Activist: Steubenville Rape Perpetrators Are America’s ‘Sons’

Apr 17, 2013 by

“You haven’t come to terms with your privilege, with your whiteness.”

Jose R. Gonzalez –

A leading anti-sexism activist told a roomful of college students recently that the Steubenville rape perpetrators are America’s “sons” – that society produced them and share blame for their actions.

“If we want to be bigger, if we want to be more expansive as human beings, more morally sophisticated, we have to say that these are our sons,” Jackson Katz said in a recent speech at Texas State University. “Our society produced those boys. … I don’t like the idea of just focusing on their parents.”

The Steubenville, Ohio, rape case involves two teenage football stars who were convicted in March of sexually assaulting a drink 16-year-old girl as she passed in and out of consciousness. The case became a national news sensation and was promulgated by many feminists as evidence of America’s “rape culture.”

Katz defended the young men.

“Our first concern should be for the victims,” he said. “(But) I think we need to be concerned for these kids, these boys. I think those boys did a terrible thing but that doesn’t mean that they’re horrible, horrendous human beings and that we just need to throw them out and lock them up and throw away the key. I don’t believe that. I believe that there isn’t redemption.”

Katz’s comments on the Steubenville rape case were among many he made on several subjects during his March 20 address, dubbed “Bad Boys and Bystanders.” More than 150 people attended, mostly students.

The talk was to focus on “cultural factors that help to define dominant definitions of manhood” and dynamics “that discourage ‘good guys’ from challenging prevailing social norms about what constitutes ‘manly’ attitudes or behavior,” according to a campus statement, which described Katz as “an educator, author, social critic, and internationally acclaimed lecturer.”

When asked about why Caucasians get upset when they are labeled racist, he replied: “You haven’t come to terms with your privilege, with your whiteness.”

He went on to address other notions of so-called white privilege as well.

“Why does a poor, working-class guy in San Marcos get you know, 10 years in prison for robbing a gas station and you know, bankers who rob billions of dollars get no prosecution at all?” Katz said. “There’s injustice in the world. There’s injustice embedded in systems of power and that’s an example of that.”

“The United States is a way more, way more punitive regime, law enforcement and criminal justice regime than most comparable wealthy countries.”

In response to a question from The College Fix, Katz also addressed pornography’s influences, saying men in porn are verbally and physically aggressive and abusive toward women.

“Pornography is by far the most important form of sex education, and I say education in quotes,” he said. “Really it’s sex miseducation. The vast majority of schools in the United States have no sex education whatsoever. So in the absence of thoughtful, educational context for kids to learn and be taught and to engage in dialogue about issues related to sexuality, because that’s not happening in schools. It is happening, but it’s happening in pornography culture.”

The event was sponsored by the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Health Promotion Services, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Department of Housing and Residential Life, Men Against Violence, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Multicultural Programs Committee, Bobcat Athletics, and Male Initiative Committee.

via Activist: Steubenville Rape Perpetrators Are America’s ‘Sons’.

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