Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve surely heard about the Steubenville rape case. Just when that case seems to be reaching some small measure of closure comes the news that two more high school football players have sexually assaulted a thirteen year old girl in Torrington, Connecticut. And just like in the Steubenville case, many of the young adults who go to school with the alleged rapists have rushed to their computers in order to vilify the victim on social media outlets.
These “intelligent,” young kids who undoubtedly have bright futures ahead of them are painfully oblivious to two facts.
First, they seem to have forgotten that their peers who conducted themselves similarly in Steubenville were looked upon with pretty much unanimous disgust by the American media and public for their attitudes and actions. When you post something on the internet it’s there for the entire world to see and your character, or lack thereof, will be revealed to everyone in no uncertain terms.
Second, they do not seem to understand that a thirteen year old girl says she was raped by two eighteen year old boys. RAPED. Rape is not sex as some of the comments posted by other students seem to indicate they believe. Rape is a physical attack upon another person that totally destroys their sense of autonomy and it causes permanent damage, just as surely as a knife to the chest or bullet to the head. Kids posting on twitter to defend rapists and accuse the victim of being the one who did something wrong is absurd and people all over the country are shaking their heads while asking, “What is wrong with these kids?”
I submit that another, far more important question needs to be asked.
What is wrong with these kids’ parents?
Not one media outlet reporting on these events has had the courage to ask how entire communities of parents can apparently fail so completely and miserably at raising their kids to be decent human beings. It is our job as parents to teach our kids to respect their fellow humans, to treat each other with kindness, and when someone is injured, abused or violated, to extend a helping hand; not a slap in the face.
Well, I say to the parents in Steubenville and Torrington, you have done a terrible job. You have raised despicable children who are well on their way to becoming despicable adults. In the Steubenville case, a girl laid helpless on the ground while other kids urinated on her. Not one, single young adult who witnessed this had the decency to say, “Hey, stop what you are doing. This is wrong.” I can only hope that I am doing a better job of teaching my son to care about other people.
When a community places male privilege and sports above the well being of its children, there is a problem.
And I say, not only to the parents of Steubenville and Torrington but to all the parents in America, this problems is ours.
Let’s own it.
Let’s fix it.