Jon Krakauer visited town this week. His latest book, “Missoula-Rape and the Justice System in a College Town”, has received a lot of negative flack. This exposé ticked off many Missoulians because the home-town heroes are portrayed as villains, as in, the University of Montana football players are accused of rape. A public forum was held as an opportunity for the author to
explain his intentions argue his perspective. The venue was mostly filled with supporters, 70-80% of them women.
Grizzly football is HUGE. The Washington-Grizzly stadium (named after local industrial magnate, Dennis Washington) holds 25,217 raucous fans. The stadium brims with noise-deafening fanatics every home game. Some of these fans have denounced Krakauer for months in online news commentary and media.
I hate football. I was bullied by Kurt Whitehead in high school, a football player who wore a rodeo belt buckle. For this reason, I have no desire to support a game that attracts people who practice or extol this behavior. Entitlement is rampant among sharks.
Like myself, Krakauer takes the victims’ sides. He depicts graphic scenes. The trauma these young women experienced is very real and their lives are forever changed. The justice system let them down-a disheartening fact considering the agony, time, energy, and emotional anguish they persevered throughout the process. Most had to convince the police to press charges. This is insane! The women were encouraged to reconsider defending themselves by the very system whose job is to protect civilians.
(High voice–Someone’s being lazy.)
I applaud the author’s tenacity to dive into the mouth of the Grizzly and pepper around some truth. Women are humans, not rabbits to the bears’ teeth. Krakauer nails it.