Alcohol and Rape: The Stanford Sexual Assault Case – Part 2

Here’s my Part 2 about the Stanford sexual assault case. This is where I just want to respond with “What the Hell” to the things Mr. Turner and Brock’s friend, Leslie, have to say. I find these assertions to be more disturbing than the quotes in Part 1; if that’s at all possible.

it’s not rape, it’s idiot boys and girls making poor decisions.

Another quote from Brock’s friend Leslie,

“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”

What else is rape? Rape is rape; there is no other kind. People don’t rape because they are rapists; they are rapists because they have raped someone! I don’t understand why this needs explanation. No means no! Being intoxicated or unconscious is not an automatic yes; in fact, it’s an automatic NO; it’s an automatic sign to STOP. How is that not understood?

I give this next quote of hers a gigantic, WHAT THE HELL!!!

“This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot,” [Leslie] continued. “That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgment”

Again, rape is rape! Why is this so hard to understand? This goes beyond having clouded judgment due to drinking too much. It goes beyond being aware of your surroundings. What part of, she was passed out and unconscious is Brock’s friend not understanding? You don’t have to be sober to realize you don’t continue to fondle and penetrate an unconscious person; you don’t even do those things to someone who has clearly drank too much alcohol. The victim had never meet Brock before this night; so how does that differ from being attacked by a stranger? Here’s the answer: IT DOESN’T.

Most people are assaulted by someone they know. Does that somehow make it less of a crime? I think not! What is so infuriating about these comments is the justification of what Mr. Turner and Brock’s friend, Leslie, perceive as what constitutes rape and what doesn’t. Being kidnapped is not the only definition of what happens when a person is raped. Alcohol is not a get out of jail free card! You cannot dismiss the validity of what happened to the victim simply because you say she wasn’t kidnapped, and because she had too much to drink. You cannot dismiss the irreversible harm that has been done to her. She feels utterly violated and no one can tell her that she doesn’t or shouldn’t feel the way that she does. She is the victim and has every right to feel whatever emotions she feels, and no one can say it’s not valid or not right for her to feel the way she does. You cannot dismiss what happened to her by saying, “These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink” (nice victim blaming by the way, nice and subtle just like her previous comment about the “decision” the victim made that night).

Brock tried to run away and was tackled and held by two heroes. An innocent person does not run. A scared person might, but what was there for Brock to be scared of if he knew he was not doing anything wrong? Where was his concern for his unconscious victim? It appears as though he was only concerned for himself. If everything were as he would have everyone to believe, it is reasonable to believe he would have shown concern for her. If someone is in the midst of a sexual experience, whether romantic or in a moment of lust, if the person you are with suddenly passes out and is unconscious you immediately try to help them. You don’t say to yourself, “I’ll finish up with what I’m doing, and then afterwards I’ll check to see if they are okay”. It certainly is not considered to be “20 minutes of action” as though it’s normal to ravish an unconscious person. Even better yet, if you notice the person you are with has had too much to drink, help them get to a safe place; don’t fondle or have sex with them.

it’s all about brock.

In a letter to the judge, Brock’s father laments the ways in which his son’s life has changed, and tries to paint his son as somehow a victim in all of this. His father writes,

“He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear and depression”

People have a hard time admitting that someone they know and love have committed or are capable of such a horrible crime. Mr. Turner’s comments are not only troubling but also infuriating. It bothers me more than I can say, to hear anyone be more concerned for a perpetrator than for the victim. I understand Mr. Turner is deeply concerned for his son; however, that does not make it okay to make comments that come across as minimizing the trauma Brock’s victim has been through. Where is the concern for Brock’s victim? What in the hell do they think his victim is going through? No wonder Brock does not think he did anything wrong when those around him won’t acknowledge or hold him accountable for his actions. I’m sure Brock’s life has changed in many ways, and that he has many concerns about his conviction; however, it is only as a result of his actions which have also changed the life of his victim. I can guarantee you the victim’s life is forever changed and affected more than Brock’s life ever will be. Mr. Turner talks about Brock no longer being able to live the life he had dreamed of. What makes his life more valuable and more worthy of living out his dreams than his victim? Brock has shattered her whole world and it will never be the same again. I know her recovery will be slow and difficult. I hope and pray she will find the healing she is looking for. Both Brock and this young woman’s life has been greatly affected by Brock’s actions that night.

oh, but he wasn’t violent

I find it troubling that Mr. Turner says,

“He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015

What the hell Mr. Turner, the very act of rape is a violent act. A predator does not need to use weapons or make threats of violence for it to be considered a violent crime. Violating a person’s most sacred sense of self, safety, worth, identity, and a million other things is what makes rape such a violent crime.

