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Mar 17 2013

Steubenville rapists found guilty

That appalling story of the Steubenville high school football players who took advantage of an unconscious girl — and callously bragged about it on twitter and in cell phone conversations — is coming to partial closure. Two of the players, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were just found guilty.

It was a bizarre case in which the lawyers tried to simultaneously argue that there was insufficient evidence and that the avalanche of cell phone photographs and messages had tainted testimony.

The live feed from the court was hard to watch. Both of the defendants, just teenagers, broke down into wracking sobs at the announcement of the guilty verdict. Their lives are wrecked. Now if only they’d felt that degree of pain in empathy for the girl they’d raped, before they committed their crime.


Sentence has already been passed down. This is juvenile court, so they got 1-2 year minimum sentences, at maximum they get released when they turn 21. Time will be served with the Department of Youth Services, and they’re under a program of rehabilitation (which is a good thing, I think.)

195 comments

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  1. 1
    vaiyt

    I’m sure we will have to endure now an incessant whine about how inhumane is to sentence callous rapists to prison.

  2. 2
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I am, honestly, surprised that they were found guilty (and yes, that really scares me). And, somehow, I expect that all of the hand wringing and calls for empathy and mercy will be directed towards the rapists, not the survivor.

  3. 3
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Steubenville rapists found guilty

    Good

    Both of the defendants, just teenagers, broke down into wracking sobs at the announcement of the guilty verdict.

    Whether they were sorry for what they had done or for getting caught and sentenced is another question.

  4. 4
    bcmystery

    The next step is to find all the adults who excused and protected them guilty too.

  5. 5
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    The next step is to find all the adults who excused and protected them guilty too.

    What about all those who stood around and did nothing, or worse – dragged the girl around “like a dead body” and took photos?

    If a group of kids did that while a murder was going on, they would get prosecuted (right?), but rape is obviously so terribly ambiguous poor dears could not have possibly known that someone they were joking looked like a dead body was being abused (if not sexually assaulted right in front of them).

  6. 6
    bcmystery

    @Beatrice

    Absolutely. It’s all of a horrible piece.

  7. 7
    jaxkayaker

    Too bad they weren’t tried as adults, that punishment amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.

  8. 8
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    bcmystery,

    Sorry,I wasn’t implying you didn’t consider that. I see now that my comment could be read as accusatory. The anger goes for the horrible things this girl has gone through and the perpetrators. Of rape, assault and negligence.

  9. 9
    Artor

    Let’s not use the passive voice here, “Their lives are wrecked,” They bear all responsibility for wrecking their own lives by behaving in such an unforgivable, barbaric manner. I hope their victim can get beyond this and not have her life wrecked too. I’m glad a little justice came out of this. Now, what about the rest of the people complicit in this heinous crime?

  10. 10
    schism

    Both of the defendants, just teenagers, broke down into wracking sobs at the announcement of the guilty verdict.

    Hang on, I left my nanometer-long violin somewhere around here…

  11. 11
    Pteryxx

    A few years, until they turn 21. *headshake*

    The live feed from the court was hard to watch. Both of the defendants, just teenagers, broke down into wracking sobs at the announcement of the guilty verdict.

    Empathy or no, I admit a hope that any of the 6% who may have been watching this trial, and considered these teenagers their brethren, feel some of what they witnessed just then.

    /recuses self from news today

  12. 12
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They bear all responsibility for wrecking their own lives by behaving in such an unforgivable, barbaric manner.

    I see that one both ways. Yes, they made the decisions that put them in this position. They made the decision to rape her. On the other hand, who taught them that they were above the law? Who taught them they were privileged? Who taught them that women and girls exist so that they can fuck them? The boys are personally responsible for the rape; the football culture (which is rape culture) of the town put them in the position in which they could make that decision. Keep in mind, if the photos did not exist, this would, most likely, never have made it trial.

  13. 13
    bcmystery

    No worries, Beatrice. The problem is so huge, so systemic, it’s easy to get lost in the morass to trying to make sense of it and trying to solve it.

  14. 14
    marcus

    While I think a stiffer sentence is in order (as well as prosecution for those who aided and abetted as Beatrice noted), I am not sure that anyone deserves what would happen to them in an adult prison, ironically enough, because it would likely be too similar to what they did to this poor young woman. They, and the community at large, should never be allowed to forget who they are and what they did. They ought to have to answer for their crime, in all of their associations, for the rest of their lives.

  15. 15
    fantysq (a Radical Feminist and a Militant Atheist)

    Their lives are wrecked.

    What do you mean? Nobody will remember this story by the time they’re released. And most people would make up excuses for those guys anyway, even if they remebered the thing.

  16. 16
    Dick the Damned

    I wonder if these jerks, & society at large, are best served by the justice system? (And not just these particular jerks, but all the others caught up in the justice systems operating worldwide.) Yes, they are guilty, & they should have to suffer consequences, but we now know enough about human behaviour to understand that motives for retribution are questionable. Rehabilitation & prevention is what we should be aiming at, principally, & the typical justice systems don’t seem to be as strong on that as they are on retribution.

    How much of the guilt in this case, (& most others), is due to the effects of the culture that influenced the behaviour of these jerks? I avoid popular culture, as much as I can, but I understand that some modern popular music uses language that demeans women & girls. The people who promote that must share some of the guilt. And as for the other jerks who let it happen – they need a dose of re-education, too.

  17. 17
    A Hermit

    I’m watching the coverage on CNN right now…it’s all about how sad it is for the rapists, how awful the effect of the verdict on THEIR lives…ten minutes in they are finally getting to a brief mention of the victim…

    Sickening…

  18. 18
    Pteryxx

    The victim testified, by the way.

    (TW for victim-blaming and rage (mine))

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/us/rape-trial-in-steubenville-ohio.html?_r=1&

    “I was embarrassed and scared, and I did not know what to think because I could not remember anything,” she testified. She said that over the next two days she pieced together what had happened with the help of friends who showed her a video posted on YouTube and a picture that had circulated of her in the basement lying naked.

    Earlier on Saturday, two former friends of the girl testified for the defense that she had a reputation as a liar. An expert defense witness also testified that the girl was not likely to have consumed enough alcohol to pass out that night but that she did drink enough to have a memory lapse, implying she could have consented to having sex but did not remember doing so.

    I’m sure the crying defendants feel terribly betrayed that the slut-shaming bitchez-lie she-asked-for-it defense, such a cornerstone of their lives, suddenly failed them. This young woman who’s only a plaything to them stood up in court, endured being slandered and blamed while revisiting her experience, spoke her piece and won. She won. They lost.

  19. 19
    Pteryxx

    Salon updating with Twitter reactions:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/17/breaking_trent_mays_and_malik_richmond_found_delinquent_in_steubenville_rape_case/

    Getting a guilt verdict in #steubenville is about more than this case. It may help educate people on what rape is & how to prevent it.
    — Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 17, 2013

    After tears apologies and appeals for leniency Judge Lipps’ responds that leniency was trying them in juvenile instead of adult court
    — TrayAmari (@TrayAmari) March 17, 2013

    #Steubenville needs to be more than a tragedy you see on the news, and say, “That’s too bad” (for either side). It needs to be a lesson.
    — Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 17, 2013

    No more tabs for me today.

  20. 20
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oh, shit, Pteryxx. That is horrible. That is wrong. That is so fucking normal. That is so accepted.

    This young woman who’s only a plaything to them stood up in court, endured being slandered and blamed while revisiting her experience, spoke her piece and won

    Her bravery is astounding, admirable, scary all at the same time.

  21. 21
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    My #20 refers to Pterxx’s #18, not #19. Those Twitter reactions in #19 are heartening.

    And I’m going to retreat for a while. Sorry. I keep going places where I know I need to keep out. She is so much braver than I will ever be.

  22. 22
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You can consume enough alcohol to at the same time be able to give consent and forget most of the night? What a careful balance that must be. And how convenient for the rapists.

  23. 23
    Argle Bargle

    fantysq @15

    Their lives are wrecked.

    What do you mean?

    Having been found guilty of rape, they’ll be listed as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Colleges and employers look for that sort of thing.

  24. 24
    northstar

    Thirty years, and I can mostly read this without shaking, breathing hard, or my heart pounding,
    Thirty years, and I jump out of my skin if my husband comes up behind me unexpectedly.
    Thirty years, and I still sleep with all the lights on.

    No, not feeling too bad about how their lives are wrecked.

  25. 25
    Pteryxx

    Having been found guilty of rape, they’ll be listed as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Colleges and employers look for that sort of thing.

    As juveniles, they may not be. Being tried as juveniles generally means their records are wiped clean when they turn 21, as far as I know (and I’m far from expert, or competent to look into this atm.) The news will be all over it very soon though.

  26. 26
    Pteryxx

    Also worth considering… this case probably came to trial, and wasn’t swept under the rug or the social-media evidence ignored or “lost”, because of Internet and news visibility and the uproar from random commenters like ourselves. And that was largely the effort of one blogger:

    http://jezebel.com/5969076/we-wouldnt-know-about-the-steubenville-rape-case-if-it-wasnt-for-the-blogger-who-complicated-things

    The New York Times has a lengthy piece today on a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, which the paper has deemed particularly notable because it is “a sexual assault accusation in the age of social media, when teenagers are capturing much of their lives on their camera phones … and then posting it on the Web, like a graphic, public diary.” Without the social media angle, it would just be another story about a young woman raped by superstar athletes while she was blacked out from drinking too much alcohol in a hardcore football town. (The only “unique” part of the story, really, is that the two football players were actually charged with rape.)

    Last week, we wrote about [name redacted - Ptx*] the teenager who tweeted about the high school boys who sexually assaulted her while she was drunk and unconscious and then photographed the whole horrific escapade with their phones. You can read all of the details about the Steubenville case over at the Times, but it’s basically the same exact story — boys sexually assault and take photos of unconscious girl, town accuses girl of ruining the boys’ lives by speaking out and “asking for it” by getting wasted in the first place — set in a football town straight out of Friday Night Lights where young football stars are glorified and rarely challenged.

    In this case, accusations spread as quickly as did the photos of the unconscious girl, thanks in large part to blogger Alexandria Goddard, who covered the story on Prinniefied.com.

    *note: Her name’s out there, and if she chooses to engage publically after this I’ll use it, but not on this morning while the verdict’s fresh.

    Ogvorbis, you’re wise. Forget the tabs, I might just turn the computer off entirely.

  27. 27
    Argle Bargle

    Pteryxx @25

    According to the Ohio Bar Association’s FAQ on Sex Offender Registration:

    Tier III offenders are considered the most serious offenders. They include those who have been convicted for offenses such as rape, sexual battery, murder with sexual motivation, etc. Tier III offenders (adult and juvenile) must register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

  28. 28
    Inaji

    Both of the defendants, just teenagers, broke down into wracking sobs at the announcement of the guilty verdict.

    They’re sorry they got caught. They were tried and sentenced as juveniles. It’s not much, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. After having been through the court process with my own rape, I can say that experience was rougher on the young woman who was raped, and the fallout of testifying will be very harsh, and on top of that, she gets a life sentence. Excuse me for not falling over crying for these young men.

  29. 29
    dianne

    Having been found guilty of rape, they’ll be listed as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Colleges and employers look for that sort of thing.

