. AND everyone that was at the party and saw her is partially responsible. you see someone in trouble, you help. it IS black and white like that, imho. as for the drinking unfortunately teens get blackout drunk. i did. most of my friends did. it’s not great, but i think it is part of our unhealthy relationship/ growing pains with alcohol as americans… ugh. a sad story, any way you look at it. xoxo, sm

  10. 5 years in a juvenile detention facility?! Those fuckers got off too goddamned easy! They deserve to have the skin peeled from their bodies, one layer at a time. And that’s still getting off easier than she did. Fucking animals.

  11. Interesting, I wrote about this too Sweet Mother. Of course you know, I posted my “enoughness” on this topic already. Nicely written and I agree with you wholeheartedly and you’re right, there isn’t an expletive expressive enough.

  12. Such scary stuff. There does seem to be very little respect between the members of this generation. Every decade it dwindles. I call this age the age of entitlement. The young people coming up seem to think everything has been put on this earth for them and only them and they can do what they want with it. Even if it is abusing another human being. These are the things that make me not regret my lack of children.

    1. oh, mg. i hear you. i don’t know what in the feck i would even do with this info if i had kids. use it as a teaching moment, i suppose. still, you are correct. the absolute disrespect and disregard shown by the boys here is off the charts…

  13. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see through the rage I feel when cases like this come up. Rage that these boys didn’t know or wouldn’t admit that it was rape and that it was wrong. Rage that only one person tried to intervene. Rage at the CNN coverage of this case, which mainly focused on the “lost potential” of the guilty parties instead of the trauma and injustice done to the victim.

    What do we do with this? We educate. Education, education, education.
    We deconstruct the media and the rape culture that surrounds us. We deconstruct the traditional, rigid masculine values and redefine what it means to be men/boys.

    Quite simply, we teach our boys not to rape.

    1. yes lyssapants, yes. do you know of such programs doing this kind of education on a wide scale in our our schools or communities? if so, could you direct us to where? maybe people would like to participate….

  14. Yep, it’s horrifying. As I’ve mentioned before on your blog, boys need better direction, and NOT just from the women in their lives. Men have to stand up and say, “This is wrong”, and they need to say it loudly and often. Too many parents think they only need to have ‘conversations’ with their kids once, but these ‘conversations’ need to occur repeatedly over the years in ever-increasing developmental appropriateness, and that includes empathy discussions and ‘how would you feel?’ scenarios.

    Just to clarify, women do have alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, they just have diminished activity of it, and women who frequently imbibe can have very low levels of enzyme activity. Plus, they have lower concentrations of body water and so they feel the effects of alcohol more quickly. It’s a double whammy.

    1. thank you for clarifying the alcohol thing in women. women/ girls NEED to know this info. i was never told it. so, i thought i could go drink for drink with the boys and often did. and you are right about boys and MEN. men need to say no to this and loudly. otherwise, we are india. xoxo, sm

    1. a very sad case. been following it for a while. it even made me like the ‘anonymous’ hackers more because they leaked some of the videos where the boys bragged about the rape AFTER they took them down out of fear of reprisal… a sad story, but interesting that social media helped to convict them…

  15. It ain’t just the kids who need to be taught, but the adults as well. If I hear another “news” commentator lament the loss of these boys’ promising careers, I might punch a head-shaped hole through my wall. We have a whole political party that thinks nothing of inventing such a thing as “legitimate” rape, and demanding rape victims carry their rapists babies to term. Just sad. All of it. Just feckin sad.

    1. accurate assessment, the hatred of women/girls in this culture is deep, insidious, and sadly, so normalized that we hardly notice it is happening most of the time. this needs to change.

  16. They are not sentenced till they are 21. They each got 1 year for the rape. One of the got an additional year for the pictures and videos. The juvenile authorities can hold them till they are 21 if they choose, if they don’t believe they are remorseful, or haven’t learned their lesson. It is unlikely they will do so. I also don’t think the judge ordered them into the Sex Offender Program which means once they are out this is all water under the bridge.

    I am posting tomorrow morning. I can’t even think straight.

    1. keep talking about this valentine, you have the right idea. young criminals like this need to be enrolled in sex offender program and/or other corrective training if we are to have any hope of stopping or slowing this widespread phenomenon of the abuse, mistreatment, and violation of women and girls.

  17. I think the adoration we give footballers [all sportsmen?] is partly to blame. Kids that age think they’re god anyway. But the question that kept hitting me between the eyes was ‘What were the parents of that 16 year old girl doing while she was dead drunk and being raped and humiliated?’ Maybe I’m very old-fashioned but when my daughter was 16 and going to parties, I drove her there and I picked her up. It wasn’t fun for me but I had this silly idea that it was my job as a parent to let her learn about life while I held the safety net. 16 is not adult, no matter what they may believe.

    1. i think she lied, unfortunately. i think she said, ‘i’m sleeping over a friend’s house’ and her parents took her at her word. unfortunately, teenagers are going to do this. i did it. i was just very fortunate to have good female friends. we all looked out for one another. and ALL of the women i knew were loud, outspoken, new yorkers. more than once i watched female classmates take down the boys a notch or two when they thought they were wrong. but, again, i was lucky there. this girl, not so much. a very sad story.

