Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Is it okay to go vigilante?

This post is definitely longer and heavier than any other my other posts... it's worth reading, and I need to hear your opinions.

Trigger warning-- graphic language contained in links in this post.

A few weeks ago, I joked with a friend that I was going to go vigilante. I would take the law into my own hands while wearing a kickass superhero costume. All the mysogynists, moslesters, and wife-beaters would cower at the very mention of my name.

Little did I know, another person, not even that far away, was actually doing it. Anonymous is the name of the masked person who sat in front of his or her computer, explaining the horrific rape ring that occurred in Steubenville, Ohio in a video that was released just before Christmas.

UPDATE: I really know nothing about hactivism. I realize that Anonymous is a hactivist group. I'm not going to lie, it's really hard to write about this nebulous idea that is a group of anonymous people... Anyway, carry on... 

Anonymous reported that a 15 year old girl was drugged from party to party, where she was eventually raped in August 2012. The teachers, parents, and students of Steubenville are have kept the entire story quiet. The public today would not even know of the self-proclaimed "Rape Crew," a group of star athletes who allegedly committed the crimes, had it not been published by a blogger originally from Steubenville.

Please take time to watch the video. Warning: it contains actual tweets and pictures from the Rape Crew.

It's eerie, at best, but it contains a very interesting idea. "A preliminary dox is being released on some of those involved, while a full size dox of everyone involved including names, social security numbers, addresses, relatives, and phone numbers is being compiled as you watch this video on every single member of the football team, those involved, the coaches, the principle, and more. This dox will be released unless all accused parties come forward by new years day and issue a public apology to the girl and her family. Make no mistake, all you need is a google search engine to realize we are serious in what we do. You can hide no longer, you have attracted the attention of the hive. We will not sit idely by and watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you."

Anonymous recently leaked another video of Steubenville athletes talking about the girl who was raped. The video can be found here, though I doubt you'd want to watch it. I was extremely disturbed as the boys call the girl "deader than OJ's wife...deader than Trayvon Martin" among other horrifying insults. Throughout the video, a low voice off camera contributes to the conversation. "That's rape... that's not cool... what if that was your daughter? This is not, like, funny." This voice is met with justification for rape.

As promised, Anonymous has posted information about the Rape Crew on his site. This is becoming real. It's not just an empty promise from a masked person and a voice-changing program.

I want to know who Anonymous is. An activist? A former member of the Rape Crew? A survivor of sexual assault?

I want to know what you think. Are Anonymous' actions justifiable? Why or why not?

If no one is listening, what are you left to do than go vigilante?

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