    Good. They shouldn’t ever be allowed to escape the consequences of what they did. I’m sorry that at least one rapist was able to escape charges. Fortunately, google is forever and any future potential employers or colleges which use it will know who Evan Westlake and Mark Cole were and what they did.

  30. 30
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    If they were under 16, I’d be more outraged at the adults involved. These young men were actually within a few years of 21, which means that they were more than eligible to be tried as adults. They can cry their eyes out on camera, I don’t care. They got an incredibly light sentence and the judge was being much, MUCH more lenient than he would have been with other crimes, considering their age.

    I don’t feel any pity toward them. They got off easily, especially considering the damage they did to their victim’s life by publishing photos, video and otherwise publicizing the rape. Oh darn, they have to register as sex offenders…..

    You know, because they are.

  31. 31
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    #17 A Hermit

    I’m watching the coverage on CNN right now…it’s all about how sad it is for the rapists, how awful the effect of the verdict on THEIR lives…ten minutes in they are finally getting to a brief mention of the victim…

    Sickening…

    Ughhhh. Sickening is right.
    ——
    ——
    ——

    According to the Ohio Bar Association’s FAQ on Sex Offender Registration:

    Tier III offenders are considered the most serious offenders. They include those who have been convicted for offenses such as rape, sexual battery, murder with sexual motivation, etc. Tier III offenders (adult and juvenile) must register every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

    Good. Considering how they are getting all the pity, focus and sympathy on most new coverage and other places as well, add in the all consuming rape culture that isn’t going away any time soon and I think they’ll need the constant tracking and reminder. Plus I’d sure as fuck want to know even if it’s 40 years later. I’d stay far away from them as possible.

    Sure, talk about the problems with the system we have and working on fixing it but meanwhile work with what we have. So what, they have to deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives? The VICTIM does too and I care far more about her than the privileged little assholes who violated her and treated her like a living blow up doll.
    —–
    —-
    —–
    Annnnnd now I’m going to throw up, hug my sleeping daughter and curl into a ball.

  32. 32
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Shit, I’ve seen kids of 16 tried as adults for possession in the news, let alone for sex crimes. Those little brats got off incredibly easy.

  33. 33
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Pteryxx, Ogvorbis, JAL, Caine:
    My sympathies for any pain this has brought you.
    ****
    I too must register a bit of surprise that the teens were found guilty. In our sex saturated rape culture, rapists often do not pay for their crimes (if it goes to court at all). I do not shed one tear for their lives. That empathy is reserved for their victim.

  34. 34
    scimaths

    I’m glad that some of the perpetrators were found guilty, but the fact that they have to face some relatively minor consequence for their disgusting actions has not wrecked these rapists lives.

    And that they are still being given more support by their community than the victim is beyond disgusting.

  35. 35
    Inaji

    scimaths:

    And that they are still being given more support by their community than the victim is beyond disgusting.

    That support will continue, too. They’ll have it during their very short incarceration and they’ll have it from their community when they get out. The woman who was raped? Not so much.

  36. 36
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Hermit:

    I’m watching the coverage on CNN right now…it’s all about how sad it is for the rapists, how awful the effect of the verdict on THEIR lives…

    Because it’s a sad, sad day in the United States when rapists are convicted of rape and sentenced to be rehabilitated. Horrifying that we allow rapists to be officially labeled by the government just because there was some weird “due process” with a “jury of their peers” finding the rapists to be rapists “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    What monstrous injustice is this? The tears we must shed! We must stop this horrible thing where people who get accused of crimes are held to be innocent only up until the moment that they can be proved guilty in a court of law. These guys played football, for goodness sake. I’m sure that they’ve hugged their mothers. They very likely have been to a church, temple, or mosque – even, perhaps, sitting respectfully in the pews or kneeling reverently on the floor on occasion. These are the people, *these* are the people that we are allowing our government to declare rapists on the basis of mere photographic evidence, their own testimony, the testimony of witnesses and some bizarre ritual called a “fair trial”?

    Do you know, btw, that the UNITED NATIONS is trying to mandate this concept of being presumed innocent only up until the moment of conviction, despite what individual nations wish? That’s right, every time we call these rapists rapists we are forsaking our constitution and our god-given rights as Americans to accept the tyrrany of a UN where the majority of ambassadors aren’t even white! Yet another venue where white people can’t even get 50% representation, and they call themselves a promoter of human rights? Where in the world did this ridiculous standard “innocent until proven guilty” even get invented? We should bomb the heck out of it if our way of life is to survive!

    CD, on the rag again

  37. 37
    sheila

    This crime was so vile that it’s easy to lose track of the fact the rapists ARE juveniles. That means that their brains haven’t finished developing yet, and they have poor impulse control and a hard time seeing other people’s point of view – including the victim’s. The sentences would be utterly disgusting if they’d been given to an adult, but these aren’t adults. They’re lower than I’d like, but they’re enough to be a deterrent. At least the idiotic bleating that “they’re lives are wrecked” might make other teen jocks think twice.

    The adults who fed them the rape culture and defended them afterwards have no such excuse.

    Northstar, I’m really sorry for your pain.

  38. 38
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    northstar:
    I am so sorry for the pain you have endured.

  39. 39
    Inaji

    Sheila:

    This crime was so vile that it’s easy to lose track of the fact the rapists ARE juveniles.

    So what? They aren’t that young, and one can argue that the brain continues to develop after legal age is obtained. As has already been pointed out, many juveniles have been tried as adults for much lesser crimes. Their being tried as juveniles was another example of just how protected and shielded these rapists are, and that protection continues. They were more than old enough to know that rape is both wrong and a crime. They banked on not being caught. If they hadn’t been caught, this rape would have been a bragging point the rest of their lives, and they would have raped more women.

    Not crying for them. At all.

  40. 40
    littlejohn

    Their lives are, in fact, wrecked. Not by the relatively short jail time they’ll do, but by the lifetime they’ll be on the sex offender list. They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time. It’s a little like the Christian concept of eternal punishment in hell.

  41. 41
    Inaji

    Northstar:

    Thirty years, and I jump out of my skin if my husband comes up behind me unexpectedly.
    Thirty years, and I still sleep with all the lights on.

    Mine was 38 years ago. My husband knows not to come up behind me, ever. He risks serious injury if he does. I have a host of sleep problems and requirements to this day. We get a life sentence.

  42. 42
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Some of them were found guilty anyway. On top of that, there’s a whole lot of accessories to the crime who damn well ought to be feeling some consequences too. Still, like Ogvorbis I’m kind of surprised that anyone was convicted, so I guess that’s something.
    Sheila
    While it is true that the adolescent brain is still developing, and one can reasonably expect poor judgment from teenagers, this goes beyond poor judgment and far into the realm of outright predatory behaviour, and that is not fucking acceptable at any age.

  43. 43
    Inaji

    littlejohn:

    They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time.

    Bullshit. The town they live in still treats them like heroes. They’ll have plenty of support. As for the registry? If there’s a way around that, their lawyers are already working on it.

  44. 44
    Rowan vet-tech

    Sheila:

    This crime was so vile that it’s easy to lose track of the fact the rapists ARE juveniles.

    No. I understood this concept when I was a child. I knew hurting people was wrong. I had plenty of empathy for others while I was teenager, and before I was a teenager. This is just a version of “boys will be boys” here. Their brains are not so underdeveloped that they’d think this was perfectly okay. Their morality was underdeveloped because society says “bitches be askin’ for it.”

  45. 45
    Rowan vet-tech

    Littlejohn:

    Their lives are, in fact, wrecked. Not by the relatively short jail time they’ll do, but by the lifetime they’ll be on the sex offender list. They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time. It’s a little like the Christian concept of eternal punishment in hell.

    So, according to you, every single registered sex offender is homeless and living on the streets? And some 60 years of having people be wary of them is like *eternity* being lit on fire? Of all the hyperbolic nonsense.

  46. 46
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Yes, poor, poor rapists, whose lives may (or may not, depending on the feelings of the community around them–they’ll probably be fine if they stay local to Stubensville) be impacted by their crime.

    Who cares about the rest of the victim’s life, which (by statistics and PTSD symptoms) will be characterized by constant, unrelenting anxiety FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?

    Who cares that she may find having a relationship or being intimate difficult FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?

    Who cares that she will probably have to transfer schools, since most of the rest of the town hates her?

    Who cares that she will likely have horrific nightmares on and off FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?

    Who cares that her friends slandered her in court, and she’ll have trust issues FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?

    Who cares that everywhere she goes, she will constantly have to deal with the fallout from this case, or wonder how much of the way people treat her is effected by the case FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE?

    I mean, it’s not like the victim is important to the crime. It’s not like her life is affected. Please, let us all spend our time mourning the effect of being criminals on the lives of the rapists. We all know who really suffered in this case.

    /spits

  47. 47
    The Mellow Monkey

    I had to psych myself up before coming into the thread on this one. I couldn’t bring myself to follow this story very closely before, as I found a lot of details about the victim incredibly triggering for me.

    Good that they were convicted. Good that the sentencing focuses on rehabilitation. Good.

    I will shed no tears for their “lives being ruined” by their own predatory actions. I will shed no tears for them being forever identified as predators, which they have been. I don’t wish suffering on them, but I do want others to be warned. I want others who might think they can get away with it to realize that–thanks to the tireless and justifiably outraged efforts of those fighting rape culture–a blind eye is not always going to be turned in their favor. I wish every single person who tried to protect those young men, every single person who stood by and did nothing as they publicly and proudly violated another human being, and every single person who has tried to minimize their crime would also have to fully face the simple fact that this is rape and this is unacceptable.

    May they all be cursed with empathy.

  48. 48
    Rey Fox

    They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time.

    You’re literally wrong.

  49. 49
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Oh, and, it’s not like she isn’t “ruined” in the eyes of most of the US population, nor statistically likely to be re-victimized at some point by some asshole who thinks that if it happened once, it’s no big deal if someone else does it again.

    That’s fun. I especially love the part where you get a reputation for being an easy lay from it and spend the rest of your teenage years fighting off predators.

    /personal experience

  50. 50
    Inaji

    Mouthyb:

    /spits

    Joins you in the spitting. I find it appalling, all those who are finding reasons to excuse these rotten human beings. It’s a prime example of just why rape culture continues on and no one ever really pays attention to those who are victimized. Northstar points out 30 years worth of problems. I have 38 years of problems behind me. JAL, Ogvorbis, Pteryxx and others have years worth of problems behind them. We all get a life sentence. A fucking life sentence. Our lives changed in the instant of being raped, and none of us can ever get that life back.

  51. 51
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Caine: I’ve got 25 and counting. It still affects my sex life and how difficult I find intimacy.

  52. 52
    Inaji

    Mouthyb:

    I especially love the part where you get a reputation for being an easy lay from it and spend the rest of your teenage years fighting off predators.

    I didn’t get that after my rape. I got a different version, because I wasn’t a virgin when I was raped. You’d think that was the crime of the damn century, listening to the cops and the ADA.

  53. 53
    la tricoteuse

    From this story(I don’t know how to make the links pretty, sorry): http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57574728-504083/steubenville-rape-trial-verdict-judge-finds-both-teens-guilty-of-raping-16-year-old-girl/

    Richmond, [Ma'Lik's father] who did not raise his son, spoke to the victim’s family, saying, “I’m sorry for what you all had to go through. I hope somewhere in your hearts that you can forgive Trent and Ma’Lik for the pain they have caused your daughter.”

