Steubenville Rape Guilty Verdict: The Case That Social Media Won

A fast and guilty verdict shows how the Internet now plays a crucial role in the prosecution of sexual assault

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Keith Srakocic / REUTERS

Defense attorney Walter Madison comforts Ma'lik Richmond as Richmond reacts to the guilty verdict during his trial at the juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio, on March 17, 2013.

It was a sickening crime that fit an all-too-familiar storyline. Young men who turned a night of partying into an ugly sexual assault. A culture in which high school football players are treated like gods and act as if no rules apply. And an innocent young woman who was abused by people she thought were friends and then humiliated.

But what made the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case — which ended today with guilty verdicts against Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond — different and what made it feel cutting edge is the pervasive role the Internet played. It is a whole new kind of crime when teen sexual assault meets social media and goes blaringly, glaringly public.

(MORE: Steubenville Teen Rape Case: Witness Pleads Fifth as Trial Continues)

There was, to begin with, the Instagram photo of the two Steubenville High School football players holding their 16-year-old victim over a basement floor, one by her arms, one by her legs. The image, which was endlessly reblogged, has a chilling quality because we know what happened next. The young men penetrated the inebriated young woman with their fingers, which in Ohio constitutes rape. (Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were tried as juveniles; they could face detention until they turn 21.)

There was the now infamous 12-minute video from the night of the assault.  In it, a former classmate of the young men can be seen mocking the victim, laughingly referring to her as “dead” and repeatedly joking about sexual assault. And there was nearly one more video: a classmate of the attackers testified that he took a video of part of the actual assault with his cell phone but later deleted it.

And then there were all of the text messages. There were messages recounting the events of the night. One the attacker allegedly wrote: “I’m pissed all I got was a hand job, though. I should have raped since everyone thinks I did.” And messages to the victim, including one in which one of the attackers tried to persuade her that “nothing happened.”

At the trial, social media were front and center. The prosecution introduced many text messages, including one in which the victim wrote, “I wasn’t being a slut. They were taking advantage of me.” The victim testified that she watched at least part of the 12-minute video mocking her, though she could not take more than a minute of it.

All of this documentation proved critical to a conviction. Sexual-assault trials often come down to “he said, she said” battles. Cases like the Steubenville rape, which the victim has few memories of, can be especially hard for prosecutors to win. Text messages from wrongdoers and viral photos and videos from bystanders can provide a robust record of what actually happened.

Social media can also shine a needed light on how people actually behave. When high school football players, and other young athletes, are charged with sexual assault, many people believe reflexively that they are not capable of the sort of crude and cruel behavior they are accused of. The 12-minute video and some of the other online evidence in the Steubenville case are powerful refutations of that rosy view. Anyone who sees them can understand precisely how the attack happened.

But the influence of social media on sex-crime cases is, not surprisingly, a double-edge sword. We live today in a digital echo chamber, in which the most private of moments may be captured in text, photograph and video, and put online. The victim of a sexual assault can be victimized a second time when images and rumors about her ricochet across her peer group — and a third time when they find a global audience on the Internet.

(MORE: Steubenville Rape Case: Witness Says He Took Photos of Alleged Victim)

Worse still for victims, the Internet never forgets. Memories fade and newspaper articles get thrown out. But images like the Instagram photograph and the 12-minute video live forever online. Years from now, anyone who is curious about the Steubenville rape will be able to bring the worst aspects of the story to life with a few mouse clicks.

One thing, though, is certain: social media is not going away. New technology is on the way that will further up the ante — like Google Glass, which will allow people to constantly videotape whatever they are seeing. As shocking as the images, text messages and videos in the Steubenville case are, we should get used to them. They are likely to be the new normal — for good and for bad.

MORE: Steubenville Authorities Launch Website to Dispel Controversy Around High School Rape Case

141 comments
MichelleFisher
MichelleFisher

@ArnoldRipkin just because the girl was drunk did not mean she wanted to be raped. rape is when the person did not give consent, and in this case she definitely did NOT give consent. no victim is ever responsible, no matter the circumstances. blame the rapist, not the victim.

