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Dear Daughters, Let’s Help Leah Parsons Eliminate Rape Culture

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Dear Daughters,

Yesterday I watched Part 2 of the Dr. Phil segment which focused on a case where four high school football players, Matthew Bishop, Vincent Carto, Tyler Garren and Justin Ponder, were charged with second degree rape, all accused of raping the same 16 year-old girl. Dr. Phil said that he usually advises viewer discretion in segments that have strong sexual content but in this case, there is strong sexual context that he says should be required viewing for teenagers. It is all about social judgment and how your life can be changed in an instant. If anyone here missed it, you can watch Parts 1 and 2 online on CTV in Canada or you will find links to the video segments on the Angel Rehtaeh Facebook page.

The case involving the four football players is still ongoing but it is the same old story we hear over and over again – there was underage drinking, the boys say the girl wanted sex and knew what she was doing but the girl says she never consented and in fact, was passed out, only to waken and find a boy on top of her. In this particular case, the first boy says the girl initiated sex with him and they had consensual sex at the end of which she was still wanting more. He said he could not give her anymore so he went upstairs and explained the situation to his friend, who went downstairs to give her what she was asking for. When the second boy was finished she apparently still wanted more and so he went and got another of his friends, who tried to go satisfy the girl. It is unclear to me at this point if the same scenario was repeated with the fourth boy. The girl says she passed out and woke up to the boys taking turns with her and that she did not want sex.

The first boy to have sex with her and be accused of raping her, was on Dr. Phil with his parents to tell his side of the story which was explained above. His dad is a deputy and unwillingly on national television had to admit that the girl was legally drunk and incapable of proper judgment. We can sit here and argue every little fact of that case, of Rehtaeh Parsons’ case, of the Stuebenville case and the way too many more that exist, but they all have the same outcome –

WE BLAME THE VICTIM!

WE BLAME THE VICTIM!

WE BLAME THE VICTIM!

We tell the girl she shouldn’t have gotten herself into that situation, she shouldn’t have been drinking, she initiated the sex (by the way, even if she does, when she says stop, you have to stop), she wore slutty clothes, she walked in the dark, she was walking alone, she came to the party alone, she could have left at any time but she didn’t, all she had to do was make a phone call…

The advice we have for the girl and how she could have avoided being raped is endless! And we don’t stop there! After she is raped, we ridicule her, we shun her, we shame her. We call her a slut. We ask her for sex. We circulate and use pictures of the criminal act committed against her as a weapon to shame her. We make her life hell until she feels it is not worth living anymore. No one stands up for the victim.

If you do not believe me you only have to ask Leah Parsons’ about how her daughter suffered after she was raped. There is even a picture of one of the boys having sex with Rehtaeh as she is leaning out a window, vomiting. She is still blamed to this day for what happened to her even though she took her own life to end her pain in April of this year.

If you do not believe me, then watch the Dr. Phil episodes. The parents of one of the accused rapists, Matthew Bishop, were slut-shaming the girl left, right and center. Matthew’s mother says she was doing it for attention, that she was even gaining Facebook friends since she reported she was raped. His mother wanted to know why the girl wasn’t accused of rape and said that girls have sex being drunk all the time. Hmmmm I wonder where her son might have gotten the impression it was okay to take advantage of a drunk girl? Matthew’s father, a deputy, a law enforcement officer that is supposed to protect people who are being violated actually said, “She may be more responsible for this situation than Matthew”. His reasoning was that all she had to do was make one phone call and she could have left at any time! In case you could not digest it the first time you read it Deputy Bishop said,

“She may be more responsible for this situation than Matthew.”

I don’t think you will find any more direct victim blaming than a statement like that. And that is from a law enforcement officer! If the law is blaming the rape victim, then who is going to protect her? The message that is being sent to men is that you can rape and you will get away with it.

The law does state that you are innocent until proven guilty and the four boys accused in the case featured on Dr. Phil have not been proven guilty in a court of law yet so let’s assume their version of the story is 100% true, just for the sake of a discussion. What kind of a society do we live in where teenage girls want to have sex with multiple partners in one night? What kind of a society do we live in where young boys don’t think twice about having sex with a girl who had just had sex with their friend a minute before? Where they don’t mind being a girl’s third sexual encounter of the evening? Where if a girl says she wants more sex, the boy recruits his friend to take a turn with her? Where is the moral compass in our society?

