Don’t be the manchild incapable of controlling himself.
Don’t be the man who can’t be held responsible if an attractive woman happens to be in his vicinity.
Don’t be the cowardly manchild who bleats, “She made me do it!” (because she was there, all attractive and female and shit), “she asked for it” (because she was wearing whatever it was she was wearing), “she didn’t say no” (because she was physically incapable of doing so, not that it would actually have made a difference).
A guilty verdict for two of the rapists in the Steubenville case is by no means the end of the story–in fact, that story is but one visible point in the portrait of a society in which rapists are pitied–their lives, as they know them, have ended. They are no longer free to do as they wish, to molest and touch and violate the rights of others (mostly women). They are being held responsible for their actions, probably for the first time in their misbegotten, rotten lives.
(And let me say, their fucking apologies? Sorry they took pictures, sorry the pictures went viral, sorry they got caught–but not sorry they raped a girl, not sorry they harmed a human being who hadn’t harmed them, not sorry they ruined the life of this girl, not sorry they completely dehumanized her.)
What it is, is a call to society to face the truth: whenever we shift the blame of violence towards the victim, we encourage the perpetrators to carry on, to ignore boundaries and to view women as lesser beings.
Do not remain silent in the face of misogyny. Do not go along to get along with coworkers or family. Do not further victimize others with your tacit compliance.