The adults need to take responsibility guide these children. I ask every person listening what if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend? We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We all have that option to choose. This is the start of a new beginning for my daughter. I ask that you all continue to pray for her and all victims and please respect our privacy as we help our family to heal. Thank you.
—  The mother of the Steubenville rape victim, speaking to Anderson Cooper 360. She also added this: “My family and I are hopeful that we can put this whole ordeal behind us. We need and deserve to focus on our daughter’s future. We hope that from this something good can arise. I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing.”

While reporting on the verdict and sentencing of the two Steubenville rapists, the CNN news personalities told us repeatedly how difficult it was to watch these boy’s lives being destroyed. How their crime will haunt them.

These criminals destroyed their own lives, when they decided to repeatedly rape an incapacitated girl. When they decided to film and share their horrific crime.

Not once did CNN mention the person whose life was most destroyed by their crime, who will also be haunted for life by their crime… their victim. The young girl who they violated and raped.

Not once while they discussed the pain and humiliation these vicious and cruel criminals now face, did they acknowledge that her life was also destroyed, by them. That she would have to carry around the pain, humiliation, self doubt and self loathing, the stigma of rape, for the rest of her life. Not once did the CNN pundits mention the pain and humiliation these criminals repeatedly inflicted on their victim.

Not once.

The media, and it’s personalities have a huge rule to play in shaping public opinion and public perception. With that role comes an equall responsibility to ensure they use that role for the good of society.

CNN’s coverage of that story failed to meet that responsibility. Failed miserably. The on air personalities did nothing more than promulgate rape culture in America. A culture that leads to someone being raped or sexually assaulted every two minutes.

Every Two Minutes.

CNN, We are sure the 97% of rapists who will never spend a day in jail appreciated your sympathetic coverage of these two criminals.

The rest of us did not. We demand an on air apology for your disgustingly biased coverage. Further, we demand that you use your position as a premier news network to focus on changing rape culture in America. Devote an hour long, prime time segment to rape, it’s victims, what can be done to prevent it, and how to change the culture that gives rise to this violent crime.

Ohio teens guilty of rape, face year-plus in jail
March 17, 2013

A judge announced on Sunday that the defendants in the Steubenville rape trial were found guilty.

Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond had been accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance while she was severely intoxicated. Video and photo footage from the night of the incident spread across the internet soon after, drawing national attention to the case.

Mays and Richmond, both football players at Steubenville High School, received delinquent verdicts on all three charges. Delinquent is the guilty equivalent for juveniles. They were both convicted of digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, and Mays was also found guilty of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The boys will serve their sentence at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21.

The defendants and their family members openly wept at the verdict.

The victim, who has not been identified, testified in court on Saturday that she did not remember the attack, but that she remembered waking up naked in a house she did not recognize. Other members of the small Ohio community also testified against the defendants.Two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Rust Belt city and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community’s athletes.

Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond face a possible sentence of detention in juvenile jail until they turn 21, capping a case that came to light via a barrage of morning-after text messages, social media posts and online photos and video.

Both broke down in tears after the verdict was read.

Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after an alcohol-fueled party on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house. Mays was also found guilty on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

The case roiled the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community of 18,000 that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry. Their arms linked, protesters stood outside the courthouse Sunday morning awaiting the verdict, some wearing masks.

The trial opened last week as a contest between prosecutors determined to show the girl was so drunk she couldn’t have been a willing participant that night, and defense attorneys soliciting testimony from witnesses that would indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing.

The teenage girl testified Saturday that she could not recall what happened the night of the attack but remembered waking up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party. The girl said she recalled drinking, leaving the party holding hands with Mays and throwing up later. When she woke up, she said she discovered her phone, earrings, shoes, and underwear were missing, she testified.

"It was really scary," she said. "I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything."

The girl said she believed she was assaulted when she later read text messages among friends and saw a photo of herself taken that night, along with a video that made fun of her and the alleged attack. She said she suspected she had been drugged because she couldn’t explain being as intoxicated as defense witnesses have said she was.

"They treated her like a toy," said special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter.

Evidence introduced at the trial included graphic text messages sent by numerous students after the night of the party, including by the accuser, containing provocative descriptions of sex acts and obscene language. Lawyers noted during the trial how texts have seemed to replace talking on the phone for contemporary teens. A computer forensic expert called by the state documented tens of thousands of texts found on 17 phones seized during the investigation.

The girl herself recalled being in a car later with Mays and Richmond and asking them what happened.

"They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me," she testified. "I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video."


