The good people of Steubenville, Ohio are in the middle of a modern-day gang rape case that is disheartening in a number of ways. What is striking about the story are the displays of indifference to the drugging, dragging and public gang rape of the 16-year-old West Virginian girl this past August.
The age of instant personal reporting a la Facebook, YouTube and other social media adds a new dimension to bystander participation and acts of callous, mean behavior.
This guy (see image) should be replaced with another guy. The guy we should be reading about is the guy who sends his video to the police the night of the event and calls and reports the crime.
The parents we should be reading about are the parents who say, “yes, well, we raised him to be a responsible ally, it’s no wonder he did what he did.”
It's no doubt that America needs a better strategy to engage bystanders when it comes to sexual violence so that when they see something – they actually “say/do something.”
As the story deepens (see New Yorker article) we learn that this isn’t the first time something as cruel, vicious and illegal has happened around Steubenville High (or other schools for that matter).
“Peer pressure” is a term teens mock but it’s at the crux of indifference to violent crime and probably why, given the many people who had opportunities to intervene, they did nothing.
The enormously popular author, Stieg Larson, who wrote the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series fell victim to it as a teen.
Mr. Larson witnessed the gang rape of a girl, a real-life Lisbeth, by his friends. He didn’t intervene, and according to his longtime friend, this inaction haunted him the rest of his days.
Given the long life of a story on the web, one can only imagine Michael Nodianos’s future regret.
He could have been a hero.