City Times

Our culture is built on rape

Jennifer Manalili

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A video posted on The Onion satirical news network depicts how a star basketball player overcomes a rape he committed.

It follows a fictional Colorado college basketball star named Jacob Ross who “faced the biggest obstacle of his life when he committed a shocking and sudden rape” but “found the strength to return to his game like nothing had happened.”

The irony is not lost, it came to life as the vicious rape of a teenage girl brought the small town of Steubenville, Ohio into the spotlight.

In August of last year, an unconscious 16-year-old girl was raped by two high-school football players. For a six-hour-period, she was dragged from house to house to party to party, and repeatedly raped. She was also photographed nude.

Hundreds of text messages and cellphone pictures were taken of the incident by more than a dozen people and exchanged between students and posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The rapists boasted about what they’d done on Youtube.

In a 12-minute video, the boys are seen saying “They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson raped that one girl!” and “They peed on her. That’s how you know she’s dead.”

One student tweeted “Some people deserve to be peed on” and was retweeted by several other people.

This evidence was uncovered by Anonymous —- a group of internet hackers who discovered that the town —- including coaches and school officials —- had banded together to keep the story under wraps. It was only after the group threatened to release social security numbers and other personal information of those involved that the town reacted.

(Anonymous were later labeled “terrorists” by some media outlets.)

Only two boys were found guilty and will serve one and two years respectively in a juvenile correctional facility.

Still, the Jane Doe of the story was blamed.

CNN reporters sympathized with the rapists, emphasizing they were hometown heroes, dedicated football players bound for college until they encountered their victim, a girl who ruined their life and cast ‘sex offender’ over their heads.

The network was negligent and the fire spread.

On social networking, tweets rang out.

The Internet ran with it, calling her a slut, focusing on the fact that she was drunk and blaming her for going to a party and passing out.

The Jane Doe was reportedly put into hiding after receiving death threats.

Just like The Onion’s skit, the media pointed fingers at her for ruining the lives of her rapists not the other way around.

There is something terribly, terribly wrong with the way we demonize women, telling them not to drink this and not to wear that, insisting they not “get” raped instead of teaching men not to rape, as if it’s just a crack in the road you can avoid if you’re really careful.

Men should be equally disgusted by their portrayal in this culture. When taken into account the notion means that men are like sharks with meat placed in front of them, rabid animals frothing at the mouth unable to help themselves around women, that their natural instinct is to rape and that like diabetics around candy, they find it hard to be around women without wanting to rape them.

Just because a person is cooking delicious food in front of you, doesn’t mean you are entitled to eat it and just because a person is naked, doesn’t mean you are entitled to have sex with them.

You aren’t entitled to someone else’s body just because it’s exposed.

Rape shouldn’t be perceived as a form of punishment, something that is bound to happen to a girl if she wears something too short, has a drink or walks down the street at night.

It’s a way to violate and degrade someone, an atrocity, a humiliating traumatic experience that shouldn’t even be up for debating.

The truth is there is no wrong time of night or wrong kind of outfit and women should be able to go out or have a drink without fearing she’ll be taken advantage of.

” … We fellas need to make this our mission, too. In almost every instance, it’s our hand striking women, it’s our guns pointed at them, it’s our bodies violating theirs. Women can fight to end domestic violence, but the burden to end it needs to be on men,” says Jamil Smith, a segment producer for MSNBC in an article by Ebony.com. “We can’t forget that men not only have to not rape, but must be a part of defusing the culture that makes this kind of behavior permissible … Allies are not born, they are made.”

Rape isn’t always a dark alley or a scene from a horror movie, and prevention is about teaching that it’s not okay.

It’s asking a girl if she’s okay with going further even if she’s been saying “yes” all night, it’s driving a girl home and not feeling entitled to anything else because you did her a favor or because you’re her boyfriend or even her husband, it’s not touching a girl if she’s had too much too drink and isn’t in the right mind to consent. We’re talking about men encouraging women to know it’s okay to change their mind.

There should’ve been riots after the atrocity that was the Steubenville case.

The bigger question is why weren’t there?

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Our culture is built on rape