The Steubenville rape case is so offensive in so many ways I can’t even begin to tackle them all.
• CNN and a number of other news outlets cast the rapists as victims;
• Idiots who “don’t believe in rape” come out of the woodwork and spew their insanity;
• Society follows the spectacle of the case for entertainment, but fails to take action about the culture of rape perpetuated by their demand for this amusement.
Yet there’s a missing component in this mess, just as there was in Columbine, Colorado years ago, just as there was in Central Falls, Rhode Island.
Where are the parents and what the hell was going on BEFORE the rape?
I ask this knowing how very culpable the parents are. I’m guilty of failing my kids, and I learned it the hard way this past year.
How did this happen? I’m the mom who gave her kids books like Our Bodies, Ourselves and Changing Bodies, Changing Lives in middle school, gave demonstrations of condom use (with fruits and vegetables and condoms, get your mind out of the gutter). I’ve had numerous, lengthy conversations with my kids about sexuality, from first sex to masturbation, to contraception and STDs. We’ve talked openly about bisexuality, transgender, and homosexuality; they’ve told their friends my door is open to any kid who has a problem about their sexual identity.
Some of these conversations also included discussions about other kids and their parents’ failures. At least one of my kids’ closest friends was sexually active as a junior in high school and her parents had NEVER had any discussion about sex with her, before she became active, and not for the rest of her high school tenure.
What? Are you fucking kidding me? was my initial reaction. How can parents these days trust public OR private schools to do an adequate job teaching their kids about sexuality, let alone contraception? How can parents stick their heads in the sand when there are so many misleading messages offered to kids over the internet as well as traditional media?
Take that “Don’t believe in rape” asshole linked above; how can parents not offer their own messages about rape and the nature of consent when that kind of toxic idiocy is being spewed? (And where in the hell did that idiot acquire his ignorant, poisonous attitude about rape? His parents?)
No fucking way should any parent assume that no news is good news, that what they have to say as parents will be ignored or discounted. In the absence of parental messaging on both values and laws, the morons will win.
As I said, I’m guilty of failing my kids. I know EXACTLY how big the hole is that parents should fill, even after very concerted, conscious efforts to fill that gap. Continue reading