Can Steubenville Teach Us How to Prevent Rape?
By Mona Gable on January 14, 2013
I just read this by accident on BlogHer. I don't know Mona's own blog title, but I thank her for raising this question:
What are we going to do about it?
Historically, we haven't done much. Joan Didion mentioned the notorious California Spur Posse rapes in her book, WHERE I WAS FROM. When I read the book, I was disappointed to note that she didn't mention that some of the perpetrators later did get jail for new crimes. What I remembered from early coverage of that Orange County, CA, rape-fest was that the parents used expressions like "boys will be boys" or similar defensive insistence that there was no crime. And all but one of the boys walked free.
I'm tempted to mention Jody Picoult's deep investigation of school social structures.
There's a saying about doing the same thing over and over and.expecting different results.
Here's what we've done.
Parents excused the Spur Posse despite the Times' very explicit description of the prom night acts including one involving a religious statue.
So let's just admit parents have been excusing it.
Let's admit local law officers have ignored it and District Attorneys refused to prosecute as they did in Orange County. Could punishing them at the time have stopped their future crime?
We have endless news of peer programs attacking and supposedly counseling against student hazing and bullying, but let's admit we haven't rushed to establish student programs against rape! Are there any?
Has any city or county enacted new laws against and penalties for rape? Haven't done much homework on that, I admit. But I wonder.
We pretty much ignored that the Spurs ongoing behavior broke up at least one family including a local coach. (March 22, 1996. LA Times.)
So we haven't done anything new. Except that article long ago in Mirabella said when the Atlanta police offered to teach women to shoot, the incidence of rape declined by 80 percent. Somehow I can't find anyone in Atlanta who remembers that.
Now I have some new questions of my own
What is it like as a girl to know even your own brother can rape and get away with it?
What is it like to be a girl who wakes up knowing that tonight's party may be your night to be raped? And that nobody will do anything about it?
What is it like to be a boy who hates your brothers' sexual preying, but can't say anything about it?