A Question of Character
My first class today was optional. Unfortunately, neither God nor the Fates had conspired to let me know this, so I found myself wandering West at the crack of 10am (trust me - I am in college. this is obscenely early for me). As I stepped into the Perk to buy myself some breakfast, I saw a girl walk by me in a white t-shirt, emblazoned across the front with a single word:
No, I thought. That cannot mean what I think it means. She cannot be saying that, not this way.
But she was. As I walked around West today, I saw gaggles and gaggles more of people - almost exclusively women - walking around wearing t-shirts lending their support to the lacrosse team. To say it was hard for me to watch is the understatement of the Cenozoic era. I was...it made me sick.
Look, I am not saying that these guys are definitely guilty. I don't know anything more about the evidence than the rest of you, and if they have those timestamped pictures, well, that could be a problem for the prosecution. But, see, the primary basis of these women's claim that these two guys did not rape that girl is this (this too):
"Anybody would be so proud to have them as their sons."
"[Reade is] one of the nicest kids I've ever had the pleasure of representing."
"I think Collin is literally one of the most kind and gentle people I've ever met."
"I know [Seligmann] personally and his girlfriend really well. There is no way that this event even happened if this is the guy that the stripper is '100-percent sure' about."
These are nice boys, officers. Nice boys don't rape people. You must have the wrong gentlemen.
But let's take a little look-see at the rape statistics in the United States, shall we?
First off, fewer than 40% of all rapes are ever reported.
Even so, 17% of all women and 3% of all men report having been raped (thus creating the commonly-cited 1 in 4 women will be raped in their lifetime statistic).
300,000 women and 90,000 men report annually that they have been raped.
80% of all rapes are acquaintance rapes.
64% of women who are raped and 16% of men who are raped are intimately related to their rapist (this means boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, exes, dates, etc).
So, according to the math, one million people, male and female, are raped every year in this country. 800,000 of these people know their attackers. Almost 530,000 of them are intimate with their attackers.
Those are big numbers, boys and girls.
Those numbers say that over half a million people every year in this country are raped by someone they have CHOSEN to put themselves in a situation with.
Their rapists inspire trust in them - they act kind, they act caring, or funny, or genuine, or maybe they're married or dating. These rapists act like nice guys in every respect but one:
THEY RAPE WOMEN (or men).
In 500,000 cases every year, one person's impression of another is not sufficient protection for them. In 500,000 cases every year, one person puts on an act until a door is closed, or a partner is drunk, or they get really angry. In 500,000 cases every year, someone who is loved and cherished and thought highly of commits rape.
And in 500,000 cases every year, someone who is loved and cherished and thought highly of IS raped. To deny this fact and aver that your impression of someone is sufficient proof they are not a rapist is the epitome of insult to these people, because you imply that they were raped by their own fault, for not seeing or detecting something they should have, because god knows no one who SEEMS good or funny or kind could possibly be a rapist.
Except they are.
So please, use timestamped photos as your evidence these two kids are not rapists. Use receipts or eyewitness testimony or whatever you have on hand to prove your point. But do not use your judgement of their character, because that is not good enough.