Laura Shortridge

It takes a village to raise a rapist

2016-06-10 07:25

Laura Shortridge

When the two men who caught Brock Turner raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster reported what they had discovered to the police, one of them was crying so much because he could barely talk after what he’d seen.

There is no question about whether or not what they discovered was rape. Brock Turner, a rapist, (this should be the term used for him when talking about him, and not “swimming champion”) was caught in the act. There were eye witnesses. There was physical proof. When he was discovered, he ran, because he was fully aware of the fact that he was raping someone. His victim was unconscious. He was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a court of law.

And yet there are still rape advocates claiming that expecting a rapist to face consequences for his actions is an unreasonable expectation.

First, there’s Aaron Persky, the judge, who decided to give Brock Turner a six month sentence, because he was worried about the lasting effects prison would have on him. Judge Perksy doesn’t seem to be concerned about the lasting effects rape has on the victim. His only concern seems to be the effects it may have on the rapist.

Next, there’s Dan Turner, Brock’s father, who complains that “twenty minutes of action”, the way he chooses to describe raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, has ruined his son’s appetite. Like the judge, Brock’s father shows little to no concern over how being raped might affect the rape victim’s life. His only concern is that the rapist can’t eat his steak.


Third, there’s Brock’s friend, who wrote a letter defending him, in which she wrings her hands over what she calls “political correctness”:

“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.”

“Political correctness” now apparently means “thinks rape happens because of rapists”.

Fourth, there’s every single voice out there victim-blaming the victim, blaming alcohol, blaming “sexual promiscuity”, (as if consensual sex between two conscious adults is in any way at all comparable to rape between a conscious rapist and an unconscious victim) blaming absolutely everything and everybody but the one person that is to blame for the rape: The rapist.

Finally, there’s Brock himself, who still doesn’t understand that what he did wrong wasn’t drinking, and it wasn’t “sexual promiscuity”, who still doesn’t understand that what he did wrong was rape someone.

Brock is the rapist, but rapists are not random forces of nature. They’re humans, and humans are taught and raised and conditioned by the village they grew up in.

The judge, the father, the friend, and finally, the community. All of these voices telling Brock that it’s OK, that he’s entitled, that raping someone doesn’t mean he should ever suffer any consequences, that raping someone doesn’t make him a rapist.

Have you ever wondered what rape culture is? It’s this.

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