Be advised: coarse, brutal, but appropriate language used.So I stumbled across a story in which 14-year-olds were raped in the ass, written up on a hyper-conservative Christian website (American Vision). The article talks about "hazing" and "ritual sodomy", but the word "rape" doesn't show up until the comments section.
The Daily Herald of Chicago and The Huffington Post, both reporting on events, also have zero occurrences of the word "rape" in their stories.
What is alleged to have happened? That upperclassmen on a high school soccer team, with the knowledge of several coaches and teachers, held down young men who had made varsity and forcefully sodomized them. Fucked them in the ass. But, you know, ritually, so that makes it bullying.
The mother adds that the acts -- and the school's failure to respond -- breaks Illinois state anti-bullying laws.
That's the quote on HuffPo.
Technically true, I suppose. But are we not going to call it rape? The phrase "sexual assault" is used, but let's be clear: the allegation is that these boys were sodomized. Not just bullied. Not just hazed. And not just "ritual sodomy", either, as if this were some sort of pagan cult involving sacred ass-fucking. That has existed, but this was not it.
Why do we allow the ritual nature of these things to interfere with our thinking? Why was there no jail time for the Florida A&M student involved in the hazing death of a fellow band member? Why is there even such a charge as "felony hazing resulting in death"?
What happened to murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter? How do those not cover what happened on that bus in Florida?
These boys in Illinois appear to have been sodomized and raped. And that's how people ought to talk about it, without giving it the same veneer of respectability cultural anthropologists might give some new-found tribe of cannibals. "Observe how the behavior of these tribesmen, obnoxious to western, so-called 'civilized' eyes, differs from ours. We may find it unsavory, and might not permit it within our own borders, but we respect all cultures as valid expressions of humanity."
Whether in some British public school, a chartered bus in central Florida, or at a preppie private school in suburban Chicago, evil is evil. Rape is rape.
Let's call it that.