Ghost

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Ten Women I Have Been Warned Against Becoming:

1. The Girl Who Takes Up Too Much Space, always, her shoulders too wide in stairwells, her hips too big in doorways, her voice too loud in classes. This woman does not understand the art of crumbling, of curling herself tight like the spiral of a fern, soft, delicate, unwilling to reach out the ivy of her fingers to grasp onto what should rightfully be hers. This is a beast, an elephant, a moving mountain and she is capable of flattening you, she is capable of ruining you, she is capable of making you feel as small and insignificant in her life as she is supposed to be. You are this woman’s footnote to history, you are her side note in song lyrics, you are constantly interrupted by her with a witty joke you wish you thought of. I asked what the problem was with being a steamroller instead of a sunflower and I was laughed down.

2. The Beautiful One, the long hair or the slim waist or the pretty eyes or the lips like bowstrings. This woman looks good in everything because she’s confident in whatever you put her in. She’ll cut her hair short on you no matter how you like it, she’ll wear high heels and step on your opinions, she’ll look hot as hell no matter what size she is. See, the reason you can’t trust her is because women like this don’t need your permission, they’ll do as they please and get away with it. They’ll say no to you, over and over. Teach your daughters that beautiful means dangerous, teach them to distrust women who love themselves. Equate beautiful with vapid, equate pretty with stupid, take their power from them. Say they’re vain for their makeup, refuse to see them without it. These women are snakes, they are serpents. I said maybe the problem lies with you being unable to control yourself and was told to get off my pedestal.

3. A Bitch. Women are supposed to be ladies in the street but will tear skin under sheets. I’m told: Never raise your voice. Speak gently. Submit. Hold your opinion against your lips and when you admit to it, make sure it comes out as a butterfly wing suggestion. Don’t disagree. Don’t undermine someone else’s authority, regardless of whether or not they deserve your respect. Someone touches you, just move away from them. Don’t hit. Don’t talk back. Be like the ruins of Rome, only beautiful if you can’t hear your quiet death.

4. The Needy One. I have heard how others spit when they talk about how she gave you everything and you shoved it back down her throat until she choked on it, until she came back crawling and asked you what she did, until her palms and knees were scraped for want of just a little affection - never be this woman, I’m told, because she’s a joke and the joke is that she dared to have more emotion than you did. The truth is, I’m told, the one who cares less in a partnership is the one who wins. I didn’t know this was a competition.

5. The Cock Tease, certified stripper, how dare that girl look like that and not want me to sleep with her. Lust is always personified as a lady in red with a dress slit up her thigh. Lust is sinful because it’s power, it’s not asking for attention - it’s demanding it. I’m told she is the worst kind of woman, that looking good is supposed to be some kind of shame on her kin. I’m told not to leave the house in such a short skirt, not with a shirt so low, not with a lace back, not with high heels, not dressed like that. My lipstick can’t be too red, my hair can’t be too mussed, I can’t just “turn someone on like that and then leave them wanting.” I mentioned that instant gratification actually ruins our psyche and was told that being led on was “exhausting.” I said that there was a difference between purposefully tricking someone into liking you and just being attractive or friendly. I was told there’s also a difference between coffee and tea but both result in caffeine. I said, “I’ve been turned on in class by the girls I talk to but I didn’t expect anything from them,” and they said, “It’s different, you’re not a man,” but couldn’t explain where that difference was.

6. A Slut, obviously ruined by another person’s touch. It doesn’t matter how many people she’s actually been with, it’s all about the rumors she carries with her. Easy. Harlot. You’ll still try to get with her, you’ll still take her into your bed and kiss her and say things you don’t mean - but you’ll defame her name when you talk to your buddies. My father used to say “A slut is fine for the night, but the virgin is who you take home and marry.” Maybe he didn’t know he was teaching his daughter to hate her sexuality. Maybe he didn’t know that every time she’d be kissed, her whole system would shake until she felt ready to combust, shame and self-hatred shivering against her spine. Maybe he didn’t know she’d disconnect emotions and sex because he always told her, “Boys are different, they won’t care about you.” Nobody said to her that it was okay to experiment. See, the funny thing is, I’m a dancer so I know exactly where my center of gravity is. I know how hard I’ll fall in each direction. Yet out of fear of getting hurt, I won’t let a single person inside of my bed.