They should serve more time. Also, the victim blaming in this case is shameful. That’s rape culture.

I pushed a guy off a cliff and now he's trying to ruin my life.

Now before you all go jumping down my throat about how I shouldn’t be pushing people off cliffs in the first place, let me give you a bit of background on this guy.

First of all, he’s a huge daredevil.  He rides a motorcycle, sky dives, bungee jumps…you name it.  This guy is no stranger to danger.  In fact, he was even wearing a shirt that said “daredevil” on it on the day that I pushed him.  The way I see it, if he doesn’t want to be treated like a daredevil, maybe he shouldn’t dress like one.  Just a thought.

Second of all, he was standing right next to the railing on the side of the cliff.  He put himself in that situation.  I honestly don’t know what he expected was going to happen.  It’s a well-known fact that many people have a certain amount of bloodlust.  The truth is, I did what a lot of people would have done in the same situation.

Third of all, he didn’t expressly tell me not to push him off the cliff.  How was I supposed to know he didn’t want that thrill?  Really, if anything he should be thanking me for even wanting to push him off that cliff in the first place.

As it turns out, the fall didn’t kill him, but it did paralyze him from the waist down.  And now he’s pressing charges of - get this - attempted murder against me.  I certainly didn’t think of what I was doing as attempted murder.  Yeah, he could have died, but there was no weapon, no struggle. He just kinda…fell.  How was I supposed to know a legal technicality would classify my actions as attempted murder?  This whole thing has just been blown way out of proportion.

I mean, I know I screwed up.  I get that.  But he deserves his share of the blame too.  If he hadn’t put himself in that position, I wouldn’t have been tempted to push him.  Instead of using me as a scapegoat for his poor decisions, we should be focusing on the root of the problem and teaching people how to avoid getting pushed off cliffs. For example, if you’re going up to a high altitude, bring more than one friend along so you can keep an eye out for potential killers.  Don’t wear clothes that imply you want to die.  Things like this can keep you safe and prevent you from ruining the life of a person who might try to kill you if given the chance.

So, yeah, I’m really upset about all this.  I begged him not to press charges, but apparently he doesn’t care about how this is all going to effect me.  Yeah, he’s paralyzed, and that sucks for him, but I’m going to be the one who might have end up going to jail.  I’m the one who’s going to have to bear the stigma of being an ex-con for the rest of my life because I made one mistake.  I’m the one who’s going to be forever branded as an “attempted murderer”.  Did he ever take a moment to think about how all this is going to effect me?  How hard it’s going to be for me to get a good job or find someone to go mountain climbing with?

The way I see it, my life is pretty much over now.  Thankfully, I’m pretty sure CNN is going to be sympathetic to my plight.  I’m also looking forward to the flood of posts online telling that jerk who I pushed that what happened to him was his fault.  Because, from what I’ve seen, that way of thinking is pretty common nowadays.

How a victim-blaming system excuses rape
January 7, 2013

A horrifying 12-minute video of young men in Steubenville, Ohio, joking about the brutal, extended gang rape of a 16-year-old girl last August is now international news after it was posted on the Internet January 2 by the hacker group Anonymous—along with a stream of Twitter and Facebook posts, and photos of the unconscious victim being dragged by her wrists and ankles.

The very clear picture that emerges is of a young woman drugged and then taken unconscious from one party to another while being repeatedly raped and violated by members of the school’s self-styled “rape crew”—while other members took pictures, tweeted about what was happening and made vicious jokes mocking the victim.

The Steubenville case is now about more than this horrific crime, however. The Anonymous postings, in particular, have shown the complicity of town and school officials in trying to bury the details and blunt the effects of this crime—and the readiness of some in the community to blame the victim of a gang rape, and in the most sickening terms.

In this respect, a rape in one Ohio town is revealing how U.S. society and its most revered institutions—law enforcement from the local to the federal level, and schools from the high school level to the most elite of college campuses—routinely minimize rape and sexual violence, and subject any woman willing to speak up about them to abuse and humiliation.

The rot goes far beyond Steubenville. The first national coverage of the case was an extended New York Times feature that ended up illustrating all the problems with the ways that rape and sexual assault are discussed in our society. The article read like a cross between a nonfiction retelling of the high school football TV drama Friday Night Lights and an anguished commentary on the uses and misuses of social media.

Readers could easily have been left with the sense that what happened in Steubenville was a tragedy for everyone involved, that the young men who committed the rape were also victims because they might lose promising futures, that it matters whether the town’s beloved football team had its reputation tarnished—and even that it’s difficult to determine what happened that August night because of conflicting stories and outlooks.

