The following includes discussions that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised.
If you came here expecting some kind of calm, patient, even-keeled commentary, you should probably leave now.
I am PISSED. IRATE. ENRAGED. LIVID.
I am angry because just a few weeks after the Steubenville boys were sentenced, I had to read this:
And so, when the Twitter posts brought national condemnation to this old mill town, the principal of Torrington High School decided it was time to appeal to her students’ better natures.
In her note on March 22, the principal, Joanne R. Creedon, urged the students to “get that spotlight on the good.” Among other student-sponsored good deeds, she wrote, the Interact Club was holding a dodgeball tournament for charity that Friday. “Come out for one of these events, have fun, and show everyone what T.H.S. is really about,” she wrote.
The dodgeball tournament seemed to go off without a hitch. But the next Monday, the winning team appeared in a picture on the front page of The Register Citizen, the local newspaper — grinning, and extending their fingers in 2’s and 1’s, for the “21” on the football jersey of one of the accused players, Edgar Gonzalez, who remains in jail.
The paper had found the photo on Instagram. Someone had posted it with a label: #FreeEdgar.
Think I’m kidding? This is the picture in question:
You still want to tell me we don’t have a problem with rape culture?
You really want to tell me we don’t have a problem with rape culture?
No? Still not convinced? Here’s a bunch from the original article:
THESE ARE CHILDREN.
THEY LEARNED THIS FROM SOMEWHERE.
THEY WERE NOT BORN THINKING IT’S OK TO HATE AND JUDGE AND BLAME A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL FOR HER OWN SEXUAL ASSAULT.
AND IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING –
YES, THIS IS WHAT RAPE CULTURE LOOKS LIKE.
Maybe they learned it from rappers who think it’s ok to sing in jest about date rape and then “apologize” by saying he didn’t say the word rape.
Maybe they learned it from college professors who think it’s cool to lecture on how rape is probably ok if she doesn’t remember it.
Maybe they learned it from the military, which thinks it’s alright to overturn the findings of a judicial procedure with no requirement for legal basis, and keep someone convicted of rape on the payroll.
Maybe they learned it because parents are not having the conversations they need should with their kids.
Don’t tell me, “but it’s not my kid.” Because odds are, it is. Maybe they aren’t cracking rape jokes, but they aren’t standing up to them either, and that’s where the change begins. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe your kid is a shining example for everyone else. Either way, have the conversation, because I doubt the parents in Torrington or Steubenville thought their kids were participating in this crap, either.
So yeah, I’m angry. And you should be, too. Start talking.