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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys

  We have all heard this old, tired cliche.  It has been said about professional athletes, politicians, and frat boys to name a few.  But a case out of tiny Steubenville Ohio may make a lot of Americans wonder, is this just an old saying, or is this attitude alive and well?
  Friday night football attendance and participation in Steubenville is practically mandatory. and the case of two of the Big Red's star players have the small town split over charges that a rape is being covered up to protect the team, or that high school kids are being tried and convicted in the media.
  Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were at a series of parties last August. parties that were reportedly  flush with teenagers and alcohol, but sorely lacking any parental supervision. The victim remembers little to nothing of what happened that night, piecing together Facebook and Twitter postings to get even a part of the evening's events. Witness accounts range from incriminating photos of the girl, intoxicated, naked, and sem-conscious, being taken and posted to social media, to eye witness accounts of a sexual assault, and highly likely, a rape.
  With little physical evidence to go on, there is a chance that the two boys could be acquitted of all the charges. Teen agers have been having illicit beer parties since beer and parties were invented. What happens when the next crop of star football players engage in bad behavior with girls who might not have officially consented to anything? Will they feel a sense of entitlement? Would a guilty verdict in this case deter them? The answer to that is probably no.
  At the risk of sounding 150 years old, the one thing that Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet in general has robbed us of is any sense of decorum and shame. The old saying, "just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should", does not seem to apply to today's young people. We all did stupid things in high school and college that those of us over 30 are thanking our lucky stars was not captured for all eternity on some one's timeline, or in a series of tweets. Young men have always been guilty of some level of disrespect towards young women from time to time. But the lengths it goes to now, is quite frankly, ghastly. Is it the number of boys with no decent male role model in their lives that can not only teach them to properly respect women, but just teach them how to be a man? Granted, teen age boys are creatures like no other, but will these boys, and others like them, continue to treat the females in their lives in this manner when they are 20? 25? 35?
  The trial begins this week in a Steubenville courtroom. Will the legacy of Steubenville Big Red Football remain intact, or will boys continue to be boys?                 

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