It is my opinion that each of us has control over our actions and how we conduct ourselves and the situations we put ourselves in and the people we associate with. As parents, it's our responsibility to teach this to our children, both boys and girls.
It is also my opinion that there will always be evil; there will always be someone ready to take advantage of whom and what he or she can. As parents, it's our responsibility to teach our children to be watchful for this evil, both boys and girls.
And it is my opinion that with proper attention, love, discipline, responsibility and instruction kids will not act in ruthless, savage and criminal ways. But we as parents must be giving this attention, love, discipline, responsibility and instruction to the kids of the world, both boys and girls.
From what I can tell, a number of high school football players from Steubenville, OH, ran around doing exactly what they pleased at all times of day and night and not taking responsibility for any of their actions; in other words, they were hoodlums, hooligans, ne'er-do-wells, thugs, losers, except for perhaps on the football field.
One night their partying turned into a terrible crime against another person, a teen-aged girl. She was incapacitated by alcohol after drinking heavily at a party. Her friends knew she was quite drunk; so drunk she couldn't walk; in fact, she passed out. And her friends still let her leave the party with several of the teen aged boys.
These boys assaulted her, took demeaning photos and videos of her naked body while she was unconscious, posting these along with crude comments on social media sites. Clearly, they were unconcerned with whether what they were doing was wrong, much less criminal.
They were found guilty this past week. And there has been a flood of articles and opinions on this issue.
So, who's to blame for this situation? Are the boys at blame? Absolutely! 100% yes! Are the girl's friends to blame? I think so. I've been in that situation in the long-ago past of my late teen and early 20s self. I did take the stance that it was my responsibility as a friend, as a female, to stop an overly drunk friend, or even mere acquaintance, from doing something that she would regret or would make her look like a fool. Was the girl to blame? Yes, in that she was drinking and kept drinking until she was incapacitated to the point that she couldn't walk or make responsible decisions regarding her health and safety.
I know there are many who will gasp at this, but let me be clear, there is nothing excusable about how these boys acted. In my opinion, they are getting off easy, because of their ages, spending only 4 to 5 years in a juvenile facility. Their superior, puffed-up attitudes thinking they could do anything they wanted and get away with it makes me raging mad. They are the worse kind of criminal; callous, uncaring, without any morals.
And yet, as a woman, I feel that this girl had a responsibility to herself to remain in control of her faculties and able to make decisions that kept her in a safe place among friends. Females are not always victims without any power over a situation. And in this situation, she could have had control of what was happening to here and where she went and with whom she left the party.
I also think that we, as a society, as parents, are also to blame. We have let down these out-of-control kids. It's our responsibility to mold and teach and reward and discipline them as they grow and mature.
These kids weren't born like this; they grew into these attitudes and failed to develop any morals, responsibility or conscience. Kids who aren't guided to the right path and supported along the way, taught by example and loved beyond measure won't magically grow into model citizens. Left to their own devices, many will rot at the stump and end up just like these kids.
It is my hope that this young girl can recover from the humiliation and mental anguish she has had to suffer throughout this ordeal. Clearly, she's no weakling having come forward and reported this crime to the police; having testified in court; and having endured the videos, texts and photos shared online and seen by friends, schoolmates and so many more now. My hope for her is that she will never again make the mistake to drink too much that she loses control of her faculties, that she finds new, more supportive friends to hang out with and that she can heal and move on from this experience.
In the end, we must each take responsibility for ourselves, take care of each other, whether friends or strangers, and teach our children well to be respectful, loving, honorable, decent, responsible beings. Over and out...