Steubenville has been on my mind much of late. I’m talking of course about the highly-publicized rape case that went went viral via the cell phones of several young people who witnessed the event (yet strangely, no one seemed inclined to stop it). Just kids being kids? Or kids being foolish? Or kids being evil? Or kids being human? I don’t really know. I just know it makes me sad. And mad. And thankful. I know I was young once and did foolish and evil and human things. In fact, sometimes I still do.
But this case haunts me. How do we stop things like this? How do we protect young people from each other and themselves? How do we protect women from whatever it is that motivates some men to see them as little more than pieces of meat? How do we protect men from the moral degeneration of such attitudes? I honestly don’t know. The world has been around a long time and this type of thing (and even worse) has been around with it. It would be easy to fall into hopelessness. I mean, shouldn’t a person–however young–understand the wrong of such behavior? Hasn’t dad or mom or teacher or pastor or someone taught these young men you should never violate another person like that? Should we even need a teacher to teach us that?
So, all my thinking has produced only these two things. First, I need to make a better effort in my own life to truly respect women. To see them not even primarily as women but as people just like myself. They have a life and hopes and dreams and everything else I have. And some of them have more of it. More smarts, and courage and character and every other positive human attribute. Yes, I already know all these things. So does everyone who will read this. But do you believe it? There are obviously many men, and not a few women, who don’t.
The second thing that won’t leave me is this. And this is primarily to any male readers. It is NEVER permissible to touch a woman sexually unless she completely, utterly, consents. What she is wearing, what her past history is, whether she has been drinking, whatever–they are ALL irrelevant. Is it foolish to get drunk to the point of passing out? Yes. But SO WHAT? Many things are foolish. But NO ONE deserves to be raped because they were foolish or immature. There is NO SUCH THING as “asking for it”. And if you believe otherwise, you are part of the problem.