    Mays father said, “We’re sorry for putting everybody through this…Ma’Lik’s family, the community, the school, everybody else.”

    Notice someone they fucking forgot to mention in there? Anyone? Anyone who might possibly have been owed a fucking huge apology? Richmond, at least, addressed her family, which I guess is better than nothing, though it does smack of “sorry my son damaged your property.”

    Mays, though, wtf? Sorry to the other rapist’s family? The community? The school? Those are the important apologies to be making???

    I want off this planet right the fuck now.

  54. 54
    Inaji

    Mouthyb:

    I’ve got 25 and counting.

    I’m sorry. So sorry. I really think the majority of people simply have no idea of what being raped is like or how if affects people for the rest of their lives. I think the majority of people think it’s something you get over, or get past.

  55. 55
    Nick Gotts

    Her bravery is astounding, admirable, scary all at the same time. – Ogvorbis

    QFT. I wonder if there is any form of public recognition of that bravery she would find helpful.

  56. 56
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I wasn’t either, though I still had a hymen, thanks to a church member when I was 8. It’s just that we moved every 3 years until I went to that (religious, Conservative) high school in Texas. They didn’t care.

    I never took it to trial (my family, when I was molested, beat me for ‘seducing’ the church member; no help there), and I’m incredibly grateful I did not.

    You have my respect for doing so. Nothing so poignantly proves that women are community property, or at least public property quite as much as trying to get justice.

  57. 57
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Northstar:
    Thank you for sharing, and sympathies for where you are.

    For others who may be reading this:
    i don’t know how I got so lucky, but after being raped multiple times, I only rarely – not even quite as much as one night a month, anymore – feel so freaked out I can’t have my partner behind me. For me, it was more like a 3 year sentence to heck, 10 years on probation, and only intermittent effects since.

    A life sentence is not guaranteed, but it is not hyperbole: I know people who have had a much harder time recovering than me, and it’s been far from easy for me.

    About the sentence, rather than the media coverage:
    US justice systems, both adult and juvenile, have huge problems, but those problems are uneven throughout the US. I hope that wherever these boys go, it’s someplace that actually has the ability to keep them safe while teaching them to be better human beings.

    I perfectly understand the desire for punishment, but I’m not in favor of it. I’m for natural consequences: if people don’t want to hire you b/c of your choices, they don’t have to, etc. I’m also for not trusting rapists to just stop: there’s a purpose for the corrections system after the sentence. But I’m not into judging the sentences quickly. There are times – the supreme court of Italy’s idiotic judgement letting off a rapist because the victim wore bluejeans – when a sentence is patently absurd, But that’s because there is no hope of intervention to change the person, or even of sufficient monitoring to determine that self-induced change has occurred. If a person really is different and really is going to contribute positively to those around them, it’s time to let them do so…if we have enough evidence that that is true – which often takes a year or more after any change, just to feel confident in our knowledge – then we should let a person go.

    Thus I think a 1 year sentence is too short. It will take time to get passed the self-pite “ZOMG I”m in prison!” before any change can happen. Then it will take a long time for others to be able to know that change has happened, and also for the person to make the change robust: truly feeling you would choose differently isn’t the same as being able to choose differently when put back in the situation that reinforced your bad choices. If you would be rewarded for raping, would you still walk away from the opportunity? That’s the change I’m talking about.

    So no, I don’t think a 1 year sentence is appropriate. But it is easier to change when young, and they can be kept 5 years. That might very well be enough…*might*. I hope it is. I hope the facility to which they are sent has an actual rehabilitative mission and capacity.

    Beyond that, I can’t get closer to talking about them. The whole thing is so awful, and critiquing the system in the abstract is all I can manage. I don’t want to be arguing on behalf of the rapists on this day. I just wanted to say that, yes, it’s horrible and is often a life sentence as a victim/survivor, but even when it isn’t a life sentence, WTF, 13 years?…and then also say that, no, I don’t want an eye for an eye. I want these horrible boys to develop into humans who have empathy who can maybe actually contribute to justice in the future as much as their actions and choices have contributed to injustice in the past.

  58. 58
    Alverant

    They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time.

    They have to register and tell everyone in the neighborhood what they did – in their own words. It would be spun as a youthful mistake and being the victims of an overzealous PC culture. If they target their places of residence into HS football loving towns, they will find sympathetic ears eager to believe they were the real victims. I also wouldn’t put it past some college to overlook their crimes if they can still play. Colleges already have a bad habit of ignoring sexual assault and heavy drinking.

    As for the community, I expect support to fade once they are in jail. Out of site, out of mind and all that. They won’t get a hero’s welcome when they come out but I don’t think it will mess with their lives as much as living in JH for a few years will.

  59. 59
    chuckv

    I agree with #43. At least in that town, they can be registered with no ill effect. Everyone will know they are registered and not care. They will be able to get jobs and housing without interference.

    Maybe if they try to go somewhere else, they might have trouble. Even then it’s hard to say. If they stay winning athletes, people will turn a blind eye.

  60. 60
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    They will literally not be able to live anywhere, even after they’ve done their time.

    Literally? Like, their bodies will disappear in a puff of smoke the moment they step out of prison?

    Inappropriate joke?
    —-

    My admiration goes to all the survivors, especially those sharing with us here and/or supporting the good fight. Um, sorry for sounding like an evening show host. But really, your efforts shame those of us who have no similar trauma in our pasts and yet do much less for the safety of women.

  61. 61
    Chie Satonaka

    Raw Story has some of the quotes of the CNN reporting of this story — including the hand-wringing over how terrible it is that these boys will have to be registered sex offenders, which will “haunt them for the rest of their lives.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/cnn-grieves-that-guilty-verdict-ruined-promising-lives-of-steubenville-rapists/

  62. 62
    The Mellow Monkey

    Because the rape victim doesn’t matter at all, does she? Her haunted life doesn’t matter one bit in comparison to the rapists having to deal with the trauma of being identified as rapists.

    Fuck.

  63. 63
    SallyStrange

    Those boys had a choice about whether to have their lives ruined. Their victim did not.

  64. 64
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I am sorry to be writing again, I’m just so freaked out right now.

    I know enough about the justice system to know that giving someone money and a job, where, in exchange, that person has the responsibility to make someone else suffer, that creates [and rewards] sociopathic behavior. I don’t want my government in the business of making people suffer and I want even less to have the government hire private companies whose mission is to make money by making sure people suffer.

    I think a punishment mission hurts far too many people. Even when the person who has been convicted really, really deserves to be punished, the punishment creates more problems than it solves. It scares me to talk about a punishment based system.

    But I in now way am trying to minimize what others are saying about wanting to make sure that these boys pay their debt, and how can we measure that debt without reference to the suffering of their victim?

    And so now I’m just all messed up in tears thinking that my writing above in #57 is going to come across as minimizing other people’s experience.

    It is so not. The punishment I would wish inflicted is The Mellow Monkey’s curse, from #47…but we humans don’t have the power to magically create empathy. And so i try to advocate for system that does what is humanly possible to teach empathy, to teach justice and just choices. And I just can’t do that when the media is crying over the tragedy of rapists being convicted of rape. So I wrote one post to get that out and then waited for a time to try to write something separate, something logical and well argued, something through which I could think thoroughly [unlike the passionate condemnation of bemoaning the injustice of being convicted for your crimes].

    and now I look at what I just wrote above and it seems heartless. I don’t know how to express all this. And I keep thinking now that someone will think – horrifyingly, someone who’s never been raped, and even more horrifyingly someone who was – that I’m saying it’s okay that a 8 or 10 times a year I’m so freaked out I can’t trust the touch of the one person who has earned my trust more than any other, that it’s okay that 8 or 10 times a year I can literally feel myself being stabbed when the knives that cut me are years and miles away.

    I don’t know how to express this: it was ***horrible*** for 3 years, 2 of which were spent living with my rapist and the next spent being stalked. There aren’t enough asterisks, there aren’t caps large enough to express how bad this was. Horrible is a travesty of understatement to be used to describe those 3 years. The next 10 were bad, with constant effects on my ability just to feel like a human being. And now for 9 years I’m quite able to have entire days where I don’t think about it and entire weeks where my relationships aren’t harmed by it and entire months where the harm is minor – of a level that, while undesirable, might be caused by many things that we don’t consider huge tragedies. And I can live through 8 or 10 bad nights a year.

    And so I have a hard time saying that what I experience now is part of the same sentence. THAT feels like trivializing the 3 years and even the 10.

    I don’t know how to connect the two. Yes, the rapes still impact me, on some days horribly, but in a way that the word horrible can hope to describe.

    And I’m scared of saying it’s a life sentence, too, I guess, because even though my partner would understand, wouldn’t take offense, I would feel a desperate fear that she would think I’m saying that I can’t enjoy our relationship, but that’s not what I’m saying at all: all horrible all the time is not what I feel and I’m scared I’ll hurt people I love if I carelessly imply it.

    And so I’m stuck trying to separate 2 things:
    1. the emotion, the passionate hatred of words that bemoan a rapist’s conviction for rape, with the hatred of a system that treats it as okay, as *desirable* to assign someone the responsibility to see that someone suffers, a system that convinces itself that it can use human beings as tools to create suffering in prisons without creating a culture that justifies and eventually results in exactly the kinds of hateful, hurtful assault that the prisons punish.
    2. the dispassionate analysis of the culture that taught them rape, the system that is a product of that culture, statements that I believe are incredibly reasonble and yet I fear don’t solve the problem.

    I shouldn’t have to separate them: a good argument against a punishment system isn’t less good b/c it might be misunderstood as the sympathy (which I condemn) for convicting rapists of rape.

    I shouldn’t have to, but I’m afraid of screwing it up if I don’t separate them. Then I write and cry because one half feels incomplete without the other, then I write and cry again for the same reason.

    And now I’m still writing and still crying and I don’t know how to make it stop.

    People ask why I want to change the world, and there’s always this expectation that I’ll have something profoundly noble to say. And maybe some of my reasons are noble. But what society never allows us to say is this:

    I F’n hate the way I feel when I can’t trust the system will see it’s role as healing these boys and the community around them. I hate the way I feel when our media spends collected hours of national airtime expressing sympathy to rapists and their families for the consequences of being convicted of rape. i would hate it even if it didn’t overwhelm the airtime spent on expressions of sympathy for the victim of the rape.

    I hate the way I feel in the presence of such manifest injustice. If it’s selfish of me not to want to cry when I read the news or watch a clip, if it’s selfish of me not to want my stomach to churn with fear that it doesn’t matter how long the sentence we impose might be: it could easily be true that the place they are housed does nothing to make them more empathic while doing lots to make the people working within it less empathic.

    I hate the way I feel when I’m scared I’m hurting the people on this thread with whom I’m trying to have a conversation.

    If it’s selfish to want to change the world because I hate the way I feel right now, then I’m F’n selfish, but

    i

    want

    this

    to

    stop.

  65. 65
    Chie Satonaka

    People who claim that there is no such thing as “rape culture” are obviously studiously ignoring shit like this. From all the people over the last six months who’ve been trying to argue that what happened “wasn’t rape at all” to today’s reporting by the MSM focusing solely on how the rapists feel about it…what the fuck other evidence does anyone need?

