Serena Williams Says Rape Victim Shouldn’t Have Put Herself In That Position
Probably not the type of press she wanted heading into Wimbledon…
Rolling Stone is doing a feature on tennis star Serena Williams. During her visit with the magazine she did not hold back when talking about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case, in which two football players assaulted a 16-year-old girl while classmates watched and texted.
As reported by Deadspin, when a news segment on the case appeared on television Serena shook her head and said:
“Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you—don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
Let me preface this by saying that a rapist can never justify their actions based on the circumstances, be it that the victim is drunk, high, “asked for it,” or was overly flirtatious. BUT Serena, speaking from a woman’s perspective, asked some very valid questions. The type of questions a lot of us ask in private when seeing stories like this. As a young woman I was taught to always be aware of my surroundings, always let someone know where you are or what you’re doing, use the buddy system when you’re out partying, and never trust strangers. Maybe I was a goodie goodie in high school, but drinking to the point of not remembering is something I can’t even fathom doing back then.
Serena in no way said that she condones the actions of those football players. But will she be vilified for her comments in this day of social media and the mob mentality? Yes. Does that make her asking those questions wrong? No. It will be interesting to see if she back-pedals from these comments or if she sticks to her initial gut reaction.