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When a woman is raped, it is the ultimate violation.  In the Steubenville case, it was particularly heinous.  Not only was it by people she knew and trusted, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, it was then posted to social media sites as though it was a comic joke.  When did the moral fiber of the United States deteriorate to such a remarkably low level?  When did rape become something that was so casual that anyone would feel sympathetic or even empathic to the criminals?  The victim, referred to in the media as Jane Doe, will never be the same.  She has suffered the ultimate betrayal by male friends, who RAPED her, as well as her peers and 'friends' who stood by and watched or worse, videoed it and posted it the social media sites, as they all laughed about it.  How does this girl begin to recover?  How does she ever heal when she is being blamed for the conviction of two football stars?  She has been humiliated by her community, the fellow students at her school.  At sixteen, this is her world.  

The simple fact that two local football players could choose to rape a fellow student, publically no less, then garner the sympathy of their community, is beyond unfathomable.  These boys and all the bystanders knew this was wrong.  They knew it was a crime.  They knew it was morally defunct.  They chose to do it.  THEY CHOSE TO RAPE THIS GIRL!  They chose to video it.  The fact that no one came to her aid, is cowardly, frightening, and unacceptable!  It is criminal.  The fact that the children involved in the incident laughed about it afterwards is beyond comprehension.  They laughed until they were caught, that is.  Remorse because you were caught, is not remorse at all.  It deserves no sympathy.  It is selfish.  Tears because they were caught is not about what they did to Jane Doe or the fact that she will carry this with her for the rest of her life.  It is about how it affects them and their future.  They are NOT the victims.  They are paying for their crime, an adult crime with a juvenile punishment, one and two years in juvenile detention.  After what they did, they should consider themselves lucky.  

Now, children in the community are publically tweeting threats to Jane Doe and arrests have been made.  These misguided children must have consequences.  What possibly could be their justification?  Where are the parents?  Why don't these children understand that it's not okay to rape, no matter who you are?  It's disgusting!      

With all Jane Doe has been through, as the verdict became public across the nation, she was once again forgotten, this time in the media.  The tag line on news programs was the loss of a future for two boys who had so much promise, not that two criminals were paying for their crimes.  One must not forget that these two boys committed a crime, a crime that will change Jane Doe's life forever.  How could educated national news WOMEN, Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow, report the verdict with such empathetic voices?  Justice was served!  There was a guilty verdict.  With all she has to deal with in the coming days, months, and years, the victim finally got a tiny bit of closure, until she was once again victimized by the media.  

It should be obvious and without question that it is never okay to rape.  It is not something you stand by and watch.  It is not something you video tape.  It is not something at which you laugh.  All of those actions are simply vile.  The fact that it has been viewed this way by so many is a call to action that we as a country have to raise our moral and ethical standards and basic view of right and wrong.  We must, as parents, teachers, and communities, enforce consequences.  We have to think about one another and practice kindness.  We have to teach our children that life is not all about them; it is about communities, the country, and the world as well.  It is about every individual meeting their potential with the purpose of making this world a better place in their own way and having the best opportunities to do so...and if you violate someone else's rights, you will face the consequences.  The sense of entitlement that children and many adults feel, never excuses their immoral and criminal acts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hold republicans directly responsible. (7+ / 0-)

    They have recently gone vocal with their ideas on rape, but I am not fooled into thinking this is a recent developement! When they started with "Legitamate Rape", they let us in on how they have felt all along. This is what they teach their daughters and impose on their wives. And what the hell is legitamate rape? RAPE IS RAPE YOU STUPID ASSES! I have had enough of the fools who imply it is always the womans fault somehow. When you have generals dismissing the tried case against a military person who was already convicted, it shows you how far some men have fallen. I feel the general is now as guilty as the rapist!

    Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

    by Nica24 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:51:16 AM PDT

  •  Since always. (13+ / 0-)

    I was on a so-called honor council at my college that had to hear a rape case and I have never forgotten that nor forgiven them for making me be a part of it when it should have been handled by police and courts.

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:13:25 PM PDT

  •  Sympathy for the Devil (8+ / 0-)

