So today is Thursday, and I am feeling quite a bit better, which is good for obvious reasons. So lets chat about Brock Turner really quickly. I would say I know about as much as the average person about his case—he raped a girl behind a dumpster, was noticed by a group of people, and later identified and convicted. His conviction was for an extremely short period of time, with the judge citing that any longer amount of time might be impactful to his life. Brock Turner was a swimmer with apparently some amount of talent. He got off his sentence early due to “good behavior.”
Alright, so that’s the story in the most objective way I can put it. I have no doubt you have probably seen some of the pictures related to this case, since it is the biggest case in recent months about a raping. But my favorite one was where they compared Brock’s sentence to the sentence of a man who was caught carrying and smoking marijuana. Now, I’m not going to come out with my position on smoking weed, because that is irrelevant to this argument, but lets take a look at the two based on their impact on others. Smoking weed can affect others in the immediate vicinity by giving them a high, minor or major depending on the location. Other than that, it’s relatively harmless. Society, specifically lawmakers, has defined it as illegal, which is how it goes and is enforced. Regardless, this relatively harmless thing that has been deemed illegal has a heavy crack down on criminals going against the law. Sure, in some areas this isn’t true, and in some areas it is legal at a state level.
Now lets look at rape. Because that’s what it is. Not “20 minutes of action” as his dad put it. But rape. How does it affect others? Well, onlookers can be distressed and traumatized, and the person being raped is very rarely not damaged for life. Suicide rates for victims increase, a fear of the assailant’s gender develops, and so on. So when we talk about the severity of impact on a person’s life, like this judge has found to be an important reason for Brock Turner’s short sentence, why don’t we take a look at this young woman who was violated by this guy.
I’ve tried to avoid using the phrase “piece of shit” to describe Brock Turner, no matter how awful he is, because lets be honest. We don’t know his life. Sure, maybe he even was the jerk on campus, but I have no doubt that at least some number of people thought he was a great guy. Which means that even those we perceive as good are capable of doing awful things. And I think that’s important to remember, because I guarantee that the people lining up outside Brock’s house with guns have not forgiven him—and they shouldn’t. But this guy is a member of a society that devalues the well being of women quickly, which is probably why the judge so hastily allowed for Brock to get off easy, despite his severe impact on the life of this woman. And that problem is more rampant in society than just Brock Turner. Certainly, this was a horrible injustice, but look at the bigger picture. Brock is just one in thousands of men that assault women daily.
If we can so passionately condemn this rapist, why is it that, across the board, so many women are silenced without a second glance? Why is it that we blame a woman’s clothing as the reason she got raped, as opposed to the fact that the man was a rapist? I don’t have all the answers. But I can tell you that it’s because we still don’t have equal protection of men and women. What do you think? Let me know!