Henry Rollins speaks out on Steubenville rape case

Outspoken artist Henry Rollins believes lots of people had a hand in the rape that put Steubenville, Ohio, on the map, not just the teen boys convicted – and he has a few ideas to make sure it never happens again.

Henry Rollins

If you are a parent, you never in a million years think you’re raising the kind of kid who thinks sexually assaulting someone is a joke or that rape victims should be vilified. Yet time after time it happens, and the Steubenville rape case brought the phenomena to the forefront of our collective consciousness.

How did dozens of kids get involved in the attempted coverup of a horrifying crime? Outspoken artist Henry Rollins has a few ideas.

In a piece written for The Raw Story, Rollins speaks out against the rape culture these kids grew up in and the anti-girl culture that allowed the backlash against the victim to breed.

“What made these young people think that that what they did was ok? What was in their upbringing, the information and morals instilled in them that allowed them to do what they did, minute after minute, laughing, joking, documenting it and then calling it a night and going home? Out of all the people who were witness to what happened, why wasn’t there someone putting a stop to it?” he wrote.

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“What I am attempting to get at, and I apologize if I am not being clear enough is that this is a failure on many levels. Parents, teachers, coaches, peers all come into play here. I am not trying to diffuse blame or lessen the awfulness of what happened but I want to address the complexity of the cause in an effort to assess the effect so it can be prevented.”

“Some might say that the two going to the youth facility are as much victims as the young woman who was assaulted. I do not agree,” Rollins continued. “The two are offenders. What they did was obviously wrong. That being said, we cannot end the discussion at that point and expect things to change.”

The path to change, Rollins posits, it true equality between the sexes — something our society is still lacking.

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“I think to a great degree, we humans still divide ourselves into two species, even though we are monotypic,” he explained. “There are males and females. We see them as different and not equal. Things get better when women get more equality. That is a bit obvious, but I think it leads to better results up the road. If it’s a man’s world as they say, then men, your world is a poorly run carnage fest.

“It is obvious that the two offenders saw the victim as someone that could be treated as a thing. This is not about sex, it is about power and control. I guess that is what I am getting at. Sex was probably not the hardest thing for the two to get, so that wasn’t the objective. When you hear the jokes being made during the crime, it is the purest contempt.”

Read the complete column on the Steubenville rape case by Henry Rollins on The Raw Story.

Tell us: Do you agree that inequality creates a rape culture?

Image courtesy Gary Stafford/WENN.com