I am exhausted after 3 hours of teaching and a day of work that preceded that, and thus I don’t have anything lengthy or terribly insightful to add to the uproar all over the internet about the Steubenville rape verdict and the subsequent media coverage. But I do have one point to make.
I am irritated by the euphemisms “football culture” and “rape culture.” Football is a sport. Rape is a crime. Patriarchy is a structural system of oppression and privilege in which things like sports, media, and cultural and social institutions and actions are imbedded. Misogyny is, simply put, the hatred of women, which is linked to the structural system that is patriarchy – though not, I think, identical to it – and this hatred makes it ok to rape a drunk girl, to videotape and photograph it, and to say disgusting things about it all over the internet.
Patriarchy and misogyny produce these “cultures” we’re so busy identifying as specific, localized entities, ones that we pretend to critique from some enlightened elsewhere. And each and every one of us is a product of and a participant in patriarchy and misogyny, though of course many of us are resistant to those structures and attitudes.
I just don’t see how it’s helpful to make up new terms – terms that elide our complicity and that ignore the fact that what happened extends far beyond the city limits of an economically depressed town on the Ohio/West Virginia border – for what amounts to the same old shit.