ArnoldRipkin
ArnoldRipkin

As unpopular as it may sound, the victim also had role in this unless she was forced to drink. Without social media this crime would not have been prosecuted, with it the victim will suffer much more humiliation. And where were the parents who owned these homes?  Teach your children basic respect for others.

PaulineLambertReynolds
PaulineLambertReynolds

It used to be that God was watching.  Hopefully,  the knowledge of social media watching can prevent further party rapes.

JefTaylor
JefTaylor

Justice was served but the penalties weren't enough...

Abdul
Abdul

Even animals have a season, these rapists are worse than animals and must be treated as such. Lock them up and throw away the key, better still, HANG THEM.

Michael_Skiba
Michael_Skiba

Death to rapists. This is unforgivable, and no amount of punishment is enough, nor is any punishment too cruel.

GrammarNahtzi
GrammarNahtzi

Technology is the enemy of the pavement ape.

HannahMasters
HannahMasters

We need to know when our children are falling into harms way...if any of these parent's had our service www.aBeanstalk.com then this event would have immediately been put on their radar the first reference to sex, partying, their child's name mentioned in a post then they could have taken immediate action in real time. Our kids are posting everything as it is happening...this can help us protect our kids...if we are alerted the second things are going out of bounds.

Marl
Marl

With or without media, what those males did was disgusting and vile and should be punished.

Even if a female is naked and drunk, NO one has the right to violate that person.

If males feel that need, they should go home and speak with their mothers and grandmothers.

Macho shithead males also think it ok to rape guys who are gay ... think about THAT!

baneofspam
baneofspam

"Now if we can teach young ladies to act as such and not go getting wasted from party to party."

really?  how about we teach young men not to commit felonies?  

i started drinking when i was 15 years old.  i had "opportunities" to rape, steal, fight, vandalize and commit all manner of crimes while i was under the influence.   i didn't do any of those things.  why?

BECAUSE THEY'RE WRONG AND I WAS TAUGHT SO.  and being properly raised doesn't take a backseat to your vices.  wrong is wrong, and if you're not chastising the punks who committed this crime for not having self-control, you are pathetically ignorant of the value of proper upbringing.

... oh wait, you apparently only care about that for girls.  

raidx259
raidx259

Glad justice was served. Now if we can teach young ladies to act as such and not go getting wasted from party to party. Unfortunately as it might seem, people only give you the same level of self respect as you give to yourself.

drudown
drudown

Give me a break.

Either rape was there, or it was not there.

Citing "social media" is silly.

MartiWilliams
MartiWilliams

Are the Adults that supplied the alcohol to these under-age kids going to be held accountable??? The young men who committed the crime were found guilty...and they were...but the alcohol that was made available at least to me mitigates the rape and the taking the pics/videos which was horrible, because alcohol disinhibits those who do drink and especially young people. There are a lot of people who are responsible for this whole debacle, not just the 2 boys who were charged.

championofwomen
championofwomen

This case is the rape culture of Ohio, the US military and most of America.  There is so much the media isn't telling you about this case because it is bigger than Ohio wants you to know.  They also don't mention the blogger or Anonymous that have brought this case to light.

Time for the US military, whose rape numbers are worse than the rape capital in Africa, to be brought to justice.

theusmarinesrapecom

pendragon05
pendragon05

Eliminate sports of all forms in schools so that academics and brain cell growth can be elevated to the throne of worship.

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

The firstline of the article say it all "  A culture in which high school football players are treated like gods"

In the USA and Europe we worship sports, it is literally a God. Wake up people, a 15 year old throwing and catching a ball? This is our new God. These small town parents should get a life   

Coach-K
Coach-K

Ma'lik Richmond sure had that smug smirk from day one of the trial wiped off his face didn't he?

arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

All right, this is to everyone who's claiming that the girl was stupid and senseless for over-indulging in alcohol, everyone who's on the 'she deserves to be raped' bandwagon. Oh, oops, you don't even believe it rape. Replace the girl with a boy, if it were a boy being raped by two men, I would bet my paycheck, you'd exclaim with great, extreme disgust that it's rape. While this brings in the other contentious topic of gay rights, (For the record, I'm pro gay-rights) but that's another issue altogether, so I'll leave that out.