If Mr. Turner really wants to help his son I would say, start off by: understanding his son’s actions is rape, then help Brock to take responsibility for his actions by helping him to understand why his actions that night is rape, and help him to face the consequences for his actions; not trying to get him a lighter sentence. Brock’s life is not over. Instead of focusing on getting Brock a lighter sentence, Mr. Turner’s time would be better spent on showing his son how to rebuild his life. There are no short-cuts in rebuilding your life. As difficult as it will be for Brock to rebuild his life, it still won’t compare to the work his victim will have to do to rebuild her life.

The very fact all of what I’m writing in this blog post needs to be explained to some people is very troubling to me, and angers me more deeply than I can express. Where has common sense and human decency gone? I fear it’s turning into a thing that only exists in myths.

Here are the links to read the articles I’ve quoted from:

The Powerful Letter by Brock Turner’s Victim

Brock Turner’s Father Sparks Outrage

Brock’s Friend Blames Political Correctness for His Conviction

Alcohol and Rape: The Stanford Sexual Assault Case – Part 1

Alcohol and Rape: The Stanford Sexual Assault Case – Part 1

It’s taken me a long time to finish this post. I’ve got so much to say that I have decided to post it in two parts. There are so many things about the Stanford sexual assault case that bothers me deeply. I don’t understand the total lack of understanding on the part of the offender and his supporters. How does a person not understand that performing sexual acts and/or having sex with an extremely drunk and unconscious person is rape/sexual assault? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. I do not believe for one minute that Brock did not notice she was unconscious.

How they can so easily dismiss his actions on collage drinking culture? Drinking alcohol or being drunk is no excuse for sexually assaulting a person; oh, excuse me…for “20 minutes of action” as Brock’s dad, Mr. Turner, has put it. Alcohol is not the issue here. Thinking it’s okay to have sex or perform sexual acts with a person who has consumed enough alcohol they can barely talk and walk; let alone when they are unconscious and it not being considered rape because alcohol is involved is one of the biggest issues here. Alcohol does not excuse his actions; it doesn’t even give an explanation as to why he did it. I do not believe you have to be sober to realize that a person is unable to consent to sex and all that leads up to it.

Brock’s victim does an amazing job in explaining it,

“Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency.…Note; if a girl falls down help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls down, do not mount her…”

Something that really bothers me is his statement where he says he thought she was enjoying what he was doing because she was rubbing his back. Has anyone stopped to consider, perhaps she was trying to signal him to stop, to get his attention, but was barely able to do so due to the amount of alcohol in her system? Brock had to have been so consumed with his own desires that he completely tuned her out and was only focused on satisfying himself.

It was alcohol consumption and promiscuity…or was it?

Let’s play the devil’s advocate here for just a moment since some seem to think alcohol is the issue here. One of Brock’s friends blames his conviction on political correctness, while Brock’s father blames it on alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. Saying Brock and the victim were both drunk, and since the victim had no memory of what happened how could it be determined it was rape.

Brock’s father, Mr. Turner wrote,

“Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other collage age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity”

This case is not about alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity; that kind of rationalization assumes that just because a person has consumed alcohol they are going to sleep around. How absurd to make that assumption! That kind of rationalization also assumes that a person has rights to another simply because alcohol was involved. Well, folks…that is some grade A victim blaming, right there.

Brock’s friend, Leslie, wrote,

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

Here is another example of subtle victim blaming; by saying because the victim can’t remember, it should be assumed it was consensual. This is not a “it takes two to tango” type of situation. What decision is Leslie talking about? The victim’s decision to drink alcohol that night? That has no bearing on what happened. It is ridiculous to believe that the victim made any kind of decision that night which would have made Brock’s actions okay. The victim was unconscious; what is anyone expecting her to remember? It doesn’t matter how she became unconscious. The fact remains that she WAS unconscious and Brock was on top of her. It doesn’t even matter IF she had consented to things they were doing prior to her passing out. When anyone has consumed enough alcohol they are barely able to talk and walk, barely conscious, or even unconscious you don’t fondle and have sex with that person; that is called rape. Really, it’s not that complicated. You can’t just say, “oh, well, she was just drunk and doesn’t remember what happened”. It doesn’t matter what anyone says; you don’t fondle or have sex with someone who is extremely intoxicated or unconscious…THAT IS CALLED RAPE. Just because Brock says he knows what happened does not automatically make his version the truth. Just because he did not pass out does not mean he gets to write the script for what happened that night. If the evidence did not point to rape, I highly doubt he would have been found guilty. It is not easy for a person to be found guilty of rape in a criminal court case; the burden of proof is very high.

Here are the links to read the articles I’ve quoted from:

The Powerful Letter by Brock Turner’s Victim

Brock Turner’s Father Sparks Outrage

Brock’s Friend Blames Political Correctness for His Conviction