7. The Soulmate. Never love romance more than you love being cynical. Never show weakness, never like pink, never think maybe you might find someone nice and settle down with them. Someone will find you, I was told, And if you’re lucky, he’ll put up with you when you start getting old. Never be the woman who believes in happily ever after, never be dumb enough to think maybe someone could love you after all of your mistakes. It has nothing to do with whether or not a family is important to you and you’re in a good place where a relationship would make your life better - you’re not a princess. You don’t get married, you settle.

8. The Girl With Strength, who can outrun everyone and who is stronger than her boyfriend. “See the thing about boys,” says my daddy, “Is that you have to let them win.” I sat at home and read stories about Artemis and wanted to become the huntress, too. I wanted to howl at the moon, I wanted to slay the beasts that bested me, I wanted to rule my kingdom with bloody fists. But girls are never athletes, never supposed to be “built,” regardless of the fact civilizations were constructed on our spines and we made homes in war by the steel of our ribs. Never be strong. We are supposed to wilt.

9. The Lady CEO: because if you choose work over family, are you really a girl? How dare you fight your way to the top through every pair of eyes that bore through your blouse, through every meeting where you were hushed by the sound of someone else talking, through every time someone called you “sweetie,” how dare you yearn for something. Is your husband the stay-at-home one? I can’t imagine how that is going. He’s not a real man, after all. I don’t give it long before the divorce. How dare you decide you’re happy being single. Don’t you know you’re supposed to bear children. Where is your honor? Where is your wisdom? Who cares if you are the leader, the best suited for your position, the quickest-thinking, the one who makes the hardest clients come back again. Don’t you see? Across history, women have been terrible at success. They always lose their man in the end. (When I said, “I would rather be a famous author than a mediocre mother,” I was told, “No, don’t worry, you’ll be a fine mommy.”)

10. THE GIRL I AM: FIRECRACKER AND DON’T YOU FUCKING FORGET IT I’LL RIP YOU TO SHREDS AND I WON’T FUCKING REGRET IT I’M NOT YOUR PRETTY GIRL I’M NOT YOUR ANYTHING I’M PERFECT, MOTHERFUCKER, AND I’M NOT GOING TO GIVE UP WHAT I’M DOING. I DON’T WANT TO BE “LADYLIKE” THAT LITERALLY MEANS NOTHING I’M NOT GOING TO STOP STANDING UP AND DEMANDING WHAT’S COMING TO ME. I’M GONNA BE SOMEBODY. I’M GONNA MAKE THEM REMEMBER ME. I REFUSE TO BE OVERSHADOWED IN HISTORY. I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO CREATE BUT YOU MADE ME A DRAGON YOU PUT ME IN THE FIRE AND WHEN I STOPPED BURNING I LEARNED HOW TO GLOW DON’T THINK YOU CAN STOP ME YOU CAN’T TAME A TORNADO.

In respectful response to a poem tilted, “Ten men women have warned me against becoming." /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)

work

(via wintry-mix)

Couldn’t have said it better.

unfriendlyblackh0tti3:

Just a reminder that you ARE allowed to be angry about your abuse. Even if it was only once, even if it was years ago, even if you’ve forgiven the people who abused you, even if your abuser is dead or in jail, even if you still love them. Anger won’t kill you. Denial and self blame will.

theriotleague:


*Winners must contact me within 48 hours or new winners will be chosen!Check out Tidecallers Cavern!:ETSY: etsy.com/shop/tidecallerscavernSTORENVY: tidecallerscavern.storenvy.com/

ENDS TONIGHT!

theriotleague:

*Winners must contact me within 48 hours or new winners will be chosen!
Check out Tidecallers Cavern!:
ETSY: etsy.com/shop/tidecallerscavern
STORENVY: tidecallerscavern.storenvy.com/

ENDS TONIGHT!

starlightneverdies:

orientaltiger:

Basic House by Martin Azua is a temporary house that can be folded up to fit in your pocket. Created from a metalized polyester material, when unfolded it self inflates with body heat or from the heat of the sun to provide an instant shelter. Once inside the shelter, the material reflects your body heat to keep the user warm. If reversed the material will reflect the sun to keep a cool interior.

