I don't know if the headline wasn't obvious enough, but this is going to go to a fairly dark place. If you aren't comfortable with that, I recommend not reading further.
I've met people who have told me to my face they didn't believe that "rape culture" was a real thing. They refused to accept that we lived in a country where sexual assault was excused or tolerated. I hope that recent events will, at the very least, show these people how naive they were.
In August of 2012, a 16 year old girl was kidnapped, raped, videoed and photographed while she was unconscious. The sexual assault included vaginal penetration and being urinated on. Her attackers then proceeded to upload videos and photos of the attack to social media websites.
Not only was this young woman attacked, but was done so in front of her peers who chose to do nothing to stop it. Worse yet, many joined in the mocking on social media. This crime is, honestly, so horrific it makes me physically gag.
Two young men - Trent Mays (17 years old) and Ma'lik Richmond (16 years old) - have been found responsible for the crime, being convicted with an overwhelming amount of evidence.
What came next from the media was not a public outcry against the horrors of the crime, nor how justice was served. The response that came was a bizarre set of stories that sympathized with the rapists. Networks talked about how it was so terrible they wouldn't be able to play football again. Networks explained that they were good students. Networks bemoaned how the boys would be branded as sex offenders.
Well, here's a f!*@ing protip: If you don't want to be labelled a sex offender, don't f*&^ing rape anyone.
Worse, people have attacked the victim - they've even sent her death threats. It's downright insane. I would post a link to some of the collected tweets, but I really can't stomach looking them up again. Needless to say they are filled with the same vile, misogyny you'd expect them to be. In truth, I question the humanity of any of these people.
Victim blaming is so ridiculous I am short for words, especially in cases like this. For the record, it is never - never - the victim's fault in cases of sexual assault. I could write a thousand words on that topic and not have said enough, so I'll just say this: If you're blaming the victim, leave my website and don't come back.
And do you want to know what the kicker is? That "justice" that was so dispensed? The two young men will serve a combined three years for the rape.
I dare you to tell me that rape culture doesn't exist.
I could NOT possibly agree more with every word you have placed here, Trae, except to say that words like "vile" & "horrific" are simply not strong enough words. Sadly no words exist to convey the level of disgust we feel, and many others should.
Unfortunately, you have articulated precisely the severe cultural misogyny that exists, not only in our country. Social media also provides a lifetime of persecution and misery for the victim, as if healing from the crime weren't enough.