A fifteen year old girl was raped outside a school dance for two hours, to the point that she needed to be hospitalized in the ICU for her injuries.
As commenter Hooplehead said on Jezebel this morning:
And this is a key example of why guys need to go past giving lip service and actively help to dismantle the rape culture. You in particular not being a rapist is no longer sufficient. It is about you in particular being strategically situated to help potential victims and spark change in situations where women are viewed as nameless, faceless pieces of ass, to be used and exploited as men see fit. This is the patriarchy, right here, and it is high time that it was toppled. I hope they press charges on all of those worthless bystanders as well for aiding and abetting these gangraping assholes.
I cannot say it any better than that.
The more I hear about the world, the more I am thankful that I'm surrounded by men I know and love and can trust: guys like My Brother In Beer, The Towering Inferno, The Beard, Pastor Paul, Zombie Boy, Max, Chef Boy, my dad.
But that does not help the fifteen-year-olds of the world.
Let's say you're offered a drink. You're fifteen. You like the boy who's offering it to you, and you have no idea how strong that drink will be, so you drink it.
Then you realize that there are other boys around, all telling you to keep drinking. You want to be cool, so you do. And before you know it, you're sick. You're sleepy. Your father is looking for you, but you don't know that. If you did, you would get up and go to him. The security people who were supposed to keep you safe were told to go home a half-hour ago; if you'd known that, you would've gone looking for them earlier.
I have been very, very lucky. In the times that I've been drunk and vulnerable (as I am now; nothing makes Jo the Coruscating Feminist kill a bottle of Becker Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay like a horrible story), I've had male and female friends around who said, "We're in the drunk-and-vulnerable part of the night, and I am putting you to bed." Even through four years of college, where alcohol was essentially unavailable and thus binge drinking was common, I was never raped, let alone gang-raped while my fellow students stood around and watched.
This is the patriarchy. This is the paradigm that lets men and boys see women and girls as things to be used, rather than as full human beings to be respected. This is the root of gang rape, of date rape, of stranger rape, of rape as a war crime, of genital mutilation, of objectifying women, of beating women up. This is the root of the thought process that says that women are, by definition, commodities to be traded and possessions to be owned.
This is the paradigm that lets a dozen boys watch a girl be raped and allows them all to not do anything about it.
Years ago, when I was first divorced, I made a list of qualities I wanted in a partner. Top of the list, right after "must be larger than I am in at least one dimension", was "Must be feminist." As in, not only believing that women are human, are worthwhile creatures, but must work for that end. And as in, must treat the women he knows as human, worthwhile creatures. I have been lucky to build a network of male and female friends who treat women as human, worthwhile creatures instead of as commodities or pieces of ass.
I really, really hope that girl finds people like that in her life in the future. It takes a lot to kill a human, and it takes a lot to keep them from fully recovering, even from something like this.
Still. . . . there are times when I believe in the death penalty. Administered by women. With boots on.