Genius.

starlightneverdies:

orientaltiger:

Basic House by Martin Azua is a temporary house that can be folded up to fit in your pocket. Created from a metalized polyester material, when unfolded it self inflates with body heat or from the heat of the sun to provide an instant shelter. Once inside the shelter, the material reflects your body heat to keep the user warm. If reversed the material will reflect the sun to keep a cool interior.

Genius.

Atlas

"I love you?"

"I .. love. You?"

Fragmented, or whole, these words seem foreign to my tongue.

As they roll off the tip, the end postulates a question rather than a feeling.

A hitch in my voice concludes the three most powerful words anyone can possess, as an uncertainty, rather than a promise. 

I seem to screw up the things that matter most.

But you, you don’t seem to mind at all. 

Every time I fiddle and fumble, you laugh, and tell me how cute I am.

Tell me that in my past life, I was a butterfly.

In my past life, I used to be a mermaid.

You told me that in my past life, I was a pretty little bird.

Today, you looked at me, gestured a circle around my head and said:

"Now you’re an angel"

"Though your butterfly wings, were ravishing, and strong. Your mermaid tail, swift and spirited. There is nothing more beautiful than an angel. When you were a bird, you touched the blue skies above Athens, and grazed the blue waters of Atlantis. Now you are Atlas, and you hold the weight of the world on your shoulders."

You kissed the right side of my shoulder and said:
"This is where angels lay, but you are my angel and I want you closer."

You sat me on your lap, pressed your nose to mine and brushed my cheek with your lashes. 

"Don’t you remember?" You said.

"Remember what?" I laughed.

"This is how butterflies kiss, silly girl." You shuttered your lids quickly so the ends of your lashes tickled my skin, and rushed goose bumps down my neck, and to each end of my body. 

You always knew how to do that kind of thing. 

The kind of thing that made every ounce of flesh and blood state their presence in my core. Your look, your touch, your smile, your scent. I would have thought more than five senses existed when you were around me. 

Sometimes I thought maybe I was a bird, because so little effort could get me so high. You would think I had smoked the greenery of the Garden of Eden if you could feel the inside my body.

"I think I want you inside… me." I whispered.

A playful smile tumbled to the corner of your lips and your eyes softened.

"Beautiful Angel, you are as pure as snow, and when you are ready, I will be too."

"But I’m ready!" I protested.

You laughed a gentle laugh and kissed my forehead. 

"Sleeping beauty, all that you will be doing tonight in your bed, is sleeping."

You scooped me up in your arms and  carefully walked me over to the bedroom. You pressed your broad back against the door to push it open, then tilted your arms sideways so my feet graced the floor. 

"Are you tired Angel? I know the weight of the world is an awful lot for such a tiny little thing." You said. 

"I’m not tired, I swear." A yawn escaped my mouth and I quickly covered it in the hopes that you wouldn’t notice.

You laughed loudly and smirked. “You swear do you? Little Angel you ought to be a better liar than that if you’re to convince me.”

You pulled open the sheets, picked me up under my arms and placed me on the end of the bed.

I glared at you and you brushed the stray hairs from my face.

"Sleep tight little angel. Tomorrow is a new day, and sleeping beauty needs her rest."

"But where will you go?" I stuttered. 

"I will sleep on the couch." 

"But I want you with me…" I argued.

"I will stay till heaven steals your soul, then I’ll go, okay?"

You climbed into bed beside me and let me rest my head on your chest.

"Okay." I yawned again and remember seeing the tiredness in your eyes right before mine shut tight.

Huntress Sivir Cosplay with Gandalf ! <3

officialconscience:

motherfickle:

super-d:

meowlcity:

missfaery:

daddys-little-0ne:

OH MY GOD

I want the Jasmine one, badly.

I would literally weep with joy if I had the Rapunzel one

I’m a dude but I really want the Mulan or Pocahontas one

If someone proposed to me with the Cinderella one, I’d marry him on the spot.

punzie’s but silver pls & a regular diamond.

(Source: lovesafreak)

mikkeneko:

foshoitsnikki:

People aren’t always awful. Sometimes, they’re maybe even just a little bit wonderful.

Yeah I think this is worth reblogging.

(Source: evensmallthings)

crab-cakes:

peonygoodchild:

C I R C L E T S  (x)

I require all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen at my wedding to wear circlets.