So... Guys can get drunk, but girls can't. This reeks of the type of gender inequality I'd thought grown outdated and medieval. It's barbaric and absolutely vulgar. It's barely a step up from, 'If she wears pretty clothes and make-up, she deserves to be raped.' The callousness people are perfectly capable of astounds me. At incidents like this, I do feel a certain desperation wondering if humanity's already beyond salvation. We've advanced so far, and yet one simple incident rehashes all our old faults. Must humans always remain barbaric and vulgar? Can we not ever grow to become decent, empathetic, compassionate beings?

sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@raidx259 : first, she was set up and drugged. Second, no one has the right to rape--even if the victim has been drinking. You don't just get to do whatever you want with a woman's body, no matter what the republican party has been trying to pass in this country

sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@raidx259 : first, she was set up and drugged. Second, no one has the right to do that to you no matter how much you drink. Does someone have the right to rob you if you take money from your wallet or steal your jewelry if you wear a ring or steal from a store if it has merchandise on the shelves?

pintojp1
pintojp1

@raidx259 These animals took adantage of an unconcious person!!

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@raidx259 I could not agree more. The culture of getting "wasted" is alarming. A while go,a friend who mentored young girls told me that she discovered that mass rape of drunken females was common in some high school and college circles in her state. The girls who had been raped, in their youth and ignorance, assumed that being inebriated and oblivious constituted consent. IT DOES NOT!

I hope people teach their daughters many lessons from this case including:

1.  Not to get wasted and "offer" themselves as sacrifice to equally inebriated or no good nuts.

2. That sex is sex, and includes oral sex and all manner of physical contact that involves the sexual organs of both parties. Anyone subjected to such conduct without their consent has been raped, and should report it.

3. Being out on a date, no matter what you are wearing (short, revealing etc.) is not an invitation for unwanted sexual advances or rape. So, no, you did not bring it on yourself. Defend yourself if assaulted, and report the incident.

4. There is NO RULE that you should have sex with anyone even if he takes you out on a date 20, 000 times. Do not be coerced by peer pressure or the pressure of a hormonally charged date. Just say NO. ( PS: Saying "No" is important in pursuing a rape conviction in court.)

Lastly, please stop recording your sex acts and posting them online. Quite frankly, if I have to contact another distraught woman who is suffering the consequences of having a "Kim Kadhashian--I want to make and post my sex tape" moment, I will scream!!!!!!!!

So young high school ladies, and college gals, pleaseeeee do everyone a favor and stop drinking like LUNATICS. There are better ways of having a good time than blacking out and being violated by strangers.  Rapes occur everyday. This young woman was fortunate this matter was recorded, otherwise the perpetrators could have denied their crime. You, my dear drunk and throwing up sexting, sex posting vixen might not be so fortunate. Yes, I attended high school and college and had a ton of fun, and even though I was not always perfect, at least it did not involve drinking myself into a stupor and being totally oblivious of my surroundings, body or life. Get it together folks!!!   

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@arvakr_alsvior I do not think the victim should be blamed however, women especially as we are more vulnerable (yes, we are generally smaller than men), should be more careful with their alcohol consumption especially as being drunk and totally wasted is becoming an alarming segue for assault of women (especially GenY and Mill).

Men and women are equal but different. This is why we or marathon times are separated, amongst other things, also by gender. Very fast men run generally run faster than very fast women. It is what it is. If you get drunk, you will be more easily overpowered than your male contemporary who is probably bigger and more difficult to lob around. Again, it is what it is. Not sexist, just factual.     

raidx259
raidx259

@sweetnepenthe1Where did I say that anyone had the right to sexually abuse her? All I'm saying is that we all have certain responsibilities that fall square on our shoulders. Those football jerks should know not to engage in sex when the other party is unwilling or unable to consent. The girl should know that getting wasted is not the way to go (really trust me on that). I would also add that showing some self respect for her own body (by not passing out and puking all over the place like an idiot) is probably another good piece of advice for her.

