Girls Are Raped & They Blame Themselves ... And We Let Them

Rant 40

bedroom lampYou'd hope that it's only because the Steubenville, Ohio rape case has gotten so much attention lately that we are hearing of another, almost identical case in Connecticut. But unfortunately I don't think so. Wake up, everybody. What 18-year-olds Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio of Torrington are accused of doing to a 13-year-old girl is not uncommon. So, what the athletic director of that town says is infuriatingly true: “If you think there’s some wild band of athletes that are wandering around, then I think you’re mistaken.” That may make those concerned about the reputation of Torrington, Connecticut, feel better, but it should shock the pants off the rest of us, especially when you read jaw-dropping posts like this one from blogger Tracey Morrison about her almost identical rape years ago in high school. So, no, don't be shocked by all these rape cases. But do be shocked at how everyone continues to let kids and adults get away with it.

I was so mad and sad when I read Morrison's story. Sad that it took this mother of three little kids years and years before she was able to realize that none of what happened that night long ago was her fault. And sad to think that the victims in the Steubenville and Torrington, Connecticut, cases may still believe the same thing about themselves this very minute.

Sure, sometimes juries find these barbarians guilty and send them to prison, but what happens then? Asshole teenagers go on social media in defense of these accused rapists and tweet unbelievable statements like:

"I wanna know why there’s no punishment for young hoes."

"You destroyed two people’s life."

"Sticking up for a girl who wanted the D and then snitched? have a seat pleaseeee."

Yes, that's rape victim = hoe, in case the connection was lost on you. Who can blame other girls for being afraid to report these crimes or for blaming themselves when this is the shit many people believe and actually put out there?

And these social media bullies are not naive "young people" who just haven't learned the ways of the world yet, these are assholes. And their coaches are assholes for downplaying it or writing it off as "boys being boys." And their parents are assholes for not paying attention enough to realize they let their kids grow up without any type of moral compass or shred of human decency.

You know what's really sad? That there are so many assholes involved here that you don't even know who to direct most of your anger at! And that's part of the problem.

Except that what may seem so complicated is really very simple. Jaycee Dugard always helps us to remember that in her famous quote: “The shame is his, not mine.” Problem is, no young female victim is actually allowed to believe this in the culture we perpetuate. How could she when her rapists are celebrated, pitied, and allowed to be a “star” on the football field even after charges are filed against them?

We as a society need to lead with this message. Respectable, decent boys and men do not “rape” defenseless girls. The end.

Sheri Reed contributed to this post.

How do you react when you read people calling a 13-year-old rape victim a whore?

Image via Ian Alexander Watkins/Flickr

crime, women's issues


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nonmember avatar Shannon

The young women in both of these cases are NOT to blame for their own rapes. However, they are to blame for making some really bad choices (including underage drinking) that put them in an extremely vulnerable position to be victimized. But that doesn't make them "hoes" or "to blame" for their rapes. That makes them teenagers who need better parental supervision. And those young "men" (animals is more like it) also need better parental supervision --- and to be taught that it is not o.k. to prey on the helpless.

xxevi... xxevilolivexx

I can SO relate!

When I was 14 and a freshman in High School, I was invited by an older guy I had a crush on, who was one of the "popular" kids, to cut school and go to a party he was having. He walked me to his place, but when we walked in the door, there was no one else there. Before I even had a chance to act confused, he attacked me. He held me there, for the entire school day, raping me repetedly. He tied me to a chair in between the rapes. When he let me know, he told me if I told, he would really hurt me, and no one would believe me anyway because he's popular, and I was just a gothy geek. I was so in shock. The more I thought about it, the more I believed what he said was true. I told my best friend what happened in confidence, but she told others what I had said.

xxevi... xxevilolivexx



I was tormented mercilessly by not only my rapist, but his friends. They called me, threatened me, called me a whore. My rapist told people that he had paid me for sex. Sometimes, in class, boys would walk by my desk and drop dollar bills on my desk, and ask me if that was enough to F them. High School was the WORST time in my life. 20 years later, I saw his face plastered in the news. He had been arrested for kidnapping, torturing and raping a young college student. I felt so bad, thinking that if I had just come forward, maybe it would have never happened to her. Luckily, he is now prison.

Teens can be so cruel.

xxevi... xxevilolivexx

I went from a virgin, to a rape victim, to a whore/prostitute in a matter of days.

mandy... mandysue88

I remebre a gathering called slut walk that was a bunch of rape victims that were called sluts hoes whores hussie and trollips, they gatherd to protest aginst people that cblame the victim. It was inspiring and hey kinda fun to watch these girls stick up for themselves like no one would.

vball... vbally101

While I agree that girls need to know their limits when drinking, just because they get too wasted does not give a guy permission to take advantage - ever. Boys need to be taught that, instead of women having to constantly think about ways to fend off rape - don't drink too much, don't wear low cut shirts, don't wear short skirts - you're pretty much asking for it. It's ridiculous that a girl, like many boys of the same age, can go to a party and get drunk, like the boys of the same age, but when she's raped, it's "her fault" for not drinking less. She could have been raped even if she hadn't drank a drop - and people seem to forget that non-alcohol-induced rapes do occur. Look at xxevilolivexx's story. I'm so sorry that happened to you.

insei... inseineangel

I am a rape victim. 3 separate occassions. Once by my best friend's father, brother, and cousin. I kept quiet about it, and bottled it up inside myself, for nearly a year and a half before I had a psychotic episode due to mental anguish. When it all came to light, I was not only verbally harassed, but physically assaulted, by the family members and their friends. Because of the amount of time that had passed, and lack of physical evidence, the police did nothing. They even accused me of lying about the event.

I am not to blame for what happened. I know that now. I wish I knew that then. I wish it was easier to cry out for help, and have that help given. 

mrsjonzy mrsjonzy

"Asking for it" that takes it a little too far but do they have some responsibility in keeping themselves safe, heck yes they do. Like it or not there are awful people in the world young old of every walk of life, if you walk around with your business hanging out or putting yourself in compromising positions because men/boys "shouldn't" violate you you're stupid. Don't get drunk in public unsafe places, don't wear clothing that looks more like a bathing suit and don't go places alone or that are questionable. 

If I leave the keys in my brand new Mercedes in the ghetto in Mexico and it gets stolen everyone would say its my fault, it is. You can't do whatever you want, wear whatever you want and act however you want without considering the outcomes. That's reality. 

Btw stop drumming up non existenant women's issues to fuel Obamas dumbass non issue agenda. This is something no one but the potential victiums can do anything about. 

insei... inseineangel

Non existant women's issues... Right...

mrsjonzy, I wish we were face to face right now, because, while I am not a violent person, I'd love to slap the stupid out of you.

I'm sure there would be nothing left.

Reali... Reality_check

I never experienced anything as severe as in this case or that of those who have commented. but I was forced into sex by my bf a few times and once I was touched while sleeping by my bf's friend. I thought it was a dream until hours later I found a scratch where I shouldn't have had a scratch. my bf didn't believe me.

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