No you have no choice. You will be elves and you will like it.

OMG <3 <3

Omg my last message probably didn't send again -_- I was wondering where you were! Lolol. We need to catch up asap, omg. :D lonelydays-spentalone

No I didn’t get it! I’ve been so busy with exams, had 4 in 34 hours. 11 hours of writing in 34 hours. One more exam on monday and i’m doneee! :D So after that we can just catch up and blab :D

stfuhypocrisy:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Steubenville Rape Suspects’ Text Messages Paint Very Disturbing Picture of Night Alleged Rape Occurred [TW: Graphic Descriptions of Rape and Sexual Assault, Explicit Content, Graphic Rape, Graphic Sexual Assault, Rape Culture, Rape Enablism, Rape Apologism]
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Across a remarkable couple of hours Thursday, JoAnn Gibb, a slight, but tough-minded forensic specialist for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation sat on a witness stand in a small, third-floor court room here and read the contents of hundreds of teenage text messages – explicit and vulgar, at times celebratory and at other moments desperate and pathetically sad.
They were culled from the cell phones of 17 kids, seized in the investigation that led to two Steubenville High School football players being charged with the August 2012 rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl after a night of partying. It is one of the largest cell phone culls in the state’s history, and the contents of those messages intensified the trial in this football-mad, aging steel town.
“It was an extraordinary level of evidence and detail,” said Katie Hanna of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Assault and a veteran observer of sexual assault cases. “I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
Seventeen-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond are facing rape charges. Mays is accused of using his fingers to rape the girl, who many have testified to being drunk, in a moving car while another passenger filmed the action. Later, in the basement of a friend’s house, prosecutors allege Richmond digitally raped the passed-out girl while Mays tried to force her to perform oral sex.
Both are charged as juveniles and could be sentenced to prison until age 21. Their closely watched joint trials began here Wednesday and should continue through the weekend. Each maintains his innocence.
On Thursday afternoon, using the suspects’ own words, composed in the moment and reflecting the roller coaster of emotions that such an incident commands, Gibb calmly read the often-profanity-laced, crude, crushing and, at times, grotesque evidence. It was pieced together from an analysis of nearly 350,000 text messages, plus hundreds of thousands of pictures, videos, chats and other exchanges of ultra-connected teens.
[Related: Opening day of Steubenville rape trial focuses on key photo of girl]
The text messages aren’t – on their own – the indomitable evidence that will determine this case. The three material witnesses, plus the girl herself, are expected to testify for the state Friday. Those words will carry far more weight.
Still, the texts managed to shed an unfortunate light on the culture that surrounds the alleged crime.
They included, in the immediate aftermath of the incident, bragging from the defendants, each of whom acknowledged at least some sexual contact with the girl.
“We’re hitting it for real,” texted Mays at 2:20 a.m. of the morning of the alleged accident, after he was asked by a friend, “Where you at?”
Soon there were texts from friends of the boys seeking lewd details: “Did you [expletive] her,” one asked Mays. Others friends begged for pictures that the state says were taken – and later deleted and thus unrecoverable – of the acts. “Hey buddy,” one texted, “you want to send me that pic because you love me?”
Prosecuting attorney Marianne Hemmeter, looks at evidence during the trial. Photo by: AP
Over the following day there was gossip and questions and a sickening realization by the girl of what might have happened.
The girl says she remembers little to nothing because she was either extremely drunk or drugged. Numerous witnesses have described her as intoxicated. Just before the alleged attacks, she was sprawled out in the middle of a street, wearing only shorts and a bra, puking as a group of boys offered each other $3 to urinate on her.
She was so out of it some of the defendant’s friends wondered how any sex acts could have occurred with “a dead girl.” Mays agreed with that description in multiple texts, “LOL, she couldn’t even move.”
The girl, who lives across the river from Steubenville and attends a different high school, became aware of the alleged assault when she was sent a gruesome picture of her that was circulating.
“If that is [semen] on you that is [expletive] crazy,” a friend texted her.
“I hate my life,” the girl texted the friend at a different point. “I don’t even know what the [expletive] happened to me.”
Later she texted a friend, “I swear to God I don’t remember doing anything with them. I remember hearing Trent’s voice telling me to do something, but I said no.”
Eventually the evening after the alleged assault, the girl directly questioned Mays about the incident, the picture and the circulating rumors that she was allegedly sexually assaulted and that everyone in Steubenville knew about it.
“OK, tell me right now what the [expletive] happened last night and don’t lie to me,” she wrote to the defendant. “We need to talk about this right now.”
“Nothing happen last night,” Mays texted back. “You [sexual act] last night and that’s it.”
“OK, that is not all that happened,” she texted. “Tell me the truth now.”
Later, she emailed him demanding: “Why the [expletive] would you let that happen … seriously, you have no [expletive] respect … why wouldn’t you try to help me?”
Soon, reality began setting in for everyone. One of Mays’ friends texted him joking that “the girl’s life is ruined.” Another scolded him: “You’re a felon”, to which Mays responded, “not really.”
Finally another friend, Mark Cole, whose car and home were the sites of the alleged attacks and is expected to be a prosecution witness Friday, lectured Mays on the wisdom of forwarding along a potentially incriminating photo.
“Why are you sending the picture around of [the girl]?” Cole wrote in the first of a series of short texts. “No reason to [send] it … Dude, quit sending it, that’ll get you in deep [expletive].”
