Brock Allen Turner is a rapist, who happens to be white and used to be a Stanford swimmer. And his status as a privileged, white male is exactly why he is only serving six months in prison for his multiple charges. As if that was not heinous enough, Turner’s mugshot has seemingly gone missing – no one can find it. Instead, if you were to do a Google search or even try Mugshots.com, all you will find is anything but a mugshot/booking photo.
Brock’s yearbook picture is being used in lieu of his booking photo/mugshot. This helps with the absurd claim that jail would “have a severe impact on him,” which is why he’s only being sentenced to serving six months. Apparently the severe impact of his rape of the 23-year-old woman is not really all that important, because, well just look at his smiling photo. He’s smiling, so clearly Brock must be a good young man, right?
The victim is remaining anonymous but she provided BuzzFeed with a letter she wrote addressing Brock directly and detailing what happened that night.
“I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.”
And that is exactly what Brock did.
When you’re rich, male and white, like Brock Allen Turner, things like this can always bend to your favor. You get rape apologists and Trump supporters creating Facebook pages supporting Brock Allen Turner and all rapists like him. One particular quote from this FB page deserves to be highlighted.
“Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions and it saddens us to see that the ‘justice’ system gives one gender a free pass but holds the other gender totally accountable for both parties’ actions.”
The irony here is just almost too much to handle, and it is hilarious while also completely terrifying. In this instance, we’re supposed to assume that men are really the ones who are mistreated by the justice system and women don’t take responsibility for their actions…even though they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s wrong, apparently, to expect a young man to be cognizant of when a young woman has had too much to drink and isn’t able to truly consent. It’s wrong, apparently, for a woman to drink — because that automatically means you consent to everything that is going to happen to you that night, for some reason.
It continues to illustrate how men, specifically, are taught to think about rape and consent. Fathers continue to fail when it comes to educating their sons on consent, rape and respect for women. So I’ll explain it to you.
Just to be safe, don’t have sex with your partner if they’re drunk. But if you both insist, make sure you discuss it before the drinking begins, and gain explicit consent before and during your sexual activities. New apps, like YES to SEX, are being created to help with this. Yes, this means that as a man, it is your responsibility to keep eye contact with her and make sure she feels safe — verbally ask her and make sure periodically. And if she is unable to give an answer, or she isn’t sure, or if you aren’t sure — don’t touch her. Get off of her. Get away from her.
It’s not difficult at all. It’s incredibly easy. And you need to be responsible for your own behavior when you are drinking and/or are drunk. This is important because nine times out of 10, you can overpower her, and you always need to be aware of that. Women may not always tell you this, but you being bigger than them — taller, more muscle mass — can sometimes be intimidating. And they don’t know what you’re capable of. So stop being so selfish and make the extra effort (which really is not difficult at all) to make them feel safe. At all times, whether alcohol is involved or not.
Don’t protect Brock Allen Turner. Don’t defend this rich, privileged white man. Your misogyny is showing. You’re just making it worse.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]