At the end of the day, whether you want to accept it or not, she bears part of the responsibility, same as her parents because apparently there is something lacking and it shows on their kid.

raidx259
raidx259

@sweetnepenthe1 No, you are right. No one has the right to rob me, or take what belongs to me. But that which is valuable to me I protect. I don't leave my wallet laying around in public hoping that the world is a place of rainbows and unicorns and no one is going to take my stuff. People will take it, and it is my responsibility to protect what is mine.  Or do you flash your money around every time you cash a check and leave the bank?

Same goes for the girl. A woman's body is something men desire. Most men know better, but some will cross the line. If she does not take certain measures to protect herself, the she puts herself at risk.

Responsibility, we all share it.

raidx259
raidx259

@pintojp1 True statement. But I also place responsibility on the girl not to drink to the point she is unable to look out for herself. 

ColleenRobin
ColleenRobin

@BenevolentLawyer @raidx259  

Oh, thank you so much. A girl needs a list of rules.  Why not a list for boys: Here's my list:

1) DO NOT RAPE GIRLS OR BOYS.    Keep your penis, hands, fingers, to yourself or lose them. PERIOD. AMEN

I know you think you mean well, but seriously. If boys were taught that they should not rape girls or women, it wouldn't matter if they had a drink. 
One other point....As if getting a girl drunk was something new? .I'm 56 and when I was 15, the first thing my prom date did during the prom was give me a cup of punch at the prom which he spiked. I have no tolerance; his plan was to have sex. Or, as I call it...He would have RAPED ME. .On the Drive home, He stopped.the car to proceed with his plan. I screamed and said NO...but it did not help; Thank GOD I wore a lot of complicated undergarments and I told him if he hurt me (meaning RAPE) I was telling my father; He knew my father would KILL HIM . That''s deterrent. Men have been getting girls drunk to take sexual advantage forever. My Aunt was only 13 when she was held down and gang raped by a bunch of older boys. That was more than 70 years ago. At that time, no one would have believed her if she told on them. I hate those OLD MEN, well, the ones still alive. What did she do wrong? Nothing, but she was called names after that and it never goes away. 

Bover
Bover

The fact is that we must teach our boys to become men that will not sexually assault women.  

Are you saying women must be aware of the clothes they wear?  The part of the city they go to?  How long after dark they walk alone? 

It is your mentality that justifies sexual assault. 


arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

@BenevolentLawyer @arvakr_alsvior  

I'm sorry, but in this respect, I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. Comparing alcohol consumption to marathons is, in my humblest opinion, simply a false analogy. I'm not talking about physical differences, undoubtedly men and women, boys and girls, males and females are different. But marathon judging doesn't preclude violence or torture or degradation. (Well, maybe it does, but I wouldn't imagine so.) Getting drunk-raped certainly does. This is an ethical problem. Girls shouldn't have to worry about being raped simply because they over-indulged. Granted, you can say that safety's first, and yes, yes, you do make a valid point. But it is ridiculously unfair.

So let's say a guy over-indulged at a bar. Now, could I, as a girl, decide to tie him up, and ship him off to a gay bordello or a human slave market? Case in point, I could. I'm not saying I would, but I could. Are guys worried that they would be tied up and shipped off to a gay bordello? Big surprise. They aren't. Well, why aren't they? Because girls don't tie guys up and ship them off to gay bordellos! I'm not saying we should, in fact, we most certainly shouldn't. Just as guys most certainly shouldn't rape girls who are drunk.

So I'm sorry, but I don't think of this as factual, and you're not going to have me convinced on that point.

raidx259
raidx259

@MilioftheWhite @raidx259 @pintojp1 No that's not the name of the game. Can't you read? Look, I don't go into the hood because I know that if I do my chances of getting shot for the $3 I carry in my wallet are very high. I don't deserve to be robbed. I don't deserve to be killed. I've done "absolutely nothing wrong". But none of that matters because if I do go in the ghetto my chances of bodily harm increase exponentially. I'm in my own boat and my safety is my responsibility, not one that humankind owes me.

Same goes for the girl. No she does not deserve to be harmed (hope that's clear) but just the same if she wants to avoid getting in the situation she was in there are some common sense precautions to take. 

I know you want to put all fault on those two duches that molested her. Yes they bear most of the responsibility, but we all carry the burden of taking care of ourselves.


Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@MilioftheWhite @raidx259 @pintojp1 It in no way detracts from her humanity but until the real  issues of human nature are resolved, walk softly and keep your pepper spray handy. And please teach your kids the virtue of moderation, ESPECIALLY with alcohol.

MilioftheWhite
MilioftheWhite

@raidx259 @pintojp1 So blaming the victim is the name of the game, now? She did absolutely nothing wrong. Yes, she may have consumed alcohol, but does forgetting to lock a door in your own home mean that you were asking, nay, begging to be raped? Though they seem to be two separate things, in a proper culture (read: a culture that isn't RAPE CULTURE) neither would be an invitation for violation. It is not her duty to be fully aware of herself twenty-four/seven. It is her duty to be a human. Humans are guaranteed certain rights; the right to consent being one of them. Her drunkenness does not take away her humanity, does it? If it does, there are more issues that need to be resolved in our society than I ever dreamed could possibly exist.

sweetnepenthe1
sweetnepenthe1

@Thetruthteller @ColleenRobin @BenevolentLawyer @raidx259 : how about somebody helping dad in the kitchen?

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@ColleenRobin @BenevolentLawyer @raidx259 Excellent list, Colleen, but you have only stated the Desired Behavior: refraining from raping. Not to belittle your effort, but "Do not" and "should not" are, respectively, the destination and inclination to go from here to there. What would you suggest are some practical steps to take in order to inculcate that in young men? Here, I'll start with a couple:

1. Father models desired behavior by showing respect for women in speech and attitude, while talking with other adults, watching TV, in his choice of reading material or Internet use (this includes girlie calendars and suggestive mementos, but that's just prudish me), refraining from ogling women on the street, etc. 

2. Father shows respect and consideration for Mother in the presence of kids of either gender (of course, behind kids' backs, Mom and Dad can resume their deathmatch with weapon of choice and... hey, just kidding! :) ); this reinforces appropriate behavior in boys, validates self-worth in girls. (Ideally, Mother reciprocates by treating Father as a man and gentleman.)

3. Bonus: Father treats kids equally, and with love and firmness (no free passes for boys just because), and takes every opportunity to build up children's character along equal-opportunity lines ("Who would like to help Mom in the kitchen?"; "Come on, Sally, let's see if you can kick as hard as Jason (not me, the ball!!)."; "Now, both of you, that yard needs raking!" Caveat: Most human beings are not androgynous, nor is that the aim, so remain aware of natural gender differences from Day One.

Can anybody add to this list? (I stand to be corrected, too!) Tnx!

arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

@BenevolentLawyer @arvakr_alsvior 

I understand your point of view. And yes, I do think it is a very, very valid point of view. I seem to be phrasing my words wrong, because I can't seem to make either of you understand, that I concede that the point is very, very valid, and I don't believe in reckless drinking for either sexes. But the argument is mismatched to the original argument. That was all there was to it. Thank you for the civil explanation once again.

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@arvakr_alsvior We are smaller than men, and more likely to be overpowered if we are in a compromising situation. I agree with Truth teller. Crime exists, and women get raped. If you want to stay safe, drink less in the public arena. Again, let me repeat, it is simply what it is.

Women and men are equal but not the same. I am as athletic as can be, but I am not delusional enough to think that a man the same height and build as I am, with the same athletic ability will bench press less than I do. He will probably bench press several pounds more than I can. I am female and do not produce as much testosterone as he does.  Consequently, I am unlikely to be as strong as my male contemporary, and for that reason, equality or not, he is likely to overpower me in a criminal situation ESPECIALLY if I were drunk.

I believe in living and allowing others be as well. I shared my opinion. I think the exchange between you and Truth can stop now. You are all entitled to your own perspective. Mine is simply that we are usually not as strong as our male counterparts (physically) and have more to lose by getting wasted and high in situations in which we, WOMEN, can be sexually compromised.      

