April 12, 2006

Rooting for the team

I spent part of the weekend working on an essay on frat boy sexuality, and naturally found myself doing a bit of background research on the controversy surrounding Duke University's Lacrosse team. In late March, the team held a party in the ironically-named dorm Edens, at which two black strippers performed. The party grew wild and one of the two women was allegedly raped in a bathroom by a number of white players.

Soon after the story broke, an email was released, apparently written by one of team members (channeling Patrick Batemen) on the night of the alleged rape, claiming that he was going to invite some strippers over and skin them while "cumming in my duke issue spandex."

DNA samples were submitted, the Lacrosse coach resigned, Duke's administration scrambled, the playing season was cancelled. Earlier this week the results of the DNA tests were released...as of right now, no players' DNA links them to the alleged rape, though the local DA continues to pursue the case against the players.

Two things I've noticed on the blogs I've been reading that have been following the case...1) Though the season may be cancelled, some are still rooting for the team and 2) there's a strange obsession with the minutiae of timelines which I can't quite figure out.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that people have been following this scandal as though it were a match between two opposing teams ('Bros versus 'Hos). And just like I can't really understand why certain people feel truly strong emotions when 'their' team loses or wins, I can't quite figure out why someone would be 'overjoyed' upon learning that the Lacrosse team has gone through the DNA wringer and come out clean...I'd expect a little more neutrality, unless of course you're a hooligan when it comes to this sort of thing, and by that I mean: harboring a strong affinity for the culture of private school fraternities and their drinking games. And when you're talking about two black female strippers alleging that a bunch of private school white boys raped them, and you have no physical connection to the accused (i.e. they aren't your Bros), I do wonder where the joy comes from. What's the connection from whence that joy springs?

Then there are the timelines. What's up with the timelines? Everyone's obsessed with timelines. When was the first 911 call made. When was the second 911 call made. When did they get to the Kroger store? When did the strippers strip? When did the dude email about skinning strippers?

There are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks obsessing over this incident, and I can't quite figure out why.

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Posted by jason at April 12, 2006 07:18 PM

I attended prep school and played lacrosse at Northfield - Mt. Hermon and I'm gay. I don't think the Duke lacrosse team's attitudes towards women are indicative in any way of lacrosse players in general, instead they're representative of Duke, which has always been known, somewhat paradoxically, as an elitist and rough place with an inferiority complex because of its southern location.

Posted by: Shane at April 13, 2006 10:57 AM

I think part of their inferiority complex might have something to do with them believing they have a legit claim to some Ivy League status, actually giving a shit about it and then simply being an inferior school, but that's just me. =)

Posted by: Addy at April 13, 2006 12:13 PM
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