trent mays

For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as ‘Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays’ rather than 'Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,’ try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether…

Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richardson are not the “stars” of the Steubenville rape trial. They aren’t the only characters in a drama playing out in eastern Ohio. And yet a CNN viewer learning about the Steubenville rape verdict is presented with dynamic, sympathetic, complicated male figures, and a nonentity of an anonymous victim, the 'lasting effects’ of whose graphic, public sexual assault are ignored. Small wonder, then, that anyone would find themselves on the side of these men—these poor young men, who were very good at taking tests and playing sports when they were not raping their classmates.
— 

Mallory Ortberg of Gawker, critiquing CNN’s disgusting response to the Stuebenville rape trial verdicts. 

Her commentary is spot on.

When teens rape, adults cry "foul!"

By Amy Dickinson

March 18, 2013

Last month I posted a Q and A from my “Ask Amy” column which I thought might be controversial. The query was from a 16-year-old girl, and her question to me was, “Was I raped?”

(For the original Q and A, please click here: )

http://www.amydickinson.com/post/44098015909/teen-girl-asks-was-i-raped

What I didn’t quite anticipate was how this question and my answer (“yes, you were raped”) would unleash a certain hateful ferocity in my readership. I also didn’t anticipate – at all – how brokenhearted I would feel, not by the reaction toward me (ten years of writing this column has made me thick skinned) but by the violence people expressed toward a girl who was raped.

Should a 16 year old girl go to the home of a 19 year old guy, tell him she doesn’t want to “go all the way” (the writer’s own delicate word choice, not mine), and expect him to respect that? That’s exactly what a typical 16-year-old with a crush on a guy would expect. And it’s what she should be able to expect.

She wanted to have a relationship with him. She stated she did NOT want to have sex with him, but then she did have sex with him. And, according to her, she did not fight him off. She did not yell (or even say…) “no.” But she did say in advance that she did not want to have sex and she never (according to her) gave any consent. And the next day she wrote to me. “Was I raped?” she asked. And I said, “Yes." 

As the torrent of hate mail poured in I was prepared for the usual assaults on my competence and character (and looks, too – because when people don’t like what you think, they enjoy telling you you’re ugly, too).

What truly broke my heart was the tone and content of the hate mail directed at the teen girl. There were so many hundreds of emails that I didn’t read them all, but after I posted the column on my Facebook page, the comments section quickly filled with so many haters blaming the victim and spewing garbage toward the teen, me and other commenters that readers begged me to remove the column and I did.

But one email stays with me. It was from someone claiming to be a grandmother who said she had shared my column with her teenage grandchildren – both boys and girls – ages 13 - sixteen.

I was curious about the reaction of these kids, so I kept reading.

And what this grandmother reported sent shivers up my spine. "She was a stupid slut who deserved to be raped,” said her 13 year old granddaughter. The grandmother showed off her grandkids’ reactions like she was proud of them, quoting each in turn – each more hateful and vile than the one before it. I won’t quote these other comments because I don’t want you, dear readers, to have them rattling around in your head the way I have. 

One thing I learned from this is how tricky people think this issue of consent is. Because if you go to someone’s house, they think that means you consent to sex. If you don’t scream or fight or shout “no,” then that means you consent to sex. And if you claim you were raped – you had better have some cuts and bruises (or video) to bolster your story. 

Which brings me to Steubenville, Ohio. A 16-year-old girl goes to a party, gets drunk and possibly drugged, is stripped and violated repeatedly (while unconscious) by two of her peers. (In some news accounts they were referred to as friends of hers.) Her assault is photographed by other teens and the photos and videos are widely shared. No one attempts to help her. The girl, unconscious and naked, is carried from place to place as she is violated repeatedly. She is referred to as “deader than OJ’s wife.” And kids text about it, share photos and video – and no one attempts to help her. 

The victim herself was brave and savvy enough to put together a time line of what happened to her after she woke up, naked, on a basement floor, her rapists standing over her. The boys all but admitted what they had done in multiple text messages, sent to the victim and to other people. In fact, two days after the attack the victim finally texted one of her attackers, “It’s on YouTube. Stop texting me.”

