#IBelieveHer; What #Steubenville Has Reminded Us About Rape Culture

“I would truly like to apologize. No pictures should have been sent out, let alone been taken.”

The words of Trent Mays, his supposed apology for raping 16 year old Jane Doe. The words that prove a tweet I sent last night wasn’t clutching at straws. In a fit  of fury over an offline conversation, I tweeted last night about the lengths people go to in order to defend a man’s right to rape; we saw it through Ched Evans’ support last year, through the Mike Tyson tours, which saw those supporting the tours claim Tyson had been set up. And now, we hear it from the mouth of the rapist himself… His remorse isn’t linked to the fact he raped Jane Doe. For one simple reason. We keep telling men they have a right to rape.

“But rape’s illegal!,” I hear some of you cry. You must be new, here… We lie to our women, we tell them rape is a criminal offence. Yet we see sympathy aligned with the men who rape women. 5,000 likes for a page in support of rapist Ched Evans, a grand total of 0 days in jail for rapist Roman Polanski, and a report on the rarity of false accusations twisted into an article about how men suffer from false accusations by BBC. I could go on, but fear I’d be here all night, just listing cases where rape has not only been minimised, but legalised too. Trent Mays didn’t apologise for raping Jane Doe, because he felt it was his right.

“But he was jailed!,” you argue. You really are new to these parts. Seriously. I’ll get you a map.  Figures from Rape Crisis and the British Crime Survey puts unreported rapes at 90%. In other words, men who rape have a 90% of their victim not going to the police. Why’s that, you ask? Take a look at the Saville cover up, the naming and bullying of the survivor in the Evans case, the rape myths women have forced down their throats at every time. As soon as we’re old enough to walk, we’re warned against “stranger danger”, yet it’s not strangers we need to fear, it’s the men sleeping in our beds, who think rape is their right.

And what really burns, is how ingrained rape culture is. We accuse the survivors of lying, despite knowing the rate for false accusations is low – 2%. We accuse the survivors of lying, choosing to believe the accused by default, on the basis of their sex. We try to blame survivors, by referring to their clothing, how much they drunk, whether they flirted with their rapist. We talk about rape, discussing it in terms of “sex”, when it’s not. It’s men’s violence against women, using penetration. To the survivors of rape, it feels nothing like sex. To those who campaign against rape, it looks nothing like sex. But we compare it to sex to discredit the survivors, and make excuses for the men who rape them. When we compare rape to sex, we try to imply confusion in the rapists mind. Yet they know they’re committing violence at the time. They know it’s rape, and we have to stop giving them a defence.

But with Steubenville, as in the Ched Evans case, it hasn’t ended with the verdict. The abuse continues, as the media empathises with the rapists, forgetting of the survivor. The first article I saw regarding the Steubenville verdict hosted a photo of Richmond crying into his mother’s shoulder – a move which aims at garnering sympathy for the rapists. The survivors pain is not as important as that of the men who raped her. If it was, the media wouldn’t sympathise with their “ruined futures”. They made the choice to ruin their futures when they made the choice to rape. And further more, social media allows the further abuse of the survivor – PublicShaming.Tumblr.Com has collected a sample of the worst of social media’s response to Steubenville.

Isn’t it time we stopped pretending rape has already been outlawed, and truly remove men’s right to rape?


9 thoughts on “#IBelieveHer; What #Steubenville Has Reminded Us About Rape Culture

  1. “We lie to our women, we tell them rape is a criminal offence. Yet we see sympathy aligned with the men who rape women. 5,000 likes for a page in support of rapist Ched Evans, a grand total of 0 days in jail for rapist Roman Polanski…”

    This sums it up for me. I feel like my heart is breaking today – women and girls are being brutalised, victimised and, as though that weren’t enough, we’re being lied to . Whole towns, whole legal systems are conspiring it protect men’s rights to rape, and it utterly sickens me. I only hope that social media will find a way to help us unite against this, as it has – to a certain extent – in the case of Steubenville.

  2. Brilliant, and much-needed, post. This has gone on long enough. (By the way, I love your blog’s subheading!!)

  3. Sad but true, Jane Does support outside the courtroom came from Anonymous that didn’t know her but believe in human rights and helping those in need. Where were the people from her town, church and local women’s groups? The rapist get more support than the victims.
    And America has become worst than third world countries. The worst rape city in the world 1 in 4 women is raped, yet in the US military where they are supposed to protect women 1 in 3 women is raped. What does that say about rape culture in America?

  4. Yes males’ pseudo sex right to females of all ages is sacrosanct and malestream media plays a vital role in promoting this lie. Or rather it is the truth because males who enact their male pseudo sex right to females are always ‘the real victims because male sexual predators must never be held accountable for enacting pseudo male sex right to females.

    Rape is not rape according to males who justify male pseudo sex right to female bodies – it is merely enactment of male sexuality and male sex right to female bodies. Which is why rape is male sexual violence not as is commonly claimed ‘male power and control over a female.’ Rape from the male sexual predator’s perspective is ‘normal male sexuality’ whilst for the female victims it is male sexualised violence enacted on the female.

    Crocodile tears from convicted group male rapist Richmond designed to gain public sympathy for his sexual crimes committed against a young woman. Never mind though convicted male group rapists will soon be released and they will become ‘the heroes’ whilst female victim will continue to be demonised by our Male Supremacist System.

    Male pseudo sex right to females of all ages is sacrosanct which is why malestream media is busily engaged in its propaganda lies and woe betide any woman or girl who dares to charge any male with having committed sexual violence against her person. She not the male sexual predator will become the accused and the male sexual predator – the victim!

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