Should you blame Stanford University’s rape culture for Brock Turner, the rapist? Should you blame Brock Turner’s father, Dan, who appears to regard his son’s rape “antics” as an inconvenience, w/r/t his son’s career? Should you blame Brock Turner, the rapist, himself? The answer would (almost) appear to be no to all of the above. Why? Because after raping an unconscious 18 year old behind a dumpster, and in the process unleashing a lifetime of change upon the 18 year old that only she will fully understand, but that the whole world will have a view on, Brock Turner may have to serve 3 months of a 6 months’ sentence for a crime that could have earned him 14 years behind bars.
Brock Turner’s case makes clear that the Law, which dispenses the most lenient sentence for a most despicable crime, and Stanford University, which treats such occurrences as a minor irritation, in the way that its administrators barely even acknowledges them [the rapes and sexual assaults], do not work to end the practices of rape culture if you, as perpetrator of such crimes as listed above, are a white, educated, and reasonably well-off male (meaning you can stump up money for a sizeable bail without breaking a sweat).
The 7,000-word letter detailing events from the unconscious 18 year old’s point of view just made Dan Turner angry. And so he responded in kind. The conclusion to be made here is that women are viewed as worthless by some men, and by some women for that matter. They are also viewed as worthless by the Law and by educational institutions such as Stanford University. If the outrage over this particular case of rape blows over and is forgotten (but never by the 18 year old), then the wider society must also be said to be complicit in this respect. So, will it blow over? Do we just move on? Perhaps consider Leah Francis and the #standwithleah campaign, which, according to a quick Internet search, shows that we stopped standing with Leah at some point in 2014. If we fail to remain standing for the time it takes to end rape culture behavior it will not end, and we can expect many more Brock Turner’s to behave in similarly despicable ways.