Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

July 9, 2013

Serena Williams’ comments need further review

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 issued 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
Commentary
  • Adopting Indiana? Or a 'deadbeat parent'? This past week we’ve learned that the State of Indiana has essentially stiffed 1,400 families who have adopted special needs children. The subsidies they were promised to raise kids in the state’s foster child program have been denied, prompting one

    July 12, 2014

  • Chicago's shooting spree |For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different. For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long

    July 10, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families |Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was a striking mes

    July 7, 2014

  • Science is science, but math is math |For people who use the word "science" as a bludgeon and trumpet their strict commitment to fact and reason, the Obama administration and its supporters are strangely incapable of rational analysis of new climate-change regulations. President Barack

    June 19, 2014

  • A throne by any other name … |“It’s time to get serious about what happens in the bathroom.” Have you heard this commercial? It always irritates me. Nobody gets that serious about their toilet paper, do they? I didn’t think so, but we’ve lived in our current house for nearly 20

    June 19, 2014

  • The 'swift-boating' of Bowe Bergdahl |As the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap has curdled from presumed triumph to public-relations nightmare, the White House and its defenders have cast about for excuses why the administration's negotiating brilliance has gone unappreciated. White House sta

    June 11, 2014

  • Letters to the editor |To the Editor: In 1977 as we planned to move here, I listened to and studied Jay Foonberg, a California criminal and tax lawyer, on how to build your own law practice. He said there are 10 things you must know that you do not about the American pub

    June 11, 2014

  • Don't celebrate Bergdahl's release President Barack Obama marked the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with a Rose Garden event with the captive soldier's parents and triumphant assurances that "the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind." When wa

    June 11, 2014

  • The hashtag idiocy It takes a nearly impenetrable obtuseness to conclude that the most salient thing to know about University of California Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger is that he was a white male who didn't like women. Yet many liberal commentators have managed

    June 7, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor To the Editor: I continue in amazement at the rehashing of the tired arguments put forth regarding the need to further control guns as put forth in Brian Howey's column. In Howey's "report," he sets forth that guns are responsible for the deaths they

    June 7, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Should the government continue to use military bases to house illegal immigrant children?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read