Does that name make your blood boil like it does mine? If not, it should. Brock Turner is a now 21 year old man who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Please, notice that I say man. He is not 'a boy' or 'a student', he is by definition a man. At the time of the rape Brock was a 20 year old swimmer at Stanford University, which let's be honest, is a very prestigious school, so he has to be decently smart, right? If you are 20 and attending Stanford you should be smart enough to know that forcing yourself inside of an unconscious woman is morally, ethically, and lawfully wrong.
Now I know, I know, Brock Turner is old news. Everyone knows about what he did, and how he was sentenced a measly 6 months for his caught-in-the-act rape. By now we also know that he only was required to serve 3 of those months because he was released on "good behavior". Wow. I sure am glad he was well behaved in jail because out of jail he clearly doesn't know how to behave--or respect women for that matter.
I am not writing this article to inform you on Brock Turner's horrendously joke of a sentencing, though. I am writing this article to talk about the rape culture on college campuses, and how it is just as much of the problem as rapists like Brock Turner are. First, look at all of the news articles throughout Brock Turner's trial, conviction, and releasing--almost all of them headline him as a 'Former-Stanford Swimmer'. L O freaking L. What does his athletic career have to do with the fact that he ruined a young woman's life?
#RapeCulture is humanizing rapists. The media is humanizing Brock Turner by repeating that he's a former swimmer, and that he's only 21 years old. The media also makes sure to tell us how Brock's parents said he's a good kid, and how his friends say that it was so uncharacteristic of him to do this. Why is the media spending so much time humanizing Brock when the woman is the real victim in this story.
Don't worry though, Stanford took action to prevent rape from ever happening on it's campus again. How, you ask? They banned hard liquor from campus parties!.....Are you laughing yet?
Raise your hand if you've ever had hard liquor and somehow magically refrained from raping someone. #RapeCulture is blaming alcohol for the rape that occurs on campuses rather than blaming the rapists. Was this really the only solution Stanford had for preventing rape? By banning hard liquor at parties Stanford is suggesting they agree with Brock Turner's statement that the 'party culture' and 'shots' are what made him rape a 23-year-old unconscious woman.
The sad thing is though, Stanford isn't the only college to blame for continuing the #RapeCulture in the U.S. Nearly every college in the country is guilty of continuing #RapeCulture by making their 'Campus Safety' suggestions biased in the way that it victimizes sexual assailants.
"Not my school!!!!" is what you're probably thinking right now. Sorry to break it to you, Sweetheart, but yes, odds are it's your college too. Do me a favor, open another tab in your browser and look up your campus' safety page. Look at the points they give you to keep yourself and your campus safe, just take a moment to read them all. Now let me guess, it tells you to walk in brightly lit areas, carry a whistle, use the buddy system, be cautious of how much alcohol you consume, take a self-defense course, always have a cell phone with you. Am I right on at least a few of them? I'm sure there's plenty I missed but I think you get the point.
#RapeCulture is colleges telling students how to be 'safe' rather than telling them not to rape. By saying we should walk in brightly lit areas they're suggesting that if we're on a dark street and get assaulted it's our fault. By telling us to use the buddy system they're disregarding the fact that the majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and is close to. By telling us to be cautious of how much alcohol we drink they're suggesting it's our fault if we're drunk and get raped.
Colleges need to stop telling us how to be 'safe', and start telling us not to rape. Instead of giving us safety tips, why not put on the safety tab of the website the consequences of sexually assaulting someone? I mean, I think that having to spend time in prison and register as a sex offender for the rest of your life will probably make a person think twice about whether or not their actions are worth it.
Being aware of the Brock Turner case and being aware of the devastating #RapeCulture in the United States are two completely different things. To understand why Brock's case is so infuriating you have to understand that this is happening all over the country, heck, most of the time the rape isn't even reported.
1 in 5 women report being sexually assaulted in college, and only 25% of those reports actually make it to trial. Brock Turner was given a joke of a sentencing, but he served more time than 90% of rapists ever have or will. I am personally offended by the Brock Turner sentencing and releasing because I am a woman, because I am a college student, because I refuse to accept the #RapeCulture that our society seems to promote and accept.