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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:46 PM

70. Remember that group of popular high school boys some years ago who named themselves the

something-or-other "Posse," based on their devotion to some basketball team? They competed among themselves to see who could rack up the most "scores," and they were not at all delicate about scoring. They would apply any amount of pressure that seemed necessary--up to and including force--to "score."

When their case was publicized they ended up getting flown all over the country to appear on talk shows. As they were introduced, they would strut out, waving, smirking, and generally acting as though they were sports heroes acknowledging their worshipful fans. In a society where infamy and fame are typically conflated, they experienced no remorse, and as far as I know, they suffered no penalty. Oh, sure, some people said "mean" things about them in op-ed pieces or on air, but many others either offered excuses for them or actually justified their behavior. Some--especially other young men--lionized them.

One boy's father, when interviewed, actually expressed pride in his son's virility! His boy was such a manly man!

This is the social milieu our kids grow up in. Yes, they do get some appropriate messages about how bad rape is, but those messages are still not as pervasive or as powerful as the messages they receive that excuse, justify, or even come right out and celebrate the teenager or man who pressures( or even forces) a woman to have sex.

With so many perverse messages coming from so many sources, boys (and girls, too, for their own protection!) do need to be told--explicitly, forcefully, and repeatedly--what rape is and that it is always, always, always both criminal and evil. We simply cannot count on any innate awareness of the wrongness of the act. I wish we could, but too many people seem not to have that innate awareness, or else to not understand precisely which acts are rape, whether or not people have received conflicting messages about those acts suggesting that they are somehow less culpable than "legitimate" or "forcible" rape.

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