TW: Discussion of rape, specifically the Steubenville incident. I don’t get graphic, but these links do.
Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City from the NYT seemed like a good run-down from my scan of it.
The Definitive Timeline Of The Steubenville Rape Scandal has a lot of links, but Ryan Broderick should be slapped in the face for describing this incident as “one teenage girl’s possible sexual assault.”
This is a collection of graphic evidence leaked by Anonymous about this incident, because apparently random-ass folk on the internet care more about sexual assault than small-town law enforcement. Feel free to politely feign surprise, but I won’t be trying.
The near-total absence of trigger warnings on these conversations is really getting to me, and that’s what I’m going to talk about right now. I really just need to start assuming that any and every link I ever click about this shit is going to have images of a rape victim being carried around by her rapists without so much as a trigger warning.
There are two reasons why I think this might be happening. The first is that not everybody knows why trigger warnings matter. Those people are apparently just… I don’t know, making their first stunned forays into the world of Talking Seriously About Rape, and we all make mistakes whenever we start anything. I don’t resent that reasoning, though it’s hard not to be at least a little annoyed that I have to adjust for it.
The other reason seems great on the surface, but is actually kind of terrible. Some people might be consciously gunning for shock value; to them this is a deliberate tactical choice. I get that shock can be a valuable thing for the complacent assholes who think this is just some kind of abstract thought experiment that doesn’t involve real people that they should care about, but it’s seeming sort of impossible for anybody with any related triggers to engage on this issue.
Here’s why it’s really shitty, though.
It says to anybody with assault-related triggers, “I am going to plaster this rape victim all over the internet so that everybody knows rape victims are real people, because then they’ll care more. Any other rape victims I send into PTSD flashbacks in the course of helping rape victims are acceptable collateral damage, because honestly what are you doing on the internet anyway if you aren’t psychologically able to see photos of rapes in progress? You were asking for it when you opened up your browser, so suck it up, rub some dirt in it, and walk it off you annoying complaining crybaby.”
What a fucked up thing. It’s once more holding the idea of standing up for rape victims so highly that we’re willing to run roughshod over the real actual rape victims around us all the time, which I promise you everybody who isn’t new here? We have had about e-fuckin-nough of that.
If after reading this, you still think, “Whatever, I can’t be expected to accommodate rape victims while I’m trying to fight rape,” you are a bad person who doesn’t really care and everyone who ever loved you was wrong. I hope that passing birds shit on your head every day for the rest of your life.