Apparently Trump taking office still hasn’t proven to enough people that being “rich” and “successful” doesn’t automatically mean you know a goddamn thing. Because that has to be the reason why someone thought it’d be a good idea to bring
famous rapist Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to Melrose Elementary School this week.
During his classroom visit the Tampa Bay Times reports he thought it was a good time to uplift the male students — while putting the girls down. Literally.
"All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down," Winston said. "But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren't supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I'm saying? One day y'all are going to have a very deep voice like this (in deep voice). One day, you'll have a very, very deep voice.
"But the ladies, they're supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men (are) supposed to be strong. I want y'all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!"
I don’t know why a rapist was chosen to give a motivational speech to young children. What nuggets of wisdom does Winston specifically possess to deliver to students? “Don’t fear being held accountable for sexual assault — being a serial rapist did nothing hurt my career!”
I wrote briefly about Winston’s history with sexual violence, but for a quick recap: when he was a star student athlete at Florida State University the police and school administration thought a rapist’s career is more important than a woman’s safety. So they did everything in their power to drop the ball and prevent any criminal consequences for the reported assaults — and it worked. While charges weren’t made, FSU and Winston both ended up paying chunks of cash to settle civil suits with his victims.
Other people pointed out how messed up that all was, but Winston unsurprisingly isn’t sorry. ESPN has his pathetic non-pology:
“I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn’t seem to be paying attention, and I didn’t want to single him out, so I asked all the boys to stand up,” Winston said, according to the newspaper. “During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some.”
Oh my god. I don’t even know where to begin. This is why we need to stop with automated hero worship. Winston might be good at playing football or avoiding rape charges, but it doesn’t mean he’s good at speaking. I say think because I’m a paid professional speaker. Over the past few years I’ve given lectures, presentations, workshops, and the like at colleges, conferences, and schools across the country. And this is not how it’s done.
If he really was struggling with one student who wasn’t interested — then why separate girls and boys? Why not get everyone to participate? Or is it that he didn’t care whether young girls were interested in what he had to say? This type of sexism is so ingrained in Winston he doesn’t see how his disrespect of women oozes from every part of his body. Multiple studies have connected sexist beliefs with believing rape myths, minimizing sexual violence, and victim-blaming. Unfortunately we live in a rapist-enabling society that’ll let him continue unchecked.
Because being an unpunished rapist means never having to say you’re sorry.
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