Something a Steubenville, Ohio football player said

I started to write last week after reading an article by feminist author Jessica Valenti in the Nation where she states that “Americans are very confused about rape.” She feels that rather than having needed dialogue about how to stop rape, a lot has been said about trying to “understand” the rapist. I immediately felt guilty (in an old Catholic School way) because I do want to understand – not to excuse them, but to get at the root of the problem, thinking that might help stop it. Since viewing the Steubenville, Ohio video, what’s been sticking in my mind was the teen-age boy who asked “What if it was your daughter?” The laughing hyena didn’t miss a beat. He went right on making sick jokes about the young unconscious victim while the rest of them laughed and egged him on. Where does that cruelty come from?
For me and I would imagine, a lot of people who’ve experienced rape, that was a big question asked in the fury of the attack, “What if I was your _____ fill in the blank, For me it was sister, daughter, mother, aunt. My expectation in the moment was that those words would at least make the rapist relate to the possibility, feel some empathy, and stop.
Maybe it’s the actor in me looking for the motivation, trying to understand a character. I appreciate what Jessica Valenti is saying but at least we’re talking about it now. If we all approach things in our own unique ways from many different angles maybe we can come up with some ways of stopping rape culture.

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