Congress Government Shutdown Open Thread

Burning Down The House


Artist – David Horsey

In other news, interest rates on short-term Treasury bills with a maturity of 30, 60, or 90 days began spiking today as we look poised for default.

Meanwhile, a school official has been arrested in relation to the Steubenville, Ohio rape case from earlier this year. William Rhinaman, the Director of Technology at Steubenville High School, allegedly tried to cover up the crime.

I stopped discussing the story of Steubenville here on the blog some time ago, and now I regret doing so. Columns have been published at a wide range of publications over the last several months, including sites like Jezebel, that downplayed the responsibility or apologized for local officials and authority figures who took some of the blame after the incident. Those columns angered me, perhaps because I grew up in a town that just easily could have been Stuebenville and I know how things work in such a town, but I didn’t say anything and I should have.

Yesterday’s arrest shows that some local officials absolutely deserved some of the blame, and this may not be the last arrest. Credit to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for following through on their investigation.

  • feloniousgrammar

    Well, JM, I would be glad to see you keeping us updated on this. Since football culture and rape culture are like guns and bullets, I’d like see any coach that was complicit with the cover-up indicted. I would like to see athletic programs in public schools be required to be vigilant against rape culture, do what they can to prevent it, teach their students and teachers to respect the boundaries of others and enforce it or have the offending male teams shut down. The safety of students should always be more important than sports.

    Equal protection under the law means that schools discourage rape culture to the best of their ability, assist in all investigations, and make sure that victims of rape are treated with dignity and respect.

    • Nick L.

      “Since football culture and rape culture are like guns and bullets”

      Not sure I can get on board with this assertion. Plenty of non-football players commit rape (including females) and plenty of football players do not commit rape.

      • feloniousgrammar

        Football players, and in some places, basketball players are more likely to have the rape(s) covered up by adults, and you’re not likely to ever hear from the press about how sad it is to ruin that young mathlete’s career just because he sexually assault a female student and filmed it.

        • Nick L.

          Is there statistical evidence of this? You imply a causal relationship between football and rape, which I don’t see borne out by reality. Anyway, the terms “football culture” and “rape culture” are so amorphous that I am not sure what you mean. What is “football culture” and do you suggest it is universal? “Rape culture” seems to me one of those terms like “patriarchy” into which one can throw all of the aspects of culture one find disagreeable in an effort to elevate one’s personal preference to the level of a societal ill.

          • IrishGrrrl

            Causal is too strong a term here. They feed into one another–magnify one another–correlation.

            Since football culture is male dominated, based on violence and the players are typically protected from negative repercussions of their violent actions both on and off the field by the larger, male dominated society, any kind of violence that players do engage in, including rape, is more likely to be ignored and if not ignored, certainly less likely to be punished. You won’t see this kind of protection being given to members of the Speech Club. Football culture provides a means or a tool through which Rape Culture is actualized/expressed.

            If you’re looking for studies….look no further than info on the rate of conviction for domestic violence for NFL players versus the rest of the population. Stats show that NFL players get arrested less often (which doesn’t mean they commit crimes less often–a much harder to determine figure) but they are definitely convicted much less often. Why is that? Because we protect our sports heroes when they do commit crimes of violence against women (rape culture) because they’re “special” and their victims aren’t–football culture. The correlation example given here for the NFL is the same as what occurred in Steubenville.

          • Nick L.

            Well, our society protects anyone of perceived standing from legal consequences. I am not sure you can determine what is simply the covariate here. NFL players also tend to have reasonably large salaries and can afford better legal representation than the public at large. So, is it football culture or money culture or fame culture? Certain academic disciplines (e.g., philosophy) are well known for high levels of harassment and sexism; is philosophy the means through which rape culture is actualized?

            I am not saying what you lay out isn’t the case, but if we are going to talk of ____-culture, then it would be helpful to define these terms. Though the general idea of rape culture is straightforward and valid, this term seems to be able to expand to encompass any aspect of the wider culture that the speaker seems to dislike. I am also not clear on the definition of football culture.

            The vast vast vast majority of sexual assaults, rapes, and domestic violence are committed by everyday, nonathletes (a not insignificant number of these perpetrators are women who presumably don’t play professional football). So, to put forward an metaphor that football culture and rape culture are like “guns and bullets” must suggest that there are a thousand other ways to make a bullet deadly. I have a number of problems with football, though I still love to watch, but suggesting that participating in football and its fandom makes one casual about or promoting of rape is a gross mischaracterization.