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@arvakr_alsvior @Thetruthteller @BenevolentLawyerYou know what you sound like to me, with your endless whining and your crude diction? You sound like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little schooling. Good nutrition's given you some English-language skills, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Aardvark? And that tone you've tried so desperately to shed: pure London rookery. What is your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you... all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars... while you could only dream of getting out... getting anywhere... getting all the way to the TIME-comments-forum.Affectionately, Thetruthteller.

arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

@Thetruthteller @arvakr_alsvior @BenevolentLawyer

And the entire comment above this one has more instances of Poisoning the Well. Why is it that one finds it so unbelievably difficult to comprehend, the point of a debate is not to insult the person but the argument? The point of it is to understand the arguments, to find the flaws in them and to tear them down. That’s the entire fun of it. Well, I guess that’s another area where we may have to agree to disagree on. I’ve always liked tearing down arguments, it’s what makes things interesting. Of course, if you don’t like playing the game, then there’s no reason for you to start it, and conclude it rashly when you find yourself on the losing end, by insulting your opponent. It’s bad sportsmanship.

Case in point, I’ve conceded several points to you, quite calmly really. I conceded that safety is a valid point (I believe this is my fourth time saying it), and I conceded that the analogy held for your reasons, and I had misunderstood it. Wasn’t that all very reasonable? Certainly doesn’t call for finger-pointing or name-calling, does it? I have never said, in this comment, and all my above comments, that getting drunk is, in fact, right. You can go ahead and read them all, with an open and sound mind, please and thank you. I’ve stressed again and again, that I thought safety a valid concern. You just keep insisting that I think we should all get drunk. Case in point, I don’t.

I’ve said time and again, it’s a valid concern. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s unfair. That’s the simplest way I can think to put it, and if you can’t understand even that, I’ve little way to help you see light. I tried to be candid, but you didn’t like that, and you insisted it was childish. I tried to be logical, to be ‘grown-up’, you countered that with name-calling. Why would you continue on a debate, if you don’t enjoy the spirit of it?

And of course, do keep safe. Neither do I wish you ill, because I haven't taken any of what you said personally. You've certainly given me cause to, much more than I'd given you. But of course, you might have thought that there was insult where none was intended, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about that. Once again, thank you for all the fun of the debate, although, it was clearly more personal for you.

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@arvakr_alsvior @Thetruthteller @BenevolentLawyer It's obvious, aardvark, that you love to wallow in negativity, like a sow in mud. Fine, be my guest. You have also certainly taxed my reading comprehension skills with your incoherent and murderously ungrammatical ramblings worthy of a Basic-level ESL learner, and you dishonor me by suggesting that I was even remotely including you in my "princess" allusion - do brush up on your reading skills, please. It is evident that alcohol does, indeed, kill brain cells (hint, hint!).

Be that as it may, I pity you for the misandric haze which you seem to favor as your natural habitat. You are welcome to that, too. You have no use for friendly concern for your wellbeing, it seems, and aggressively brush off any courtesy extended to you. Perhaps it is my maleness that grates on your sensitive female soul? Have you perchance been the victim of despicable treatment by sundry males in your life? If so, I can understand the bitterness that informs the attitudes  you have so far manifested. I am truly sympathetic for any injustice that some worthless man or men have dealt you.

Be that as it may, I hazard that what is most important to you is freedom and fun. You do not thank me for my concern but rail at me thus: "Don't tell me to take care, Mister! I don't want to hear about dangers or precautions that would cut into my fun and freedom, you hear?! If I want to get pi$$-drunk, doff my clothes, and puke and roll around in it, why, that's MY BUSINESS! Men behave like that, don't they? Why shouldn't we girls get to do the same? Eh? EH??? What I WANT is for you and other fuddy-duddies to make yourselves useful and ensure that I can do any or all of that SAFELY!! I want to behave however I want to behave and the world better rearrange itself to suit my propensities for fun and freedom, because as they are, THINGS ARE JOLLY-WELL NOT FAIR!!!" 

Well, aardvark, carry on, carry on... For better or for worse, have your fun while you keep griping about unfairness. I don't wish you ill, but you're the kind of woman that is easy to be indifferent to. Thank you for that clarification. And, by all means...keep safe. :)


arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

@Thetruthteller @arvakr_alsvior @BenevolentLawyer

The list of fallacies in your recent comment is endless, but I shan’t do you the favor of pointing all of them out, I’m sure an experienced, educated person such as yourself must have used them in full consciousness. One of them, however, used quite obviously here, is known as Poisoning the Well, the example of which, is making allusions regarding my age, rather than discussing the subject at hand. But since you are so very curious, I’ll have to say that I’m neither young and fresh-faced, nor am I a Princess (although, I would love it if I were). I do prefer a touch of candidness in my comments, but if you would prefer superiority and prideful ego, by all means, I would willingly oblige.

