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article imageOp-Ed: Serena Williams on the Steubenville rape case

By Alexander Baron     Jun 19, 2013 in Crime
What should a celebrity do if she gives young women sound advice on how to avoid being raped? Apologise, if the experience of Serena Williams is anything to go by.
Although the Steubenville rape defendants were convicted three months ago, the case is not yet old news. There are very good reasons for this, in particular the lenient sentences handed down to Ma'lik Richmond and Trent Mays - entirely because of their age - and of their treatment by some elements of the American media as victims - poor guys, how will they live this down?
Serena Williams has been one of the world's top tennis players for well over a decade, and has been in the limelight for even longer, so when she gave a wide ranging interview to Rolling Stone recently, she should have been wise to the fact that her passing comments on this case would be pounced on by people with political agendas, twisted out of context, and thrown back in her face. But did she say really anything outrageous? You'd think so if you credit the Daily Mail, but who does?
In addition to the mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic, Williams has been taking flak on Facebook, but what is the bottom line on what she said? That the victim, indeed no girl or woman, should have put herself in that position.
Is that really so terrible? After the Landen Gambill case we heard and are still hearing much from the campus rape industry including from certain wimmin on Tumblr that men need to be taught not to rape. No, they don't. All men know that already, including rapists, but clearly many women and girls still need to learn how to avoid being raped.
If Serena Williams is to be condemned for handing out this sort of advice, then so are the British Government, charities, and other parties, including the one that produced this video that cautions women to be wary when drinking with strangers.
Don't pay too much attention to the figures at the end of the video; these statistics are pulled out of thin air by anti-rape campaigners in order to both demonise men and pressurise the government into weakening the legal protection for men accused of rape. This though is no comfort to actual rape victims, which is the point Serena Williams was clearly trying to make, ie that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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