I shouldn’t have to include one but because of society, I’m going to include a warning before you read:
THIS POST CONTAINS CONTENT SOME MAY FIND DISTURBING – Rape.
This isn’t a pleasant topic, but unfortunately, it’s something that is far more common than people realise and needs to be spoken about.
So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, you’d probably know about Brock Turner’s rape trial. I’m not going to sugar coat this post and call it sexual assault, or draw attention to where he went to school or what he’s good at. I’m going to talk about it for what it is: A rape case. Fact of the matter is, he’s a rapist, and as much as his family may try to deny it, that won’t change, no matter how how hard they try to make the situation go away…
I feel compelled to write this post because of a few key reasons:
1. Turner blamed the ‘incident’ on alcohol and college party life
You can read Turner’s statement here. He begins by writing about how guilty he feels and how he wished he could take it back, before then blaming the situation on alcohol. Turner’s statement to the judge was full of hollow apologies, and he did not take responsibility for his actions, but instead, blamed “party culture” and alcohol for his actions. He said in his statement that he’s not going near another drop of alcohol, or won’t be putting himself in a situation where this sort of ‘incident’ is likely to happen again. His sister also referred to his horrific actions as “alcohol-fueled”. It appears that none of his family, nor Turner himself, believe him to be a rapist, but rather someone who was subjected to poor decision-making when they were drunk. Yes, it’s common knowledge that decisions we make whilst intoxicated may not be the best, but a drop of alcohol doesn’t make a normal person rape someone.
2. People are still thinking girls need to be taught to not wear revealing clothing and not drink alcohol
If you haven’t read the letter the rape victim wrote, you can read it here. A major issue that I have with the way that society thinks, is that people are still harping on about how women/girls should be taught to not dress “suggestively” and not drink and get themselves into situations where something bad may happen. The sad thing is, this has a bit of truth. I can’t go out wearing whatever I want, because if I wear something that I like and feel good in, guys think they have the right to grab my bum without my permission or yell obscenities at me from their passing cars as I walk down the street. I always have to keep my wits about me and my phone in my hand when I’m alone, and I can only truly relax when I’m in the safety of my own home. So who should we be educating? The people who commit acts of rape. We should be teaching children to not rape someone, and respect people, regardless of how they’re dressed, their gender, their race, and any other visible identifier. Women shouldn’t have to feel unsafe walking at night by themselves, women shouldn’t have to be worried about their drink being spiked and being taken advantage of because they’re dressed in a certain way. Nobody should.
3. This rapist has been given preferential treatment undeservedly
For those of you who may not know, Turner was up for a 14 year sentence. Which got cut back to 6 months because the judge didn’t want to ruin his future… and now, word is he may be let out after a mere 3 months. Sorry to break it to you, Turner, but if you didn’t want to ruin your future, you shouldn’t have raped a girl. USA Swimming have since banned Turner from receiving a membership, no matter how hard he may try. Whilst this is a step in the positive direction, there is still a lot of room for improvement, and justice is yet to be served.
4. The ‘mug shot’ that has been released in the media is different to his actual one
Now, this may not seen like the biggest issue, but here are the two photos:
What key differences can you see? It’s clear that the photo on the left is trying to portray him in a much more positive light, trying to present this convicted rapist as your average, nice-looking, happy guy. The one on the right is his actual mug shot, is much less appealing, and speaks the truth about the situation. It’s not a happy situation. This guy isn’t your average guy next door. He’s a convicted rapist and as much as some people may wish it, no amount of media manipulation will change that. The sad thing is, if you Google Image search ‘Brock Turner’, the results are overwhelmingly the photo on the left, which is seriously alarming.
So if there’s one thing you take away from this, it should be this: Society is made up of people. And only people have the ability to change society. Things need to change. Teach your children to respect others and no means no. Teach your children that if they do something wrong, they can’t get off without consequences.