How terrifying it is, raising a daughter in a world where more concern is shown for rapists than victims.
I'm sure by now, everyone's heard about the situation in Steubenville, Ohio, where two teenage boys raped a teenage girl. Today, I saw a YouTube video taken from CNN discussing how the boys' lives are destroyed and they will be haunted forever by this, which is true, but their tones of sympathy are a bit perplexing. Why do they all care about how terrible it is that these boys will have to deal with this forever? It's called dealing with the consequences of your actions. And where was the mention of the victim? The girl who will be haunted by this event for the rest of her life? Not one word for her.
But I'm not writing this blog just to talk about this particular case, because there are plenty of news articles (and blogs, too, I'm sure) dealing with it. I'm writing this blog as a mother of a daughter who will one day have to face this dark side of our world (though, I pray and pray, only through the news.) I shouldn't look at my not even two year old daughter and be scared of what the future may hold for her. How will we explain to her what terrible monsters are out there and, even scarier, how the "good people," care more for them than her?
"And I'm thinking what the hell would you tell your daughter, your someday daughter, when you'd have to hold her beautiful face to this beat up face of this place that hasn't learned the meaning of stop. Stop." -Andrea Gibson, "Blue Blanket"
To be honest, I don't think those negative things often. I think of the better parts that lay ahead. School, friends, her first relationship (thirty years from now...) But that doesn't mean that one night, when she's a teenager, I won't have to explain to her how she has to be careful on her way out to the car because there may be a monster lurking behind her; a monster who knows everyone would side with him if she made one "mistake."
I don't want my daughter growing up scared. I plan to teach her that it is never the fault of a victim for something happening. It's not her fault that a man doesn't understand no. It's not her fault because she chose one outfit over another. It's not her fault the sun went down before she could get home. It's not her fault that she chose to have a few drinks (when of legal age, I hope) with her friends thinking it'd be a fun night.
This is what I will teach my daughter. And if I ever have a son, I will teach him how to be a decent human being, the same as I will for my daughter.
If you think this is a smaller problem than it really is, stop. Picture yourself/your mother/sister/wife/daughter being a victim of what happened in Ohio. Would it matter then? Because it's no different than that. Every victim has a family. Every victim is someone's sister/wife/daughter/mother. Every victim matters. We can change this. We can stop this victim blaming society from continuing or, God forbid, becoming worse. Stand up, and start teaching "Don't Rape," instead of "Don't Get Raped."
Our children deserve that, don't they?
"She's not asking what you're gonna tell your daughter. She's asking what you're going to teach your son." -Andrea Gibson, "Blue Blanket"
Hello! I'm Lindsey. I'm a writer with a ton of random thoughts bouncing around in my head. So I share them here in hopes that they reach others with these thoughts.