Leah Parsons was a great ambassador for her daughter, Rehtaeh, and for all victims of rape on the Dr. Phil show yesterday. She is fighting hard to eliminate the rape culture in our society and I don’t think she should be alone in that fight, just as Rehtaeh should not have been alone in hers. Sadly, too many rape victims find themselves blamed and alone, like Rehtaeh. This has to stop.

Leah Parsons made some excellent points on the Dr. Phil show. She pointed out that as a society we teach our girls how to avoid vulnerable situations. We essentially teach them how not to be raped. It is time to start teaching boys about consent. A girl in a vulnerable position does not equal consent for sex. A girl in a vulnerable position needs help. She does not need to be victimized. As Leah said, “She (Rehtaeh) was in a vulnerable position and they chose to rape her. They should have chose to help her. Someone should have chose to say ‘this is not okay’.” Not one boy did that for Rehtaeh. Not one boy did that in the case discussed on the Dr. Phil show. We need to teach our boys to be that boy – to be the boy that helps the girl. Right now our society supports the boy who choses to rape. We support the wrong boy.

Leah Parsons has a great motto for our society to adopt. A motto that we should teach our young men. A powerful motto that is a huge step toward eliminating rape and victim blaming.

Don’t Take Advantage. Take Them Home.

Help Leah spread the word and the victim blaming. Help Leah eliminate our rape culture. Share this post, become a member of the Angel Rehtaeh Facebook page, watch the Dr. Phil episodes and help Leah’s motto become words to live by.

Use this as your Facebook profile picture to help spread the word too! I did! Just right click on the picture to save it on your computer.

DontTakeAdvantageTakeThemHome

Don’t Take Advantage. Take Them Home. – Leah Parsons

18 Comments

  1. “We blame the victim”

    Assuming she was actually a victim. She might have consented. How do you know whether she did or did not consent? You don’t. And yet you call her a victim. Shame on you.

    • She was drunk and therefore could not have consented. That makes her a victim.

  2. Thanks so much for all of the great comments. Together we can keep the discussion about victim blaming and consent going and make a difference. Thanks for reading Dear Daughters!

  3. I was very impressed the way Leah Parsons handled herself on The Dr. Phill show,she is one strong determined lady and I’m sure her daughter would be so proud of her fight for justice for her.Why there aren’t rape charges is unbelievable to me,the picture should be enough proof of what happened to her.We got to keep the ball rolling in order to get change for all the future girls and boys out there,so they do not find themselves in a similar situation .

  4. #1 I would like to spit in Matt’s mother’s smug face. She made me sick with her attitude. #2 I would like to see Deputy Bishop lose his job. He is not someone I would want investigating a crime. #3 I want to see the 4 boys convicted and will try to make it to NC for the trial. I never want to see any of them on a football field. Bottom line football south it is all about the players. He may have had a 3.6 GPA but was it GIVEN to him? He was not taught to accept consequences for his actions or taught right from wrong by his arrogant mother. The whole family needs a taste of jail house sex.

    • The above comment by Cathy are my exact feelins also.Matt’s mother knows he’s guilty,and so does the father.Matt himself couldn’t even hide his guilt.his mouth hung open like he was playing mr innocent,all the while squirming in his seat,waiting for mommy and daddy to save him.i think he knew Dr Phil wasn’t swollowing any of his sorry lies.they all had one thing in mind when they had the girl there and she was all alone.they planned it,did what they wanted to do and now Matt isn’r grown up enough to say he did wrong.the father,i feel should be fired from the type of postion he holds,since she hasn’t got any respect for what happened,just like his boy.the mother,who wants to protect her big boy,is telling him,it’s ok what you did,we know your guilty but we’ll try and save you.i say to Matt…you know what you did was wrong,your eyes and face show how guilty you are,how you lie and your parents are guilty of raising a disrespectful,spoiled brat.step up and take your punishmnet..instead of making your parents look like fools,along with yourself!!

      • Heather, I also saw that Matthew was starting to squirm. Dr. Phil was not siding with his parents. The truth will set him free, if he chooses to go down that path without his parents. Who knows maybe he will plead guilty and lessen his punishment somewhat.

