In Steubenville, Ohio, football is king and football players think they can do whatever they want. Nowhere is this more evidenced than in the recently leaked "anonymous" video showing a group of Steubenville jocks joking about the rape of a fellow teenager.
The girl, apparently from a neighboring town, was passed out at a party and violated by a group of boys. The video showing the boys joking about the rape was released by KnightSec, part of a hacker group that specifically targets rapists. The video apparently shows a teenage boy -- a former Steubenville High baseball team member -- joking about the assault.
Warning: The video below is extremely disturbing. It will make you lose faith in humanity and particularly in the boy branch of humanity. It's truly upsetting and you should know that before watching.
In it, the boy jokes: "She is so raped." He says: "They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!" and "they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!"
While some people say things like, "What if it was your daughter?" the responses are chilling. "It wasn't." Or, "She would be dead, too."
The story is complicated and started in August when the rape allegedly happened. At the time, the boys took photos of the girl while naked among other violations. All of it went viral thanks to social media, and the case has truly divided the town of Steubenville, a place where Friday Night Lights isn't just a TV show.
How do boys get like this? It's obvious. They receive entitlements. They are treated like Gods and exalted as kings. No one ever teaches them respect for women and they grow up thinking they own the world. I grew up in a town like this and these jock boys are given free reign over everything. In a town where football rules all, those who play well can pretty much get away with anything. Including rape.
As a parent, it scares me to have a boy. How does one raise a boy that ISN'T like this? How does one raise a boy who will respect women and their bodies and not make horrific jokes like this?
We mothers of boys have a huge responsibility. It isn't easy to raise a man of character and courage and feeling in a world that basically expects boys to act like meat heads and not care about anyone. If this video hadn't been leaked, would these boys have ever paid for their crimes? Or would these jokes remain unpunished?
Can a boy ever really know what it's like to be a female in this world who has to constantly be afraid? I look at my son now, so innocent and sweet, so loving and precious. And I worry about how he will grow up in this world that expects him to tuck those feelings away and to see women as less than.
We can pretend it all away and say it isn't like that. But then we are faced with a video like this. This is what can happen to boys who aren't loved well and not taught right. Whatever the parents of these boys did, I want to do the complete and total opposite.
We all should want to.
Can boys like this even be rehabilitated? What did you think of this video?
Image via YouTube