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Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Pauls School.

References:
1.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/us/owen-labrie-st-pauls-school-sentencing.html?_r=0
2.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/us/rape-case-explores-culture-of-elite-st-pauls-schoo
l.html
3.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/us/in-st-pauls-rape-trial-girl-vividly-recounts-night-of
-school-ritual.html
4.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/us/owen-labrie-st-pauls-student-accused-of-rape-takes
-the-stand.html

Info: Reference 2: So this was something referred to as a senior Salute which is when
younger students hook up or have sex with seniors the night before graduation. This seems
to be a culture at SPS with senior boys propositioning younger girls into some type of
intimate activity. Labrie had a list of potential girls names, the victim's name in capital
letters. There was a secret key that was used to find privacy, Labrie used it to unlock a
mechanical room where he raped the victim. In court, the elite boarding school was
described as a place of not just highest levels of education but also as but also a place of
secret rites and sexual conquest. Prosecutors say labrie and his friends often referred to
sexual intercourse with girls as slaying, and Labrie told police he was in competition with
his male peers to see how often he could score. Labrie said his encounter with the victim
was consensual, and did not plead guilty to 10 counts, including felonious sexual assault.
This case has raised questions linking privilege to sexual assault, and how that correlated to
sexual assault in American colleges and high schools.
Allegations about our culture are not
emblematic of our school or our values, our rules, or the people that represent our student
body, alumni, faculty and staff, This was a statement posted on the schools website. School
officials gave no more comments on the issue.
Labrie was not a troubled student, he was accepted into Harvard University and
planned to study theology. He was also a prefect, he was given extra responsibility to help
younger students. But according to a statement he gave to police he was, Trying to be No. 1
in sexual scoring at St. Pauls School.
SHamus Khan, a SPS alumn wrote a book about being at SPS. In his book he
describes the rituals as being used to describe hierarchy, some of the student run rituals
taking a sexual turn. There is the annual Dance, he describes, being called The Screw. This is
when the sexual desirability of girls is determined by their value of the screw marketplace.
Khan also describes newb nights where girls tell about their past sexual history.
There
was the common denominator of sex and sexuality as the pathway to belonging and
welcoming for girls, wrote Dr. Khan, who also taught at the school.
Labries

defendant described the senior salute as being a long standing tradition that started
admitting women in 1971. Mr. Carney (defendant) said that The girls would be honored and
proud about this, that they were the focus of the senior salute.
This incident has shocked prep school students all over the region, a group of Phillips
Exeter students wrote in a paper last spring, Have the lines blurred between federal crimes
against our fellow peers and tradition?.
J.W. Carney Jr. was Labries defense lawyer. He denied that Labrie and the girl had

sexual intercourse.
Relation to Prep:
In Prep, there is the exemplification of the rich prep school boy and the
sexual dominance. In her freshman year, I think, Lee mentions a senior hooking up with a
freshmen and his friends congratulating him. but then you hear the converse, Cross dating a
junior girl because shell give him oral sex. This is a real life example of how this culture of
sexual male dominance, no matter what age, is a real life thing. This case makes it a
competition, how you prove your worth and the quality of your high school experience by
sex with underclassmen. Its disgusting, and I wonder if boys at prep school know it is and
just go with it because its tradition, or if they actually think its an okay thing to do.

Reference 3:
the girl describes the Senior Salute as when older students ask
underclassmen to join them in a walk, kiss, or maybe something more. The girl describes
Labrie taking her up to a room, and starting by kissing her and trying to make it progress.
She describes herself saying no over and over again, but then when it started to hurt her,
she froze in fear. In an attempt to take away the girls credibility, Labries defense lawyer
said she had in the first place accepted his senior salute. Though this is true, she did not
agree to any type of sexual activity. Though it may be implied by the senior salute, it was not
specified so therefore she couldnt have agreed to it.

Still, the case has cast that tradition, and other student rights, under

a harsh spotlight as it explores the culture of sex, gender and entitlement at


St. Pauls which counts ambassadors, senators and prominent authors
among its alumni.
The senior salute is a competition where boys compete for dominance, the more girls
they are able to score with, the more popular they become. This is most likely one of
many rituals for boys and girls alike in the prep school culture.
The girl had initially turned down Labries proposal. But then accepted it when
she worried shed been too harsh. She didnt want to make a bad impression, after all he
was one of the most popular boys. She thought they would only kiss, she didnt think
anything more would happen. She figured shed do it because its one of St.Pauls oldest
traditions.
Reference 4:
It wouldnt have been a good move to have sex with this girl,

he said. It wouldnt have been a good choice for me.


Labrie denied any sexual

intercourse, saying he wouldnt have thought it would be a good choice for him to
engage in sexual intercourse with this girl. He also said the term score he and his
friends used wasnt just to describe sex. He said the term was almost interchangeable
with dating. (Which I think is crap because its not like he would actually care about
them emotionally, he just wanted sex).
One message that he sent toward the end of the school year, a time
that some seniors saw as their last chance for sexual encounters with
younger students, said, Welcome to an eight-week exercise in debauchery,
a probing exploration of the innermost meanings of the word sleaze bag,
adding, Can sisters be slain in the same evening?
This just proves exactly
what I just wrote. He was looking to be number one in slaying and scoring. Thats
what mattered to him in the weeks before graduation. Later in court Labrie said it was a
rhetorical question, and a joke. Its not funny now, however. (Yeah, it just makes you
look even more guilty and even more like the disgusting scum of the earth that you are).
Reference 1: My little girl stood up to this entitled young man, her father
said. She stood up to the entitled culture at St. Pauls School. She stood up
to the rape culture that exists in our society and allows boys to be boys.
This is a statement given by the victims father.
This case was not about his faith in God, she said. This case was about
his attitude toward young women. She added: This was a mission for him.
This was a sexual conquest. And it was a game.
A statement given by the deputy
county attorney, Catherine J. Ruffle. She requested that the judge send Labrie to state
prison until he completed a sexual offender treatment program.
Relating to Prep and rape culture:
Obviously, Labrie doesnt respect young
women. He sees them as objects, props, challenges. To him, young women are not real
people. But his view of women as props is only part of a major problem. The problem is
the world wide objectification of girls starting from a young age. The problem is Labrie
and the victim being enrolled at the same institution but with Labrie granted more
rights, more entitlement, more privilege, more security in his social standing. Labrie was
known for dating many, girls, and for that he was respected. But what about the girls he
did date? What happened to them afterward? Well, I dont know for sure but I can
imagine that they were seens as another pawn, laughed about behind doors bu khaki
and polo wearing boys who see whatever they want as theirs for the taking. The problem
at these schools lies within the age old culture and entitlement of the rich white boy. But

