A 14-year-old girl in Giurgiu, Romania, told police that she had been raped by a group of men at the home of her friend, according to the Bucharest Herald.
“Three of the men tied her up, hit her and had intercourse with her,” the report said.
There are people out there that claim that we’ve reached gender equality, and yet, this is not the only gang rape in the news today. People are protesting in the streets in India, and, just in case anyone thinks this is a “not in my backyard” problem — there are protests in the streets in Ohio, too.
Go ahead, tell me there’s no rape culture.
One telling detail of the short report from the incident in Romania is this: “The girl willingly went to her friend’s house after he asked her to come over and have intercourse with several of his friends. The girl later refused.”
There’s the underlying problem of why a supposed friend would ask this girl to come over and have sex with a bunch of his friends, or why she would feel like she had to say yes — I’m presuming that she felt she had to say yes and didn’t genuinely want to, considering she later backed out. But even setting that aside, the central issue here appears to be that the boys didn’t take no for an answer when she changed her mind.
The refusal to accept rejection is part of the attitude that creates and perpetuates rape culture. There’s a pervasive belief that women owe men sex; that if they say ‘no’ they’re being withholding bitches. This especially comes into play when a woman (or, in this case, a young girl), initially expresses interest and then changes her mind.
The increased publication of cases like this, rather than letting them be swept out of view, is the first step toward changing the culture that allows them to happen. Next is taking real steps to change people’s attitudes, not only teach women to protect themselves but teach men and boys about the importance of consent.