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Volume 3, Number 8
August, 1998

Molly's Soapbox

by Molly Degnan

I saw an interesting item on the news last night. Three wealthy, upper-class boys from Gross Pointe, Michigan are charged with raping three 13 year-old girls from their high school. The ringleader of the boys (all of whom are 18 and seniors in high school), asked the girls to his "bedroom suite" as a party raged downstairs. While there, the boys did shots with the girls, and then forced them into intercourse and oral sex. It was disgusting, depraved, and altogether not uncommon. One in three women is sexually attacked in her lifetime. Three young, na´ve girls were lured into a terrible situation and raped. Why is this story any different? Why is it making headlines?

Because the accused are attractive, educated, wealthy and white.

The worst part of the story was the slant against the victims, whose identities have not been revealed due to their age. Yet the accused are speaking out, having press conferences with their parents, teachers, friends. Young pretty girls are being interviewed at school, and the support in the community is undeniably in favor of the accused: "Those girls got themselves into this mess, what are they complaining about?"

Because the accused are attractive, educated, wealthy and white. Haven't you ever thought back on your childhood, especially those teenage years, and wondered how you possibly lived through it, with all the incredibly stupid things you did? For example, my vivid memory of leaping off a pier in Pismo Beach with seven other people, in the middle of the night, in March, in the worst storm of the year. Fully clothed. Drunk. Hitting the water and not knowing which way was up and which way was down. Only figuring out I was swimming the wrong direction because my ears started popping. But, hey, it was fun. And I was young, na´ve, and, well, stupid. Don't try to tell me you haven't done something equally dumb, because I won't believe you. We all have.

Because the accused are attractive, educated, wealthy and white. My point being the situation was fairly standard. Three young, innocent, na´ve girls were asked to go to the bedroom suite of the most popular, adorable, rich boy in school, and his equally popular, adorable and rich friends. There were a lot of other people downstairs. There were three of them. Safety in numbers, right? Guess not. But tell me of one single thirteen year-old that would not have done exactly the same thing. Had I been in the same situation at that age, guaranteed I would have. And clearly, in the eyes of a lot of people, I would have given those boys the right to do whatever their little (and I do mean little) hearts desired.

Because the accused are attractive, educated, wealthy and white. What the story proves is that the victim is never a victim in our world. There is always something the victim did to deserve it. Especially in rape cases (and I know all of you men out there are cringing right now). But it's true. I'll personally wager 50 bucks to Scroom Magazine that the boys get off without so much as a slap on the wrist. They look good, their parents are wealthy pillars of the community, how could they possibly do something so horrendous? (Remember OJ?) They won't get hurt in this situation. The girls, however, will be haunted by that night for the rest of their lives. They have yet to live through a trial. Imagine having to go through something like that, or watching you daughter do the same ("And what did he do with his hands next?"). The terror, the humiliation, and the anger will be with them forever. The boys, however, as well as the rest of society, will learn the awful truth about our nutty little world. It's perfectly okay that a woman is attacked, made to do unbelievably terrible things, to live through an ordeal horrible beyond comprehension, having their mind, body, world torn apart because another person chooses to rape them.

Because the accused are attractive, educated, wealthy and white. I mean, hey, she asked for it.
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