Teenagers post on their social media accounts saying “well maybe she shouldn’t have been a sloppy drunk.” The question that everyone should be asking is, “did she consent?” It should not matter what clothing she was wearing or how much she may have drunk. What should matter is if she gave her consent or was even able to consent and comprehend what was even happening. Society needs to stop trying to justify what young men and men do to women. On August 11th, 2012, repugnant pictures had surfaced of a 16-year-old girl by the name of Jane Doe. The pictures consisted of her mainly being naked and unconscious. “In one photograph posted on Instagram by a Steubenville High football player, the girl, who was from across the Ohio River in Weirton, W.Va., is shown looking unresponsive as two boys carry her by her wrists and ankles. Twitter users wrote the words “rape” and “drunk girl” in their posts.” (Macur and Shweber) The two boys referenced were 16-year-olds Ma’lick Richmond and Trent Mays.
Assaulting a Drunk Teen Girl
All three teenagers had met at an end of the summer party in Steubenville, Ohio. Jane had been raped at this party while she was unconscious from drinking. Jane was unable to remember anything past midnight. She woke up the next morning not knowing where she was or what had happened to her. Although, it did not take her very long to find out what had happened that night, it was all over social media. So many had witnessed what had happened to her but did nothing. Throughout that night there had been another football player with the two boys and Jane. The other football player (who does not have a name) described what happened while with Mays and Jane in the back of a Volkswagon Jetta, Mays proceeded to flash the girl’s breasts and penetrate her with his fingers, while the player videotaped it on his phone.
The player, who shared the video with at least one person, testified that he videotaped Mays and the girl ‘because he was being stupid, not making the right choices.’ He said he later deleted the recording. The girl ‘was just sitting there, not really doing anything,’ the player testified. ‘She was kind of talking, but I couldn’t make out the words that she was saying.’(Macur and Schweber) The part where he said that she “ was just sitting there, not really doing anything” is the most concerning. A clear example of her not being able to comprehend what is happening to her, let-alone able to consent. For change to happen, you need to make a change. Nathman wrote in her article once she had heard about the case saying, “Much of the change needs to come from how we frame the way we discuss rape.” If you’ve ever had “the talk” with an adult or parent, and you’re a female they will most likely tell you what you should or should not wear, and how you should not drink at any party. They will tell you that you should never put your drink down anywhere, and if you do, do not pick it up and instead, go and get a new one.
Social Injustice Between Women and Men
Society teaches girls that they should be afraid of men and that men are out to get them. People will tell them that if you haven’t been raped, you know someone who has been. Rape should not have to be framed in that way. No woman should be afraid of a man or feel like she is unsafe in a world full of men. Girls should be raised to know their self-worth, not if you wear this, you will be raped. Although, maybe instead of focusing on how to tell women how to not get raped, teach men not to rape girls.
In a survey done in South Africa, “ Fifty-six percent between 18 and 40 admitted to raping or beating a woman.”(Naidoo) On average “According to rainn.org 1 in 6 women will or have been victims of rape.”(Spencer) Men should be raised to see women as an equal, not someone who is inferior to them or easy to go after. Teach boys and girls that “No means no”, this can be taught at a young age. If your child is hugging another child, and that boy or girl does not like it, tell them no means no. Teach your child to ask if it’s okay to do something before they do it. In conclusion, we should raise boys and girls the same. We should not only focus on how to tell girls how to not be raped, but teach boys how to not be rape. We need to express how important consent is, and why it is. We can not let what happened to Jane Doe, happen to other girls.