  66. 66
    Inaji

    Blitzgal:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/cnn-grieves-that-guilty-verdict-ruined-promising-lives-of-steubenville-rapists/

    Oh fuck them. Fuck every single person who thinks this way. Don’t want your life ruined? Gee, perhaps you shouldn’t rape someone and fully expect to get away with it.

  67. 67
    dianne

    I find this bit particularly disturbing: One of the defendants “apologized” to the victim and her family saying, “No pictures should have been sent around, let alone ever taken.” He thinks that the worst thing he did that night was take pictures? Um…no.

    That’s bad enough, but, hey, no one expects a just convicted rapist to be the picture of enlightenment, right? So how about what the judge in the case said, “He also said the case was a cautionary lesson in how teenagers talk to their friends and conduct themselves when alcohol is present, and in “how you record things on social media that are so prevalent today.” ” Sounds like the judge agreed with the rapist. The implicit message here seems to be “Don’t produce so much evidence that we’re forced to convict you.”

  68. 68
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Lovely. It seems that Ma’lik Richmond’s sister was tweeting death threats at the victim. That is until her account got suspended.

  69. 69
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    dianne: Isn’t that what rape convictions are seen as–a mistake on the part of the rapist for leaving so much evidence? It certainly explains why we drag our damn feet so much as a society during rape trials and are so hesitant to convict. After all, we presume she’s a lying slut who lies for fun and wanted it. When the rapist leaves enough evidence to convict, it means they’ve left so much that it doesn’t matter that she’s a lying slut who lies for fun.

    And people wonder why women don’t report.

  70. 70
    Inaji

    Crip Dyke:

    And I’m scared of saying it’s a life sentence, too,

    I understand that. It is a life sentence though, simply by the fact that being raped changes you. Forever.

    As for these young men, I haven’t seen people wish massive suffering on them, I have seen people (including myself) upset that they are still being obviously pampered and protected. Perhaps there is hope for them, I don’t know if they can become decent human beings.

    Rape is not like other crimes – it has one of the highest recidivism rates. And that, of course, is only counting those who have been caught and prosecuted. The majority never are.

  71. 71
    Inaji

    Dianne:

    The implicit message here seems to be “Don’t produce so much evidence that we’re forced to convict you.”

    Yep. It’s the “didn’t you think about leaving evidence?” chastisement.

  72. 72
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Too fucking bad so many dudebro spent time on social media going off about the “dead girl” and “being so raped”. Harmless fun and games. That is until the “dead girl” fights back. Then it is all her fault for making the rapists cry.

  73. 73
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The implicit message here seems to be “Don’t produce so much evidence that we’re forced to convict you.”

    I’m old and cynical enough to buy that explanation. Even in the old-school ’50s world, certain things could be swept under the rug unless the evidence was so public and compelling the authorities had to act to keep their authority from being challenged. This case reeks of that odor.

  74. 74
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yes, I think it’s OK that they were tried as juveniles and that their sentence focuses on rehabilitation. If not for their sake then for the fact that this leads to lower rates of repeated offense. Nobody is helped if they collect more victims.
    The problem isn’t that they’ve been tried as juveniles when others weren’t, the problem is that those others were, but that is a different subject.

    +++

    Lovely. It seems that Ma’lik Richmond’s sister was tweeting death threats at the victim. That is until her account got suspended.

    TW: The internet doesn’t forget

  75. 75
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    BTW, it was probably a very good thing that they were sentenced in a juvenile court: Only a judge, not a jury. Which is probably the reason they were convicted at all.

    Oh and yes, I hope that for the rest of their lives they will watch every Superbowl and know that they might have been there instead of at home.

  76. 76
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Oh and yes, I hope that for the rest of their lives they will watch every Superbowl and know that they might have been there instead of at home.

    Not that it means much in the context of this thread but very few high school football players make it to the pro ranks.

    I will be happy with this; most women will avoid them because they know what they are capable of doing.

  77. 77
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Crip Dyke:

    And I’m scared of saying it’s a life sentence

    Everything that I have done in my life leaves an imprint on who I am now. Had I not been raped I would be a completely different person — not better, not worse, different, different in ways I cannot understand. It is Pratchett’s trousers of time — you go down one leg of time, another you goes down another leg or time and you never know which is the ‘right’ leg or the ‘wrong’ leg. Which is not, in any way, to minimize rape or the effects of rape. Now that I have recognized and accepted most of what happened (no idea if it will ever be all . . . .) I have found that I am still me. But I also know that it will affect me for the rest of my life just as the rest of my life does. Had it not happened, the rest of my life would still affect who I am. I see the rapes as a part of who I am, a part of me, a part of history. Safe hugs to you. I wish there was more I could do for you. And Caine. And JAL. And everyone else.

    Yep. It’s the “didn’t you think about leaving evidence?” chastisement.

    That statement should get the judge removed. He just told these young rapists that if only they had not taken photos and spread them around they would have gotten away with it. But remember, there is no rape culture.

  78. 78
    Inaji

    Giliell:

    Only a judge, not a jury. Which is probably the reason they were convicted at all.

    Yeah, and the judge went out of his way to be lenient and commented on the need to be careful with social media. He didn’t bother to say anything about the bloated sense of entitlement these nasty brats were walking about with, thinking they were entitled to do anything without consequence.

  79. 79
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Remember, football is the best way for boys to learn how to be men and to learn teamwork!

  80. 80
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yeah, and the judge went out of his way to be lenient and commented on the need to be careful with social media. He didn’t bother to say anything about the bloated sense of entitlement these nasty brats were walking about with, thinking they were entitled to do anything without consequence.

    Yes, and that’s bad and shitty and godsdamn victim-blaming.
    But they were still found guilty. I’m not sure a jury would have done so.

  81. 81
    Who Cares

    At first reading this is was elated seeing the earlier coverage about how these guys were treated as heroes and the victim as the one at fault
    Then reading the rest.
    A judge who considered having no other choice then convicting them. And then despite them clearly showing no remorse, other then we shouldn’t have spread the evidence, being lenient. FFS they gave her a life sentence and then only felt guilty about not covering it up, toss the book at them (note this sentence is biased due to experience).
    The general reaction of the public. These guys still being portrayed as victims, the real victim being ignored.
    The realization that despite being classed as sex offenders all they have to do is never move out of town to be free of that burden while their victim (and family) most likely having to move due to being shunned by that same town.
    Good thing I don’t have to work tomorrow. I doubt I can sleep tonight due to anger/frustration & memories.

  82. 82
    nutella

    The handwringing by CNN and others about clearly guilty defendants being convicted reminded me of a case about a very different crime.

    George Ryan, who was governor of Illinois, was convicted in 2006 for political corruption. He was found guilty of something that many others had done. The kind of bribe-taking he had done and condoned in others who reported to him were simply standard practice in Illinois government then. It was normal. It was part of the system that everyone lived and worked in and Ryan was the one who got caught.

    Some felt sorry for him because of other good things he had done in his career. Many felt sorry for him because he was unlucky enough to be the one that was caught and tried after the public and the courts became less tolerant of that kind of very common law breaking.

    My opinion was always that it was a good thing that one guy got caught, convicted, and jailed for doing what a lot of people did. The next politicians who think about accepting bribes will have to consider that they too might get caught, convicted, and jailed. The only thing to regret is that all the other guilty parties weren’t punished, not that Ryan was.

    The Steubenville rapists did what a lot of other people have done and participated in a system that encouraged them and others to commit that crime and get away with it. It’s a good thing that they were convicted because the next high school athlete who thinks he can rape and get away with it will remember that these two were caught, tried, and convicted. The only thing to regret is that all the other guilty parties weren’t punished, not that the Mays and Richmond were.

  83. 83
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I doubt I can sleep tonight due to anger/frustration & memories.

    (Yes, I know I am being hypocritical.) Be safe and take care of you. Been there, still there.

  84. 84
    The Mellow Monkey

    The implicit message here seems to be “Don’t produce so much evidence that we’re forced to convict you.”

    Of course it is. Enough evidence can’t be ignored. Enough evidence and suddenly it stops looking like rape just “happens” like a natural disaster, but is the premeditated act of a predator. Enough evidence and even those most deeply entrenched in rape culture have to deal with it.

    This is why so much of rape culture revolves around ways to hide rapists. Nobody wants to see that shit, boys! Hide it, so we can just claim this is a girl having regrets!

  85. 85
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It’s a good thing that they were convicted because the next high school athlete who thinks he can rape and get away with it will remember that these two were caught, tried, and convicted.

    Unfortunately, though, the lesson will not be don’t rape. The lesson will be, “be more careful. don’t film it. don’t take photos. don’t facebook it. don’t make it so obvious that the courts and police have to do something.”

  86. 86
    Inaji

    Nutella:

    It’s a good thing that they were convicted because the next high school athlete who thinks he can rape and get away with it will remember that these two were caught, tried, and convicted.

    It’s more likely that the next high school athletes will simply be more careful in regard to social media evidence in committing a rape, per the judge’s cautionary comment.

  87. 87
    Inaji

    Who Cares:

    I doubt I can sleep tonight due to anger/frustration & memories.

    You’ll have a lot of company.

  88. 88
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I’ll be sleeping through the magic of pharmaceuticals, just as I get up and leave the house through the magic of pharmaceuticals. Just as I don’t commit suicide out of the needs of my children and pharmaceuticals, though I think about it at least three times a month despite being radically over-educated and in a stable, loving relationship.

    If it weren’t for the drugs, I’d be joining the insomniac pool with many of the rest of us.

  89. 89
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Ogvorbis

    That statement should get the judge removed.

    This is, of course, another part of the problem. Damn near everyone in Steubenville is at least partially culpable, because they’re pretty much all pulling for the rapists. The families of the rapists, the rest of the team, the rest of the school, the jusge, the cops, the coaches, etc. are all part of the problem; there should be enormous ripple effects from this, but there won’t be.

  90. 90
    A Hermit

    This is promising…

    http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/289839/45/DeWine-Grand-jury-to-be-called-for-Steubenville-rape

    Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Sunday that a grand jury will be convened to determine if anybody else should be charged in a party last summer during which a 16-year-old girl was raped.

    The grand jury is expected to begin meeting on our about April 15.

    To date, DeWine’s office says the state’s crime lab has processed 396,000 text messages and 308,000 photos in connection with the investigation. The Attorney General says it has determined 43 people were at one or both locations where the assaults occurred. Sixteen of those people have refused to answer questions.

    DeWine says as a result he has come to believe that the investigation “simply cannot be completed … without the convening of a grand jury.”

    DeWine also told reporters that more must be done to address the cavalier attitude that today’s teens have towards sex and rape.

    “We as a society need to do more to educate our young people about rape. It is horrible crime of violence,” said DeWine.

  91. 91
    Inaji

    the state’s crime lab has processed 396,000 text messages and 308,000 photos in connection with the investigation.

    And yet, there’s no rape culture. Nope, not at all.

  92. 92
    The Mellow Monkey

    A man I’ve been friends with since our early teens got offended by the term rape culture. “There is no culture on the planet that revolves around promoting or protecting rape!” he said.

    Yeah.

  93. 93
    Inaji

    MM:

    “There is no culture on the planet that revolves around promoting or protecting rape!” he said.