Now, to start with, if that is what you wished to illustrate with the example of the street thugs, by all means, I would concede this one to you, the point is valid. The fact that you had put it side-by-side with being drunk-raped was confusing, thereby misleading me to presume that you had thought both incidents of a similar nature. If it hadn’t been a statement on equality, and instead simply about safety, then yes, as I have mentioned before, the safety remains a valid point.

Next you mentioned me posing the question and walking away. Why clearly, I had thought that I was being rhetorical. And I’m sorry, but you didn’t answer the question either. You’d quoted, ‘Will’, my question was ‘Why’. Or, if you’re referring to the first comment, then the modal verbs are ‘Can’, or ‘Must’. Although, in your following answer, you did mention a certain belief that humans will get better, and therefore, you believe in ‘Can’. I, however, as you may infer from my comments, take a more negative view, and as of now, I just don’t believe that capacity in humanity. You’re right, we aren’t there. I don’t see us being all that good in any foreseeable future.

Right, so if you’re done pompously putting your views into my face (I can’t help Poisoning the Well, now that , you’ve done it too), once again, I would refer you to read, to truly, sincerely, eye-wide-open, read my previous comments. Time and again, I have stressed that the views about ‘safety’ are not invalid, but the fact that they are valid, are what makes things saddening and unjust. My point was exactly that, the very fact that they’re valid is what makes things unjust. You seem to be under the misapprehension that I would, in all confidence, decide to go to a bar to get myself drunk, just to prove a point. No, you don’t need to drill those points about safety insistently at me, because I have acknowledged them again and again. But you just don’t seem to be seeing that.

And finally, in a sort of passive-aggressive speech, you seem to be turning the topic to ‘Helping Humanity’ instead of ‘Harping on It’, once again, alluding that I have done or thought of naught about that. Should I thus assure you that I have and will continue to put great thought, followed by suitable action, on the subject? Or should I express my gratitude for the amount of amusement you have accorded me?

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@arvakr_alsvior @Thetruthteller @BenevolentLawyer You are most welcome to your views, my dear young lady (you do sound quite young and what I tell you is what I would tell my own princess when she's of age). And don't worry about sounding bitchy, you didn't really, and at any rate, I can handle bitchy quite adroitly when needs be.

Well, from a previous comment of yours, I see that the right to get drunk is pretty important for you. If you're over 18, I believe you have that right. You want to do it, go ahead and take your chances with whatever company you're in. But no amount of griping about the unfairness of the conditions governing gender relations will change human nature; not even legislation does that, although it can have some deterrent effect. I'm sorry, but all the "should's" and "should not's" in the world are less bankable than a single "was" or "did", once things have happened.

As regards the street crime analogy, I'm afraid you missed my point, that being that although one can know oneself to be in the right, i.e free to walk anywhere and at any time in a public place, the criminal element in society seems not to have received the memo. In fact, they couldn't care less about your rights and mine to not be detained, relieved of personal property, injured, raped or killed. Yeah, miss, I know...IT'S NOT FAIR!  What's to do? Fight if you want to (arm yourself and see who makes your day) or flee the danger (avoid certain areas and exercise due caution at all times).

You also pinpoint many ills that afflict humanity, further compounding the unfairness of this our existence. (Munch's "The Scream" seems an apt reaction to this existential angst that now occupies our attention, doesn't it?) Will humans ever rise above their baseness and anomie? You posed the question, but then you walked away. My view is that things will get worse, far worse, before they get better. Someday, I believe, humanity will transcend all the vile passions that render our circumstances so... UNFAIR. (How that might happen is the topic for another reflection, though.)

