Four teenage boys in Tampa, Florida, were charged as adults Wednesday on allegations of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy...
Hillsborough County prosecutors allege the four boys raped the 13-year-old victim multiple times over two months with a broomstick and hockey stick....
Prosecutor Kimberly Hindman described to the court how two defendants held down the victim while the other two defendants violently sodomized him with the sticks. "The victim screamed and cried, telling them to stop," Hindman said....
When school officials questioned the defendants, all four admitted in a written statement sexually assaulting the victim....
Several students witnessed the incidents over the two months, said the prosecutor, who added that she could not understand why no one reported the attacks.
a) Anyone who tries to dismiss male survivors, to handwave them away so we can have a nice uncomplicated female-only discussion of rape culture? Ummno. Think of this boy. And think of what he's going to have to deal with, growing up with even less support than female sexual assault survivors get.
b) And think about how no one reported it.
c) And think about how his rapists all confessed immediately, in a way that makes me think that they figured it was no big deal, no worse than punching him in the face.
Because, y'know, boys will be boys.
This is why we have to keep talking about this. This is why I do the workshops I do, dismantling ideas about rape culture - this is why I specialize in middle and high school workshops, because we have to catch kids as they're shaping their ideas about the world - we have to show them how this is not boys being boys, and teach them how to safely intervene.
This is why we have to never shut up about this.
I want a world without rape. That won't happen in my lifetime. But first I know we have to get to a world where people know the damn difference between sexual assault and harassment, and where male survivors are treated equally, and where people will step in and say "HEY! Stop it!" or at least report it to the authorities.
And if I had my eye just on The End of Rape, I'd've run out of steam long ago, because that just won't happen in my lifetime.
But I'm working towards the stuff that comes first. And I believe that we can get there.
It's just a harsh slap in the face, reminders like this.