The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

There’s only one victim here

Pop quiz: if person A is violated by person B and person C, who is the victim? If you said person A, congratulations! You’re a decent human being. If you said persons B and C, well, unfortunately, you’re not alone.

The media get away with glorifying and distorting lots of things, but now they’re trying to glorify rapists? It is beyond shocking to me that anyone would feel an ounce of pity for two teenage boys who took advantage of a vulnerable young girl.

The Steubenville rape case is complicated and there’s no way for us all to know exactly what happened. Here’s what we do know: two teenage boys were found guilty of raping a teenage girl, known to the media as Jane Doe. All three people directly involved will have dramatically different futures following this event.

Nonetheless, after the verdict was read, news organizations such as CNN were airing reports that painted the rapists as victims, saying their promising football careers and educations were ruined.

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CNN’s Poppy Harlow is one reporter in particular who came under fire as sympathizing with the rapists.

“It was incredibly emotional — incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart,” Harlow said on CNN following the guilty verdict.

Harlow’s words are true, these boys’ lives were promising and now things will not be the same for them. But the way she worded things made it sound like they had no control over what happened, as if they were the victims. They were not the ones unconscious and vulnerable at that party. They took control of not only their lives, but Jane Doe’s life, as well.

Their unfortunate decision changed three people’s lives forever. The difference is Jane Doe didn’t have the same choice in the matter. Yes, she had a choice not to go to that party. And yes, she had a choice not to drink. But ultimately, the “life ruining” event here was the rape, which she had no say in.

By pitying them, the media essentially turned them into victims. I just do not understand what’s going through people’s heads when they defend these guys. They blame the victim, and then turn her rapists into victims in order to defend them. It all seems twisted to me.

Portraying these guys as victims has absolutely no value. The verdict showed that rape has consequences, but the media turning around and almost defending the rapists negates that lesson to a degree.

It also does nothing to make women feel more comfortable and protected. Again, a guilty verdict does a lot to show women that society does not condone rape. Any woman following the coverage cannot have felt reassured by those statements.

When people claim that these boys’ lives are ruined, they can’t forget that they’re the ones that ruined them.

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There’s only one victim here