And yesterday the two teen boys were convicted of rape. In court, given the opportunity to apologize to the victim and her family, one of the rapists said through his sobs that he was sorry he took photos and video of her, naked, unconscious, and with his semen on her body. He said he regretted photographing her and apologized for that. No mention of the sexual assault. The other boy sobbed, “My life is over.”

“Many of the things we learned during this trial that our children were saying and doing were profane, were ugly,” the Judge Thomas Lipps said.

Justice, I guess, prevailed in Steubenville. But what this case revealed about our culture and what my (relatively tame) Q and A revealed about our attitudes toward sexual behavior, expectations, degradation and violation is devastating. Aside from the horrific behavior of the teen rapists (and the voyeurism of so many), many ADULTS who knew about this sexual assault did nothing, covered it up, and even (in the case of the football coach, who is a mandated reporter) joked about it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/steubenville-rape-trial-attorney-general-mike-dewine_n_2899681.html

Just after the guilty verdict was announced, Ohio’s Attorney General Mike DeWine announced plans to possibly prosecute various adults who either did nothing or who actively tried to thwart an investigation. I glanced through the “comments” section of the CNN story and noticed that it was dominated by men who either felt sorry for the boys for their one and two year sentences in juvie – or who were calling DeWine the “gestapo” and screaming about their own rights (not to report a crime). And  – as the comments to my own Q and A revealed, and as the icky reportage from the proud grandmother revealed – we, the adults, are the real problem. 

Want a lesser rape charge? Become a football player.

The attackers involved in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case have been tried and charged. Both Ma'lik Richmond and Trent Mays were found guilty of raping a intoxicated 16 year old girl; both given a year for the rape and Mays given an extra year for having taken a picture of the girl, lying naked and unconscious on the floor. (use of minor in nudity related material). Oh and the time they spent in custody counts towards their sentence. (You know they’re not ever going to be in there for the full two years….)

On top of that, the story of this trial was covered by CNN who, instead of talking about the impact on the victim and disgusting violence and disregard the rapists had, talked about how “emotional” the trial was and how sad it was that these “star football players”/“good students” had such promising futures and watched as their lives “fell apart”.

THANK YOU FOR FOCUSING ON THE REAL VICTIMS CNN. It’s not like they took advantage of a drunken, unconscious minor, raped her, urinated on her, took photos and live-tweeted the entire thing.

If that wasn’t enough, CNN had a legal counsel of some sort go on to say the most upsetting thing about this was that the boys were registered as sex offenders….

Oh no. The sex offenders have to get the reputation of being sex offenders. How fucking tragic.

“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.

in terms of the steubenville rape case:

I’ve gotten a few messages asking my opinions on this case over the past week so I’m going to address them here. I might get a lot of shit for this, but we truly cannot put all the blame on the two boys, Ma'lik and Trent. The fact of the matter is that we, as a society, are to blame too. Obviously, they sexually assaulted this girl and they deserve to be imprisoned for what they did, but as a society, we are at blame too.

Rape culture teaches our children that if you’re married, you have to have sex with your spouse. Rape culture teaches our children that if you’re a girl and your skirt is too short and if you drink too much, then you’re asking to have sex. Rape culture teaches our children that if you don’t say no, you’re saying yes.

We need to stop believing that the rapists of our country are simply hooded men in dark alleys waiting to prey on girls. We need to stop believing that as long as we follow a little check-list, dont go out alone, don’t get drunk, don’t wear a short skirt, and we’ll be safe. Rapists are everywhere; the cashier at our local supermarket, our middle school math teachers, the woman who lives across the street, and even the star players on your high school football team.

This unnamed victim was thrown around like a doll and treated like one too. She was humiliated, she was disgraced, she was violated and the lack of respect that EVERYONE showed towards her, not only the two boys, but EVERYONE who witnessed what was going on with her and refused to help, is disgusting. That boy who videotaped what was going on with her and didn’t try to stop it is at blame. Those two girls who watched her stumble around, who watched as these football players grabbed her like she was a fucking corpse; they are at blame too. The kid who said he’ll pay someone 3 dollars to urinate on her is at blame.

