Rape is a huge misunderstanding

If people don’t know what sexual assault and rape are, how can they tell what is rape and what isn’t? We need to educate students about positive relationships and what sexual assault and rape are.

Sadly, in many schools, we’re lucky to get outdated videos shown in health class.

Young people are obviously not getting the information early enough to affect their lives. For example, let’s take the author of this letter regarding convicted Stanford rapist, Brock Turner. His childhood friend, Leslie, kindly wrote a letter defending Brock. In this letter, there are a few mistakes. I’m going to break this down for everyone. You might want to get a snack because there’s a lot of “confusion” in this letter.

It was with great sadness that I read the news about Brock Turner, and the horrible situation that he was involved in.

You must mean the horrible situation he…created. Again, who forced him to do any of these things? Alcohol does not eat, breathe or asleep. A kindergartener could tell you ‘alcohol’ is not alive. Being alcohol is not alive, it cannot make you do anything. Yes, it hinders your judgement, but it’s still your judgement.

In those years, he was always very respectful of everyone.

People who commit sexual assault and rape are not masked strangers. They can be very nice people. My rapist was my friend. A friend I had known for a few years.

We all knew he’d swimming the Olympics one day.

Again with the swimming! Stop negating terrible life choices in light of athletic ability.

They all seem like such good kids brought up by two very cool and grounded parents.

Sure. No one says, “I’m gonna raise a rapist!” and no one ever says, “I’m going to be a rapist when I grow up!” Good people make bad decisions. He could be a very good kid in all other aspects of his life, but he made a very wrong decision in this instance and should have to pay for that decision.

If I had to choose one kid I graduated with to be in the position Brock is, it would have never been him.

You need to let go of your childhood vision of Brock. He may have been that nice guy back then, but he also may have been objectifying women. People are good at hiding their nougatty centers.

I could name off 5 other that I wouldn’t be surprised about.

Ha! Those 5 might actually be nice people. Maybe they weren’t star athletes and maybe you didn’t know them, but just judged from afar. Maybe they’re creepers. Four-fifths of sexual assaults are committed by people you know much of the time.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that alcohol increases emotions and feelings. 

Scenario: I’m angry and go get my gun because I am particularly annoyed at my neighbor right now. I shoot him, killing him, as a result. I’m a murderer, right? Oh, but I had been drinking heavily so now it’s all good because I was extra emotional?

I think this is all a huge misunderstanding.

How exactly? He didn’t take her overcoat by mistake, or try to get into her car, which happened to be identical to his, or bump into her spilling his hot coffee on her. Behind a dumpster, he stripped an unconscious woman just enough to provide himself access to her breasts and her genitals, as though she were some sort of utility. Please let me know your misunderstanding of the situation and I’ll help clarify it for you.

Brock is not a monster.

To you, no. To the victim, yes. Yes, he is. He is her personal boogyman. He taints her dreams. He sours her waking life. He violates her sexual interactions in her loving relationships. You may not see a monster, but she does.

I have known him much longer than the people involved in his case.

People change. People make bad decisions. Unless you were with him that night, you can’t say anything about his character at that point. Only Brock knows what he was thinking. And really, who would walk into court shouting their guilt from the hilltops? Of course he’s not going to say anything truthful.

I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next 10+ years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him.

So, Brock raped her because she was drunk? And if she doesn’t remember anything, the 2 bicyclists and the police and the nurses and the doctors and the counselors should just forget all of what they saw too?

I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right.

Yes, you are, but I have hope you will get educated and see your flaws in your arguments.

But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.

They’re not tree-leapers. Rapists are people too and odds are, besides Brock, you know someone who has sexually assaulted someone. You certainly know someone who has been sexually assaulted. Whether or not they know, in either case, is questionable. Does that excuse the assaulter from guilt then?

It is because these universities market themselves as the biggest party schools in the country.

Stanford, to me, is not a party school first, but one of good academics. Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw keggers mentioned in a college brochure.

They encourage drinking.

Girl, please. I think you just made every student affairs professional’s eyes roll. Would you like to handle campus judicials? Be my guest. The load would be so much lighter if these students would not drink. Maybe on-call staff and college VPs would get to sleep through the night on weekends. We discourage drinking until we’re blue in the face!

This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist.

Yes, and so is Brock. There are many types of rape.

These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement. 

Another scenario: I drink and drive. I have an accident. I kill a man. That is called vehicular homicide. Why is it not just clouded judgement?

I’m not saying that is every case because I know there are young men that take advantage of young women and vice versa, but I know for a fact that Brock is not one of those people.

Why not? Because you played kickball as kids together?

He is respectful and caring, talented, and smart enough to know better.

Yeah, he probably is smart enough to know better. But also maybe he isn’t. Maybe he wasn’t taught to respect women. Maybe sex education and sexual assault weren’t covered where you all grew up. That doesn’t excuse his behavior though.

The trouble with thoughts like this young lady’s is that they’re contagious. They’re diminishing to victims. They ignore the facts. I hope one day she realizes what sexual assault and rape really are. I hope if she ever has to support a friend or loved one who was sexually assaulted, she will whole-heartedly support them.

Now go forth and share what you’ve learned. Or just share my posts about sexual assault. If we’re silent, someone else will become a victim.