The Steubenville Case has hit really hard. Here’s why.
I went to High School in the early Seventies. If you’ve ever seen That ’70 Show, it does a decent job of showing what High School was like back then, though from an American viewpoint.
In my second year of High School I turned fifteen. Tons of raging hormones, too shy to even ask a girl out, and with a view of women that was, well, I tended to put them on a pedestal. Since I was an only child, I didn’t have sisters to learn from, and my Mom was very old-fashioned. Victorian in fact.
One day I had a spare, and was in the back of the library, reading. I’ve always read. I can’t remember a time I couldn’t read, and I’m told I could read before I started school.
So I’m sitting there, plowing through either a Heinlein or Isaac Asimov novel, when two people came into the library, sat down, and started talking. They had looked around the library, but not seen me. I’d picked my spot carefully – it was almost impossible to see into unless you walked right into it. Lots of kids thought reading was, well, funny.
The people who came in started talking, and in seconds I was red as a beet. The girl, who was two grades ahead of me was telling the boy, about how she’d been raped at a party. I knew the girl in question, as one of those unobtainable, incredibly beautiful older girls, that we Grade Ten students could only stare in awe at. That some jerk had treated her this was was horrifying.
I also had a problem. It was near the end of the period, and I had to get to class.
I waited until the last possible moment, then politely picked up my books and left, without looking at them. They knew I had to have heard, but no one said anything, and I never, ever, mentioned the event to anyone at school.
A year or so later, in class one day, one of the guys was feeling up one of the girls. She didn’t tell him to stop. But she didn’t look all that comfortable with what was going on. Since the whole class saw it, it got talked about, but no one told the principle, including the teacher. And yes, the teacher saw what was happening, commented on it, but didn’t stop it.
The “She asked for it” line is something I heard a lot in school. It was common. I heard “He asked for it” as well when someone lost a fight. It was always the losers fault, or the victim’s fault.
The problem with saying that “Someone asked for it” is you are admitting that
YOU KNOW THAT IT ISN’T THEIR FAULT!
Anyone who says this is trying to cover their ass. So when I hear that the victim in Steubenville was a “Train Whore” and that she was out partying and getting laid every weekend, I know they are lying.
Because they know bloody well that they are guilty, and are trying to cover up.
Monday January 7, 2013