"Why didn't anyone do something?"
Looking at my best friend's disgusted and incredulous expression, I recognized the real emotion she felt: betrayal. And I realized I didn't have an answer for her.
I didn't know how it was possible that those things happened in such a public manner and no one present did anything to stop it.
I didn't know how the community could defend the teen perpetrators, pointing to their bright future as football players, identifying them as the victims, and dismissing their behavior as simply 'boys being boys.' (Three CNN correspondents also expressed similar opinions)
I didn't know how the community could blame the girl for what happened to her while she was unconscious.
I didn't know why coaches and school administrators were impeding the investigation and attempting to conceal information.
I didn't know that my ignorance of these answers and my inability to explain my best friend's empathetic feelings of betrayal would cause me to be ... curious.
Sincerely and passionately and empathetically curious.
Sincere enough to stop, question, and re-evaluate the things I thought I knew.
Empathetic enough to open my eyes wide enough to finally recognize the complexity of the truth: rape culture isn't just an over-sensitive exaggeration college girls claim exists to get attention, as is often asserted. No. It was as American as apple pie. And it was now Steubenville, Ohio's legacy.
Once again I must apologize for my lack of content. I've hit a serious wall of writer's block. I'll attempt a response to this soon. Thanks for reading.