When news about Steubenville first started appearing on my Facebook feed, I was paralyzed and horrified. Likewise when news about the gang rape on a Delhi bus started coming out. How could men be capable of such vile acts? As a man, what does this say about me?

I wasn’t able to read the articles and analysis that my friends were posting. I never watched the Steubenville video. I never read about details of what happened on that bus. I couldn’t bring myself to bare witness to rape, however remotely. Just the thought of it creates a swell in my chest, a lump in my through. Paralyzed and horrified.

After the guilty verdict came out against the two boys in Steubenville, I wasn’t particularly relieved. I hoped the survivor finds some sense of closure as the judicial process ends and the national spotlight on her community fades. But how does a guilty verdict provide her space and resources to heal? How will prison help the boys heal from the hurts that caused them to rape an unconscious girl in the first place? How will their community heal?

I’ve been working on finding my voice in situations like this that are difficult to stomach, and this blog as a part of that. Over time, as I work through what gets hard for me to be a more fierce ally, I’ll find myself still just as horrified, but hopefully less and less paralyzed.

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