Following today’s conviction of the young men in the Steubenville rape trial, Sisters of Resistance want to give a big shout-out and thank you to political analyst Zerlina Maxwell, who has been in the spotlight recently for speaking out against the rampant victim-blaming going on around the case.
We agree wholeheartedly with Zerlina’s stance that instead of telling women what they should do to prevent rape, we should instead be teaching men not to rape. In an interview on Fox News that attempted to bring together issues of sexual violence with those of gun control, Zerlina said the following:
“I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want women—I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear, how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape.”
We also want to thank blogger Alexandria Goddard for making copies of the incriminating tweets, pics and video, independently reporting on the case for months and attempting to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, members of Anonymous who circulated the video in order to bring attention to the case and publicize the story, and Matt Binder who compiled some of the disgusting victim-blaming and slut-shaming tweets since the verdict, effectively documenting how rape culture is supported and reinforced by society, women and men included (**TRIGGER WARNINGS** for the last couple of links).
The actions of these individuals show us that it is possible for us to effectively resist and challenge rape culture. We stand in solidarity with the Steubenville survivor and all victims and survivors of sexual violence everywhere. We especially remember Jyoti Singh Pandey, who died after a gang rape on a public bus in Delhi in December 2012, and the teenage girl in the Maldives scheduled to be publicly flogged (what century is this!?) for premarital sex (sign a petition against this here). We join with many in calling for an end to rape culture worldwide.
End rape culture now!