On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On Friday I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my evening and I spent well over an hour browsing through Netflix in the hope I would find something interesting. Rather than one thing, I found many, but couldn’t decide, and in typical fashion I complained on Facebook. (First World Problems, I know.)

I received instant feedback from three or four friends who were paying attention when I posted, and I followed through on one of the suggestions last night instead of attending a party because I was simply not in a party mood. Mad Men was a disappointment in just two episodes. Between the overt misogyny and the smoking, I couldn’t handle a third episode.

Now I know the series I want to see, but I don’t have HBO. So far, of the clips I’ve seen, I would LOVE the show The Newsroom because in as much as I’ve only caught snippets, Jeff Daniels’ character is dead on right about his assessment of our country, meaning Aaron Sorkin, the show’s creator has it absolutely right. The clip near the bottom of the article linked below is in the opening salvo…I mean first episode of the series.

thoughtcatalog.com: 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

The article’s author, Mark Manson, also has it right.

I am terribly tired of the jingoism and the reliance on our past successes as predictors of our rosy future as a country. I feel like I have to apologize whenever I visit Canada. I learned an awful lot about perspective last summer during a family road trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Seen from the other side of the U.S. border, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 look very different.

Read and learn. And if you don’t like what you’ve read, consider that we are not what we once were and do something about it. Many, many  lives are at stake here.

I hope to be less embarrassed by my alcoholic country than I have been when I visit another’s in the future. I still hold my hand over my heart when I sing the Star Spangled Banner or say the Pledge of Allegiance, but it’s increasingly difficult to be proud of that allegiance.

Tomorrow marks what will likely be a historic set of opinions handed down from the Supreme Court. I hope the justices, and we all by extension, can rise above the filthy rhetoric of the far Right and recognize our duty to all citizens regardless of their orientation. The Prop 8 and DOMA decisions will not fix everything, especially as long as Citizens United, the Patriot Act and ALEC are the guides by which our laws are created in at least a third of our states, but they could go a long way toward addressing equality for all Americans, regardless of whom they love.

A Tale of Two Rapes… *Trigger warning*

A Tale of Two Rapes… *Trigger warning*

CNN and the rest of our media are taking a lot of well-deserved flack for their report on the Stubenville, OH, rape verdict handed down Sunday.

There is also this report from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/17/justice/ohio-steubenville-case/index.html 

I recognize that reporters are far less objective than they once were, but CNN (and the rest of our media sources) should take the public backlash as a clue to re-evaluate their reporters’ investigative standards. They need to understand that they promote this reprehensible custom: Sympathizing with criminals while leaving victims out to hang. Jezebel says Here’s What CNN Should’ve Said About the Steubenville Rape Case

CNN isn’t alone in letting this unadulterated crap slip through. Too many members of our society encourage this sort of thinking.

NBC News and Fox fared just about as well, though neither source came out and said it was a shame what happened to those boys. Yahoo (of all places) gets much closer to the truth of the situation Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel for calling it what it is.

Throughout this trial, the two defendants and a parade of friends who wound up mostly testifying against the defendants, expressed little understanding of rape – let alone common decency or respect for women. Despite the conviction, the defendants likely don’t view themselves as rapists, at least not the classic sense of a man hiding in the shadows.

We live in a culture of rape, patronizing subordination and violence. We glorify gun ownership and alcohol and we look for ways to excuse bad behavior because they’re young and don’t know better. But who taught them about behaving this way in the first place?

We encourage our kids to dress in ways that enhance their attractiveness to each other, but too often we fail to teach them anything about what should happen when they are together, about taking responsibility for one another, or what abuse means. The emphasis on the victim’s level of intoxication should lead us to wonder how she had access to so much alcohol, how she came to be in that condition when they abused her.

This “they’re OUR kids, hands OFF” approach to sex education leaves kids with a basic understanding of biology and no understanding of ethics. Add alcohol into the mix, reduce remaining inhibitions, and you have a mess on your hands. Assuming the family or church will handle it absolves our society of dealing with the real problem: Education our kids with empathy, understanding consequences and recognizing right from wrong.

But that’s not what CNN reported.

Is it social media that’s to blame? No. In fact, without access to the electronic connection, the victim’s abuse would have gone unreported and she would have had no recourse. Nobody would have believed her because “she lied” and must have “asked for it” by being at the party and drinking. At least, that’s the gist of the reports coming out of this trial.

So when her rapists are found guilty and punished, we hear sympathy for them and what they’ll go through now that they’ve been found guilty.

Really?

The only way we’re going to change our society is to acknowledge that these crimes deserve punishment and that victims are NOT to blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or for provoking the actions of their abusers.

In fact, there should be NO WRONG PLACE.

The real story here is how hard it was for victim to seek and receive justice, not how the verdict destroyed the lives of two boys because the victim sought justice.

How we address these issues speaks volumes about who we are as a society. For all the good we can do, there’s this, also from CNN:

6 men arrested in gang rape of Swiss tourist in India

Contrast? You bet. Sadly, it happens here, like this, all the time.

Nobody told those boys they were doing anything wrong until they got caught and punished.

Seems to me they regret getting caught as much or more than the acts they committed, as horrific as those acts were.

That is the biggest crime of all.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.