Homecoming is supposed to be fun. The home team is going to win! Today's story:
The city of Richmond, Calif., continues to wrestle with the effects of a brutal attack on a teenage girl who was gang-raped at her high school. Some of the suspects in the case may enter their pleas in court Tuesday. At least 20 people saw the October incident but did not intervene.
Instead they took pictures.
The home-town journalist rightly blames poverty, the loss of new jobs in an industrial town that succumbed to crack cocaine in the eighties and hasn't exactly bounced back. Yet optimism had returned. Indeed, this "rough place" launched several kids each year to college, despite rising unemployment. It's hard to study when you've lost your home, a nice home. Like everywhere else, foreclosures are rife in Richmond.
The guidance counselor:
"The dehumanizing actions of these young men is frightening. Where was their humanity?"A student tells us that she walked into the bathroom to find a naked girl. CNN reported the crime last October.
As many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lighted back alley at the school, while another 10 people watched without calling 911 to report it according to police.Hundreds at the school condemned the attack on their schoolmate, steamed that outsiders recommended a quarantine be placed on the school. A senior:
"This happens everywhere, why single us out?"Oy vey. She's right. Don't single out this school. Single out every school. Start teaching our children right from wrong, that sex is something that can be lawful, or not. There's a lot to know when it comes to sex, like it requires informed consent.
A rape crisis worker tells us that to rape you have to "other-ize" distance yourself sufficiently to detach, not care. In other words, de-empathize.
"Where there's no hope, empathy is hard to find."I don't know, maybe. No doubt depression contributes to insularity, apathy. But nobody's tested those ten boys for depression. What you're going to find is anger, is my guess, and objectification.
What's objectification? Objectification is taking the human out of the body, seeing the body as a source of pleasure, like food. It is an object to be beat on, like the dog, on a bad day, or to be punished, like a kid who has acted out. When parents beat their children they are objectifying them, denying their humanity. You hurt? I don't care.
Rape is all about this. I don't care. You are here for me, nothing's going to stop me. One blogger writes a post Why Men Rape tells us the following
Sociologists have discussed women as objects, commodities to be bought or stolen—the pornographication of women, a process by which men relate to women as pornea, a Greek word for whores.There's more. It's way down on the side-bar.
This perception of a woman’s body as property or a commodity is grounded not just historically, but in contemporary metaphors, language, and common slang for sex. Like:
Sex is a hunt, a conquest: I’m going to go out and get a piece of ass.
Sex is instruction: I know how to show a woman a good time.
A review of the literature into the etiology of rape indicates that overall, men who rape have rape supportive attitudes, misinterpret social clues, and blame the victim.
Younger offenders learn from their families, peers, or the media that their role in a relationship is to take the initiative in sexual relationships. This is called the dominance theory.
So sure, poverty contributes something to this mix. But I wouldn't overdo it. It's less about not having money, more about having human decency, understanding female sexuality, and knowing, really knowing, that you have no right, even if you think you love her or she loves you, you have no right to take her sexually, not without her full, informed consent.