It’s very easy to view rape in a vacuum. It’s easy to view it as a controlling, overaggressive man who chose to invade a woman’s most private and intimate space, label him an evil asshole, and decide that he is an unusually heinous individual. But viewing rape in a vacuum is extremely ignorant because of the overarching rape culture that unfortunately defines our communities and shapes our collective minds. To view rape as a singular act of aggression is to overlook the many ways our society puts girls and women into harm’s way by instilling dangerous ideologies into the minds of young men everywhere. So when a young woman like Jada (pictured left) steps forward to address being allegedly raped, how in hell can we be surprised at the venomous, visceral bullshit she’s been put through?
Jada is a 16-year-old African American girl from Houston who alleges she was given a spiked drink that caused her to pass out, leading someone, or several people, to strip her naked and sexually assault her. What we know as fact is that photos were taken of her unconscious and bottomless body, were passed around social media, and went viral. A hashtag called #jadapose was even created to mock how she was positioned in the photo. Young men AND women gleefully participated in the mocking.
Now I’m not going to unequivocally state that I know exactly what happened to Jada and exactly who did it because I wasn’t there (call it the “Central Park 5” in me). But I do know that I definitely want the alleged perpetrators to stand trial. More than that, I want young people to stop being so goddamn ignorant about rape and sexual assault that they believe that this could actually be a laughing matter. But that will only happen when PARENTS decide that rape education is an absolute must for our youth.