When Did Rape Become So Normal?
Since when did something so demeaning, demoralising and so inherently wrong become so common and so accepted that the rapists become the victims? This week’s CNN coverage of the Steubenville rape case have left a stomach turning, sick stench in the air. Rapists are celebrated and given remorse for the years they will lose for perpetrating this crime. What about the crime? It is forgotten somewhere alongside the real victim, the rape victim, the girl that was carried from party to party like a rag doll and raped. She has now become the victim of another kind: of hate, of abuse and of bullying. What did she do? She got raped, while they laughed and filmed it.
When Did Rape Become a Culture?
We keep seeing everywhere now about the “culture of rape”. What does that mean? Two rapists depicted as tragic heroes who break down crying in court as their sentence is passed down in what is described as a “very emotional day”. It is emotional yes, until you remember they are rapists who have just destroyed the life of a 16-year-old girl. The story has been covered as if “boys will be boys” and they were just having fun, they didn’t realise they were doing any harm. What kind of world do we live in that people can even think this? That fact that the term “culture of rape” has even been coined even makes the whole thing a little more human, like it is just something that happens now, when it shouldn’t. When my friends fall asleep they are bound to get destroyed in marker, make-up, probably an ashtray but passing out drunk to get raped and made fun of on camera is beyond evil. It is a sad, sorry, state of things that teenagers think “being raped and dead” is “not funny it is hilarious”. Sadder again that those watching did nothing to help just talked about how wrong it was. It was “not cool”. That is right kids, rape is not cool and it is not a culture. If you can stomach it, the video where students are joking about the girl’s rape was leaked by Anonymous and can be watched below. It doesn’t show the rape, nobody would want to see that. It shows some guys joking about, like guys do except it is about a girl who they have just seen “dead” and “raped”. It is pretty horrifying to watch because it’s absolutely real.[video width=”640″ height=”360″ id=”WLPlQ0phhw4″ type=”youtube”]
When Did Rape Become a Joke?
As far as I can remember, in Ireland anyway, it was around the time Larry Murphy was released from prison. It was like this high-profile rapist got so much media attention he became a bit of an unsung hero. Or correct me on that if you like; perhaps he was a sung hero as there were so many jokes and songs made up about him. I’ll admit to being guilty of it myself. It is like the whole reason for these reports was forgotten, the crime he committed became overshadowed by the broadcasts. The man hunt out for him became a joke like “Where’s Wally” and the media coverage was and still is so widespread that he has become a rapist celebrity. We are told “beware of Larry Murphy, he is dangerous”, when all the while impressionable young guys, like the ones in the above video, will consider him a hero. Some of them, I’m sure, if they met him in Amsterdam would consider it a big laugh and give him a high five. Am I wrong? Look at the above video. I don’t think I am. Dare I type “rape jokes” into google; yep, there are loads but are they funny? Maybe, if your sense of humor twists that way. Maybe we are all a little guilty of laughing when we shouldn’t, the “oh Jesus that’s terrible, snigger, snigger” response. Would it be so funny if you got raped? If your daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, got raped? Guys get raped too, is that a big joke? It is a sick, twisted world we live in but hey, I guess that is the “culture”.
When Did Rape Become OK?
Rape happens everywhere, every hour of every day. Does that make it normal? Does that make it OK? In the Congo alone, a study has found, on average 48 women per hour are raped. That’s 1152 per day. That is just the Congo, there is a great big bad world out there. We hear daily of rape reports coming from India but just how much are we not hearing? What is going on right on our own doorstep? The global statistics for rape reach hundreds of thousands per year and that is just what has been reported. There is still so much that hasn’t been said and even more horrifically what else is going to come out of this “rape culture” what other abhorrent stories will we hear, what more can the human race do to one another? It is frightening to think that we have to be on our guard no matter where we go. The ideals of living in peace and harmony went out the window, not that they were ever around to begin with. I do often wonder, has the world gotten really bad or has media just gotten better? I mean were these heinous crimes always commonplace but the world just didn’t hear about them? Has media just become so fast in reporting and social media so quick in spreading the report like rapid wildfire that we only think the world has become more dangerous? Were we better off in the dark?
The Victim Becomes The Accused
And thus ends another tragedy swept away by tears. The crime doesn’t go unpunished however it is shrouded in sympathy. The young girl, the one who has been abused, she remains the victim of a bullying campaign, branded a “drunk whore”. Jane Doe was raped and humiliated by these men and if that wasn’t punishment enough, a nasty Twitter campaign blamed her for the whole thing and re-ignited the age old debate of how a woman deserves rape for how she acts and dresses, they just “cry rape” when they are later ashamed of their actions. While I am sure this does go on, Jane Doe didn’t deserve what has happened to her. She has asked that people who want to support her donate to their local domestic abuse centre. That screams courage to me. Will CNN report her as a courageous, tragic victim trying to make the best of a bad situation by encouraging people to give something to help those in need? I’m not sure but either way their journalistic ethics should be accounted for. Rape is not a culture, it is a crime and one which shouldn’t be glorified. Rapists should not be sympathised with but shunned, and victims should not live in fear after being violated. The messages of support for Jane Doe were heartwarming and strong but is it enough? What has to happen for the world to unite and say this has to stop? Is this “culture” just going to continue on down this destructive path as people shrug their shoulders and say “not my problem”? What do you think of how this case was handled? What do you think of how rape has been dealt with by the media in the past few years? Does anyone care anymore?