That’s what we’ve come to, isn’t it? This girl's respect was worth three dollars to them. Instead of giving her a blanket, calling her parents, giving her a ride home, these kids laughed at her, and subjected her to what they considered a joke. None of these kids thought what they were doing was wrong. Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richards didn’t think what they were doing was wrong. The victim herself didn’t realize what happened was wrong until her parents vehemently demanded that the two boys be arrested.

I’m not sure but I think something like 75% of rape isn’t reported. Yet, one in three women will be sexually assaulted in her life, and one in six will be raped. 

WE NEED TO TEACH OUR POPULATION THAT RAPE IS WRONG.
WE NEED TO TEACH OUR POPULATION THAT RAPE IS WRONG.
WE NEED TO TEACH OUR POPULATION THAT RAPE IS WRONG.

In terms of the Steubenville Rape Case, personally, I think that Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond boys knew that what they were doing wasn’t right, but I don’t think they truly grasped how utterly wrong it was.  

youtube

CNN grieves that guilty verdict ruined ‘promising’ lives of Steubenville rapists (by TheSublimeDegree)

What the FUCK CNN. How is it even remotely surprising how horrible this is?

OMG THEIR FOOTBALL CAREERS!!!! ALCOHOL ALCOHOL ALCOHOL!!! They APOLOGIZED!! ISN’T THAT ENOUGH!!?! Reporter Poppy Harlow just can’t say enough disgusting filth.

This women – Candy Crowley – just called the rapists victims. Lives are destroyed! Um, yeah, the life of the girl who was RAPED! They took fucking pictures of her, a video, and sent thousands of texts like it was a huge fucking joke

The worse thing is that there are millions of people sitting at home watching this shit and getting the “poor rapists” mentality seared into their tiny brains because they haven’t been taught to question television. It’s also fueling the horrible people who already believe in (and act on!) this pro-rape culture.

At least the Huffington Post called this shit out and for a CNN Boycott.

Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days of testimony in the case against 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond, who were tried as juveniles.

Mays and Richmond were tried before Lipps, a visiting judge, without a jury. The trial moved quickly – and through the weekend – to accommodate the judge’s schedule.

They face the possibility of being jailed until they are 21.

The ruling brings an end to a trial that has gained national attention for its lurid text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts surrounding the alleged sexual abuse of the girl. 

Mays and Richmond (along with their lawyers and families) were extremely emotional in the courtroom in the wake of the decision, with both offering statements apologizing to the victim.

i just find it interesting that when a girl is gang raped in india, everyone gets all worked up and wonders how something so barbaric can happen in 2013 (it must be because india is so backwards! they haven’t caught up to us!), and wonders how people can do that to an innocent girl.

but when the same thing happens in america, suddenly it’s the poor rapist’s lives ruined, and that drunk slut should have been more careful. it’s suddenly okay for not one, but three of the most reputable and highly watched news outlets to name the victim and make a point to say that she’s back on the honor roll, while her poor rapists are suffering.

meanwhile the news outlets seem to be ignoring the fact that her rapists took photos and videos of her and commented on her blacked-out and abused state with casual “lol”’s. they ignore the fact that they sent around the photos to their friends to brag about their conquest. they ignore the fact that, when one of mays’s friends joked that he was a felon, he objected, “not really.” they ignore the fact that this means the rapists didn’t believe that what they did was wrong or punishable. they ignore the fact that they weren’t remorseful until things got serious.

it seems to me that the moral of the story that the news is trying to sell is this: “if you come forward about your traumatizing sexual assault, you will ruin your clearly guilty rapists life. don’t do that.”

and you say we don’t need feminism.

For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as “Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays” rather than “Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,” try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether.

