Many people are upset with some of the news coverage surrounding the Steubenville rape case because they feel that the media is perpetuating rape culture. While I agree with their assessment, I believe the problem is deeper than the media. Many boys are being raised to view women as little more than sexual conquests, and until fathers start to teach their sons that rape is unacceptable, little is likely to change.
When I was in high school, it was quite common to hear guys talking about “running a train” on a girl. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it means several guys take turns having sex with a single girl. When I look back on those days, I’m appalled by this blatant disrespect for women and general acceptance of sexual abuse. But I rarely heard anyone speak out against it. In fact, several men in our community encouraged their boys to have sex with as many girls as possible.
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Things got progressively worse at college. Instead of merely hearing about these incidents, I was invited to participate. On one occasion, my friend convinced one guy to lure a girl into his room and seduce her while he hid in the closet. When the girl was undressed, my friend planned to jump out and photograph the girl. With the photo, he planned to blackmail the girl unless she performed oral sex on him and his friends. Another friend and I expressed our horror at his plan and told him that we would not be a part of it. His response was, “Why are you worried about that b****? She’s a freak anyway.”
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