    :Snort: Sure, sure. No such thing.

  94. 94
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    “There is no culture on the planet that revolves around promoting or protecting rape!” he said.

    We! Are! Penn! State!

  95. 95
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    On the one paw, I’m happy to see convictions in this case.

    On the other… bloody hell, the ADULTS (or alleged adults) involved in this — from the parents to the coach to the judge — need a fucking Clue-by-Four to the skull. If you wanna know where your kids learned this behaviour, LOOK IN THE FUCKING MIRROR. They learned it from YOU.

    (“You” being directed, not at anyone here, but at the adults of Steubenville.)

  96. 96
    chigau (違う)

    Promoting and protecting football, however…

  97. 97
    ladyh42

    30 years?

    38 years?

    God damn, I’ve only been living with this for 5

    Fuck me

  98. 98
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    A round up of rape apology on social media.

    Triggers, triggers everywhere.

  99. 99
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    ladyh42: Some of it gets easier as time goes by. I finally stopped sleeping with a brace of weapons a couple years ago, and I’m not having four nightmares a week any more. It can be lived with, and as CripDyke pointed out, your mileage may vary.

    But don’t be discouraged. Keep in mind that the traumas differ between us as well. I ain’t gonna speak for anyone else, but my entire childhood and up until year before last, something traumatic happened at least twice a year, so the reaction I have may not be anything like yours.

    There are supportive people here, as well.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    Pteryxx

    ladyh: and yet, I aspire to someday be such a fierce advocate, friend to strangers, and lover of books/rats/teaching as Caine, mouthyb, JAL, and Ogvorbis are. Another survivor. That’s much of what keeps me going.

  102. 102
    Inaji

    Janine:

    A round up of rape apology on social media.

    I really shouldn’t have clicked that link.

  103. 103
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Pteryxx: You do a fine job, in my not really humble opinion. (IMNRHO?)

  104. 104
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    ladyh: and yet, I aspire to someday be such a fierce advocate, friend to strangers, and lover of books/rats/teaching as Caine, mouthyb, JAL, and Ogvorbis are. Another survivor. That’s much of what keeps me going.

    Yes, being an advocate kept me sane for a number of years.

  105. 105
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sorry, Caine.

  106. 106
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I can’t say I was surprised by those tweets, but it does remind me that most of the time, the public response to any publicized verdict is to indict the victim. The world, it ain’t my friend.

  107. 107
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Sorry, Caine.

    It’s okay, Janine. I know enough to know people were going to be saying such shit, but it’s still a shock to see how easily people fall into rape culture thought.

  108. 108
    Cheryl B

    My heart hurts for those of you here who are still suffering. It’s been 29 years for me – also a highly publicized case involving some of a certain university’s finest star athletes. What a flashback. Fortunately, for this poor girl there was some sort of justice, if one can call it that. The judge might as well have just told them to go stand in the corner for time out.

    There is NO excuse for the judge not to have given them the maximum sentence after finding them guilty of these atrocious crimes. It’s sickening. As some of you have said, we receive a life sentence for being a victim while they get a slap on the wrist for committing a felony.

    Rape is akin to murder and the reason I say that is because the person you were on the day it happens simply dies and another one takes her place.

    These parents are also accountable and should be forced to pay for professional counseling for that poor girl. These scumbag criminals get their counseling and rehabilitation and WE are footing the bill! Who pays for the professional counseling that poor girl is going to need? What about those who can’t afford it and simply go untreated and end up with serious mental health issues down the road?

    I’m with the person who said they want off this planet.

  109. 109
    Inaji

    Cheryl B:

    It’s been 29 years for me – also a highly publicized case involving some of a certain university’s finest star athletes. What a flashback.

    Oh hells, this can’t be easy for you. You’ll be in my thoughts tonight.

  110. 110
    The Mellow Monkey

    ladyh42

    God damn, I’ve only been living with this for 5

    Fuck me

    I know. I think it’s been three and a half years since I was raped by a “friend” and a bit longer than that since the violent assault (my sense of time gets wonky, though, because I’ve tried so hard not to think about it) and…imagining this still being there for the rest of my life is daunting. But I can see progress happening. One of the things that has helped me more than just about anything else is being here. Talking about it. Seeing rape culture struck down again and again.

    Even a therapist I tried to see regurgitated rape culture shit at me. “Weeeeeeell, you didn’t say no and were semi-conscious, but curling into the fetal position would have been an indication of lack of consent.” Having my experiences validated and being involved in advocacy and education has often been the only thing keeping the hounds in my head at bay.

    And with that in mind: Thank you, all of you, so much. I was in such a dark, wounded place when I first began commenting here, and the community and the support and the education I’ve found here has literally saved my life.

  111. 111
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Notice that breitbart.com, home of Ben “Liberals Are Bullies” Shapero, was whining about Anonymous terrorizing Steubenville.

    Remember, rapists are not bullies. The true bullies are those who call out that rapist and their enablers.

    Wait! What was the chant that a drunken Breitbart was saying before he died.

    “Stop raping the people!”

    Funny how rape can veer from being something bad to something that should be ignored. I guess it depends on who brings the charges. A drunken Andrew Breitbart, condemning liberals; fine. A passed out sixteen year old girl who was raped; bully.

  112. 112
    Inaji

    MM:

    And with that in mind: Thank you, all of you, so much. I was in such a dark, wounded place when I first began commenting here, and the community and the support and the education I’ve found here has literally saved my life.

    Good. The world is a much better place for you being here.

  113. 113
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    MM: Isn’t it *amazing* how often people who have been professional educated can regurgitate that shit on the people they’re supposed to be helping?

    I give you piles of internet chocolates and/or virtual hugs.

  114. 114
    ladyh42

    Thanks Caine, Mouthyb. I wish I could get into advocate work or helping in other ways, but conflict of any kind sends me into fight/flight/freeze behaviour. Can’t work because people :( I’ve spent the last 5 years trying to get over this with no luck. I think the only thing I can do that’s positive is to educate my son about this.

  115. 115
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    As a direct result of this thread, I have broken open the chocolate chips and made garlic: the ultimate comfort foods.

    I hereby edistribute them to tMM and anyone else who could use them.

  116. 116
    The Mellow Monkey

    I think that’s a huge positive right there, ladyh.

  117. 117
    Inaji

    Ladyh42:

    I think the only thing I can do that’s positive is to educate my son about this.

    That’s a very positive thing to do. There’s also helping to educate people online, which can be easier to deal with than face to face. Advocacy and counseling aren’t for everyone. I couldn’t keep up meatspace advocacy past a certain point, I burnt out. You can always toss a few pennies towards counseling/crisis/advocacy centers in your area, too.

  118. 118
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    ladyh:

    I was raped 37 years ago and didn’t even remember it until about 2 years ago. It is scary. Safe hugs.

    Caine:

    Yes, being an advocate kept me sane for a number of years.

    I’m wondering if, maybe, that is why I keep coming into these threads even though I know they are risky? Either that, or I’m really not too bright. Could be both.

    Cheryl B:

    It’s been 29 years for me – also a highly publicized case involving some of a certain university’s finest star athletes. What a flashback.

    Yikes. Be safe.

    =======

    Without both the caring and the reality based take-no-bullshit attitude, I would probably still be wallowing in a depression I don’t comprehend. And when others, like ladyh, feel safe enough to expose their inner self, it makes me both very sad that anyone has to go through what has made us survivors, and very happy that this place is a safe place.

  119. 119
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    I’m wondering if, maybe, that is why I keep coming into these threads even though I know they are risky?

    It’s very likely, Ogvorbis. After a person has been through what you have, there’s often a desire to reach out, to help others who are going through similar events. We identify with one another, we understand.

  120. 120
    Pteryxx

    Cheryl B, ladyh, you’re already more than welcome and valued among us. Not everyone has to be brave or fierce or advocating all the time, nor should we be. We’re not identical. We’re legion.

    —-

    see also: http://freethoughtblogs.com/biodork/2013/03/17/talking-about-rape/

  121. 121
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    I don’t want to understand, though.

  122. 122
    Cheryl B

    Caine:

    Oh hells, this can’t be easy for you. You’ll be in my thoughts tonight.

    It’s really difficult. The second rape in the courtroom and the third rape in the media were even worse than rape itself. Thank you for your thoughts.

  123. 123
    Who Cares

    ladyh42 & The Mellow Monkey I can only give advice based on my own experience.
    The main piece is don’t do what I did. That is lock yourself away from the rest of humanity. Took me only around 20 years and an absolute need to trust someone to start getting me out of that.
    That was about 5 years ago, my life started falling apart, more then it did before, and I got (extremely) lucky that I got a diagnosis for something else which allowed me to get professional help more or less permanently (thank you socialized healthcare in the Netherlands). Now this social worker (actually a trained psychiatric nurse) knows more about me then my family, was instrumental in getting my life to the point where I could go outside for things like work & shopping. We are still working on getting me out of my apartment for more then these necessities and for me to be able to accept that there are more people out there I can trust..

    Being able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge helps (that means not that therapist The Mellow Monkey wrote about). It can be painful at first but it is my experience that even writing what I’m doing now helps a bit with learning to live with what happened and how it has shaped my life.

  124. 124
    ladyh42

    Ogvorbis @118

    Actually this is one place I’ve always felt safe, because anytime someone says something threatening, there are always many others who can channel my rage and disgust, evicerating the trolls as I wish I could. So many say how this is such a horrible forum, and yet I’ve never felt threatened in any way, except by the random douchnozzles that come in to harrass the regulars. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but after ElevatorGate, this is the one place that gives me hope for the Atheist community. I’d still be an atheist, there’s nowhere else for me to go, but it’s good to know there are like-minded people out there. . . in here.

  125. 125
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    To all survivors on this thread, I give my support and *many virtual hugs and much internet chocolate*. Sleep well and be safe.

  126. 126
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    I don’t want to understand, though.

    I know. Doesn’t change the fact though.

    Cheryl B:

    It’s really difficult. The second rape in the courtroom and the third rape in the media were even worse than rape itself.

    I know that one. Mine was a serial rapist-murderer. Two years of trial. Not fun.

  127. 127
    Cheryl B

    Caine: Omg, that’s horrible. I’m sorry. Please tell me there was a conviction.

  128. 128
    Who Cares

    Ugh. I just klicked that link in #98. I knew that I could expect some bad stuff seeing that Goodbye Enemy Janine warned about triggers and that it was directly linked to a rape apology round up. At least the good thing is that I don’t go completely numb (as an emotional defense measure) anymore at reading that kind of stuff .

  129. 129
    Inaji

    Cheryl B:

    Please tell me there was a conviction.

    Oh yes, he was convicted. For murder. Life sentence, but this was in SoCal in the 70s, there was no ‘life without the possibility of parole’ back then, so it’s been decades of parole hearings.

  130. 130
    Gregory Greenwood

    I still can’t get over the fact that so many people in the media coverage are droning on about how awful it is that the lives of these disgusting rapist scumbags ‘poor little dears’ have been ruined, just ruined, by what is apparently the heinous injustice of a very mild punishment for a very serious crime – “won’t someone think of the privileged, entitled sports stars?” appears to be the dominant sentiment.

