I’m seeing people here and there try to tell me that the Steubenville rapists and their enabling friends didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong. I’m seeing people who should know better, or at least know to ask an expert, saying this.
Let’s get this perfectly clear: They knew what they were doing was wrong.
If they hadn’t known, they would have done it while she was conscious. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have talked about their being anything for their coach to take care of. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have spent so much time dehumanizing their victim telling each other and the world why she “deserved” it. If they hadn’t known, they wouldn’t have talked about rape.
They knew what they did was wrong. They simply felt entitled to do it anyway.
This is why they were cool with having the coach cover things up. This is why they expected their friends to laugh at the pictures and video. This is why the victim’s “crime” wasn’t being at the party but reporting–and being successful in the prosecution.
They felt entitled to do something they knew was wrong and get away with it. They thought they were the special people.
They weren’t. They aren’t. They’re just a bunch of kids.
They are not, however, mentally incompetent or criminally “insane”. Those are what we label those situations in which people really don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong. Kids with good grades, lots of friends, and no psychotic break? Yeah, they’re not those people.
The rapists and their friends knew that what they were doing was wrong. They just felt entitled to go ahead and do it anyway.