Essay about Rape Cuture

Submitted By Mizzjojo1
Words: 1871
Pages: 8

16-year old Malik Richmond and 17-year old Trent Mays, two football players from Steubenville High School have been convicted of raping a young girl. On August 11th 2012 teens from Steubenville High School in Steubenville Ohio attended several end of summer parties in the Ohio Valley region. At one of the parties hosted at the home of the school’s football coach, teens engaged in underage drinking, this lead to the rape of a substantially impaired 16-year old girl that was recorded and posted on multiple social networks. The victim says that she and two of her female friends purchased 44oz slushies, mixed them with vanilla flavored Smirnoff vodka and headed to a party in Steubenville Ohio. Her recollection of the events that took place that night are skewered, according to the victim all she remembers is leaving the party holding the hand of quarterback Trent Mays, vomiting in a nearby street, and waking up naked in an unfamiliar home the next morning. Allegedly the victim was transported to another party, while on the way to that party Mays and his teammate Malik Richmond penetrated the unconscious drunken teen with their fingers. It was not until two days later when the victim was watching a video posted on YouTube where a group of boys go on a twelve-minute rant about the rape of a “dead girl”, that the victim learned what had happened to her. Social media post along with cell phone photos depicted the 16-year old girl lying on her side naked. 17 year-old Evan Westlake, who posted the video titled “Nodi Wylin About A Dead Girl” says he saw the victim when she was lying on her side naked. According to Westlake the victim wasn’t moving, Richmond was beside her exploiting her sexually and Mays was slapping his penis off her side. With such appalling details it saddens me that the debate surrounding the case is who is to blame? This question has torn the small town of Steubenville apart, some feel that victims deserves justice while others feel that the victim should be held accountable for events that took place. To be quite frank I am disgusted with such beliefs, following sexual assault the last thing a victim should have to do is carry the burden of blame. Each time someone makes the statement “she shouldn’t have been so drunk” or “she should know better” they re-victimize the victim (Goddard). Yes, maybe the alleged victim of the Steubenville trial should not have gotten overly intoxicated but that does not mean she should be held accountable for her rape. The Steubenville trial is a prime example of the damage that rape culture has caused society. Rape culture has made it socially acceptable for men to grope women and holler sexually explicit terms as form of male gratification. Rather than teaching males how not to be rapist, rape prevention agencies choose to focus on teaching women how to avoid being raped, this form of suppression limits the freedom of women severely (Herman). More than ever before rape culture is prevalent in the media and is having a major influence the actions of individuals. Statistics show a 25-percent increase in the reported incidence of rape and sexual assault (US: Soaring Rates of Rape and Violence Against Women).
Rape culture can best be defined as an environment where rape is perpetual and in which sexual violence against women is considered a norm and is excused in the media and popular culture. “Twenty to 25 percent of women will be raped during their college career”(Jalloul). Research suggest that 1 in every 6 women have experience either being raped or coming frighteningly close (911Rape). Even more disturbing according to UCLA’s Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica California, when examining the age of victims 60% are under the age of 18 (911Rape). Characteristics of rape culture include but are not limited to blaming victims, the idea that only promiscuous women get raped, and educating women on how to avoid getting raped rather than teaching men not to rape. It is true that a…