    I fear that even the conviction has not really dented rape culture, and in particular its popular expression as football culture verging upon the deification of the sport and its personalities, in Steubenville and the broader US. The local community is still clearly backing the rapists while vilifying the victim. When these vile criminals get out after their short stint, I doubt the consequences will be as bad as some people claim for them – certainly nothing like the life sentence the victim will have to endure.

    Indeed, I would lay odds that, when the media furore dies down and there are no microphones pointing their way, they will be happy to wear what they have done as a sick ‘badge of honour’ among their fellow entitled dudebros, and as a talking point about the misogynistic MRAs who will doubtless seek to lionise them as ‘sporting heroes’ brought down by a ‘manipulative slut’ who got cold feet after the fact.

    The only message that will come out of this is a cautionary tale to would-be rapists soaking in the adulation of football culture that their status offers them only near total immunity from the consequences of rape. If they are fool enough to record and broadcast what they have done via social media, then even the toxic patriarchal system will have to bestir itself to create the illusion that it gives a damn. Anything short of that, however, and you are golden. The bar for action is set so ridiculously high that you actively have to strain in order not to slip under it.

    I have had the very good fortune in my life to never have been personally exposed to sexual violence, and neither have any of my loved ones (so far as I know), and these horrific events still leave me sick to the pit of my stomach. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this must be for all the rape survivors who I know frequent Pharyngula, some of whom have shown the very great courage required to share their experiences and help others deal with what has happened to them in their own lives. Among these courageous and inspirational people are some who have spoken up on this very thread. I would like to offer cyber-hugs all round if you want them.

  131. 131
    Inaji

    Who Cares:

    At least the good thing is that I don’t go completely numb (as an emotional defense measure) anymore at reading that kind of stuff .

    That is a good thing. It’s still absolutely awful reading such things. Makes me feel nauseous and furious.

  132. 132
    erikthebassist

    Ok, rape culture doesn’t exist according to many of FTB and Skepchicks’ “critics”, but here we have an example of rape happening in plain site of multiple people, real time.

    What brought the case to light was primarily the braggadocio of the rapists themselves. They published their own photos and videos and confessions.

    Anyone else see any thing wrong with this picture?

    WHY DIDN’T ANYONE ELSE DO ANYTHING? HOW MANY PEOPLE STOOD BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN? WHY DID THE VICTIMS’ FAMILY HAVE TO COMPILE THE EVIDENCE OFF FACEBOOK AND TWITTER THEMSELVES AND BRING IT TO THE POLICE?!?!?!?!?!!?

    Hello pit, I know you read every word here and are currently discussing whether rape must involve a penis and vagina or not, but are any of you nitwits going to seriously try arguing that there isn’t a part of western culture that turns a blind eye to rape after something like this? Really? That’s rape culture!

    Next time you demand evidence for rape culture, think about this!!!!!

    fuck!!

    sorry /rant

  133. 133
    Jackie

    I’m glad of the convictions, sad for the media’s handling of them.

    Thank you to those who are willing to share and be so open here. Thank you also to those who support them for making this a place where people can feel safe enough to speak up. I don’t know if it helps any of you, but it helps me.

    *hugs*

  134. 134
    Inaji

    Erik:

    Ok, rape culture doesn’t exist according to many of FTB and Skepchicks’ “critics”, but here we have an example of rape happening in plain site of multiple people, real time.

    I expect they’re falling back on “look at them – there’s a conviction, and they aren’t happy!” right about now.

  135. 135
    erikthebassist

    I expect they’re falling back on “look at them – there’s a conviction, and they aren’t happy!” right about now.

    I wouldn’t claim to be able to interpret anything they are talking about right now in to a language that any thinking, feeling person could possibly understand, just know that it makes me nauseous and angry. I can’t stop looking though as I’m becoming increasingly amazed at the way they use skepticism as an excuse to talk about human beings as nothing but numbers in a metric and only defined legally, or at least what happens to human beings is nothing more than a statistic or a legal argument to be pondered.

  136. 136
    erikthebassist

    They aren’t just anti feminism anymore, they are anti-humanism.

  137. 137
    Inaji

    Erik:

    I can’t stop looking though as I’m becoming increasingly amazed at the way they use skepticism as an excuse to talk about human beings as nothing but numbers in a metric and only defined legally, or at least what happens to human beings is nothing more than a statistic or a legal argument to be pondered.

    It’s not really any different from all those posting and tweeting in sympathy and support for those fine young rapists. They just aren’t bothering to work up a high-minded sounding argument, instead going with the standard “drunk slut” and “why hasn’t she been charged with underage drinking?”

  138. 138
    irisvanderpluym

    Ms. Paper (I am nasty):

    Thank you to those who are willing to share and be so open here. Thank you also to those who support them for making this a place where people can feel safe enough to speak up. I don’t know if it <blhelps any of you, but it helps me.

    *hugs*

  139. 139
    erikthebassist

    But there’s no problem with rape culture in America right Caine? Everybody universally abhors rape right? /sarcasm

  140. 140
    irisvanderpluym

    Shite – iPhart. Sirry.

    I was going to say: It helps me too. I am in awe of the bravery and honesty on display here. I aspire to be as open about my own experiences with sexual assault, but I can’t. Not yet anyway. I am so appreciative of this space, knowing that if/when I do discuss it, I will feel safe here. You survivors here, you’re my heroes.

  141. 141
    Inaji

    Erik:

    But there’s no problem with rape culture in America right Caine?

    Of course there isn’t, we’re just drowning in it, is all. Unfortunately, it’s not just ‘merica, either.

    Iris:

    I aspire to be as open about my own experiences with sexual assault, but I can’t. Not yet anyway.

    That’s okay. It can take a long time, and some people never are able to be open about it. There aren’t any rules, and you do whatever it is you need to do. If other people, who are able to talk about their experiences helps you, that’s a good thing. I’m glad.

  142. 142
    grumpyoldfart

    The black boy came up with plenty of sobbing noises but no tears. It’s a problem actors always have – how to produce tears on cue.

  143. 143
    frankb

    So many say how this is such a horrible forum, and yet I’ve never felt threatened in any way, except by the random douchnozzles that come in to harrass the regulars.

    I feel like a regular here in a lurking sort of way. The real regulars are so much better at commenting than me. But when a troll is being jumped on my heart is there. When feminism is being espoused I’m on board. When sexism is being exposed I’m shouting at the monitor. When rape victims are telling their tale I weep. I am rooting for you Caine and ladyh42 and others.

  144. 144
    Inaji

    Frankb:

    I feel like a regular here in a lurking sort of way.

    You’re a regular to me. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated your posts.

  145. 145
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The use of “black boy” is just a little too problematical for my taste.

  146. 146
    Inaji

    grumpyoldfart:

    The black boy came up with plenty of sobbing noises but no tears.

    This…phrasing bothers me. “Richmond came up with plenty of sobbing noises but no tears” would have been better.

  147. 147
    Inaji

    Janine:

    The use of “black boy” is just a little too problematical for my taste.

    Jinx! For me, it’s the implication that the “white boy” was sincere, whereas the “black boy” wasn’t. I expect both of them were damn sorry they were caught and convicted, but just because someone can summon up tears, crocodile or no, isn’t all that much of an indicator of regret. Self pity, that I’d buy.

  148. 148
    irisvanderpluym

    Caine:

    If other people, who are able to talk about their experiences helps you, that’s a good thing. I’m glad.

    It’s helpful in multiple ways. It helps me to process certain aspects of my experience: someone expresses something I haven’t been able to put into words, and it “clicks” for me. It helps me to know that no matter how isolated or cut-off I may feel, there are people here at various stages in their journeys who are supportive of each other, engaging in fierce and productive advocacy, and fighting the good fight — for themselves, for each other and for people like me they’ve never met. I get a sense of connectedness here and it is hard to overstate the value of that. I suspect many lurkers get that, too.

  149. 149
    Inaji

    Iris:

    I get a sense of connectedness here and it is hard to overstate the value of that.

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s of incredible value to me, too. It’s hard to put into words, but that sense of connectedness has helped to keep me together on more than one night. I always know, in the back of my mind, that I’m not alone, and that’s worth so very much.

  150. 150
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Caine
    The terminology itself rubbed me the wrong way. That said, I haven’t watched the footage and don’t intend to; there’s really nothing either of them could say or do at that time and in that place to convince me that they were sorry about anything but being sentenced.

  151. 151
    Inaji

    Dalillama:

    The terminology itself rubbed me the wrong way.

    It’s good to know it’s not just me, that both you and Janine were bothered also.

    That said, I haven’t watched the footage and don’t intend to; there’s really nothing either of them could say or do at that time and in that place to convince me that they were sorry about anything but being sentenced.

    I feel the same way, that they do indeed feel sorry for themselves, but that’s about it. They came close to not being caught, after all, and if it weren’t for their overwhelming sense of entitlement leading to braggadocio, they wouldn’t have been. Given that their attorneys went for a bench trial in the hope of acquittal or leniency, I imagine they had high hopes of being let off the hook.

    A jury trial would have been moved out of Steubenville, and they could have been facing very serious jail time, rather than the time they received.

  152. 152
    Inaji

    Gregory:

    The local community is still clearly backing the rapists while vilifying the victim.

    They aren’t alone, either. See Janine’s link @98, for just a small bit of it.

  153. 153
    hyrax

    It’s been just about two years since I was raped by a “friend,” and less than a year since I reported it (which was traumatic in its own right– let’s just say that rape culture definitely shows its influence even in female Irish detectives). And it’s just starting to sink in that it is indeed a “life sentence.” Even though I only have the occasional nightmare or panic attack, I’ll still be a rape survivor for the rest of my life. And I’m not quite 30. Do I have 60 years ahead of panicking whenever I see a man with a certain haircut on the street? Of feeling uncomfortable whenever someone mentions the name “Alex”?

    Yeah, “won’t somebody think of the poor rapists” isn’t going to fly with me.

    I do want to say though– I’m pleasantly surprised by the comments on this! When I saw it was up to 150 comments, I just assumed there would be at least one clueless asshole in the comments. I’m glad no rape apologists have shown up (yet.)

    (Like others, I’m looking sideways at the ‘black boy’ comment, though…)

  154. 154
    Inaji

    Hyrax:

    It’s been just about two years since I was raped by a “friend,” and less than a year since I reported it (which was traumatic in its own right– let’s just say that rape culture definitely shows its influence even in female Irish detectives).

    I’m sorry. There’s more than one reason reporting is so low, and one of those reasons is the police. You shouldn’t have to take shit from them, but most people do. That’s one of the reasons I started advocating, going with rape victims to the repeat police interviews, line-ups, all that. It’s difficult enough, dealing with the rape, no one needs to hear nasty shit from the cops too.

  155. 155
    The Mellow Monkey

    I’m so sorry for what you went through, hyrax. I’m glad this thread has at least been a pleasant surprise for you.

    Do I have 60 years ahead of panicking whenever I see a man with a certain haircut on the street? Of feeling uncomfortable whenever someone mentions the name “Alex”?

    You know…I’d thought this was one I was immune to, because it never happened to me. But then a few weeks ago I discovered that the reason it hadn’t happened was just because the “friend” who raped me was especially distinctive looking, not because it wasn’t lurking there in the back of my head. When I had a server at a restaurant who looked quite a bit like the rapist come to my table, I nearly had a panic attack. He was a perfectly nice young man who did his job well, but having him leaning over me repeatedly left me shaky for the rest of the day.

