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If You Don’t Want To Be “Labeled A Sex Offender,” Don’t Rape Someone!

Well, we might as well GET INTO IT! Maybe get your second cup of coffee and then come back. You back? Ok. A much-talked about story over this past weekend was the verdict found in the case of the two young football players/rapists from Steubenville, Ohio, each of whom were found guilty and sentenced to some time in juvenile detention — one year for Ma’lik Richmond, 16, two years for Trent Mays, 17. Mays’ sentence was increased because of a nude photo he took and circulated of the unconscious victim. The story is unique in how much of it played out on social media in the past few months before heading to court last week, with the alleged — now convicted — rapists bragging and posting images on Twitter and Instagram, and with Anonymous leaking a disturbing video of some of the young men mocking the victim, while attempting to bring to light the ways in which Steubenville had attempted to keep the story quiet. In court, many disturbing and disgusting text messages were used by the prosecution, showing the young men’s confirmation of the rape, as well as their dumby-dumb knowledge that these texts could be used against them and their dumby-dumb belief that they wouldn’t. I won’t waste too much more of your time recapping and making the same points that have been made, and made better, over the weekend about the newest layer in this total fucking piece of shit nightmare, but I would be remiss not to give another platform to it — the way some media outlets, specifically CNN, have focused their sympathetic attention on the rapists and the damage this court case and their new “sex offender” labels will do to what was once their “bright and promising” futures — as if it’s something that has been done to them, rather than the appropriate response one receives after breaking the law and being an awful piece of garbage. Take it away, CNN!

“What’s the lasting effect, though, of two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially.” The dancing-around the idea that these two young man are now convicted rapists due to their own disturbing actions is incredible and intensely maddening. “Regardless of what big football players they are, they still sound like 16 year olds.” Did “Regardless of what big rapists, who used their force to repeatedly sexually assault an unconscious 16-year-old and then used social media to unapologetically brag about it for months — and who even minimized it in the court video we just saw, showing they have not learned any kind of lesson — they still sound like 16 year olds” take up too much air time?! WHAT THE FUCK, CANDY CROWLEY, POPPY HARLOW, AND MAN?

As some have suggested, it is more likely that CNN needed an watchable angle and, without the victim appearing in court herself, found it in the young, tearful rapists, than it is that any of these people are committed rape apologists. And as those same some have suggested in response to this possibility: Are you fucking serious? In a time when so many sexual crimes go unreported, and so few of those that are reported lead to any sort of conviction, it is your responsibility to not only REACT TO THE FACTS LIKE NORMAL FUCKING HUMAN BEINGS/JOURNALISTS, but to also stress the idea that RAPE IS NOT OK. Raping someone can not only give away (GIVE AWAY, not TAKE AWAY) your “promising future” but it can also “HAVE A LASTING EFFECT” ON THE VICTIM AND TAKE AWAY MORE THAN JUST THEIR ABILITY TO LAND A JOB WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T SYMPATHISE WITH A YOUNG RAPIST, WHICH IS UNFORTUNATELY FAR FROM ALL OF THE JOBS. Talk about the victim. Mention her. Mention that it is meaningless that she was drunk of her own volition (though who knows if she even was) because the crime is the same. Mention that what these young men did was disturbing, wrong, and illegal, and mention the lasting effect their actions will have on their victim. Have someone on to talk about that. What the fuck are you doing?