While the Times article extensively profiled the two young men charged with rape, the experiences and feelings of the victim are almost entirely missing. We only learned in the last few paragraphs that she is traumatized, unable to sleep, socially isolated and afraid to go to school.

In this context, the Anonymous leaks are welcome in having shone the spotlight on the misogynistic cruelty of the “rape crew” and the multiple ways in which the victim was dehumanized and brutalized. The facts about what happened are stomach-turning—and, as a record of the evening posted at the Local Leaks website shows, not at all difficult to piece together.

What’s clear is that school and town officials have been engaged in a systematic cover-up ever since August—which in turns shows the extent to which these young men could reliably expect to act with impunity.

The revelations about Steubenville are so horrifying that there is a danger the events will be seen as exceptional. Already, the young men involved are being described as sick sociopaths.

While it’s hard to watch the video footage and disagree, this misses the critical point that sexual assault is pervasive in our society—and that the ruling institutions of this society are responsible.

An extensive report by the Centers for Disease Control in 2010 found that one in five women reports having been the victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Any serious of discussion of rape and sexual assault today has to address why they take place so widely—and the multiple ways in which sexual assault survivors are re-victimized.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

IT IS depressingly easy to point to examples of the most reactionary politicians and public officials minimizing or even denying the reality of rape.

Todd Akin, the Republicans’ candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, caused an outrage last year when he said that a woman could not become pregnant from “legitimate rape” – thus implying that some rapes that weren’t legitimate or real. In Indiana, another GOP Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock, described children resulting from rape as a “gift from God.” Then there’s Roger Rivard, a Wisconsin Republican who claimed last year that some women “just rape easy.”

But this all seems mild compared to the California judge who was finally admonished recently for his 2008 claim that “real” rape survivors are the ones whose vaginas are “shredded by rape.” In justifying his reduction of the sentence of a man convicted of raping his girlfriend, he said:

[I]f someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case. That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight. And to treat this case like the rape cases that we all hear about is an insult to victims of rape. I think it’s an insult. I think it trivializes a rape.

It’s easy to write this off as the reactionary ranting of Republican Neanderthals. Yet there are real consequences—for example, the recent expiration of the federal Violence Against Women Act after the Republican House refused to vote on it.

More importantly, however, we have to recognize that there has been a much wider backsliding on the issue of rape and sexual violence.

Before the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s, the dominant idea of rape was that it was something that happened in dark alleys and bad neighborhoods, committed by strangers. The women’s movement punctured this mythology, revealing the truth—that most rapes happen between people who know each other and that sexual assault is much more common than people think. This represented a huge advance.

But the backlash against the gains of the women’s movement has had significant consequences. First, it has eroded steps towards actual equality between women and men and contributed to a culture steeped in sexism—one in which it is acceptable to think of women as objects for men’s pleasure. Second, it has changed the way in which rape and sexual assault are talked about.

Today, the myth of stranger rape has been replaced by the myth of what is referred to as “gray rape”—the idea that it is hard to identify what constitutes consent or non-consent, and that many situations described as rape are murky or confusing.

In the early 1990s, author Katie Roiphe wrote a book called The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism, which essentially claimed that date rape didn’t exist. Instead, according to Roiphe, date rape was a matter of women waking up and changing their minds. “There is a gray area in which one person’s rape may be another’s bad night,” she wrote. Her argument was that women weren’t willing to take responsibility for their own sexual activity and instead reverted to accusations of rape.

Roiphe’s argument was shocking at the time, but now some of the reactionary assumptions she peddled have seeped into the mainstream discussion.

The women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, usually filled with articles about how women can best satisfy men, was the first to push the concept of “gray rape.” In a cover article, journalist Laura Sessions Stepp laid out the basic argument: “Many experts feel that gray rape is in fact often a consequence of today’s hookup culture: lots of partying and flirting, plenty of alcohol and, ironically, the idea that women can be just as bold and adventurous about sex as men are. How can something so potentially empowering become so damaging?”

In other words, the narrative goes like this: women have become more sexually active, alcohol use has increased, and there is an increasing “hookup culture”—therefore, confusion has developed over what constitutes consent. So sometimes men “cross the line,” but no one’s quite clear about whether it was rape or not.

There is a right-wing version of this narrative and a liberal one, cloaked in concern for women.

The right-wing argument essentially tells women that if you’re going to play with the big boys, then you’re going to get hurt. Stepp’s Cosmopolitan article quotes a woman saying, “If you make the choice to leave the bar with the guy, then you are also creating the opportunity for something to go wrong. I think that is the point that needs to be driven home to everyone who participates in the hookup culture. Yes, you can practice safe sex. Yes, you can have casual sex without strings. But this behavior carries a risk.”