  156. 156
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    hyrax –

    I was freaked out by having seeing hand movements in the corner of my vision, so long as they were about the right skin tone. Just a particular color of flesh tone, moving in my eyesight but not central enough that I could track what was happening to be sure I was safe, and that’s all it took.

    It hasn’t happened to me in 2 years. Okay, it took a decade for that instinct to dull, but it did go away, and though my memory probably isn’t perfect, I bet it lessened even before 10 years. Certainly after a while I learned better skills for calming myself down more quickly after I got triggered.

    So, yeah, it’s a long term thing. But it’s not like there won’t be any change. It’s not like your reactions will always be as they are now. And it’s not like you don’t have some control over that, like I had control over whether I engaged in calming techniques.

    I know that may not be awesome news, but I hope it’s good enough for tonight.

    Hugs to you, and Ladyh42, to whom I forgot to send hugs earlier.

    Chocolate and garlic bread can make the internet rounds again.

  157. 157
    Azuma Hazuki

    For everyone who has been violated this way…CripDyke, MouthyB, LadyH42, Ogvorbis, Caine, all of you: stay angry.

    It sounds counterintuitive, but stay angry. Don’t let it eat you alive, but stay angry. This is as close to the concept of deontological evil as will ever exist, and it needs to be combated. Stay angry. Keep fighting. You will not fight alone.

    I’ve been lucky enough never to have been raped or assaulted, but my sister was not, and she was only 14 when it happened, and somehow she has more or less pulled herself together. She did it because she stayed angry, and she now educates children in the arts and teens in music and mothers in being the best mothers she can be, and she is alive and vibrant and functioning in part because she’s pissed right off.

    You are human. You are worthy. You are loved, all of you, by at least one person, even if it’s not you. And no matter what those bastards did to you they can never take away you even if it feels like it.

  158. 158
    Larry Poppins

    I got to this thread late, and I’m glad I took the time to read it all. This is probably the only place I would feel safe reading the comments. This story catches me on a lot of hooks. I can’t just not follow it, not discuss it. I want to get on my usual high horse about juveniles and adult sentencing but I just can’t. First there’s the victim, then there’s the fact that she was a high school kid, and so was everyone at the party. I teach high school kids. They all could have been in my classes, except that I want to believe that my kids are different. That the guys who grab girls in the hall when the power goes out aren’t on their way to my classes. I want to think this kind of thing couldn’t happen to my kids, and then there comes Stubenville and I have to let all that go and realize just what the statistics mean. 6% means ~6 students per year are or will be rapists. That’s two full classrooms by now. Then I want to think that none of the coaches where I work would slander a victim and pity the rapists and I think maybe I have to let that notion go too.

  159. 159
    left0ver1under

    blitzgal (#61) –

    It’s not just CNN that are blaming the victim. Read this other RS story about the number of idiots (media or mouthpieces) who are blaming the young woman and claiming the rapists and the town are the “real victims”. In some places, there are death threats against her.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/17/the-top-5-rape-apologist-reactions-to-the-steubenville-rape-verdict/

    The idiot judge in the case said (essentially) in his remarks on the trial, “This is the problem with social media.” Imagine if that idiot had said that during the trial. The jury might have taken that as an order to say “not guilty”.

    But four years in prison? That’s a joke. When they hit 21, they should be sent to regular prison and make to serve the full sentences, preferably at least ten years.

  160. 160
    Inaji

    left0ver1under, you might want to finish the thread, we know all that and have been discussing it.

  161. 161
    bluentx

    And it was a bench trial not a jury trial.

  162. 162
    frankb

    Thanks Caine:)

  163. 163
    DLC

    I’d like to know why these two (and the 4-6 others who were implicated but not charged) went to juvenile court instead of adult level criminal court. I’ve seen 13 year olds sent to death row for murders, why weren’t these two tried as adults ?
    Oh, and as for their “breaking down in tears” — where was the empathy when they were abusing and raping that young girl ? I also recall seeing one photo from the news item I read on this. . . a picture of the two youths at the defense table, looking on with an air of smug superiority.
    This is not justice.
    Someone else once said “Not even the guilty get what they deserve.”

  164. 164
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    My big support and hugs out to all the survivors here.
    You’re brave people.

    +++

    They aren’t just anti feminism anymore, they are anti-humanism.

    You can’t be one without the other.
    No humanism worth it’s name isn’t feminism as well.

    +++
    Larry Poppins
    The numbers, they are frightening, aren’t they?
    Just looking at a big crowd and counting, to five for all the women, to twenty for the men, it’s frightening. But I don’t believe that those numbers are set in stone. They can change. They can change when we teach those boys about respect and consent.

  165. 165
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    ladyh42 @ 124:

    I suspect that the elevator threads were a turning point for a lot of people. I know they were for me.

    Caine:

    I know. Doesn’t change the fact though.

    Last night, I found myself ruminating on who I would be if I hadn’t been raped. And realized that I have no I idea who I would be but I wouldn’t be me. Fuck, it really is a part of who I am. Forever.

    irisvanderpluym:

    It helps me too. I am in awe of the bravery and honesty on display here. I aspire to be as open about my own experiences with sexual assault, but I can’t. Not yet anyway. I am so appreciative of this space, knowing that if/when I do discuss it, I will feel safe here. You survivors here, you’re my heroes

    Safe hugs and support to you. As for survivors and heroes? Well, so far I’m a survivor. I disagree with the hero part (speaking only for me!).

    hyrax:

    I’ll still be a rape survivor for the rest of my life.

    Yup. This is something that, 37 years later, is just starting to sink in for me.

    And I’m not quite 30. Do I have 60 years ahead of panicking whenever I see a man with a certain haircut on the street? Of feeling uncomfortable whenever someone mentions the name “Alex”?

    Maybe? I don’t know for sure. I was in total denial that I had been raped for about 35 years — I denied what had happened to the point that I didn’t remember. I have been remembering more and more over the last two years and tahere are certain things — scout leaders with cameras, for instance — that set me off. No idea if it will last.

    You have my profound sympathy. Yeah, rape culture is pretty damn pervasive. I had absorbed enough to know that I wouldn’t be believed back when I was nine years old (and when I did tell, I was not believed).

    Mellow Monkey:

    When I had a server at a restaurant who looked quite a bit like the rapist come to my table, I nearly had a panic attack. He was a perfectly nice young man who did his job well, but having him leaning over me repeatedly left me shaky for the rest of the day.

    Amazing how triggers can come out of the middle of nowhere. Hugs and support.

  166. 166
    sundiver

    One little ray of sunshine: The backlash at CNN over the “(sym)pathetic” attitude toward the rapists has been pretty harsh. Apparently more than a few people have ripped the network for the portrayal of the rapists as somehow “victims”. Still, that the douche ULCCs (somehow canoe isn’t strong enough for me) got any sympathy at all is disturbing as hell.

  167. 167
    northstar

    @mouthyb #99>>>I finally stopped sleeping with a brace of weapons a couple years ago<<>I really think the majority of people simply have no idea of what being raped is like or how if affects people for the rest of their lives. I think the majority of people think it’s something you get over, or get past.<<

    Yes. Intellectually I can say, rape gives you the information that 1) There are people who will hurt you, just because you can; 2)If they want to kill you, they can do that, too, and really not care; and 3) these people look remarkably like half the people you see every day, and you can't tell the difference. What this information does to one's mind is a kind of permanent rewiring at a much deeper, primal level, that there IS NO real safety.

    And mouthyb at #46: Yes, so much yes.

    I didn't read the elevator threads. Couldn't do it. Still catch my breath a little when the doors open and there's a man. Coming or going. Still feel bad at the hurt look on the face of one black dude, but how does one explain?

    Sorry to see so many sisters here. Glad for the kind words from all, thanks.

  168. 168
    northstar

    I have no idea how I did that to the formatting above, sorry. There are quotes and comments due to the length of the thread.

  169. 169
    northstar

    @mouthyb #99:I finally stopped sleeping with a brace of weapons a couple years ago

    I went to my (quiet, suburban, arty) bedroom and counted: a set of samurai swords; a cudgel; 4 decorative daggers; my husband’s two Roman broadswords, and my medieval battle axe. That with a properly stored and locked shotgun and handgun. All much more tasteful looking than it sounds. Issues? What issues? I guess it would be sad if it weren’t a little funny.

    @Caine #54:I really think the majority of people simply have no idea of what being raped is like or how if affects people for the rest of their lives. I think the majority of people think it’s something you get over, or get past.

    Yes. Intellectually I can say, rape gives you the information that 1) There are people who will hurt you, just because you can; 2)If they want to kill you, they can do that, too, and really not care; and 3) these people look remarkably like half the people you see every day, and you can’t tell the difference. What this information does to one’s mind is a kind of permanent rewiring at a much deeper, primal level, that there IS NO real safety.

    And mouthyb at #46: Yes, so much yes.

    I didn’t read the elevator threads. Couldn’t do it. Still catch my breath a little when the doors open and there’s a man. Coming or going. Still feel bad at the hurt look on the face of one black dude, but how does one explain?

    Sorry to see so many sisters here. Glad for the kind words from all, thanks.

  170. 170
    northstar

    Mod, can you strike 167 & 168?

  171. 171
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Thank FSM for the idiots posting about this or it would be just one more case of “She got drunk and asked for it.” I think Steubenville, Ohio, U.S.A. needs to be named this year’s “Rape Capital of America” and boycotted. Please, if you shop there, go elsewhere! If your kids go to school there, transfer them out. If you live there, move away. Maybe if it hits the Better Business Bureau in the pocketbook, they will pay some goddamned attention.

    Reactions: I’ve shrugged it off, consciously, but the whole “Anyone can do this to me any time anywhere” even in public lasted for several weeks. You know, maybe we should be kinder to immigrants and refugees who have gone through this sort of thing AND massacres.

    I won’t mention the various clubs casually strewn around the house.

  172. 172
    Inaji

    Northstar, no mods here. Don’t worry about it, we’ve all screwed up posts.

  173. 173
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    O my fucking God! One of the rapists apologized tearfully—for providing the evidence!

    “In court, Ma’lik Richmond apologized before breaking down in tears.
    “I had no intention to do anything like that,” he said. “And I’m sorry to put you guys through this.”
    Mays apologized to the families involved.
    “No pictures should have been sent out, let alone been taken,” he said.

    These people should be in jail for obstruction of justice.

    “…there were 16 people who had refused to talk to investigators.’

    The defence argued that the girl was too drunk to refuse and therefore must have consented. How fucked up is that? I’m reading as little as possible about this and still steam is coming out of my ears.

  174. 174
    Inaji

    Azuma Hazuki:

    For everyone who has been violated this way…CripDyke, MouthyB, LadyH42, Ogvorbis, Caine, all of you: stay angry.

    It sounds counterintuitive, but stay angry. Don’t let it eat you alive, but stay angry. This is as close to the concept of deontological evil as will ever exist, and it needs to be combated. Stay angry. Keep fighting. You will not fight alone.