“I just sent it to [fellow friend Michael Nodianos].”
[Related: Steubenville rape trial divides Ohio town]
On the night of the attacks, Nodianos, who heard about the incident via pictures and texts, was filmed in a horrific video mocking her as “the dead girl” and cracking himself up by declaring: “She is so raped.” The video eventually went viral and outraged people around the world, causing intense scrutiny and attention to fall on the scandal and the city.
In days after the incident, the girl’s parents found out about the allegations, increasing the likelihood that authorities would be called. A panicked Mays boldly texted the girl’s father in attempt to explain himself.
“Sir, this is Trent Mays. This is all a big misunderstanding. She was at the party and we talked … and she was really drunk and I took her [to Mark Cole’s house]. I never tried to do anything forceful with your daughter but I’m sorry for the trouble this has brought you.”
“What is on video,” the father texted back.
A protester stands outside the juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio. Photo by: Reuters
There are even multiple text messages that are sure to enflame an already raging debate about the importance of Big Red football, the longstanding state powerhouse team from Steubenville High. 
Critics have contended that Steubenville football players have gotten away with lawlessness under coaching legend Reno Saccoccia because the program serves as a rare point of pride in this economically depressed Ohio River town. It’s that entitlement some claim led to these allegations.
Rumors have whipped around the region that Saccoccia, known simply as “Reno,” tried to squash the investigation initially and other boys weren’t charged because it might harm the team. Saccoccia and the Steubenville police have denied it. The Ohio attorney general has dismissed all talk of cover-ups. Even so, speculation on the street continues.
When word of the incident leaked out, a friend asked Mays what Saccoccia said about it.
“Nothing really,” Mays texted. “Going to stay in for awhile. LOL. And next time [someone is] into something, suspended for three games.
“But I feel he took care of it for us,” Mays continued. “Like, he was joking about it, so I’m not worried.”
In another text, Mays wrote: “I got Reno. He took care of it and [expletive] ain’t going to happen, even if they did take it to court.”
Saccoccia could not be reached for comment Thursday by Yahoo! Sports. It’s not known whether he actually tried to influence the investigation or if Mays simply believed he did. Not that it worked if Saccoccia did. Police seized Mays’ – and the others’ – cell phones soon after that text. Within a week, the Steubenville cops made the arrests.
Defense attorneys tried to argue away the texts by citing errors in the times recorded by the Ohio investigators, noting so many of the comments lacked context and pointing out the natural tendency for outrageous, but not necessarily honest, talk among teens via text message.
None of the texts will carry the weight of three eyewitnesses the state expects to testify Friday, let alone the words of the girl herself, or even semen evidence recovered on a Pittsburgh Steelers blanket located in Cole’s house that forensics is expected to link to Mays.
However, the sheer volume of communication and the base behavior reflected in so much of the messages is likely to weigh heavily on Judge Thomas Lipps. The above is but a fraction of the material. On and on and on this went Thursday, Gibb delivering each new bit of testimony in a calm, clear tone, no matter how each one was seemingly more vomit-inducing than the last.
Besides, even by the current standards of teenagers, many of these comments were indefensible, the sharing of pictures was potentially criminal and the willingness of Mays to practically write his own confession was the action of a pure idiot. If convicted, Mays might rightfully earn the title of world’s dumbest criminal. It’s not just that he put so much into the electronic messages, but that he even understood detectives would assuredly search his phone and use them against him.
He texted on and on and on anyway. His phone had 61,613 messages on it.
“If the police come they are going to look at all my texts, duh,” he wrote to a friend when discussing what he was worried about.
“Delete them,” the friend texted back.
“Like phone records they can pull them up on a computer. LOL.”
“Oh, LOL. Hello cops,” the friend texted.
Hello indeed.
Later Thursday, long after the reading of the texts left the court shocked and aghast, a final witness of the night was called. It was nearly 8 p.m. and Steubenville’s downtown was dark and desolate, but the prosecution wanted to get Sean McGhee, an 18-year-old local who is currently a freshman at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, where he is on the wrestling team.
McGhee is Richmond’s cousin. He called Mays “one of my best friends.” When asked by special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter how it felt to be a witness against people he’s so close to, McGhee said, simply: “It hurts.”
Yet McGhee, who was still in town last August before heading off to college, testified that he saw the girl at a party earlier in the night. He believed, based on her slurring words and stumbling walk, that she was extremely drunk. So later in the evening, when the initial texts and pictures and rumors began flying about what Mays and Richmond were allegedly doing with her, he became enraged.
This, he knew, was wrong. So he borrowed a friend’s phone (his was out of power) and texted the following to Mays:
“This is Sean, you are dead wrong. I’m going to choke the [expletive] out of you for that. You could go to jail for life for that. What the [expletive]. Sean McGhee.”
Hemmeter asked McGhee why he sent that and other accusatory, confrontational texts to Mays.
“I saw how drunk she was,” he said.
And with that, at last, there was at least a single teenager in Steubenville sending a single text that suggested someone finally had the slightest bit of perspective, morals or manhood to do or say a damn thing.
At last, after a long, long day of court, after two days of testimony, after all this evidence – all this “[expletive] the dead girl” and “piss on the dead girl” and LOL after LOL – finally, there was a single beacon of feel-good hope in this entire cesspool of a story.

