Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chilling for a wide variety of reasons

This Steubenville thing. I knew about the text from one of the boys saying he wasn't worried about rape charges because the football coach “took care of it”, whatever that means.

But I didn't know about this one until just now:

“Like, [the coach] was joking about it so I’m not worried.”

This is chilling for a wide variety of reasons, not least because it makes it look as though the coach is used to this kind of thing, almost as though it’s part of his job.

Sports writer Dave Zirin wrote this:

In thinking about Steubenville, thinking about my own experiences playing sports, thinking about athletes I’ve interviewed and know, I believe that a locker room left to its own devices will drift toward becoming a breeding ground for rape culture. You don’t need a Coach Reno or a Bob Knight to make that happen. You just need good people to say or do nothing. As such, a coach or a player willing to stand up, risk ridicule and actually teach young men not to rape, can make all the difference in the world. We need interventionist, transformative coaches in men’s sports that talk openly about these issues.

An appreciated sentiment, but as Ophelia points out here, it’s telling that teaching boys not to rape is considered a risk of ridicule. Telling also that risk of ridicule might dissuade people from teaching people that rape is wrong. Wouldn’t you rather be ridiculed than enable rape or support the rapist?

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