… in the Stubenville rape case —
In Rolling Stone, Serena says:
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
Serena’s comment seems to be based in her Compton background, because she also said something to the effect of “you don’t take drinks from people, I learned that when I was 16”.. true enough, BUT – this is a big one.. She also seemed to say that she didn’t think the rapists got a fair sentence.
Umm — yea… victim blaming went out of fashion a long time ago. It is true, in my opinion, that any woman should be careful about getting so drunk that she can’t consent to sex — BUT — that’s because there are men out there who will take any opportunity to HAVE sex with someone who can’t consent or resist.
It’s a sad fact of the world and the patriarchy in general that women need to be more careful than men when it comes to substance use. That’s not how we’d like it to be, it’s how it IS.. but, that doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be in the future.
Young women idolize Serena Williams. That may not be what she signed up for, but it’s the fact of the matter.. and as such, she needs to be careful with what she says.