We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV—two high school football players raped a 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.
Serena Williams gives the perfect illustration of why sports players should keep their mouth shut unless they know what they are talking about. The mere fact that Serena is questioning whether what the Steubenville rapists (Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond) got in their sentence was fair proves that not only does she not know the facts of the case, it shows that with her comments, she is perpetuating rape culture, rape enablism, rape apologism, victim blaming, and victim shaming.
Serena, the reason why the Steubenville victim doesn’t remember what happened is because THE RAPISTS DRUGGED HER!! While they drugged her, THEY GANG-RAPED HER, then LEFT HER FOR DEAD! Then, you have the audacity to say that “it could have been much worse?” How could anything be worse than taking the date rape drug, having several teenagers gang-rape you, then force you to drink more alcohol, them sticking their fingers into your vagina, then have people leave you on the side of the road like you’re a piece of trash?
Notice that Serena only talks about the Steubenville victim, blaming her for the things that happened to her, even though she can’t remember anything that happened to her. Serena, she’s not fucking to blame for her own rape, or for herself being drugged. Also notice that Serena thinks that the respective two and one-year sentences in JUVENILE prison are “unfair” to Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond. Last time I checked, Serena, those sentences are insignificant compared to what could (and should) have happened. Trent and Ma’lik should have been charged as adults, for felony rape, felony sexual assault, felony statutory rape, felony molestation, felony assault, and countless other felonies that I can’t think of at the moment. Serena, they got off easy. Both monsters, because they are juveniles, will probably have these offenses wiped from their records, and neither of them will probably be on sexual offender registries. Trent Mays is possibly getting moved out of juvenile prison to a fucking halfway house.
Also, Serena, the fact of whether or not the victim was a virgin has no fucking merit of discussion in this conversation. Regardless of whether a person is a virgin or not, they do not deserve being drugged or raped. No one deserves being violated physically or sexually. The best thing you could have done, Serena, is kept your mouth shut with that opinion. Correction, the best thing would be to help try to stop rape and sexual assaults from occurring. Teach your kids (present or future) not to take advantage of anyone sexual, teach them NOT TO RAPE!!
Comments such as Serena’s on the Steubenville case infuriate me and madden me to the core. Instead of helping the discussion, they are perpetuating the very thing they claim to be against. It is wrong when our culture blames the rape victim for their rape, and celebrates the achievements of the rapists. It is wrong when our society refers to rapists (especially if they are men) by everything other than what crime they committed, which is RAPE! The very fact that rape culture exists keeps rape victims from coming forward to convict their rapists. Rape occurs in all aspects of society, we can’t keep covering it up, enabling it, apologizing for it, or perpetuating it.
We need to stop rape, rape culture, rape enablism, rape apologism, victim blaming, and victim shaming. I am very disappointed in Serena Williams at the moment, and I have forever changed my opinion about her as a person. She is no better than the commentators, the legislators, the figureheads, and the ordinary citizens who brush rape off as not affecting them.
Rape needs to be stopped, PERIOD!! [Deadspin]