Very long, but very important.

stfuhypocrisy:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Steubenville Rape Suspects’ Text Messages Paint Very Disturbing Picture of Night Alleged Rape Occurred [TW: Graphic Descriptions of Rape and Sexual Assault, Explicit Content, Graphic Rape, Graphic Sexual Assault, Rape Culture, Rape Enablism, Rape Apologism]

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Across a remarkable couple of hours Thursday, JoAnn Gibb, a slight, but tough-minded forensic specialist for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation sat on a witness stand in a small, third-floor court room here and read the contents of hundreds of teenage text messages – explicit and vulgar, at times celebratory and at other moments desperate and pathetically sad.

They were culled from the cell phones of 17 kids, seized in the investigation that led to two Steubenville High School football players being charged with the August 2012 rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl after a night of partying. It is one of the largest cell phone culls in the state’s history, and the contents of those messages intensified the trial in this football-mad, aging steel town.

“It was an extraordinary level of evidence and detail,” said Katie Hanna of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Assault and a veteran observer of sexual assault cases. “I’ve never heard of anything like it.”

Seventeen-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond are facing rape charges. Mays is accused of using his fingers to rape the girl, who many have testified to being drunk, in a moving car while another passenger filmed the action. Later, in the basement of a friend’s house, prosecutors allege Richmond digitally raped the passed-out girl while Mays tried to force her to perform oral sex.

Both are charged as juveniles and could be sentenced to prison until age 21. Their closely watched joint trials began here Wednesday and should continue through the weekend. Each maintains his innocence.

On Thursday afternoon, using the suspects’ own words, composed in the moment and reflecting the roller coaster of emotions that such an incident commands, Gibb calmly read the often-profanity-laced, crude, crushing and, at times, grotesque evidence. It was pieced together from an analysis of nearly 350,000 text messages, plus hundreds of thousands of pictures, videos, chats and other exchanges of ultra-connected teens.