Full article

An important read.

"Trigger warning* I’m talking about rape and I’m fucking pissed off..

Never take a drink from anyone or let your drink out of your sight. Don’t show too much cleavage. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Never go to a boy’s room alone. If it comes to it, go for the eyes, the nose, the balls. Always stay with a group of girls…safety in numbers. You can’t trust him, even if he seems nice.

These are all the rules I was taught growing up. Parents, teachers, media, all told me I had to be careful not to get raped. Because I was a girl. And the responsibility was on me.

I’m so fucking sick of it.

I don’t have daughters that have to be taught these rules. I have sons. Three sons. And instead, I will teach them what seems like a pretty basic concept that should be taught to all sons: DON’T RAPE PEOPLE!

Like everyone else, I’ve followed the Steubenville rape trial with horror and disgust. My horror and disgust is directed toward Michael Nodianos, who spent twelve minutes entertaining his friends with jokes about the rape they had all just witnessed. My horror and disgust is directed toward Mark Cole II who shot a video of his friend raping someone and didn’t see anything wrong with it until the next day. My horror and disgust is directed toward Evan Westlake and Cody Saltsman and Anthony Craig and every other person who was witness to and complicit in the RAPE of a 16 year old girl and instead of stopping it, saw fit to shoot photos, video and share to social media.  My horror and disgust is directed toward Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the two boys who MADE A DECISION to haul an incapacitated girl from party to party for use as an object of humiliation and degradation. The two boys who MADE A DECISION to repeatedly penetrate a barely conscious girl (if she was conscious at all). The two boys who MADE A DECISION for a girl who didn’t have a say in the matter.

The two boys who CNN’s Poppy Harlow is feeling bad for. Because they have to face consequences for their actions.

Never, at any point in following this story, did I stop and think, “Man…that sucks for those rapists.”

You know why? Because they are rapists. Yes, they are young. Yes, they are stupid. Yes, they made a mistake. Yes, they had good grades. Yes, they were athletes. Yes, they are someone’s sons. Yes, they have fucked up their futures. Not a single one of those facts excuses them from the consequences of raping someone.

There seems to be some sort of fucked up public opinion that we should pity these boys because, hey, we all do dumb stuff when we’re young. Because it could have been our sons. And to that I say, bullshit.

We need to stop letting it be our sons.

We need to teach our sons that no means no. And that silence means no. And that drunkenness means no. And that being passed out means no. And that “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” or “maybe we shouldn’t do this” means no.

We need to teach our sons that women and girls are actual people. They’re not just bodies. They’re not just holes. They’re not inanimate objects to be used at will.

We need to teach our sons that degrading women isn’t funny in any context.

We need to teach our sons that watching something happen and not intervening is every bit as bad as participating.

We need to teach our sons what it means to be men.

I don’t have any daughters. I am not tasked with teaching them how to try not to get raped. But this isn’t a problem with our daughters. We shouldn’t have to teach them how to stop rape.

We need to teach our sons.”

^I did not write this, I found this on the interwebz, but I cant seem to find the author’s name.

“Poppy is taking this extremely personally as a woman,” said one executive. “She’s outraged that someone would think she’d do such a thing” as slant her coverage toward rapists. “It’s gotten so out of control.”

Well, looks like Poppy Harlow, and probably the rest of CNN, are in no mood to apologize anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the petition is over a quarter million strong right now.

Let CNN know that this isn’t going away anytime soon. They’re easy to find on Facebook, plus here are some relevant Twitter handles:

 @PoppyHarlowCNN   @crowleyCNN   @clancycnn @piersmorgan   @AC360 

Vice president of communications is @BlevinCNN  

@barblevin  @CNNPolitics   @CNNMoney   @cnnbrk   @CNN    

Unfortunately they don’t have accessible direct emails, but try flooding these as well:

Watch on


This guy is my NEW BEST FRIEND!!!

Tumblr… I know you’re fantastic on spreading things like wildfire so reblog this and lets get these last 28,000 signatures.  If we can get someone a fluffy chicken we can get these asshole media reporters to apologize on air for sympathizing with rapists and completely ignoring the fact that a young girl was raped.

THIS MIGHT NOT GET A LOT OF NOTES BUT I CAN HOPE. This whole ordeal has REALLY rustled my jimmies. With the rape apologists, 1 year sentence and the news coverage.. just awful.