More Thoughts On Football And The Culture Of Rape.
Yesterday I talked about the misogynist atmosphere that exist in the sport of football. I focused on the sexist rant perpetrated by Brent Musberger as he drooled over Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. Today, when I got home from work, my partner shared with me this article posted on Upworthy: A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again.. The article discusses the controversy surrounding the rape of a 16 year old girl by two high school football players from Steubenville, Ohio. The girl was at a party, had too much to drink and passed out. After she was out cold, the two players in question raped the girl, while pictures and video were taken. Of course, the pictures and video became public. In the aftermath, the coach of the football team tried to dismiss the rape as a teen age girl trying to stay out of trouble with her parents. The article itself is brief, but more importantly it introduces a video that you simply must watch.
I agree 100% with the young man speaking in the video. Whether a man, young or old understands what rape is, it’s still rape. This is the problem with our patriarchal culture. Boys are simply not educated enough about what constitutes rape, and in the often times violent world of football, a culture of rape does indeed exists. As I mentioned yesterday in my blog post, when I played high school football, girls were viewed as objects to conquer and fuck. It is a world of machismo, of prove your manhood at any cost, and coaches do very little on any level to educate or dissuade young men from this behavior. If we are going to change our culture of rape in sports, or in society in general, we must be proactive. We must educate our sons what is creepy, what is inappropriate, and what is rape. If we can’t or won’t do this, then the culture of rape will continue to permeate every level of society.
In somewhat related news, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey was charged with domestic violence for slapping his girlfriend during an argument over a cell phone. As a result, the Steelers announced today that they were cutting all ties with Rainey. I say kudos to the Steelers for showing zero tolerance for this misogynistic behavior. However, I would add that the same should have been done a few years ago to Ben Roethlisberger, after he was charged not once, but twice with rape and sexual assault. His alleged actions merely earned him a 4 game suspension from the NFL, but no action by the team was ever taken. What happened with Rainey was a positive action, but I’m still of the mind that punishments doled out in football, particularly when it comes to domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault, always fits the talent level of the player rather than the crime.
- Steubenville’s Legacy: How a Rape Case in Ohio Could Change History (jezebel.com)
- A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again. (upworthy.com)
- The Definitive Timeline Of The Steubenville Rape Scandal (buzzfeed.com)
- Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges (tbchick2011.wordpress.com)
- Brent Musberger, Katherine Webb, And Football’s Culture Toward Women (thinkprogress.org)
- “She Is So Raped Right Now”: Partygoer Jokes About The Steubenville Accuser The Night Of The Alleged Rape (deadspin.com)
- Rape case divides Steubenville, Ohio (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sexism Rules as Brent Musberger Drools and Plays The Fool. (tinfoilhatman45.wordpress.com)
- Some days, I just can’t. (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)