An Observation

[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual violence.]

I have heard from a number of friends today who are defriending people on Facebook left and right over rape apology (victim-blaming and/or sympathy for the rapists) in the Steubenville rape case.

And, of course, that kind of shit is all over the news media, and the blogosphere, and social media, and comments at all of the above.

There are literally countless people today who are expressing, explicitly or implicitly, that it's okay, or acceptable, or not that big of a deal geez for a person or multiple people to penetrate the body of an unconscious person.

Are they saying, straightforwardly, that they would do the same thing themselves? Not generally, no. But to someone who would never in a million years imagine trying to find some way to excuse that act—because why? why would you try to excuse that act?—it seems incredible and terrifying that so many people are keen to do precisely that.

And, sure, some of them are people who want to minimize acts of sexual violence as a fucked-up way of trying to deal with their own feelings of vulnerability. But some of them, some of these lots and lots of people, are people who just don't think there's anything fucking wrong with doing that to another human being.

Which is something to remember, maybe, during the next kerfuffle about anti-rape advocates who make a point about not being able to magically discern if someone is a rapist, since rapists don't announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple.

And something, too, to remember, maybe during the next round of defending "ironic" rape humor, on the basis that "everyone" agrees that rape is a terrible thing.

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