So I am an avid football fan. Always have been, always will be. Until I went to Florida State for grad school, I was a hardcore Florida fan. The rivalry is in my blood and Florida and Florida State football are a passion of mine.
I am also a feminist. I have been called a raging feminist, but I think of myself as pretty reasonable. I believe in equality, including when it comes to calling sexist bullshit. I think rape culture in the US is terrifying and it’s horrible that rape, a crime that is so personal and so devastating, is one of the most under-reported crimes in the US and has an even lower conviction rate.
I hate that we still live in a society where a short skirt or a date with someone “famous” is an invitation for unwanted sexual advances. But I also hate that we live in a society with a mired history on false accusations of rape against men of color and against athletes and other celebrities.
Every false accusation makes every legitimate case that much harder to believe. And it leaves so many women to become the subject of vitriolic public opinion.
I don’t know what happened in Jameis’s bedroom that night. The police acted completely inappropriately and incompetently during their investigation.
I feel sorry for the woman. I feel sorry for Jameis.
Part of me wants to trust Jimbo Fisher because he dismissed a player last year for this very kind of misconduct. But part of me remembers my rec soccer coach becoming so tunnel visioned by winning that he went temporarily insane.
So ultimately, I can not pass judgement on this because there will be no trial and the evidence is so all over the place that there isn’t a clear yes or no on his innocence.
But I do hope this serves as a way to continue the conversation on rape culture in the US. On the pressures placed on college athletes. On our voyeuristic culture when it comes to high profile crime.
Perhaps justice may never be reached in this case, but something good can come of it. And I hope we can all be adult enough to have an educated and sober discussion, rather than anonymously tossing accusations and simply assigning blame. These actions do nothing to solve the problem, and that’s really what we should be working for.