I've been reading about the Steubenville rapists and victim and, while I am disgusted by the mainstream media coddling rapists -- (yes, RAPISTS. I don't care how old they are) -- and I don't believe it was the girl's fault that she was raped, I have to believe that responsibility DOES fall on both sides.
It's not enough that boys should be taught (TAUGHT, ugh) not to rape unconscious women -- women must be reminded to take responsibility for their actions. Ohhh. I can feel the feminist heat wave coming right now.
Here's what I mean. I saw a quote from Muhammad Ali's daughter, Laila, recently -- where her dad gave her a talk about how precious she is and how her clothing reflects how she values herself.
(Unverified source but you get the message right?)
An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali's daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:
“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father's suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them."
He looked at me with serious eyes. "Your body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too."
I understand this message. It's the one that my parents gave me when I turned old enough to notice boys and for them to notice me.
I also remember my friends in college -- not all of them, certainly, but enough with their girly parts hanging out, trying to attract male attention. I never understood why it was so important to have a man value a woman for her physical gifts and not for a sense of humor, smarts, wits, financial security, etc. ANYONE with 3 grand can have a hot rack. Anyone can have one-night stands. It takes a LOT more to make a relationship, at least with anyone who matters.
When do we start teaching daughters that they MUST value themselves before anyone else ? When does it become clear that the models on the billboards are selling something OTHER than clothes/perfume/whatever the flavor of the month is ? When is it okay to be "not the cute one" ? When is it okay NOT to have the trendy clothes, the perfect nose, to be defined by size (and women are vicious on this one), to be allowed to be an individual and not a Hollister or AE clone ?
Why are so many mothers allowing their daughters to skip this lesson ? Why ALSO are so many mothers PERPETUATING this myth ? The one that says if you are beautiful, popular, catty -- you are part of the elite and that's enough. You can pick on the weak, cheat, lie, drink until you pass out and NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO YOU !! When did mothers abdicate their responsibilities to their daughters and allow them to lower their protective instincts enough so that predators CAN PREY ON THEM ? Beat them. Rape them. Take naked pictures (which NEVER EVER EVER go away on the Internet).
When did so many parents decide that their daughters weren't valuable ? And WHY do we keep having to have this same discussion ? The Accused with Jodie Foster came out in 1988 with the EXACT SAME MESSAGE. That's 25 years ago, folks. 25 years in which women continue to be blamed for what men do. We continue to blame women for what they wear (or don't wear) and let guys slide because they can throw a damn ball. This HAS TO STOP. The blame has to stop, but the lessons MUST continue.