       My first reaction to the fury about Poppy Harlow was to think that it was a lot to ask this woman who had just seen two boys discover that their last hope for avoiding the consequences of their crime had faded away to be unmoved by the painful scene.     Up to that point, they had some reason to hope that they could go back to school, to being football stars, to being big men on campus.  And then they didn't.   And they were in pain.
         Which is not at all to say they didn't deserve the pain the brought upon themselves.   Somehow, their attention had not yet been focused upon the pain they had caused Jane Doe, and their parents and family and supporters, and Steubenville and and and and
          At some level, it is like watching an execution; a pastime that once drew large crowds to the center of town to watch a (hopefully) guilty murder brought to justice.   I don't know who went to these things.   How did they fail to share the pain of falling from the gallows, from choking to death, from having your neck broken and from the humiliation of your body dangling there, entertaining the ghouls while your bowels and bladder emptied.  
          Without regard to how guilty the condemned was, wouldn't be horrible to watch?   And when you reported the scene to the TV viewers immediately after seeing it, how would you not flinch at the pain you had just felt as you were forced to consider such horror?
           But then it occurred to me that this was not a reporter who just arrived for sentencing.   This was a reporter who had seen the trial of two boys who thought they were good enough liars to convince the judge that they didn't know that Jane Doe didn't want to be paraded around passed out, then stripped in public and used by as many as wanted to conduct their sex lives on camera.    They thought that perhaps the judge could be persuaded that they could create reasonable doubt about whether or not Jane wanted to be pissed upon after stuck their fingers in her.   Poppy had seen all of that before she watched them be told that they would need to deal being found out.
          If you just arrived at the sentencing, you might have hoped that these boys just lacked empathy.   You might have hoped that because they didn't mind having sex in public, maybe in some twisted way they might not have considered her feelings; were somehow oblivious to them.  
          But Poppy was there for the trial.   She knew that these boys weren't oblivious to her feelings -- that's what they were there for.   The way they talked about her -- wanting to pee on her,  making fun of how she looked dead -- the fact that they photographed her and published the pictures.   It was absolutely clear that not only did they consider her feelings, hurting her feelings was the main attraction.  
          And why did they hate her?    She obviously hoped to be liked by them; hoped to be a part of their group.  Nobody mentioned any slight or offense she had directed at them or theirs.   Except that she thought that she might be good enough for them.   That was her insult.  That's what pissed them off.   She thought she might be attractive to the likes of them.
          So Poppy watched as they blubbered that "nobody was going to want them again."    
          But sadly, it isn't true.   These two boys are gorgeous.  And talented.    They will be taken away for awhile and then released.   "Victimized for their mistake," they will assume.   Angry at those of us who wonder why it wasn't longer.  

    •  One of the most predominate of my thoughts -and (6+ / 0-)

      there were many flashing through my mind - was in response to the tears of how they're now going to have to register as sex offenders (their being sex offenders didn't seem to slow those tears).  I thought of the people I know of that are on that list living nice, stable, secure lives.  Few people know they're on it; those that do have bought into their stories about how they weren't really guilty, it was really the victim's fault, it was just the victim punishing them for somethying totally unrelated.  People buy into all the time because that's what they want to believe.  

      Being on that list will make relatively little difference in these boys lives.  There are a few professions they'll be closed out of (not those involving football or the catholic church, of course) and they might have to look a little harder to find a place to live.  But overall, I guarantee you, there'll be tons of people rallying to support and help them in the next several years.  While Jane Doe will have her immediate family and hopefully a few close friends to help her deal with the devastation this has rained upon her.  To think CNN's women had more empathy for two rapists than for this girl is truly mind boggling.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:02:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why did they hate her? (6+ / 0-)

      Rumor was that she had recently broken up with one of Trent Mays friends.

      Cody Saltsman: Ex-boyfriend of the victim, Cody sent text messages to many people reading, “nobody breaks up with Cody Saltsman, Ill ruin that bitch” one month before the rape. A few weeks later, his best friend, Trent Mays, convinced the victim that Trent was interested in her and that she should go to the party where she was eventually victimized.
      http://www.yourdailymedia.com/...

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 02:17:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Communicating to people without conscience (5+ / 0-)

    Psychopaths can sometimes respond to incentives and disincentives. As a result of this case they're now on notice that hurting someone else can wreck their own lives. It's worth drawing attention to that. Not, however, in a sympathetic way.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:35:19 PM PDT

  •  Sympathy? No. But tragic loss is tragic loss. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Let me start by saying that I have avoided most broadcast/cable coverage of Steubenville, as I will of similar events. I can get the facts I need from other sources, and a media circus is by definition not the best place to get evenhanded, dispassionate coverage of major events. That said...

    I think there's a difference between being sympathetic towards young offenders and recognizing that there is something tragic in the loss of so much potential. In this case, we're talking about two young men who seem to have been leaders to some extent, and who seem to be (under normal circumstances) reasonably personable. As another comment noted, they're also both good looking. While not qualifications for a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize, those attributes often help young people become useful, respected, valued members of their communities. In these two cases, all that potential -- whatever talents they may possess -- is inescapably tarnished, thrown aside by their actions and attitudes.

    I feel no sympathy for them -- they did despicable things, voiced attitudes that no community claiming to be civilized can afford to tolerate, and they are rightly being held to account for that. I do not feel sorry for them that their lives will never follow the bright trajectories that might otherwise have been.

    But for the community? For their families? For those who, given other choices, might have benefited from their contributions? I feel for them. I feel for our society, which loses so much whenever a young person makes such a horrible choice, turns down such a terrible road, and in doing so steals so much of their potential from our collective future.

    Sympathy for rapists? No. But recognition that, had they made better decisions, learned better lessons, we all might have had the chance to live in a better world? Absolutely.

    I fear for the day that journalists and pundits are so focused on crowing about justice being served that they fail to also note the price that has been paid, no matter how necessary that price is. I don't think I will want to live in that society.

    "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

    by pragmaticidealist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:01:20 PM PDT

  •  She has 100% sympathy from me . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1

    She is not at fault , she was a victim , she can hold her head high .

    The idiots who did it get a small amount of another kind of sympathy from me . Poor guys just totally screwed themselves . The damage they have done to themselves will last their lifetimes .
    They get the , you poor stupid sob sympathy from me .
    You have hurt yourself more that anyone else could have ,
    you have ruined yourself , you can never hold your head high , you have caused yourself to lose face forever , sympathy .  

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:01:51 PM PDT

  •  The media reaction to the quite proper convictions (10+ / 0-)

    of these young men is shameful and disgusting. If they did not want to be sentenced to prison for rape then perhaps they should not have become rapists.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:06:16 PM PDT

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