We’re all aware of the Brock Turner case, his lenient sentence, and the support that his family has been asking for. Some have been arguing that Brock Turner simply made a mistake in being too “touchy-feely” with his “companion.” And in an attempt to argue for Brock’s innocence, a movement has been started called #brockinallofus. The goal of this hashtag is to point out that Brock made a mistake, that no one is perfect, and that if we look, we can find a little bit of Brock in all of us.
So the question is did Brock just make a mistake? Is he actually a good kid and does he deserve our support? And are we really all so self-righteous to say that we’re above making mistakes and therefore must be perfect? Should a young man be imprisoned for just a mistake? A big mistake, yes, but a mistake all the same.
First off, I look at myself and I do see someone who has faults, and a lot of them. I see someone who needs a little bit of help from time to time, who asks for some understanding, who does stupid things and regrets them later. I am a flawed human being and I mess things up a lot. So yes, I make mistakes. Brock is a flawed human being and he makes mistakes too. So I guess Brock and I have something in common, right? But here's the catch...
Rape is not a mistake. Rape is a crime.
Rape happens whenever someone has sex and the other partner has not consented or has withdrawn consent. And it does not matter if she leads you on, if she said yes and then changed her mind, or if she is passed out drunk and incapable of saying no. If she has not told you yes, then it is rape. There is no way to mistake no for yes. There is no way to mistake an unconscious body for someone who wants to have sex. Brock Turner did not make a mistake. Brock Turner committed a crime.
I will not allow myself to feel solidarity with or equate myself to a rapist, simply because we both make mistakes. I will not be using #brockinallofus to show my support.
I will not stand with Brock because Brock stands for everything that I am afraid of. Brock stands for the man who will take what he wants and refuse to admit he was wrong. Brock stands for the man who gets to take advantage of the system to the detriment of others. Brock stands for the man who will hurt me and my sisters and lay the blame on us. Brock stands for every time I walk home alone and fake a phone call while I hold my keys splayed out between my fingers. Brock stands for every time I consider buying pepper spray. Brock stands for every cat call, every illicit touch, every slimy stare. Brock stands for rape culture.