what I am failing to understand is exactly how this culture came to be. How did this
start. why did this start.
There are a lot of ways you can relate Owen Labrie to Cross Sugarman, a
character in
Prep
,
written by Curtis Sittenfield. Cross is the golden boy, as was Labrie.
Handsome, wealthy, popular, team captain, prefect, and the most popular boy in school.
All of these qualities make them out to be leaders, people look up to them. Put someone
in the type of environment these boys were in, and those qualities can also engender
entitlement, overconfidence, and the idea that the world is at their feet.
Cross isnt necessarily mean, hes very nice to Lee and he invites her out with his
friends and everything. But I think his entitlement and privilege that makes him as
slimy as he is. On the long weekend that they have, when Lee and his friends are taking
the bus back to Ault, after one afternoon of talking to each other he puts his arm around
her and starts stroking her hair. Just like that infront of his friends. He doesnt ask if its
okay, he just goes for it. Which shows, he feels he is entitled to touching Lee, she belongs
to him if he feels like it. And then when he comes straight to her room in senior year,
when hes extremely drunk. He walks right in and lies on top of her, but at least that
time he asks to kiss her. But nevertheless, he just goes straight for whatever he wants to
do to her or what she wants her to do. Lee sees this as special attention, I dont think she
realizes that he was seeing her as just another girl, literally just another thing to write
down in that horrible, perverted list he and his roommate were keeping. The way Cross,
and most likely the majority of his male classmates see women, especially his classmates
is probably entertainment.
(
http://theexonian.com/2014/09/11/our-fixation-on-symptoms/
exeter student
rape culture paper,
http://theexonian.com/2014/02/20/feminist-blog-generates-online-reaction/
schools
reaction to PEA feminist group)
But Im gonna try to do the thing that Chris said and try and see this from his
viewpoint. Own Labrie, that is. So I understand why he kept pressuring the girl into the
Senior Salute thing, even over email. And by the understand I mean that this is an age
old tradition at St. Pauls that, as heinous as it is, it seems that the male student body in
particular takes very seriously. So this is probably how Labrie saw his situation: He is
one of the most popular boys, so therefore he should be the number one in scoring. He
emails this girl, charming her and being polite. At first she says no, but then she
changed her mind. I am sure that her resistance at first annoyed him but he was
determine to change her mind because as the role model for all the underclassmen, he
had to be the one who won the competition of seeing who can score the most. I dont

think he saw anything wrong with the Senior Salute, I think it was just a thing hed seen
happen every year with the upperclassmen, and he wanted to keep up the tradition.
When she resisted him he probably got angry, and possibly offended. More likely he was
feeling that she was younger than him and a girl and part of his plan, so she wasnt
allowed to say no to him. So he probably just started to ignore it. In his mind I am sure
that he was feeling she had no right to say no to him, that in some way she owed this to
him.

So after talking with Chris Friday I had a thought. After trying to see this whole
thing at St. Pauls from Labries point of view, I tried it through Crosss. So his hookups
with Lee were definitely consensual. He asked, and she agreed. Now if she had said no,
would he have listened? I dont know. He mightve felt that he was entitled to Lee and
that she wouldnt be allowed to say no since he was the most popular boy at Ault. And
in that instance, we would have a situation comparable to Owen Labries case in the way
that they felt entitled. But that didnt happen, Lee agreed to these hookups. She even set
the terms on when they would hook up because she was so afraid that it would remain
undefined and that she would expect something she wasnt going to get. But that was
counterintuitive because she ended up doing that any way. She never initiated one
Hookup with Cross and ended up becoming disappointed and sad with the situation.
And that was, he had all the power. And yes, if Lee wanted a hookup she shouldve
initiated it. But was that normal at Ault? Was that the way girls acted towards guys, or
did they let the boys be dominant in every way, sexually, socially, and academically? If
thats the case, why? Why does that start? And now Ive gone full circle, I started with
why are Prep school boys entitled, gave a possibility for that, showed that in Prep and
the case, and now I am here again, why are the boys allowed to be the dominant ones in
these instances? I guess I still dont understand how a culture thats so male-centric gets
to start. I feel like I need a new way of approaching this essay, and I dont know what it
is. Maybe its that the Owen Labrie case is what wouldve happened if Lee had said no to
Cross. That could be a way of approaching it. I dont know if it makes sense but I guess it
could. Like, Cross and Owen essentially fit the same profile. Prefect, Team captain,
going to Ivy Leagues, and the most popular guys in their grades. So maybe Owen didnt
always seem like a sleaze bag, just like Cross doesnt. Who knows how he acts with his
friends, I mean there was that list that he and his roommate had made that they said he
was the keeper of. And the messages between Labrie and his friends show a guess a
similar way of thinking of girls and how to treat them or behave around them. And
obviously some circumstances are different between Lee and Cross