This story is one to turn your stomach and fear for the souls of our youth to be sure. Eighteen young men in Texas -- ranging from middle schoolers to a 27-year-old -- are standing trial for the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. At least one cell phone video of the assault fell into the hands of an elementary school student, who alerted a teacher.
To make matters even more gruesome, after this gang of men and boys continually raped a middle schooler and filmed it, here's what the residents are talking about: the way the girl dressed, how much makeup she wore, and the fact that she hung out with teen boys at the playground. Oh, and of course, they want to know where her mother was? Really? That's what we want to know. Disgusting ...
Why are we still as a society so much more concerned with how a young girl dresses than the fact that some of our boys are rapists?
One of the 19-year-old subjects asked the victim if she wanted to "ride around" and brought her to another 19-year-old's house, which had an abandoned mobile home on the property. The sexual assaults by the 18 boys and men, while maybe still others took photos and videos, took place in the house and later continued in the mobile home.
Five of the male suspects are students at Cleveland High School, including two members of the basketball team. Another suspect is the 21-year-old son of a school board member. A few of the others have criminal records, including selling drugs, robbery, and, in one case, manslaughter.
Here are my questions about them and their parents:
- Where were the parents of these under-aged suspects?
- Why are they allowed to hang out with older men, some with criminal records?
- Why, instead of feeling worried or at least cautious about a girl who acts and dresses much older than she looks, do these boys choose to see her as prey, a person without feelings, an easy target?
- What kind of boy or man threatens and rapes an 11-year-old child?
- What kind of boy or man watches or takes videos and photos while others threaten and rape an 11-year-old child?
- What kind of derelict, soulless boys are we raising?
It is high time we reversed our way of societal thinking and speaking about rapists and their victims. The solution to rape is NOT about getting girls to dress less provocatively. It is in deeming it intolerable and unacceptable for boys to get away with thinking their sexual urges can somehow be released "against their will" in the presence of any girl or woman, sexually forward or not. That is complete bullsh!t.
And how do we begin to teach this? By never again pointing to what a child or woman must have been wearing to provoke several young men to rape her one after another. If you hear a story like this and these are the types of questions you are asking, then you are asking the WRONG question. You are telling boys they had some sort of justification to rape, and you are part of the problem.
Image via taberandrew/Flickr