I have been sitting here, staring at this blank page, for half an hour now.
So many words, and yet….. no words at all.
The one thought, the one thing that keeps coming back to mind is: “How in the hell did we get here? How is this the world we live in?”
I think of that boy. I think of Brock Turner. I think of the depravity of a kind of person who could not only do what he did, but show no remorse. I think of the people who defend him, and of the journalists who want to keep bringing up his swimming records. Because, apparently, being really good at something is somehow worth more than the woman he assaulted, and the life he forever altered? Ted Bundy was good at things too. I think of that girl, and what she went through, and what she continues to go through. I think of what he took from her. I think of her family, and her friends, and the people who love her. I think of ALL the victims of sexual assault, past and present, and how verdicts like this are an assault to them all over again. I think of the students who stopped the assault, one of whom was crying so hard at what he saw that he could barely answer the officers’ questions. I think of the judge, the judge who felt a person who systematically removed an unconscious girl’s clothes, then physically and sexually violated her behind a dumpster is not a danger to others, and who couldn’t possibly be punished for more than six months because of the severe impact such a punishment would have on his life. I think of the boy’s father, who – among other equally disgusting things – said that his son shouldn’t have to pay a steep price for his “20 minutes of action.”
He’s depressed, his father tells us. He’s barely eating. He’s a shell of the boy he once was. It’s horrible what this has done to his life.
And in six months, his punishment will be over. While the girl he raped is punished and haunted by his “actions” every day for the rest of her life.
But it was the alcohol! He made a bad decision, and he drank too much. She made a bad decision and she drank too much. He’s seen the error of his ways. He never should have…. drank. Oh and according to his father he’s “totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity.” Wow!! How noble and selfless!!
How about this, Brock Allen Turner?
How about you educate other college age students not to rape?
How about you tell other college age students that if someone has had too much to drink, you should help them, not strip them of their clothes, push them behind a dumpster, and violate them?
How about you explain to other college age students what consent means, and how consent is something that an unconscious person is not able to give.
How about you admit to the vile and heinous crime you committed, and that you deserve the maximum punishment available?
How about you quit trying to garner sympathy, and whining about how this is ruining your life, and think about the ACTUAL victim here?
How about you apologize not just for your crimes, but for the disgusting and misogynistic and patriarchal society that supports you? The one that not only allows a rapist to walk free after six months, but wants us to actually feel sorry for him.
I do not feel sorry for Brock Turner.
I feel disgusted with Brock Turner. I feel anger towards Brock Turner. I feel rage at a system, and a world, and a society that lets this be okay.
And to his victim? To you I offer my whole hearted support, and love, and validation. There are not words for how sorry I am for what you endured, and what you continue to endure. You are strong. You are brave. I stand with you. Lots of people stand with you. I hope that you know that. I hope that you feel our support.
I hope that somehow, someday, I can tell my own kids about the backwards system that supported people like Brock Turner, and about the people like his victim who bravely stood up, again and again, to say “no more”…..
and how that system eventually changed.