When I saw that Brock Turner was going to be released for “good behavior,” I had two reactions. First, I almost vomited. Second, I almost started crying. I was outraged that after receiving such a short sentence for his blatant crime… I’m sorry, I mean “twenty minutes of action,” he’s being released after only serving half of it. I’m disgusted with our justice system right now. Case after case has proved that we aren’t capable of imprisoning rapists because it’s always obviously the victim’s fault. I mean, half of these girls are sluts, they were drunk or passed out, they put themselves in a dangerous position, or they were blatantly asking for it. So clearly, they shouldn’t have been surprised that a man took advantage of them when they said to stop. They probably didn’t really mean it anyway.
So why would we imprison a man for a crime when the women has set herself up for it? According to our justice system, being vulnerable removes responsibility from criminal and onto the victim. Why not just cut out the middle man and imprison the victim? They were clearly an irresistible temptation and will lead others astray.
Not-so-subtle sarcasm aside, we finally get one rapist locked up. One rapist taken off the streets. One rapist punished for his crime. But was his punishment just? Six months. Some misdemeanors warrant harsher penalties. And many have. Then, he’s released after three months. Half his sentence. Brock Turner’s victim did not even receive justice when he was first convicted. And now he’s back on the streets.
What kind of message does that send?
To predators: rape isn’t a big deal. You probably won’t get charged because no one will believe your victim. I mean, she’s a slut right? She’s probably lying. She asked for it. Or if you get charged, you won’t get convicted. It was her fault. She didn’t fight back hard enough. Her signals were unclear. Rape doesn’t deserve punishment.
To women: you are worthless. You do not deserve justice. You are not worth protecting. You are the guilty one. You brought this on yourself. You get to look your rapist in the eye and know that no one cares what he did to you. You have to remember every detail, every second, and know that those seconds are yours to carry and yours alone. You get to have the pleasure of knowing that your life is forever changed and he gets to carry on as though nothing ever happened.
Think of your mothers, wives, and daughters. Think of your girlfriends, sisters, and best friends. Think of the old woman you sit next to on the bus every day, the young lady who checked you out at the grocery store, and the girl who smiled at you because you looked sad. Does she deserve that?
When Brock Turner gets released, that is the message that is being sent out. Yes, she does deserve to be raped and no, he does not deserve to be punished. This is the value that is placed on women. This is the leniency given to men. This is the world we live in.
This is a world that scares me.