It’s perfectly understandable, when reporting on a rape trial, to discuss the length and severity of the sentence; it is less understandable to discuss the end of two convicted rapists’ future athletic and academic careers as if it were somehow divorced from the laws of cause and effect. Their dreams and hopes were not crushed by an impersonal, inexorable legal system; Mays and Richmond raped a girl and have been sentenced accordingly. Had they not raped her, they would not be spending at least one year each in a juvenile detention facility.

It is unlikely that Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow are committed rape apologists; more likely they simply wanted a showy, emotional angle at the close of a messy and sensationalized trial. Since the identity of the victim is protected, and the rapists obliged the camera crews by memorably breaking down and crying in court, they found an angle to match: extremely gifted young men were brought tragically low by… mumblemumblesomething.

That isn’t how rape trials ought to be discussed by professional journalists.

What qualifies as rape
  • I decided to list a bunch of scenarios that would constitute as rape seeing as how some people seem to be confused as to what it entails.
  • if she says no:it's rape
  • if she's extremely drunk:it's rape
  • if she's barely coherent:it's rape
  • if she's passed out:it's rape
  • if you force her:it's rape
  • if two high school students take advantage of an extremely intoxicated sixteen year old girl and proceed to film and mock it:IT'S RAPE

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.

No pictures should have been sent around, let alone ever taken.
— 

Trent Mays

There are a million things wrong with this story, but this is what’s making me the most angry. This quote was Trent Mays’ “apology” after being found guilty in court. No apology for what he did, just that he got caught. So sickening.

Reaction to the reaction to the Steubenville rape case

I get it. It was probably really emotional in that courtroom. But it’s obvious that there are outstanding voices in the media with woefully messed-up priorities. And yeah, I’m talking about Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow from CNN. The way their report went, you’d think Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were the victims here! Like, wow, what a mean ol’ judge Thomas Lipps was for ruining the lives of those bright young men! 

I have no doubt that they were good students and star athletes. So yeah, it’s sad that their lives and reputations are going to take a serious hit that WILL haunt them for the rest of their lives? But you know what? That’s what you get for raping a 16-year-old girl. Are we just gonna overlook that? They committed the crime of rape and were found guilty in a court of law!

But nooooo, that’s not the issue, I guess. The issue is that those poor boys, one of whom cried his eyes out in the courtroom are gonna be registered sex offenders, huh? They showed so much promise, but this is to be the end result! Well, rightfully so. Because they’re rapists.  Look, if CNN’s reporters want to be bleeding hearts, that’s fine. But they ought to be responsible about it. They can’t just let their crimes go. You know what that does?  It makes the perpetrators victims, thus erasing the TRUE victim and her suffering. 

But hey, it’s not like being drugged and raped haunts you for the rest of your life too, right? 

When Casey Anthony was being accused of murdering her daughter, nobody was making excuses to justify Anthony’s (supposed) actions, or blamed her daughter in any way. Nobody said “well what was Caylee doing?”.

But, when two football players kidnap a girl, take her across state lines, drug her, and expose to hours of countless rapes, it’s suddenly the girl’s fault. They say she couldn’t handle being out too late, or drinking that much. They excused the boys actions, and are putting this young woman on trial. Then they complain about how she’s ruining their football team.

This is rape culture. 

“Yes, that is how the sex offender registry works. People who commit acts of sexual violence (rape, for example) and are convicted in a court of law are required to register with the national sex offender public registry, so that future employers and neighbors might do things like check said registry.
For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as "Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays” rather than “Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,” try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether.“
—  Mallory Ortberg (Gawker)
If you honestly, HONESTLY believe that the girl who was raped is ruining the boys' lives,

then please unfollow me right now.

And don’t fucking try to make me feel sorry for those boys either, or put the girl at fault in any way.

She was taken advantage of by those boys who knew FULL WELL what they were doing.

There are no if’s, and’s or but’s to this.

A girl was kidnapped, drugged, raped, videotaped and then left naked on the ground of an unfamiliar place. Now, she’s going to have to live with that stigma for the rest of her life, along with all the physical and psychological trauma.

So, don’t fucking tell me that those boys don’t deserve the hell I hope is going to be sent their way.