      1. -sigh- I guess there are limits to what parents can do. But how does a young girl/woman move on with her life after something like this? Very sad. 😦

  18. the main perpetrator, the one who got 2 years instead of 1 in juvie, did not apologize exactly. he said: “i’m sorry about what happened, those pictures never should have gone around” (paraphrase) after the verdict. that to me reads more like he’s SORRY THAT HE GOT CAUGHT than that he violently violated and abused another person and probably traumatized her for life. seems to me he still didn’t get that he did something horrific, EVEN AFTER THE VERDICT and was feeling self-pity more than anything else. and also disturbing is the CNN, Fox and other newscaster coverage of this which supports this screwed up attitude, framing the boys, the criminals, as the “victims”. as a culture we are not asking or concerned so much about the girl, the actual victim of a vicious crime, as much as we are these criminals’ future football careers. something wrong here, by any chance?
    the lack of empathy which you point to is key here. and the bigger question is can empathy be taught? the other boy seemed somewhat more genuine in his apology, and so somewhat less of a sociopath. but it’s important to note that this is also CULTURAL attitude/phenomenon. We live in a rape culture, where abuse and mistreatment of women is “normal” – often tolerated, accepted, and even encouraged (see how the boys coach handled the situation, read the original texts on Jane XO). it’s horrifying to think of, but it’s the very thing which made (and makes) all those other kids stand around and not act to protect or help a girl being raped while passed out. it’s why this kind of thing happens all the time in this country. this is what needs to change: an attitude that it is ok to hate and abuse women. it is everywhere in our culture. this incident is one tiny example of a much larger disease which needs curing.

    1. danielle, i’m so glad you stopped by here, read my piece, and commented. i can’t disagree with a thing you’ve said AND more importantly i think it NEEDS to be said, so thank you for leaving it here. i read that about the coach and i thought he was flip at the very least. it, in fact, reminded me of paterno and sandusky. and agreed, these boys were treated far too much like heros for being athletes. the whole thing is awful. and i’m with you all the way — people who abuse and mistreat women should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law AND we need programs in place to curb and change this prevalent view of women in our society. enough is enough. sm

    2. I thought the same thing, Danielle, when I saw his apology. He basically apologized for the photos, not the photos AND the rape itself. I’ve read so much lately bemoaning the effects this will have on the boys’ lives, and so little about the effects on the young woman.

  19. as a woman I feel the pain and anger towards parents, society and kids themselves who can’t tell what’s right and what’s wrong.

    However, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that mass media that covered this story all over the country, never even mentioned the victim. They just talked about the boys and the trial and how it will impact those boys lives.

  20. They only apologized because they got caught. The only thing those little bastards feel badly about is that they’re going to get punished for their bad behavior (which they probably still don’t think was that bad). Everyone else from that party should be prosecuted as an accessory. All the adults who knew about should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact. That should take care of pretty much the whole town of Steubenville. Maybe that will teach those stupid people that football is not the most important thing in the world.

  21. Sickening! My theory goes like this: balls, vice grip, Hulk Hogan; pliers, fingernails, Jackie Chan; honey, desert sun, fire ants. Is that too Machiavellian? Meh, don’t care.

  22. This is such a shocking story that has been making headlines in our country (South Africa) recently, a country where rape is high on our crime list. It is mind boggling that people, including friends, stands on the sidelines and let something so horrendous happen and it is even sadder when people continue to “share” the videos and comments on social networks. In the past few months vicious rape cases have been highlighted in South Africa, India and now in America too. Far too often in my country people think oh it only happens in SA, but that’s far from the truth. It happens everywhere and maybe with all these horrendous acts being highlighted on women, both men and women will start to take notice and hopefully begin to stand up against such acts and start becoming accountable for what is happening to their fellow human beings instead of just watching from the side lines. It is savage and such a violation to the person it is happening too. Juvenile jail until they are 21? They should be locked up for life. The girl, and I’m 100% aware she was blind drunk, didn’t deserve that, no one does and she will have to live with the emotional scaring that her body went through for the rest of her life, not to mention the anguish of having all those photos and videos having gone viral. My heart bleeds for her and the road that lies ahead of her for the rest of her life and the boys, they turn 21 and find freedom again. Where is the justice in that. Shocking. Reality. Where is the love for fellow human beings?!

  23. Someone told me that the victim should be punished for her crime as well, which is being a minor and drinking. She stated that just because the victim was raped doesn’t make her crime any less than the boys. And also, “She put herself in that situation.” I wanted to shake some sense into that person! Aaah!

    I agree with you. Thank you for writing what I could not express.

  24. This is sad..Sweet Mom i too followed this story and it was painful… society needs to teach kids the meaning of respect…respect for women…rape is becoming a trend everywhere…few months back a girl was raped and inured badly in my country..she didnt make it but the whole incident and its details were so gruesome…scared everyone…i rem i started locking my car doors the moment i sat inside…never did that before..
    Rape is sad reality and we and our teaching is responsible for it…its how and what we teach our kids..

    1. hello lil miss, i know about that rape in india. everyone here heard about it. it was horrible and brutal. the only positive side is that it seems to have spurred a huge movement in your country and that can only be a good thing. i watch the story with great interest. also wanted to say thank you for all your wonderful comments on my blog. i’ve been working a lot more, so posting a lot less. but, i really appreciate you here and reading. xoxo, sm

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