TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of Steubenville rape case below. I don’t normally write about these things but this hits too close.
Turn on the television. You’ll hear hyperbole like “promising futures” and “tragedy” and “watch as their lives fall apart”. They aren’t talking about the victim. The victim’s name was snatched by the news media like a precious jewel, and now she’s getting death threats from the people she grew up with. Listen to your friends and coworkers. I bet they have diverse perspectives on what happened. Has it been on your Facebook? Your Twitter feed? I bet the kids at Reddit were all abuzz.
The noise is everywhere. It circles and pulsates in the air. It’s online. It’s offline. It’s sitting between your ears like a poisonous dragonfly. It wants. It blames.
It isn’t as if there was a hint of evidence that the boys were innocent. There were witnesses. There was video. There were twelve minutes of recorded jokes about the act of raping the victim. This noise is born despite the certainty of that guilt.
Listen to all of this. Learn it. Know it.
And understand why most rapes go unreported.
How dare you doubt those numbers. How dare you doubt those statistics.
Why would anyone speak when they already know the response?
What iron-dragging courage must a rape victim possess to know what monster he or she faces on the other side of the door?
Listen to this noise. Don’t stop listening until you understand.