The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 24, 2013

Need further review

NORMAN — There is a difference between blaming the victim and exhorting someone to use some common sense to avoid becoming a victim.

But it seems hardly anyone in our ultra-sensitive, ultra-politically correct world is able or willing to accept that difference.

Hence the rain of abuse from the Twitterverse and other social media on tennis star Serena Williams for questioning the judgment of a 16-year-old girl from Steubenville, Ohio, who got roaring drunk at a party last August and ended up being raped by two high-school football players. The two boys, 16 at the time of the crime, were convicted in March in juvenile court of rape of a minor.

In a brief segment of a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Williams called the perpetrators “stupid,” but also said, “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 shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Williams has since issue the obligatory craven apology. And it is worth mentioning at the start that she could have used a bit of common sense herself. She, like the rest of us, doesn’t know what the victim’s parents taught her, or tried to teach her. She doesn’t know if this young girl was drunk for the first time or if this was a regular event.

And, as is often the case, star athletes should probably stick to being star athletes. They should not expect to be experts on social issues.

That said, those who piled on immediately after the interview was published ought to do some apologizing too. The point Williams was trying to make — that when we put ourselves in dangerous, volatile situations and cloud our minds with drugs, bad things are likely to happen — ought to be embraced, not denounced.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014