What the rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio tells us (Updated)

Let me clarify – Rape is wrong. Rape is always wrong. Rape should never ever happen in our society. In a truly free society both men and women must be able to decide who they want to have sex with, when they want to have sex and where. There are no exceptions. None. My opening paragraph below has been read by some that I believe that “rape happens.” No. This is not what I meant. I know that people do stupid things that shouldn’t happen. I know that our society has done very little, or better stated, not enough to protect women and punish those that prey on women. It is unclear to me why the Violence Against Women Act had such a hard time passing the House and the Senate. In an enlightened thoughtful, progressive society this should have been a no brainer. (BTW, I did an interview and long discussion about rape and rape kits.)

I must admit that I was paying little or no attention to the rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio. I was kind of shocked when the national news pushed the story. I didn’t get what the big deal was. Rape isn’t rare in the US (see data below). I thought that this was a typical case we see with kids in high school and college. There is no surprise that young boys do stupid, hurtful, awful things. Combine hormones and alcohol (and possibly other substances) and you have the soup of very bad things to happen. Now, it must be understood that I’m not trying to condone or minimize the crime that has happened. Rape is a crime. Rape should not be swept under the rug or hidden from view. (Did you know that over 900 women get raped in the US every day! Did you know that over 97% of men get away with rape?) Rape is wrong. Rape must be stopped.