  5. Leah Parsons has done more for this issue than any other person thus far in our time. We ALL need to support her in any way we can. Join her FB page; write to Dr. Phil to tell him how powerful this show was. Talk to others, share this article. Whatever you do will be your very own small part in making the subject of RAPE, particularly teenage/date/acquaintance rape, whatever you chose to call it ~ we must do whatever we can to TEACH our children/sons that it is NOT okay to take advantage of anyone who is so obviously incapacitated. I found it appalling that this boys parents both defended his actions. I am most sure that once they have a chance to see their actions and words spoken, then they will understand that their son MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ACTIONS THAT NIGHT….. end of story!

  6. Beautifully written :)

  7. An excellent summary of the context of the Sept 12 & 13 Dr Phil shows. I’d like to add that Dr Phil did get Matthew’s father (the officer) to confirm that after 3 shots of alcohol within 30 minutes, the girl would be legally too intoxicated to drive. As well, after 10 – 12 shots of alcohol in the same period of time his son would also be too intoxicated to drive. Dr Phil later pointed out that both the girl and Matthew were intoxicated yet the father chooses to believe his son’s account of the evening over the girl’s account. Also Matthew admits that his friends kept calling this girl in order to lure her over to their party. Two of them drove to pick her up and told her that two other girls were already at the party. Matthew admitted that the intention was to have sex with her. Matthew began his conversation with Dr Phil saying that he “did nothing wrong”. Dr Phil listed off the purchase off alcohol, underage drinking, holding the party without permission and having sex that he knew his parents would disapprove of. Yet he claimed he did nothing wrong that evening.

  8. I’ve always said we should be able to wear what we want and be where we want with out being a victim of crime and blamed for it .

    • I certainly hope that we can achieve that in the next decade, Eileen

  9. MAY I ADD… GIRLS WHY DON’T YOU HAVE EACH OTHERS BACKS?!! YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO YOUR FRIEND…YOU KNOW SHE IS NOT CONSENTING!! WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU!! IT WAS A PARTY OF SOME SORT… DON’T TELL ME YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS WAS HAPPENING AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING!!! WOULD YOU WANT SOMEONE, ANYONE TO STOP IT IF IT WERE YOU!!! GIRLS YOU NEED TO STAND UP FOR ONE ANOTHER NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER!!! YOU BETTER START GRABBING ON TO SOME MORAL & ETHICAL STANDINGS FOR YOURSELVES. GUYS… HAVING SEX WITH A GIRL BECAUSE SHE IS OUT OF IT, DOES NOT MAKE YOU MORE OF A MAN…IT MAKES YOU A PATHETIC RAPIST!!!! YOU ALSO ABSOLUTELY BETTER START USING MORAL, CHARACTER & INTEGRITY STANDINGS FOR YOURSELVES. THE PARENTS WHO ARE MAKING EXCUSES…YOU ARE AS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPEN, BECAUSE INSTEAD OF STANDING UP AND APOLOGIZING AND ADMONISHING YOUR SONS FOR THEIR ACTIONS YOU MADE EXCUSES. DON’T WANT THEM TO GO TO JAIL, I GET IT. START TEACHING THEM SOME MORAL VALUES AND WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE A MAN. IF IT WERE YOUR DAUGHTER/SISTER/WIFE WOULD YOU HAVE THE SAME REACTION? RESPONSIBILITY ACCEPTANCE FOR ONES ACTIONS NO LONGER EXISTS IN THIS COUNTRY!!! SO SO SAD FOR OUR KIDS AND OUR COUNTRY!! MY PRAYERS ARE WITH ALL OF OUR KIDS TODAY AND THEIR PARENTS…RAISING KIDS TODAY IS SO DIFFICULT…

    • Pam … I’m not so sure that young girls know much about consent. It certainly isn’t portrayed often on T.V. or in movies. I mean, I don’t see a lot of actors roles having them ask and then receiving an enthusiastic ‘yes’. Everything is inferred and mostly what is inferred is that girls/women are supposed to relent or submit. As well, young girls are often of the mind set “how does this affect me?” Correct me if I’m wrong but they are likely jealous, or angry at the girl for “getting” the guy. Non-consentual or alcohol facilitated sex needs to be talked about as the crime that it is a lot more.

  10. This is a great article, and everything said is true…..

  11. PERFECT.

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  2. Dear Daughters, “Don’t Be That Guy” Campaign Targets Potential Sexual Offenders | Dear Daughters - [...] discussed in my post, Dear Daughters, Let’s Help Leah Parsons Eliminate Rape Culture, society currently supports the wrong boy. …

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