I'm going right into my post today. I'll explain my absence in a day or so. There is something that happened over the weekend that really has been bothering me and deserves some posting space.
I'm sure that every generation to some extent has uttered the words "what is wrong with kids nowadays?". You had the damn hippies protesting the Vietnam conflict. Before that girls were swooning when Elvis started shaking his hips. There's always been something that had adults shaking there head and wondering what was happening to the youth of the day. I know that I gave my parents and school admin a run for their money when I decided as a sophomore in high school to buzz cut my hair except for my bangs. In my defense it was the late 80's and the punk movement had gone into the full on alternative scene. I was just stuck at a Catholic high school and such things were frowned upon. Anyway, I digress. This is about kids NOW. In 2013. I'm not trying to sound like an old foggy but seriously what the bloody hell is wrong with kids now? I find myself thinking this often. You have kids shooting each other with little regard to human life. You have babies having babies because it's "accepted" now. The real kicker (for this week anyway) is kids raping kids, passing around pics of it and then trying to cover it up. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON???!!!!!!???
I'm of course referring to the Steubenville rape case. Unless you've been hiding under a rock hopefully you're aware of what I'm talking about. If not take a few minutes and look it up. Long story short goes like this: high school kids attend party and drink. Girl at said party gets drunk. She was also possibly drugged. There are varying accounts on this. The girl was then raped, photographed and possibly urinated on. She was then dumped on her parents front lawn. The boys who raped her were football players for the local high school. The coach knew about the incident and the boys had to sit out one game. ONE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now things got really interesting when the "hacktivist" group Anonymous became involved. I know that people have varying opinions about Anonymous. Personally for the most part I'm a fan. I follow them on Twitter and a few Anon feds on Facebook. I remember the night that they first started bringing attention to the Steubenville rape case. Thank G-d they did. Otherwise the town would have happily swept this under the rug and gone on with their merry little lives. You've gotta protect those all important football players!!! (note the sarcasm). Anonymous brought the Steubenville rape to national attention and encouraged peaceful protests. Thankfully through their work and a few bloggers as well the case did get the attention it deserved. Two boys were ultimately charged. Five more were given immunity for their testimony. That part really makes me sick. The boys were found guilty and will spend time in juevie. Gee, that's enough to make up for running a girls life. Also please don't tell me that I'm being dramatic when I say that her life is ruined. She will never be the same. She will always have trust issue and she will always have this hanging over her like an albatross although she just was a dumb teenager who drank at a party. I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find a high schooler that hasn't been to a party and drank. The girls name was also revealed by CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Apparently at the sentencing one of the boys charged apologized to the victim and used her name. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC didn't rub 2 brain cells together and bleep out her name. So you can add that the the list of wrongs done to the victim. If this young lady is able to get the mental health help that she needs and is able to move on from this what happens if in the future someone up to and including future children Google her name? Also because kids are inherently mean you have those who will bully her for this. It's already started. 2 girls made online threats. They've been charged. Good. What about those who don't do it online but in person. Where is this girl supposed to go to school? Shop? Have any sense of a normal life?
The cherry on the top of this whole case was CNN running a segment that basically was an "Oh these poor boys. They had their futures taken from them." Yes seriously.
I've never understood the concept of blame the victim. It doesn't matter what she was or wasn't wearing. It doesn't matter whether or not she was drunk. None of it matters. It surely wouldn't matter if it was your sister, cousin, aunt, daughter or other beloved that went through this. The moral compass of this country is broken. It's not just a bit off it's freaking broken people! We need to take the time to raise our kids with a solid sense of morals and compassion. It should include things like:
-All people are deserving of your respect regardless of race, sex, religion, sexuality and many other factors. Personally I live in fear for my daughter who is developmentally delayed will be teased because kids are cruel.
-The victim never EVER asks for something to happen to them regardless of how they dress or whatever bad decisions they make.
-Kids need to know that if they see something wrong happening they need to stand up and stop it. Not join in or blend in to the background. They boys that raped the girl were obviously guilty but so was every person that saw it and said nothing. Read about it and did nothing. I know that people never like a snitch. I get that. There is a difference between being a snitch and standing up for what is blatantly wrong.
I really hope I'm a strong enough parent to raise my daughter to be a kind, upstanding person. I really hope other parents share my views on this. The world is a scary, intimidating place to navigate as it is. I've never understood those people that loved high school and want to go back. High school, regardless of who you are, is a nerve wracking time. I just want my daughter to live a good, happy, fulfilled life and be a kind, caring person. It shouldn't be that hard of a feat but the world is a mean, cold place. So knowing that I will just pray that my best is good enough to get her into adulthood and that she becomes a person she can be proud of.