"The first thing you should know about the so-called Steubenville Rape is that this was not a rape involving intercourse."
The first thing you should know is it is always a mistake when you write a sentence such as this. But this is how Richard Cohen started the second paragraph of his Washington Post column attempting to connect Miley Cyrus and the Steubenville rape case on Monday.
The second thing you should know is that when you speak about a case in which two boys are convicted of rape, you shouldn't ever use the words "so-called rape."
The third thing you should know when you speak about a rape case where there is a conviction is that there are no caveats. If a woman is penetrated with fingers without consent, it doesn't matter that it wasn't a rape involving intercourse. She was still sexually assaulted without consent, therefore RAPED.
Then, Richard Cohen wrote this about Miley Cyrus, because according to him, her VMA performance has something do with rape:
I run the risk of old-fogeyness for suggesting the girl's a tasteless twit -- especially that bit with the foam finger. (Look it up, if you must.) But let me also suggest that acts such as hers not only objectify women but debase them. They encourage a teenage culture that has set the women's movement back on its heels. What is being celebrated is not sexuality but sexual exploitation, a mean casualness that deprives intimacy of all intimacy.
The fourth thing you should know is that dancing, i.e., twerking, even in the most sexualized form, has nothing to do with rape. It also has nothing to do with Miley Cyrus.
The fifth thing you should know is that when you blame a dance, i.e., twerking, that began in a Black community by Black women and you then blame that dance for the cause of rape, you not only insult an entire race and culture, but you also perpetuate stereotyping against that race and culture. And in turn, that culture is wounded and hurt and then angry. (Example: Let's blame that "so-called" rape on Black dancing!" All the rape is happening because of twerking!)
The sixth thing you should know is that the only way to stop boys from raping is to forward this message to boys: don't rape. It has nothing to do with dancing. It has nothing to do with twerking. It has nothing to do with Black women. It has nothing to do with Miley Cyrus. When we are teaching our boys how to act, it's not about repressing sexuality or dancing. (See Footloose or Dirty Dancing for more education on this.) But it is about teaching boys that consent must be apart of the equation.
This article originally appeared on Femamom.