You poor guy. Life has really taken a huge crap on you the last few months, hasn’t it? I can’t imagine what it’s like to know social media feeds across the country are rampant with your name and angry eyebrow emojis. Three months of jail. Three. Whole. Months. Damn. That is certainly more than enough to compensate for ruining the life of a girl who is ‘free’, right? It wasn’t tooottaallllllyyyyyy your fault! There was booze! There was dancing! There was promiscuity! Certainly angry people writing rapist outside on your driveway is completely unwarranted!
Nobody even seems to care about how hard you worked to educate young college students about how bad party culture is!!!
……………………………………… Nope, I’m sorry, Brock. I can’t bullshit this any longer.
I tried and tried and tried to find some way to humanize you, to see the man that apparently Judge Aaron Persky saw when he thought that a mere six months (and only three months that you actually served) was representative of the lifetime of trouble you caused your victim. But I can’t. As a woman, who has just miraculously survived four years of college without facing the horrors (sexual assault) that one in every five women attending a university will report (but more will endure,) I am just not able to do so. I would apologize, but I don’t think I have to.
The way I see it, you had an opportunity. When you found an unconscious woman, alone, you could have been the hero of this story. You could have made the choice to help her home, to protect her from people who might wish her harm, and to set an example for how men and women should handle this type of situation. You could have saved a life, instead of destroying one. But you didn’t. Blame drinking and culture and college all you want, but that was still your choice. A choice that was clearly able to be made, considering two students on bikes made it instead, and gave the world at least a glimmer of hope.
There shouldn’t even have to be a hero of this story. There shouldn’t even be a story. It should not have happened. Period.
But it did.
So sometimes I wonder: what would you have had to do in order for that sentence to have been longer? If the victim were a child, would you be in jail forever? If the victim were a young man, would the sentence have been more longer? Was the severity of your sentencing, (or lack thereof,) adjusted because the human being you decided to assault behind a dumpster happened to be a young woman? Or because she was drunk? Or because she wasn’t dressed conservatively enough? Or because she, according to some people, ‘deserved it’? (Even though she totally did not deserve it. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.)
What would she have had to be for your punishment to be equal to the crime that you committed? Because apparently ‘unconscious’ was not enough.
Or, and here’s a thought…. what if you hadn’t been a prominent swimmer? What if you hadn’t attended a popular school? What if you hadn’t been upper middle class? What if you hadn’t been white? What if your case hadn’t been as high profile as it was? Would people have cared less about who you were then? Would the world be just a little safer from people like you?
I mean, what if it had been you, Brock Turner? Do you think three months would have been enough for the person who attempted to digitally penetrate you behind a dumpster after a party?
Just…. What fucking if, you know?
I want, desperately, for this to all just stop. I want people to stop talking about you. It sickens me to think that, somehow, you might actually be able to benefit from this in some way. I want the survivor of your assault to be able to move on and to finally have some peace of mind when she logs on to social media, that she isn’t going to have to see your mugshot plastered next to your swimming times. It kills me to think that people talking about you and making this case known is one of the only ways this society knows how to combat the epidemic of sexual assault.
But here is the honest freaking truth: If it isn’t your victim, then it is another young, intoxicated woman behind a dumpster at a party. Or just a normal woman. Or a child. Or a man. Or a trans-person. Or non cis-gendered individual. Or literally any person, any color, any sex, any age, any religion, and any identity. There are lives at risk here, especially women. Maybe it is a little more dangerous for some than others, of course, but the risk is too high all the same.
Here is another horrifying fact: If it isn’t you, it’s another man (or literally any person) who thinks their immediate sexual pleasure or personal gain is more important than the life, the sanity, and the well-being of a fellow human being.
And I’ll be honest, I get that the prison system we have now is far from perfect. It probably sucks in there, especially for rapists like you. But I also can’t really bring myself to care about your ‘good behavior’. Where was your ‘good behavior’ that night at the party? Clearly you weren’t interested in it then, so I’m not interested in it now.
I’m not always stoked to know that my tax dollars are spent to keep people with petty crimes off the streets, but I did have some solace knowing it was you being held behind bars.
I guess I don’t get that peace any more. And neither does the woman who is in the process of surviving your attack, for that matter. That is the real injustice here.
If it were up to me, you would be in jail indefinitely, until your victim is freed from the social, emotional, financial, and perpetual ‘jail’ that you put her in. When she is free, you can be free, too. Maybe then, you’ll learn to feel a fucking ounce of remorse or guilt for your actions.
I'm not saying you should go hunt him down and kill the man, not by any means. Violence should not beget more violence. But if Brock doesn't want people to think he is an awful person, than he shouldn't have been an awful person, and taken advantage of someone that night. Period.
So yea, sure, let us consider what it’s like to be like Brock Turner. For a moment. Literally a second. Then stop. Don’t waste one more second of your life trying to pity him. Don’t let anyone tell you that you, and the rest of the world, are being too harsh on him.
Instead, go out and make the choices that Brock Turner should (and could) have made that night, and hold the people in your life accountable to the same standards. It’s as simple as that.