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Mar 21 2013

They Knew

I’m seeing people here and there try to tell me that the Steubenville rapists and their enabling friends didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong. I’m seeing people who should know better, or at least know to ask an expert, saying this.

Let’s get this perfectly clear: They knew what they were doing was wrong.

If they hadn’t known, they would have done it while she was conscious. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have talked about their being anything for their coach to take care of. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have spent so much time dehumanizing their victim telling each other and the world why she “deserved” it. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have talked about rape.

They knew what they did was wrong. They simply felt entitled to do it anyway.

This is why they were cool with having the coach cover things up. This is why they expected their friends to laugh at the pictures and video. This is why the victim’s “crime” wasn’t being at the party but reporting–and being successful in the prosecution.

They felt entitled to do something they knew was wrong and get away with it. They thought they were the special people.

They weren’t. They aren’t. They’re just a bunch of kids.

They are not, however, mentally incompetent or criminally “insane”. Those are what we label those situations in which people really don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong. Kids with good grades, lots of friends, and no psychotic break? Yeah, they’re not those people.

The rapists and their friends knew that what they were doing was wrong. They just felt entitled to go ahead and do it anyway.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    mythbri

    They absolutely knew. Even if they didn’t know that it was legally considered to be rape, they knew it was wrong – and I definitely don’t buy that they didn’t know that it was rape.

    I believe that in some of the video that was taken of this disgusting assault, some of the dialogue includes giggling and “She is so raped right now.”

    They knew.

  2. 2
    Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner

    Besides, at least one of the people tangentially involved with this knew exactly what to call it (obvious TW): http://deadspin.com/5972527/she-is-so-raped-right-now-former-student-jokes-about-the-steubenville-accuser-the-night-of-the-alleged-rape

  3. 3
    Eristae

    I don’t even know why people think it would be better if they hadn’t known. If by some bizarre chance they had managed to not understand that the appropriate response to a passed out girl who certainly needed medical attention and was possibly dead was not to sexually assault her, then they needs to spend a long, long time locked up while someone tries to fix them.

    I mean, even if no one in his entire life said that such behavior was wrong (lies!), all he needs is the gods be damned golden rule to understand this shit. After all would he have liked to have someone shove fingers up his ass while he was passed out? I think not.

    If they really, truly didn’t understand, then something is wrong with their brain, something that is malfunctioning so badly that the need to be locked up until they are mentally competent again. I mean that seriously and with great gravity.

  4. 4
    Argle Bargle

    They knew what they were doing. They even knew it was wrong. They just didn’t care. Their victim wasn’t a real person, i.e., a football jock. So what they were doing was akin to burning ants with a magnifying glass or some other childish but sadistic prank.

  5. 5
    embertine

    The only thing in this whole sorry mess that has managed to make me laugh was a tweet from Damian Fahey:

    “Hitler’s promising art career tragically cut short.” – CNN in 1945

    Well played sir, well played.

  6. 6
    doubtthat

    Obviously they knew what they were doing, which is why they tweeted it every using the word “rape,” and made sure the woman wasn’t in a position to decline consent.

    What’s interesting to me is that arguing they didn’t know what they were doing just supports the position, “teach men not to rape.” So, even if one is deluded enough to believe it was all a big misunderstanding (try to imagine, by the way, how a situation would be treated where a man passes out on a couch due to alcohol consumption and another fellow dropped by to engage in some digital penetration — anyone care to guess if “I didn’t know that was wrong” would be tolerated?), it just further supports the feminist (for lack of a more definite descriptor) position.

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