Reflections of the Steubenville Rape Trial go far beyond the two perpetrators and read like an Al Pacino court scene: “Men are out of order! CNN is out of order. This whole culture is out of order!” Where did we gone wrong? Here are some answers:

Steubenville Shows Bond Between Jock Culture and Rape Culture, Dave Zirin, Edge of Sports

“In thinking about Steubenville, thinking about my own experiences playing sports, thinking about athletes I’ve interviewed and know, I believe that a locker room left to its own devices will drift toward becoming a breeding ground for rape culture. You don’t need a Coach Reno or a Bob Knight to make that happen. You just need good people to say or do nothing. As such, a coach or a player willing to stand up, risk ridicule and actually teach young men not to rape, can make all the difference in the world. We need interventionist, transformative coaches in men’s sports that talk openly about these issues. We need an economic setup in amateur sports that does away with their gutter economy. But most of all, we need people who recognize the existence of rape culture, both on and off teams, to no longer be silent.”

Only ‘Yes’ Means Yes: What Steubenville’s Rape Trial Reminds Us About Sexual Consent, Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman, The Nation

“If a woman doesn’t say “no” to sex—is that the same thing as saying “yes”? That’s the question at the center of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape trial that began this week. The defense for two high school football players accused of raping an unconscious 16-year-old girl will focus on issues of consent, specifically what “consent” really means. To defense attorney Walter Madison, who is representing one of the accused men, consent is not an affirmative “yes.” He told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that what happened wasn’t rape because the young woman “didn’t affirmatively say no.”

“But the absence of a “no” is not the same thing as the presence of a “yes.” And until American culture and law frames sexual consent as proactively, enthusiastically given, there will be no justice for rape victims. It’s time for the US to lose the “ ‘no’ means no” model for understanding sexual assault and focus on “only ‘yes’ means yes” instead.”

Friends Don’t Let Friends Rape, by Alex Iwashyna

While so many aspects of of the Steubenville case are horrifying, the fact is rape and sexual assault occurs much too often in this country. Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. in sexually assaulted. (source) How many of those victims weren’t helped by bystanders?Friends don’t let friends rape.

On Rape, Cages, and the Steubenville Verdict, Mia McKenzie, Black Girl Dangerous

What happened to this girl is horrible. Her life has been affected in serious ways by the unbelievably terrible actions of these boys. And CNN should not be talking as if her pain, her experience, and her life do not exist. It is unconscionable for them to do so and they need to be held to account for it. Elevating the experience of these boys above the experience of their victim is not okay. But, you know what is okay?​ Also feeling sorry for these boys.

Not in the way that CNN did it. Not at the expense of the girl who was raped by these boys. ​But including these boys in our feelings of sadness is okay. ​I, unlike many people reacting to today’s verdict, am not just thrilled to death that two 16-year-old boys are going to jail. What they did was terrible. There is no excuse. They have to be two seriously fucked-up kids to have done what they did. But what I know for damn sure is that jail does not fix broken people. It only breaks them harder.

CNN:  Apologize for Your Disgusting Coverage, Change.org Petition

CNN: Apologize for your disgusting coverage of the Steubenville Rapists

While reporting on the verdict and sentencing of the two Steubenville rapists, the CNN news personalities told us repeatedly how difficult it was to watch these boy’s lives being destroyed. How their crime will haunt them. These criminals destroyed their own lives, when they decided to repeatedly rape an incapacitated girl. When they decided to film and share their horrific crime. Not once did CNN mention the person whose life was most destroyed by their crime, who will also be haunted for life by their crime… their victim. The young girl who they violated and raped. SIGN PETITION

The Steubenville Rape Case is Closed, But What About Sexual Assault in College?, Nakia D. Hansen, Parlour

“Ladies, I’m sorry to have to inform you that the War on Women persists and you have been drafted into the fight whether you like it or not. The latest battleground to see action is the American college campus – a space that is supposed to foster our educational and personal growth, preparing us to be the leaders of tomorrow. Instead, colleges across the country are increasingly in the news for the sexual assaults occurring on their campuses. While campus sexual assault is nothing new, the complicity by college administrations in downplaying, mishandling, or covering up these crimes has fallen to a new level of shamefulness.”

Teaching Men Not to Rape: Survivor Zerlina Maxwell Addresses Steubenville and Fox News

“Over the past week, political analyst Zerlina Maxwell has received racially fueled death threats for speaking out against rape. Maxwell, who is a rape survivor, appeared on a Fox News segment with Sean Hannity last week about the possibility of arming women to prevent rape. She said the responsibility should lie instead with men. In response to her remarks, Maxwell received a torrent of abuse on social media with commenters saying she deserved to be gang-raped and killed.”

Steubenville Rape Trial: Blogger Who Exposed Case Speaks Out After Ohio Teens Found Guilty, Alexandria Goddard on Democracy Now

“The case sparked a national controversy following the emergence of images and social media postings from the night of the assault. It was Alexandria Goddard, a crime blogger who first exposed crucial evidence in the case by taking screen shots of incriminating social media posts, photographs and videos, before they could be deleted.”

 

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