Following the “hot” news stories is not what I do, but a recent one that got my attention is the incident in Steubenville, OH where a 16 year old girl was raped and onlookers broadcast it on their social media networks instead of getting help.
Those that chose to treat as an event worthy of tweet and social media broadcasting instead of calling for help are (IMO) just as guilty as those who physically committed the crime.
Indifference or Ignorance?
Our culture is insensitive to victims of rape, especially when the victim knows her attacker(s) and/or alcohol/drugs are involved. But what about the attitude of young people toward all this… is rape just a part of the casual hook-up culture among young people these days?
Were those kids really that indifferent? Too scared to be a courageous bystander? Was it just another party? Consider this snippet from an article in The Christian Science Monitor:
Without some forum for discussing these societal images and counteracting their influence, teens’ sense of right and wrong can be obscured.
“Students should have the opportunity to have conversations about media literacy and the understanding that what we see in the media is not always a great reflection of consent,” says Ms. Rosenstein of Advocates for Youth.
What if this 16 year old were your daughter, sister or cousin? Where do we draw the line?
Men Can Stop Rape is an international organization that mobilizes men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women. They recently launched WHERE DO YOU STAND?, a new bystander intervention campaign for college men. WHERE DO YOU STAND? positively portrays young men as vital allies and invites all men to consider their own stance on men preventing sexism and sexual assault.
I’m impressed by the Men Can Stop Rape campaign and hope that men everywhere will get involved in their campaigns against rape and street [sexual] harassment.
You Tell ‘Em, Girl
I love Jada Pinkett Smith’s consistent “won’t back down” attitude. She has been very vocal about her support against bullying and dehumanizing young stars. Jada always seem to be battling rumors about the strength of her marriage and her parenting style with her two superstar children. To the Grio, she recently responded to these negative comments about her choices with her children, saying, “I expect my children to be giants. I will never ask my children to be lesser than because of a collective.”
Where do you think parents and young people should draw the line with media literacy and “hook up” culture when it comes to matters such as these?
I was recently asked to serve on the board of a local youth detention center. I don’t know how I can help, but I’m going to do something. I’m going to listen. I’m going to educate. I’m going to make a difference.