In the meantime, missy, if you must curse the darkness, please try to kindle a little flame to light your way and of those around you, ok? In other words, let's start looking for solutions to the present imbalance of "freedoms" between males and females, what do you say? What have you to contribute? Whatever the case, remember: We're Not There Yet. So, if you must get drunk, decide for yourself beforehand if you can live with any unforeseen eventualities worse than a hangover. Again, keep safe. 

arvakr_alsvior
arvakr_alsvior

@Thetruthteller @arvakr_alsvior @BenevolentLawyer

All right, after reading your comment, I’ll be honest here, it irked me. It didn’t so much piss me off, but it did make me feel the slightest bit annoyed, so there may be a dash of bitchiness in the following comment, attributed to the fore-mentioned annoyance, but let’s hope it doesn’t show too badly.

To start with, I wasn’t saying that her point wasn’t valid. Please, for the love of god, do read my carefully-worded comment before so enthusiastically rebutting. Case in point, I did say that she made a valid statement. Yes, yes, safety first. I get it. But the entire argument is a Red Herring. Because that wasn’t my argument at all. Can you see that?

I didn’t say that her point of view was wrong, but I did say that humanity was unfair. That this inequality imposed upon us is unfair. The fact that drinking would make a girl vulnerable and not a guy, I’m sorry, it’s unfair. Both male and female could, in fact, be attacked on a street, once again a false analogy, and yet only females must be wary when they drink. You can tell me I’m blind, but I don’t see equality in that.

Man (not man) is cruel and barbaric and a lot of other things bad, but I shan’t list the entire thing here. And your very point about the street thugs merely proves my point, not detract it. My initial argument, the one BenevolentLawyer replied to, and my main point really, it’s: Why can’t humans rise above? It’s wrong that we should fear being mugged just by walking down the street. It’s wrong. You can’t deny that. Or maybe you like being afraid, I mean, I wouldn’t know what rocks your boat, but I wouldn’t like it.

I’m lamenting the fact that humans, not just men, I’m sure there are women too. The scales are tipped in favour for bad rather than good. Because it takes a very good person to choose to not commit a bad thing, given a golden opportunity. And here we are talking about logic. Logic, logic, logic, and I’m saying no. This isn’t about logic. Is it logical that people are starving, logical that people are robbing, is it logical that people are violent and abusive? For heaven’s sake, no. This is ethical.

So once again, I must apologize for being so terribly… bitchy, because I know I was. Bitchy, somewhere in there. But I stand by my views.

Thetruthteller
Thetruthteller

@arvakr_alsvior @BenevolentLawyer Oh, don't let logic stand in the way of sentiment, girl. No, ma'am! It's obvious from your lament, "... it is ridiculously unfair", that you want what you want and the world just better shape up to fill the bill. But it's not a fair world, is it?

Did you read B.L.'s carefully-worded comment just as carefully? As a woman herself, she recognizes that there are unsavory realities and she adapts in order to keep safe (as much as possible) since prevention is way better than cure. She stresses the point that she is not pandering to sexism but "it is what it is".

However, it seems that you and Bover down below would throw caution to the winds since, after all, we are living at a time and in a society in which sexism and other "traditional mindsets" are severely frowned upon. These attitudinal changes did not come easily, but liberal activism has steadily been making inroads into postures of prejudice and pride for a few decades now. Therefore, now that we are living in hard-won egalitarian circumstances (?) let's live in consonance with the new paradigms, right?

Sure, arv, as long as you keep in mind that you can be totally right (and in your constitutional right) and still be - God forbid - totally dead, or raped, or whatever. As a man, I SHOULD be able to walk wherever I please in public. Who cares that an area is infested with gangbangers, how dare they curtail my right to take my weekend stroll right through "their" turf! Well, I'm gonna show them that this guy knows his rights, that no bunch of bums with knives and guns are gonna limit my freedom. And to show them that I mean business, I'm gonna take the missus and the kids, and granma, along. That'll show 'em!

Arv and Bover, prudence, as the old proverb goes, is the better part of valor. I'm all for equality for women and for the end of injustices that are still visited on them worldwide. But, until we arrive at that ideal state-of-affairs, it wouldn't hurt for all of us who are vulnerable in one way or the other, and women even more so - as B.L. pointed out - to exercise caution in the face of change-resistant sectors of modern societies. Keep safe.