Story of my life!
Takashi Murakami, 727-272 The Emergence of God At The Reversal Of Fate (with detail), 2007
I have spent the last three hours sitting at my desk, attempting to work on a poem with the working title, “For Jane Doe, Steubenville, OH”. So far, this is what I have:
The rain can only fall where the branches cannot block it
and the flowers will only bloom if there’s no one there
to step on their beds.
I can’t get any further because I’m still way too pissed off to try to put this into digestible pieces. I don’t want this to be digestible for anyone, so maybe the poem needs to take a different direction. But, my necessary revisions aren’t the point right now. The point is Jane Doe.
Jane Doe. She’s nameless, nameless in a feeble attempt to provide her with some kind of privacy because she is a minor and because she is a victim. I am still trying to reconcile this, because anyone who has ever received any kind of unwanted sexual attention knows that your privacy is completely out the window the minute things become uncomfortable. I understand her namelessness, but I struggle with it because I wonder how much it helps her now.
It makes me sick to hear what wonderful athletes these boys were, it makes me want to cry when someone mentions that they were ‘good students’ with ‘bright futures,’ it makes me nauseous to think that anyone is worried about what those two boys are going to do with their lives.
Their lives aren’t ‘over,’ as one cried out in the courtroom after their sentences were read. Richmond will likely be out of the juvenile system next year for good behavior, and Mays is likely to follow after two years. Neither will be incarcerated past 21. Their lives aren’t over. In fact, they’ll be let out in just enough time to live them, whereas if they were tried as adults, their lives really would be ‘over.’ Sure, they’ll be on the sex offenders list, but will it actually stop them for doing whatever they want to? Probably not.
But let’s get back to Jane Doe, whose life is actually over. Or maybe not. Maybe for the next couple of years she can try to heal, and deal with the horrible thing that happened to her. Maybe she can try to cope with the fact that her friends made her feel as though she should be ashamed for being a slut. Or maybe she’ll be reaching a break through when Richmond and Mays appear walking down the street, free.
There should be no sympathy for these boys, or for the culture who taught them their behavior was even remotely close to appropriate. There should be no sympathy for the kids who watched Jane Doe being carried and photographed naked. There should be no sympathy for the students who refused to talk to the police. There should be no sympathy for two boys who raped a girl who was completely incoherent, at an age when they certainly knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they were doing was wrong.
Jane Doe’s future has been ruined. Richmond and Mays will be forced to contemplate their actions, but they have also been given an opportunity to change, become better people and to really and truly think about what is right and what is wrong. Is this justice? Did we help Jane Doe?
They deserved what they got, they deserved more and despite this rant, I’m still sick and reeling from the disgrace I feel for this misogynistic country, its rape culture (which shouldn’t even be a coined phrase), and the media.
he is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
Say tomorrow doesn’t come.
Say the moon becomes an icy pit.
Say the sweet-gum tree is petrified.
Say the sun’s a foul black tire fire.
Say the owl’s eyes are pinpricks.
Say the raccoon’s a hot tar stain.
Say the shirt’s plastic ditch-litter.
Say the kitchen’s a cow’s corpse.
Say we never get to see it: bright
future, stuck like a bum star, never
coming close, never dazzling.
Say we never meet her. Never him.
Say we spend our last moments staring
at each other, hands knotted together,
clutching the dog, watching the sky burn.
Say, It doesn’t matter. Say, That would be
enough. Say you’d still want this: us alive,
right here, feeling lucky.
i find it very difficult to be excited about the election of a new pope, despite the bells that are ringing all around my office, and the excited chatter from all of the people who actually care.
but i find it difficult to be excited because if they REALLY cared, they’d be outraged by the fact that BOTH of the forerunners had serious black marks on their names due to sexual harassment and their willingness to brush it under the rug.
what is so honorable about all of this?