Monthly Archives: March 2013

core values

Blaming Before Morality: Why The Steubenville Rape Case Is So Horrifying

True to form, in 2011 the Onion delivered some of the most honest news that you will find in media today. In grim humor an Athlete Overcomes Rape.

Fast forward to last week and watch Poppy Harlow’s CNN Coverage on the Steubenville Rape. Poppy caused a great deal of outrage with her comment, “These two young men who had such promising futures — star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart”. I have to say, part of me feels very sad for these boys. They did something irreversible and criminal, and now they have to pay for it. I really hope they learn their lessons. I hope that they have sincere remorse for their actions. I hope they learn right from wrong. But I have to stop and ask, what the f*ck was Poppy thinking as those words spewed out of her mouth? Does she not realize that a young girl was VIOLATED? This is completely irresponsible reporting. It’s the kind of comment that places blame on the victim for ruining the lives of these two boys… That is IT! That is why her comment was gnawing at my core. It’s not that she felt bad for the boys – who certainly committed a terrible crime. It’s that she seemed to be placing the blame on the victim.

Regardless of how much empathy I may have for the those two boys, what breaks my heart more is that a young girl was violated and people think it is OK… that she deserved it for being intoxicated. Personally, I don’t care if she drank herself to oblivion or not. They should not have had sex with her, taken pictures, plastered them all over social media and then chastised her. Furthermore, why didn’t anyone do anything to stop this? How many kids stood by and watched as these boys sexually assaulted an unconscious girl, also taking pictures and posting all over social media? I’ve read numerous posts and tweets calling the victim a slut and a whore.  My question is, how can you be a slut or a whore if you did not consciously decide to have sex? Think about it… if you were kidnapped, knocked unconscious and your assailant forced drugs into your system, would you then be a drug addict? Of course not. When blaming is more important than morality, empathy and respect, we have taken the “human” out of human beings.

When someone is incapacitated, where is our consciousness? Where is our empathy? Where is our humanity? I don’t know about you, but when I see people hurting other people, I am compelled to do something… and I have.

Many people think that if a person is intoxicated, then they were “asking” to be raped. Let’s make one thing very clear. It’s is NEVER OK to take advantage of another person. It is NEVER OK to violate another human being… especially when they are incapacitated. It is NOT OK. NOT EVER. PERIOD. Now if you want to dig deep, we all have taken advantage of another person at some point in our lives. As we are growing up, learning right from wrong, we may have been mean to someone who really likes us because we knew we could get away with it, for example. When we see people doing wrong, we need to lead by example and teach our children not only to be able to identify it, but also to do something about it. This is where parenting and community come to play. We are supposed to teach our children basic morals, values and ethics, and we should lead by example.

More and more often, parents are afraid to parent. More and more often, we are more and more detached from our communities. Human beings were made for community. I want to know what have these boys’ parents… and  society forgotten to teach them? There is no manual for being a parent, and I know that you can’t be responsible for every single decision that your child makes, but there are basic principals that you ingrain in your child from birth. I have made countless mistakes as a mother, and yet I have always taught my kids to be compassionate, empathetic and kind. As a disfunctioning society, every year we become more and more isolated from each other. We are failing as a society if we are incapable of identifying wrongdoing or helping someone in need. When teenagers cannot identify that a serious violent crime is happening before their eyes… that is horrifying.

Core Values & Morals

So what are our lessons from this case?

  1. We need to teach our children right from wrong
  2. We need to stand up in the face of adversity to do what is right
  3. It is NEVER ok to violate someone because they are intoxicated
  4. If we want to survive as human beings, we need to start being more humane
  5. We need to teach from example basic values, such as courage, empathy, respect, integrity and care

They say that empathy can’t be taught. I don’t know that I agree with that. I think that if we grow up in an environment where people show kindness, love and empathy, our children will in fact learn those very things.

America – We Are No Longer The Greatest Country In The World

Some may disagree with this and that is perfectly fine. However, I grew up here. I have roots here. I used to believe America was one of the greatest countries in the world. In fact, I couldn’t even fathom the thought of living somewhere else. I remember growing up and the school cop was our friend. Teachers cared about their students. We had freedom of speech. If we made a mistake, we were punished but not stigmatized. Oh, how have times have changed.

I am disheartened at the direction this country is headed. Money is our god. Power is being abused. We are living in a society that wants to keep the majority stifled. Immoral reality show stars are our idols. Greedy politicians could care less about the very people they are supposed to be working for. Power hungry cops are the new bullies. The welfare system that we have in place is a fucking joke!

It is grotesque that the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, or Honey Boo Boo are the role models for our children. I mean seriously, we are telling our children that it is alright to have indiscriminate sex, drink until oblivion, and be gluttonous, void of any morals or values… and it is especially held in high regard while  in the pursuit of money and power.

It is insane that those in office can spend indiscriminate amounts of tax payer money to go on lavish vacations, while 75% of the population is drowning in an attempt to keep up with the daily rising cost of living. The systems that are in place to help us in our times of need, such as the welfare system, are actually designed to keep us in shame and repression.

It boils my blood when I see a police officer, who is supposed to serve and protect, sitting on the side of the road with a speeding gun so they can meet their quota, while allowing a rapist or a murderer to walk free of consequence because it is more financially beneficial to do so, or bullying and arresting a kid in high school for giving a friend a hug because they are so jaded by society.

In 2010, the United States was 11th in rapes per 100,000. In 2012, we had the highest incarceration rate in the world, surpassing 700 per 100,000!! We spend more on military expenditure than any other country in the world! We are over $700 billion, while China, the next runner up is just over $100 billion. That’s $600 billion  more! Meanwhile, we spend an excruciatingly pathetic 10% of that on education. What the hell is wrong with this picture?? 75% of our population makes less than $50,000 per year, while the cost of living goes up every day.  If we want to survive without having to live paycheck to paycheck, just how much do we have to make?

It is no surprise that our country is such a disgrace.

youtube=http://youtu.be/ML3qYHWRIZk

So what are we going to do about this turmoil? I don’t want to be scared silent, bowing my head to this god of money and power like an abused housewife beaten into submission. I have a voice. We have a voice. I’ll be damned if I have to  become an expat runaway, looking for solace and peace in another country… although I have seriously considered it.

We need to start by adding value and morality back into our society. We are starved for it. We need to start by changing the channel. We need to start by taking away the power of those who abuse it. We need to start by refusing to be financially raped by our government for their own selfish gain. We need to start by getting off our lazy butts and creating change, rather than waiting for someone else to tell us they are going to do it for us, and blaming them when they suppress us instead. We need to start by bringing humanity, love and compassion back into our homes and spreading that.

I have been guilty of not taking action. Sometimes I was scared. Other times I didn’t feel that I was smart enough, financially able, or capable of doing anything significant. I felt politicians were so corrupt that I wouldn’t bother to vote because it wouldn’t matter who won. The ones that would actually make a positive change never made it to the final rounds anyways, right? All too often, I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I just could never get ahead. I felt defeated. I was little more than a statistic… a battered housewife of the system. However, I was so, so wrong. Ignorance and silence equal repression.

We have a voice and we need to use it. We are in the land of the free and we need to stop living as slaves to the system… slaves to money, gluttony and immorality. We need to find what we are passionate about changing to make this country better and start doing it. Stop with the excuses, and start doing something.

Find your voice. SPEAK.

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” ~Ghandi