[Related: Opening day of Steubenville rape trial focuses on key photo of girl]

The text messages aren’t – on their own – the indomitable evidence that will determine this case. The three material witnesses, plus the girl herself, are expected to testify for the state Friday. Those words will carry far more weight.

Still, the texts managed to shed an unfortunate light on the culture that surrounds the alleged crime.

They included, in the immediate aftermath of the incident, bragging from the defendants, each of whom acknowledged at least some sexual contact with the girl.

“We’re hitting it for real,” texted Mays at 2:20 a.m. of the morning of the alleged accident, after he was asked by a friend, “Where you at?”

Soon there were texts from friends of the boys seeking lewd details: “Did you [expletive] her,” one asked Mays. Others friends begged for pictures that the state says were taken – and later deleted and thus unrecoverable – of the acts. “Hey buddy,” one texted, “you want to send me that pic because you love me?”

imageProsecuting attorney Marianne Hemmeter, looks at evidence during the trial. Photo by: AP

Over the following day there was gossip and questions and a sickening realization by the girl of what might have happened.

The girl says she remembers little to nothing because she was either extremely drunk or drugged. Numerous witnesses have described her as intoxicated. Just before the alleged attacks, she was sprawled out in the middle of a street, wearing only shorts and a bra, puking as a group of boys offered each other $3 to urinate on her.

She was so out of it some of the defendant’s friends wondered how any sex acts could have occurred with “a dead girl.” Mays agreed with that description in multiple texts, “LOL, she couldn’t even move.”

The girl, who lives across the river from Steubenville and attends a different high school, became aware of the alleged assault when she was sent a gruesome picture of her that was circulating.

“If that is [semen] on you that is [expletive] crazy,” a friend texted her.

“I hate my life,” the girl texted the friend at a different point. “I don’t even know what the [expletive] happened to me.”

Later she texted a friend, “I swear to God I don’t remember doing anything with them. I remember hearing Trent’s voice telling me to do something, but I said no.”


Eventually the evening after the alleged assault, the girl directly questioned Mays about the incident, the picture and the circulating rumors that she was allegedly sexually assaulted and that everyone in Steubenville knew about it.

“OK, tell me right now what the [expletive] happened last night and don’t lie to me,” she wrote to the defendant. “We need to talk about this right now.”

“Nothing happen last night,” Mays texted back. “You [sexual act] last night and that’s it.”

“OK, that is not all that happened,” she texted. “Tell me the truth now.”

Later, she emailed him demanding: “Why the [expletive] would you let that happen … seriously, you have no [expletive] respect … why wouldn’t you try to help me?”

Soon, reality began setting in for everyone. One of Mays’ friends texted him joking that “the girl’s life is ruined.” Another scolded him: “You’re a felon”, to which Mays responded, “not really.”

Finally another friend, Mark Cole, whose car and home were the sites of the alleged attacks and is expected to be a prosecution witness Friday, lectured Mays on the wisdom of forwarding along a potentially incriminating photo.

“Why are you sending the picture around of [the girl]?” Cole wrote in the first of a series of short texts. “No reason to [send] it … Dude, quit sending it, that’ll get you in deep [expletive].”

“I just sent it to [fellow friend Michael Nodianos].”

[Related: Steubenville rape trial divides Ohio town]

On the night of the attacks, Nodianos, who heard about the incident via pictures and texts, was filmed in a horrific video mocking her as “the dead girl” and cracking himself up by declaring: “She is so raped.” The video eventually went viral and outraged people around the world, causing intense scrutiny and attention to fall on the scandal and the city.


In days after the incident, the girl’s parents found out about the allegations, increasing the likelihood that authorities would be called. A panicked Mays boldly texted the girl’s father in attempt to explain himself.

“Sir, this is Trent Mays. This is all a big misunderstanding. She was at the party and we talked … and she was really drunk and I took her [to Mark Cole’s house]. I never tried to do anything forceful with your daughter but I’m sorry for the trouble this has brought you.”

“What is on video,” the father texted back.

imageA protester stands outside the juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio. Photo by: Reuters

There are even multiple text messages that are sure to enflame an already raging debate about the importance of Big Red football, the longstanding state powerhouse team from Steubenville High.

