You’ve probably already read the statement by the woman who was sexually assaulted by former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who last week was given six fucking months for the crime. If you haven’t, you know where to find Google. Go and read it. I’ll be right here, waiting.
Back? Good. Six fucking months. He could have got up to 14 years. Prosecutors asked for six years. The judge gave him six fucking months in county jail and probation because, quote, “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him”.
That’s why I told you to go and read the statement by the woman he assaulted, to realise the “severe impact” it had on her. When she woke up in hospital after a booze blackout, she gradually found out she been left half naked behind a dumpster after Turner had fingered her so severely she had internal abrasions. Oh yeah, and this shining beacon of humanity ran off after two guys spotted what was going on and intervened.
One thing – among many horrific things – in that statement stood out for me.
“He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else.”
Don’t get drunk, ladies, we’re told. Don’t wear revealing clothing. You put yourself at risk. To which the answer of any self-respecting person should be: fuck off. Do the people giving these warnings really have such low opinions of men? And yes, I’m talking male-on-female assault here because a) that’s the story in the news b) that’s the situation we’re always warned against and c) that’s the vast majority of sexual assaults and I can’t believe I’m even having to clarify this but there will always be some dickhead in the comments…
Again: do the people giving these warnings have such low opinions of men that they think men can’t control themselves? That the only thing stopping men going out and raping women all the time is not spotting a flash of thigh, or a lack of semi-conscious women to throw over their shoulders and carry off, caveman-style? If you’re a man, how are you not constantly insulted by this demeaning attitude to your respect for your fellow humans?
And as for six fucking months…if Turner had dragged this woman behind the dumpster and hit her repeatedly with a baseball bat; if he’d kicked her and broken her bones, would he have got six months? I don’t think so. But because her injuries were primarily emotional, the judge pats him on the head and sends him on his way. Because, and I quote again, the judge “do[es] not think he will be a danger to others”.
Bear in mind that, in his own statement, Turner is still not accepting full responsibility for his actions, instead focusing on “campus drinking culture”. You can read for yourself what the victim has to say about that. But campus drinking culture didn’t sexually assault her. Brock Turner did.
There’s a great routine by a comedian called Kent Valentine, in which he talks about the many cases of student athletes attacking and raping women. He says that often we’re told the athlete ‘doesn’t know any better’. Valentine points out all the useless things we’re taught in school, and yet no time can be found for ‘don’t rape women’. Women don’t get raped because they’re drunk. Women get assaulted and raped because someone assaults and rapes them.
If Brock Turner hasn’t learned that lesson, then I believe he still poses a danger to others.
Because here’s a thing: you are not entitled to sex. Whatever your gender or sexual orientation, nobody owes you a fuck. Can’t get laid consensually? Try being nicer. Think you’re a ‘nice guy’ but women rebuff you? Chances are you’re not a nice guy at all, you’re just pretending to be nice in order to get laid.
You will not die from lack of a shag. Have a nice wank. Pay for it – though remember that not even sex workers owe you sex. (Just because it’s a transaction, they still have the right to withdraw their consent if you start doing things they’re not comfortable with.) You. Are. Not. Entitled. To. Sex.
How difficult is this? Don’t rape people. Don’t sexually assault them. Don’t penetrate or grope them if they’re barely responsive. Don’t drag them behind a dumpster and strip them semi-naked. Don’t do whatever it was that caused this woman to find pine needles in her vagina.
How is this not the most obvious truth of our society? How does it not go without saying? How are we still giving people six fucking months for violating a vulnerable woman in a horrendous way because his life is apparently worth more than hers?
Oh, of course. That’s why. I forgot about that one.
Six fucking months.