Target: Serena Williams
Goal: Retract offensive statements about girl in Steubenville rape case being partially to blame
In a recent interview Williams brought up the Steubenville rape case, saying she thought the ruling was unfair for the perpetrators and that blame should be put on the girl and her parents. In voicing her doubts on who is to blame, she touched on the girl’s age, the fact she was drinking, and whether or not she was a virgin. Williams’ statements are both offensive and contributing to rape culture, and they must be condemned.
Why Williams would even bring this up is ridiculous in the first place, but the fact she tried to put blame on the victim in the slightest is unacceptable. Not only did she imply the girl was at fault, she also hinted at the parents being responsible for not teaching their daughter about drinking. As a public figure who claims to have stood up for women’s rights and equality, Williams reveals a disappointing and detestable viewpoint on an issue that shouldn’t be controversial at all.
By signing the petition below, you will help show Serena Williams that victim blaming supports rape culture and is unacceptable. As a public figure who serves as a role model for girls everywhere, she is sending a direct message to them that if they were ever in a similar situation it isn’t completely the rapist’s fault; such a message must be retracted.
Dear Ms. Williams,
Your recent comments on the Steubenville rape case in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine are both shocking and offensive. Your doubt of the fairness of the trial toward the perpetrators, along with your implication that the victim and parents are to blame, contributes to rape culture. Such statements must be condemned, as there should be no controversy or doubt on the fairness of such cases in the first place.
As a self-proclaimed champion of women’s rights and equality, you should know your statements are particularly disappointing. As a role model for girls everywhere, it is almost criminal that you could imply that if they were ever in a similar situation the blame would not fall on their rapists. Why you felt the need to share your opinions on this case in the first place is puzzling in itself.
Please take action to admit the wrongness of your statements and act as an actual supporter of women’s rights in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carine06 via Flickr