Critics have contended that Steubenville football players have gotten away with lawlessness under coaching legend Reno Saccoccia because the program serves as a rare point of pride in this economically depressed Ohio River town. It’s that entitlement some claim led to these allegations.

Rumors have whipped around the region that Saccoccia, known simply as “Reno,” tried to squash the investigation initially and other boys weren’t charged because it might harm the team. Saccoccia and the Steubenville police have denied it. The Ohio attorney general has dismissed all talk of cover-ups. Even so, speculation on the street continues.

When word of the incident leaked out, a friend asked Mays what Saccoccia said about it.

“Nothing really,” Mays texted. “Going to stay in for awhile. LOL. And next time [someone is] into something, suspended for three games.

“But I feel he took care of it for us,” Mays continued. “Like, he was joking about it, so I’m not worried.”

In another text, Mays wrote: “I got Reno. He took care of it and [expletive] ain’t going to happen, even if they did take it to court.”

Saccoccia could not be reached for comment Thursday by Yahoo! Sports. It’s not known whether he actually tried to influence the investigation or if Mays simply believed he did. Not that it worked if Saccoccia did. Police seized Mays’ – and the others’ – cell phones soon after that text. Within a week, the Steubenville cops made the arrests.


Defense attorneys tried to argue away the texts by citing errors in the times recorded by the Ohio investigators, noting so many of the comments lacked context and pointing out the natural tendency for outrageous, but not necessarily honest, talk among teens via text message.

None of the texts will carry the weight of three eyewitnesses the state expects to testify Friday, let alone the words of the girl herself, or even semen evidence recovered on a Pittsburgh Steelers blanket located in Cole’s house that forensics is expected to link to Mays.

However, the sheer volume of communication and the base behavior reflected in so much of the messages is likely to weigh heavily on Judge Thomas Lipps. The above is but a fraction of the material. On and on and on this went Thursday, Gibb delivering each new bit of testimony in a calm, clear tone, no matter how each one was seemingly more vomit-inducing than the last.

Besides, even by the current standards of teenagers, many of these comments were indefensible, the sharing of pictures was potentially criminal and the willingness of Mays to practically write his own confession was the action of a pure idiot. If convicted, Mays might rightfully earn the title of world’s dumbest criminal. It’s not just that he put so much into the electronic messages, but that he even understood detectives would assuredly search his phone and use them against him.

He texted on and on and on anyway. His phone had 61,613 messages on it.

“If the police come they are going to look at all my texts, duh,” he wrote to a friend when discussing what he was worried about.

“Delete them,” the friend texted back.

“Like phone records they can pull them up on a computer. LOL.”

“Oh, LOL. Hello cops,” the friend texted.

Hello indeed.


Later Thursday, long after the reading of the texts left the court shocked and aghast, a final witness of the night was called. It was nearly 8 p.m. and Steubenville’s downtown was dark and desolate, but the prosecution wanted to get Sean McGhee, an 18-year-old local who is currently a freshman at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, where he is on the wrestling team.

McGhee is Richmond’s cousin. He called Mays “one of my best friends.” When asked by special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter how it felt to be a witness against people he’s so close to, McGhee said, simply: “It hurts.”

Yet McGhee, who was still in town last August before heading off to college, testified that he saw the girl at a party earlier in the night. He believed, based on her slurring words and stumbling walk, that she was extremely drunk. So later in the evening, when the initial texts and pictures and rumors began flying about what Mays and Richmond were allegedly doing with her, he became enraged.

This, he knew, was wrong. So he borrowed a friend’s phone (his was out of power) and texted the following to Mays:

“This is Sean, you are dead wrong. I’m going to choke the [expletive] out of you for that. You could go to jail for life for that. What the [expletive]. Sean McGhee.”

Hemmeter asked McGhee why he sent that and other accusatory, confrontational texts to Mays.

“I saw how drunk she was,” he said.

And with that, at last, there was at least a single teenager in Steubenville sending a single text that suggested someone finally had the slightest bit of perspective, morals or manhood to do or say a damn thing.

At last, after a long, long day of court, after two days of testimony, after all this evidence – all this “[expletive] the dead girl” and “piss on the dead girl” and LOL after LOL – finally, there was a single beacon of feel-good hope in this entire cesspool of a story.

Very long, but very important.

(Source: thepoliticalfreakshow)

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