    I’ve needed a day to figure out how to respond to your post. While support is always appreciated, Azuma, this advice is not good. It’s not bad, either. Thing is, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to those who have been raped. For some people, nursing their anger would be a very bad, destructive thing to do. For others, reaching the anger stage is a positive. What works for one person won’t work for another. Most of us are aware of the different stages we go through (similar to the steps in the grief process), each person has their own time scale on that score, and varying degrees of trauma to deal with.

    Again, the support is appreciated, but you might want to be a bit less specific with the advice next time.

  175. 175
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    In Canada, youth records are not wiped but neither do they appear in ordinary searches of a criminal record.

  176. 176
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It sounds counterintuitive, but stay angry. Don’t let it eat you alive, but stay angry. This is as close to the concept of deontological evil as will ever exist, and it needs to be combated. Stay angry. Keep fighting. You will not fight alone.

    I don’t look at it as anger. I view this as participatory education (and I learn more by writing about this than others will). Anger, to me, is very short term. Very temporary. And, when I am afraid, anger tends to feed the fear and fear tends to feed the anger. I do get angry. I do get fearful. I do feel sorrow, and pain, the whole gamut of emotions from joy to suicidal depression. But these are phases I drift in and out of. Were I to stay angry, were I to feed that anger, nurse that anger, prolong that anger would, for me at least, be severely contraindicated. I do fight, but anger is a dangerous support for my fight (what I can manage, anyway). Passion, yes. Empathy, yes. Anger, not so much.

    I appreciate the support but please remember that every survivor is completely and totally different in more ways than they are the same. What works for you works because of you.

  177. 177
    Pteryxx

    They may not even be required to register as sex offenders. That decision will be made later.

    In Ohio, youth are given a minimum sentence but can also be kept in facilities for longer if officials feel they have not been rehabilitated. Lipps recommended that both attend sex offender treatment and said he would decide at the time they are released what their sex offender registration requirements should be.

    http://www.cleveland.com/steubenville-rape-case/index.ssf/2013/03/two_steubenville_football_play.html#incart_m-rpt-2

  178. 178
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Pteryxx

    Lipps recommended that both attend sex offender treatment and said he would decide at the time they are released what their sex offender registration requirements should be.

    Oh, great. So the judge decides to focus on the evil social media that provided the mountain of evidence he couldn’t ignore, the new coverage pities the rapists, the rapists get the lightest sentence short of an acquittal, have their criminal past wiped clean and they may not even have to register as sex offenders?

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Yeah, the minor victory of convict is looking fucking worthless right now. *sigh*

  179. 179
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    They may not even be required to register as sex offenders. That decision will be made later.

    I called that one upthread somewhere, in response to littlejohn, I think. You know it’s bad when it’s so damn easy to predict such things.

  180. 180
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I hear that our stories, anonymized, need to collated and made into a political issue, one of untreated PTSD that the health system needs to address. Why not therapy paid for by the rapist’s family, if they are convicted, or the county regardless of conviction or charging status, or the state if the rapist is unknown or not reported? Or if the crime was so long ago that the rapist can’t be charged (or found, etc.)? Make it a problem for the legislators’ budgets and motivate them to do some crime reduction.

    Step 1. Forge partnerships with NGOs for social justice.

    Step 2. Get the stories out there, thousands of them.

    Step 3. Agitate for legislation for education and effective crime fighting to deal with all the problems from rape culture and victim blaming to hyperskepticism and trial procedures and sentencing guidelines. Look at what other countries do, for models.

    Step 4. Monitor how the legislation & educational campaigns work and keep adjusting.

    Step 5. Organize to export the models, suitably adjusted for other countries, with consultants to help them do the same.

  181. 181
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Does anyone do tinsmithing? I need a cookie cutter, about 1″x3″ that says “TSIPAR”. Thanks.

  182. 182
    Tapetum, Raddled Harridan

    @JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness – don’t underestimate the potential value to the victim of having there be a declaration that yes, what happened to her was real, was illegal, and was worthy of punishment under the law. No matter how everything else goes and has gone, that can be a powerful thing.

  183. 183
    Inaji

    Tapetum, given the fact that the victim was threatened from the moment there was a case being investigated, had to be pulled out of school, is now receiving death threats and everywhere she looks, she’s seeing massive hand-wringing and sympathy for those who raped her, along with even more reduction on their so-called punishment, I wouldn’t go too far with how empowering it is.

  184. 184
    Pteryxx

    Missed dropping this off earlier. Remember Judge Lipps saying that the defendants got their leniency by being tried as juveniles instead of adults? That decision involved members of the community testifying to their good characters, in which head coach Saccoccia was instrumental:

    Saccoccia would later claim he was unaware of the social media evidence, angrily telling a reporter that he didn’t “do the internet.” But a flurry of texts sent on August 13, the day after the incident, indicated that Saccoccia had heard what had happened.

    Even as all of Steubenville gradually heard the rumors, even after a local blogger alerted the country to what had happened in Steubenville, those involved in posting and sharing the photos and videos continued to play. They were only suspended eight games into the season, more than two months after the assault and arrests.

    Less than a month later, Saccoccia testified on behalf of Mays and Richmond in a hearing to determine whether they would be tried as adults.

    Steubenville High School head football coach Reno Saccoccia testified that one of the defendants developed great character not through sports, but through overcoming struggles at home. The boy exhibited humility and routinely responded well to adversity, he added. Despite the charge against him, Saccoccia said he remains proud of the defendant.

    It was determined that Mays and Richmond would be tried as juveniles, and were released from custody.

    From Deadspin via Salon: Why Does Steubenville’s Football Coach Still Have His Job?

    As an employee of the school district, Saccoccia was a mandatory reporter under Ohio state law.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/18/meet_reno_saccoccia_steubenvilles_head_football_coach/

  185. 185
    Pteryxx

    also since this is as good a place as any: A youth sports blogger’s interpretation of rape culture from the jock culture side. (He doesn’t quite understand the term, but he has a sense of the basic idea, IMHO.) Links are from the original.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2013/03/17/lesson-from-steubenville-rape-trial-how-jock-culture-morphs-into-rape-culture/

    But more than the legal machinations, there is a question that continues to linger over the case: Was there a so-called rape culture in Steubenville that allowed football players to believe they would not be held accountable for any wrongdoing? And does that rape culture exist elsewhere in youth sports, anywhere that athletics is held in high esteem in a community?

    The answer from the trial was, yes, in Steubenville, there was. And what’s clear from the trial, too, is that a rape culture can be created when adults send a signal that athletes are to be held in high esteem, and the athletes absorb the belief that as long as they are loyal to the team, the adults surrounding that team will look away from anything they do that can hurt it. A rape culture doesn’t require a rape to happen. (And when I say rape, I include the many gruesome cases of team-member-on-team-member violation often dismissed as “hazing.”) It merely is a culture ingrained into sports-playing youth that they get to do whatever they want, to whomever they want, with impunity. Rape culture is one gruesome step beyond jock culture.

  186. 186
    left0ver1under

    Caine, Fleur du mal (#160)

    Oh, bugger. I do hope it was understood that I share the same sentiment about the crime, the trial, and disgust of the media’s attack on the young woman. It was my failure to thoroughly read, not an attempt to troll.

  187. 187
    MadHatter

    @185 I wish it were as simple as just saying it’s the fault of “the jocks” too. It’d be so nice and easy to say that rape culture in schools and universities has everything to do with how highly we esteem our athletic “heros”. In my high school it was the band. The outcast, geek kids, who did it to each other. The teacher who did it to several students. The students who knew and stood up for the rapists and ultimately the school district who hired that teacher knowing he had a questionable record.

    Perhaps we hear about it more often because in ‘merica we place our athletes on a pedestal and when they fall it’s just more spectacular. But it’s everywhere else too.

    Sometimes I just want to pretend the world doesn’t exist. Today is one of those.

  188. 188
    Pteryxx

    via Shakes: The carelessness of this is unconscionable.

    CNN, Fox News and MSNBC recently aired the name of the underage victim in the Steubenville rape trial during reports about the case.

    Two high school football players were found guilty of raping a 16-year old girl in a controversial case in Steubenville, Ohio. The verdict was handed down on Sunday.

    All three cable news networks aired a clip of one of the defendants, Trent Mays, apologizing to the victim in the courtroom. Mays had addressed the victim by name, which was not censored during CNN and MSNBC’s broadcasts on Sunday and Fox News’ broadcast on Monday. Local CBS affiliate WTRF also aired the clip without editing the victim’s name out.

    “I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community,” Mays said. “No picture should have been sent around, let alone even taken.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/fox-news-steubenville-rape-victim_n_2901635.html

    But it’s not like they showed a one-second view of a breast or anything damaging like that. FFS. *spits*

    In other news:

    Authorities also said they won’t put up with people harassing the accuser and took action Monday to prove it, arresting two girls suspected of threatening her well-being in Facebook and Twitter comments Sunday. The Jefferson County girls, ages 15 and 16, were being held in juvenile detention, Steubenville police Capt. Joel Walker said.

    The older girl was charged with aggravated menacing for a tweet that threatened homicide and said “you ripped my family apart,” according to the attorney general’s office. A Facebook posting from the younger girl threatened the accuser with bodily harm, leading to a menacing charge, the office said.

    “These arrests, I hope, will end the harassment of the victim,” DeWine said. “We are simply not going to tolerate this. Enough is enough.”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/19/steubenville_football_coach_could_be_ohio_ags_next_target_ap/

    Well, at least somebody’s trying to STOP the harassment and death threats.

  189. 189
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    “I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community,” Mays said. “No picture should have been sent around, let alone even taken.”

    What? Wait. You’re shitting me! The rapist apologized for taking and distributing the photos but didn’t apologize for raping her? He apologized for what got him caught! What the fuck is wrong with this world?

  190. 190
    Pteryxx

    I can’t even. Why did multiple networks air THAT clip? Victim’s name and all?

    …Because it showed her convicted rapist being all emotional and apologetic. (For getting caught. Due to his own arrogance…)

    Nobody managed to edit it; nobody said ‘Hey, we can’t use that clip because it reveals a minor’s name, in her own rape case, when she’s already receiving massive and credible death threats.’ No. Showing the rapists being sympathetic was SO FUCKING IMPORTANT.

    Sorry, Ogvorbis… I should have put a TW on that but I forgot it would be new to some folks still. Upset or no, I have to learn better than that.

  191. 191
    Pteryxx

    …actually I should have thought for ten seconds about other people here. I’m really sorry.

  192. 192
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Pteryxx:

    No, you’re good. No trigger for me, just fucking shock. I’d seen some of that earlier but didn’t actually read it until now.

    You do think of others so all is good.

  193. 193
    Pteryxx

    and to get right back in it… rather than quote from this very disturbing article, I’ll just let the title say it all.

    *WARNING for graphic descriptions of rape and victimization, re-victimization, and photography*

    Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment

  194. 194
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Pteryxx:

    Thanks for the warning. Not going there. Not today.

  195. 195
    Tapetum, Raddled Harridan

    Caine, Fleur du mal, Oh, I don’t overestimate. The equations of how much any given statement, verdict, or group dynamic are individual. Getting the guilty verdict may mean nothing to her, or everything. I do know that having that one voice in my head that wasn’t mine saying “It wasn’t right. It wasn’t your fault, and he deserved punishment for it.” was a valuable thing for me some nights, even though for me it wasn’t an official voice or a verdict. I hope for her, that it does help at least some.

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