Richard Cohen, a columnist for the Washington Post, penned an opinion piece where he accused the singer Miley Cyrus of perpetuating “rape culture” by “twerking”. ?Cohen calls her a “cheap act”, a “tasteless twit”, and finally, a “twerk”, whatever that means. ?But the worst of his accusations comes when he places the blame for the infamous Steubenville rape squarely on Cyrus’ shoulders, as if the boys who committed the heinous act had no choice in the matter but to accept their role as rapists, driven to their crime by the sexual exploitation of the culture.
Cohen ignores the fact that the Video Music Awards is high on shock value, not to mention the fact that Miley was twerking on stage with a male singer, Robin Thicke, to his song that croons about blurring the lines of sexual consent. ?He attempts to accuse the young singer of encouraging “a teenage culture that has set the women’s movement back on its heels,” while missing the entire point of feminism, which is the empowerment of women to make?their own?choices for their life, without society dictating to them what is “proper”.
While blaming Miley Cyrus, and others like her, for the Steubenville Rape, Cohen fails miserably in his assessment:
The first thing you should know about the so-called Steubenville Rape is that this was not a rape involving intercourse.
No. ?Not even close.
The first thing you should know about the Steubenville Rape is that a woman was violated without her consent. ?That’s it. ?This was established at trial. ?For Richard Cohen to say that the most important fact of the case was that intercourse had not happened is sickening, especially with testimony from the trial.
The testimony left little doubt that Mays had been physical with the girl. Cole said that as they rode in the car together that??Trent had started fingering her in the back seat, and that’s when I took my phone out and I started recording.?
Cole said that, at his house, ?she was still able to tell us that she had to throw up, so she wasn’t passed out,? but he allowed that ?she wasn’t, like, herself.? Later, he saw Mays ?knelt over top of her, trying to shove it in her mouth.?
In Cole’s description, the girl seemed clearly debilitated. Mays, he said, was ?moving her head around, I guess to try and get it to happen.? The prosecutor asked Cole if he was shocked. ?I was drunk at the time, too,? he said. ?It didn’t seem that bad.?
Apparently, if a girl is throwing up, she’s not unconscious and thus is capable of consent. ?Worse yet, if Cohen’s conclusion is to be accepted here, the boys involved in this rape are excused by the fact that the culture wills them to treat women as mere property.
After the trial was over and the two boys were sentenced, a reporter asked one of the criminals if he had “violated a code by fooling around with someone his friend had been involved with.” ?He replied:
It doesn’t work like that: community property.
A girl is considered community property? ?A girl who is unconscious or nearly that, throwing up, clearly inebriated, having been stripped naked, carried into a basement, used for their sexual pleasures, and being photographed – and it “didn’t seem that bad”?
Somehow I don’t see Richard Cohen’s point here. ?Miley Cyrus is not to blame for these young men’s actions. They alone are to blame. ?They must accept every shred of responsibility for treating a woman like property, to be used for their own sick devices.
That they got caught is a small victory, but rape culture has a long way to go before it is eradicated and men start to treat women as equal human beings. ?In the victim’s own words, she hesitated to bring the accusations forward because:
Honestly, I was praying that everything I heard wasn’t true, and I didn’t want to get myself in a bunch of drama because I
knew everyone would just try and blame me.
No, Richard. ?Miley is not to blame. ?Those boys are, as well as those that taught them to be the human beings they were on that terrible night. ?Good men would have carried the victim, fully clothed, to a vehicle, belted her in, sat beside her, propping her head up, and driven her home safely to her parents – returning home to watch Miley Cyrus gyrate her hips on stage, enjoying the freedom women have, to express themselves.
Take a look for yourself at the performance that is to blame for all the rape in America.
Edited by Jeromie Williams