Friday, April 23, 2010

Raw Deal for Whom?

Not that he's had a lot to say in this vein lately, opting instead for more personal interest items, but I generally let Mike deal with the topic of towboaters on his blog. However, given MY personal interest in a recent news story and the related towboater tidbit Mike passed on to me, I cannot, in good conscience, sit idly by without comment.

Chances are, knowing the wonderful (if small) group of followers I have, you've heard about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's recent legal entanglements. Accused of rape for the second time, of a 20-year-old intoxicated sorority girl in this particular instance, though he has a civil case pending for a 2008 incident, he boogied around to the Denial Shuffle for several days (hedge left, hedge right, kick, kick, turn) before finally admitting he'd acted irresponsibly, though obviously still insisting the sex (once he finally admitted to it) was consensual. And at first, all the NFL was going to do about it was suspend him for 2 games next season. TWO. That's one game missed for each currently pending rape accusation against you, in case you're keeping score. They've since amended that suspension, in light of the release of the 500-page report by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to 6 games. Considering the NFL is in the habit of suspending players for 4 games when found in possession of drugs, I think it's a step in the right direction to place a slightly higher penalty on violent crime.

Now, the bigoted misogynists Mike works with are all Steelers fans. And their reaction to the 2-game suspension (not even the marginally more reasonable 6-game suspension) was that "Roethlisberger got hosed." That's right: hosed. As in, shamefully mistreated. Shafted. Cheated. Wronged. Roethlisberger got hosed.

I'm not sure if these neanderthals quite understand what "rape" means, but I think it's pretty freakin' clear that it's the 20-year-old girl, not Roethlisberger, who got hosed in this particular situation. Not only did she get assaulted (you can say allegedly if you want, but I've read several accounts and they all come back to her saying it's "not okay" and him saying it is, which equals assault in my book but, more to the point, makes it clear she BELIEVES she was assaulted), but the police officer who took her statement was discouraging and disbelieving and half the world is out there judging her (HER!) for what transpired.

I may not be able to tell you what exactly happened in that bar bathroom (which: gross), but I can say with certainty that the nature of rape leads the woman to feel responsible. She doesn't think she fought hard enough, or blames herself for flirting, or is ashamed how drunk she was, or any combination of those and other reasons. Not only is it a violation of her body, but it wreaks havoc on her state of mind, her self-esteem, and how she is seen by herself and how she believes others see her (whether it's true or not). And the worst part of it is, a lot of the time it IS true how others see her: like she asked for it, like she's exaggerating, like she's oversensitive, like she's out for fame and money. What kind of bullshit is that??

Tell me ONE WOMAN who got famous for being raped, who reveled in it and milked it for all it was worth and made the most of it to get every last second of her fifteen minutes. Seriously, the only thing a rape victim wants is for it to all go away. Why are there no charges against Roethlisberger? Well, the girl doesn't want to go to trial. She's already been dragged through the mud for the last month; imagine if it involves a trial that lasts a year or more. Rape victims want anonymity. They want to forget. They want the whole thing to go away. Most of all, they want to never ever ever ever think of it again. That's why rape is so under reported. That's why, when it IS reported, the victim needs to be protected and supported as much as possible.

And honestly, how many rape victims do you know who receive a big fat check when their rapist is convicted? There is no money to be had here. It's not like she accused him behind closed doors in hopes of a bribe, which no innocent man would pay anyway, she told her friends immediately, and they told the cops. Where's the money?? She's not doing appearances. She's not seeking any attention at all.

It's ludicrous, truly, to say that Ben fucking Roethlisberger, with his millions of supporters and fans and well-wishers and his hundreds of millions of dollars, is at all "hosed" by this suspension, when the real victim is THE VICTIM. Honestly, even if you believe Roethlisberger didn't "intend" to assault her, the girl was a college sophomore, under the legal drinking age, and by all accounts way too intoxicated to even give consent. She's the one who's been mistreated.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. I never understood why it's always the woman who comes under suspicion when a man is accused of raping her. A man who has previously been accused of rape, no less.