Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Anonymous Brings High School Rape Case into Social-Media Spotlight

Chances are, until a few days ago, you may not have heard about the rape and kidnapping of a 16 year old girl from Steubenville, OH. The story behind this case is appalling and is an excellent example of how misogyny is still rampant in small-town America.

On August 11, 2012, some members of the Steubenville High football team set out for a few celebratory parties. Early in the night, several members of the team ran into an extremely intoxicated 16 year old girl. She was from a neighboring town and, more than likely, did not know many of the teenagers attending the party. With her speech slurred and unable to walk, the taunting and bullying began. One witness would later testify that many students were daring others to urinate on her and several of the students began using social media to further humiliate her. 

The girl was then carried like a corpse to several other parties where she was berated around like a piece of meat. To add to the kidnapping, she was also raped by two of the Steubenville High football team. During all of this, other students took pictures and videos of the crimes in progress. No one had the testicular fortitude to stand up for this helpless girl. 

The NY Times did a lengthy piece on this story. You can read the entire piece here but the point is, in the end, only the two boys who actually participated in the rape are being charged. The students who took and posted the pictures and tweets have not been charged nor punished by the school. Many of the townspeople think that the girl brought it on herself by getting too intoxicated and some think she made it up as an excuse to her parents for drinking too much. Regardless of what clothes she wears or her state of mind, no female deserves to be raped. No one. 

With the parents and coaches associated with the football team siding with the two young boys and police not pursuing charges against the students behind the camera, Anonymous has taken a stand for the victim. The hacktivist group recently hacked into a website associated with the SHS football team, leaving behind this message:  

Since releasing this message, Cody Saltsman has issued a public apology via Twitter. However, #OProllredroll is still active for other perpetrators and faculty members of the school. This call to action is forcing everyone involved to face their crimes and inaction. 

Anonymous has given the victim a megaphone to shout her story and I feel safer knowing that we live in a world where people like the hacktivist group are looking out for the common good of mankind. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Understanding Death

This post stems from a recent death of a motorcyclist near my home town. He ran off the road and was thrown from the bike. He was not wearing a helmet. He was pronounced brain dead at the hospital and a day later, was removed from life support.

It is a tragedy and many of my friends on Facebook were very close to him. My news feed has been filled with love for him, prayers for his family and one question. I have seen this question posed over 10 tens in the past 48 hours. WHY?

Why did someone who was kind die so young?
Why did a person who loved and was loved so much suffer a tragic end?

Religious people always look to the sky for some magic answer. In reality, death is something none of us can escape (yet). Without this cycle of life and death, our universe as we know it would not exist. Some people die of old age, some of cancer, some by the hands of others.

When you get down to the bottom of it, the answer to their question of "why" is simple: He wasn't wearing a helmet. The human skull is not evolved to sustain massive injury and doctors (not a god) were unable to save him. It may seem callous but it is reality. There is no alternate (supernatural) reason for his death. He made a mistake and unfortunately, paid with his life.

People have to start accepting the reality of death. Only then, can we truly celebrate life.

I'm back!

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I've been away. I've still kept up with the atheism news but my laptop completely crashed and I haven't been able to afford a new one. However, I have discovered this lovely app on my iPhone. So, grammar lovers, give me a break for the next few months!! Now, on to the blogging!!