by Jarrah Hodge
Earlier today I joined Slate writer Amanda Marcotte live on CTV News Channel to talk about the developing story around the gang-rape in Steubenville, Ohio, the protests after another gang-rape in India, and larger issues around rape culture. The video isn’t available for embedding but if you want to watch the whole clip, you can see it here.
I appreciated that the hosts avoided treating the rapes like isolated incidents (they also drew attention to the case in Pitt Meadows in 2010, which had many similarities to Steubenville in terms of the use of technology to humiliate the victim as well as the seeming community code of silence after the fact). They also didn’t fall into the trap of being holier-than-thou when looking at the situation in India, as some other articles have done by blaming the incident on India’s culture while implying no similar issues exist here (read Emer O’Toole in the Guardian on why this view doesn’t hold water).
I’m not going to go in-depth into the issues at play but I’d encourage you to watch the CTV clip and also to check out some of the following articles, which have done a great job explaining the complex issues in Steubenville in particular, as well as the way this incident is part of systemic rape culture.
- Amanda Marcotte’s Slate overview piece “Rape, Lawsuits, Anonymous Leaks: What’s Going on in Steubenville, Ohio?”
- “America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit There is One” by Jessica Valenti in The Nation.
- Katie J. M. Baker at Jezebel compares the attack in Steubenville to the case of Savannah Dietrich and discusses the community silence after the event in “We Wouldn’t Know About the Steubenville Rape Case if It Wasn’t for the Blogger who ‘Complicated’ Things”.
- Matilda Branson’s post here at Gender Focus from a couple of days ago makes reference to how the protests in India have spread to Nepal after a rape of a young woman by airport police in Kathmandu.
- At Feministing, “Making Sense of the Delhi Gang Rape” shares the thoughts of an Indian-American woman looking at violence against women in both her countries.
- Also at Feministing, Maya shares video and quotes from Indian feminists and discusses the need to move forward to a society of “freedom from fear” rather than “safety” through restricting women’s movements and behaviours.