The same week that a leaked video out of Steubenville, Ohio showed high school boys joking and laughing about an unconscious teenager in the next room who had just been raped—“They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!”—House Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expire. They opposed an expanded version of the legislation that had increased protections for the LGBT community, immigrants and Native American women.
This week we’ve also seen mass protests in India after a woman was brutally gang raped and died from her injuries. American media covering the Indian protests have repeatedly referenced the sexist culture, reporting how misogyny runs rampant in India. The majority of mainstream coverage of what happened in Steubenville (click here for a primer), however, has made no such connection. In fact, the frequent refrain in discussions of Steubenville in comment threads is that these boys are “sociopaths,” shameful anomalies. We’d rather think of them as monsters than hold ourselves accountable as a nation and tell the truth—these rapists are our sons.
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