Oscar Servillion, 17, a participant in the YO! Youth Outlook media project, shares his views on the recent gang rape of a 15-year-old in Richmond, CA:


What were these “men” who raped the 15-year-old girl from Richmond doing? They were being “men”, the way they are taught by the artists they listen to, trying to copy their role models, rappers.

In our society's ideology, we are told that to be a “man” we have to be, strong, fearless, in control, and my favorite (sarcasm), “men do not cry”. Meaning that if you do not follow these rules, you're not a “Man”, you're a woman, or anything else — gay, for one.

This is how females are seen as less of a person than males, and why people of different sexual orientation are mistreated and judged. Society is scared of losing control over people. If they lose control, they're screwed because next thing you know, people start thinking for themselves and questioning everything…

Rappers are also under society's pressure to be, “men”, and not cry, not take crap from anyone, and keep their power by demeaning women by calling them,”b***hes”.

When will you ever hear a rapper that defies what a “man” should be, and doesn't demean women in his lyrics? Or talks aboutshooting someone because they disrespected them? Never. Because they do not make it, and probably never will. Because they do not meet society's criteria for who a “man” is, or what they should look or act like.

…But I digress. I believe that what happened to the girl is wrong, and messed up, she didn't deserve that; no one deserves to be humiliated like that. The men who raped her need to see a shrink, or talk to someone to get their lives together.

I won't say they should look for god, because I don't believe in one.



This youth perspective on the recent Richmond, CA gang rape is part of a series produced by Youth Outlook, a project of New America Media. This work was originally published Oct. 29, 2009. Republished and reformatted as a series on Oakland Local with permission.