Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Burn it Down

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This week I've been consumed by liquid hot magma rage running through my vital organs, destroying everything in its path. Hearing that convicted rapist Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster is something I still have not come to terms with, and I'm someone on the other side of the country not involved. I cannot imagine how his victim feels about that sentence. If you guys are not familiar with this, I'm going to need you to click the links throughout.

In between building a towering inferno of rage inside of me so solid I could practically touch it, I cried reading his 23 year old victim's letter that she read directly to her rapist in open court. I got chills reading her last paragraph:
And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.

Fierce. Warrior.

It is some motherfucking bullshit that a woman has to jump through 2309480239840 hoops to get a rapist convicted, enduring questions on the stand about what she ate that night, what she drank, what she wore, if she flirted, as if ANY of those things were the cause of her being raped. BULLSHIT!
Via Buzzfeed
You know what caused her to be raped? Her rapist. That's it. Him and HIS actions and HIS choices. Nothing she did or didn't do.

While she has to endure this fucking bullshit of a personal attack on the stand after she has actually been attacked and assaulted in ways she will never recover from, all we hear about this fine upstanding young man is that he's a good athlete who's never raped anyone before. Guess what?  It doesn't matter how promising of a future he had. It doesn't matter how fast his swim times are. It doesn't matter that he's never done this before. What matters is that he raped this woman. This woman, this circumstance. He is a rapist.

After his victim had the courage to read a 12 page letter directly to him in court, Judge Aaron Persky, who is apparently a soulless bastard who maybe wasn't listening to this woman, gave Turner six months in county jail so the punishment doesn't have too severe of an impact on him. He gives a slap on the wrist to a guy who was found raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, tackled off of her by two passerby (who cried over what they saw), and unanimously convicted by a jury of his peers. Really? Really. This is straight up privileged patriarchal bullshit and I'm fucking done. Fuck the patriarchy. The judge is an old boy from Stanford, and he's up for re-election, unopposed. Click here to sign a petition to have his ass recalled.

But Judge P wasn't the only one stumping for poor wittle Bwock. Daddy wrote a letter too, in which he wah wah'ed about his golden son no longer eating his favorite snick snacks and how "20 minutes of action" (that is actually what he called the rape, no shit) ruined 20 years of his son being awesome. It sounds to me like Daddy had some take what he wants without regard for the personal autonomy or safety of others and then engage in victim-blaming of his own back in the day. These animals are trying to make this about binge drinking and promiscuity. It's not about anything other than rape, you entitled pricks.
Which, by the way, media...you...you are also complicit in this anti-victim anti-woman stage show. At the end of every article about this rapist you list his swim stats and mention his Olympic aspirations and show pictures of him smiling from the yearbook and not his rapist mugshot (well, they did...many have been updated with the mugshot after too many war cries). I'm looking at you, Washington Post. The way we talk about rape and perpetrators of it has long-lasting, rippling effects. People are still raping women because they think they can get away with it...which, apparently, they can.

Do I sound angry? Good. I am angry. I am so angry I can't even find a way to describe it. There have been a lot of eloquent writings on the internet about this situation this week, tempered and calm and well written - see here and here for just two of them, as well as the one that resonated the most with me a few paragraphs below. I'm sorry this isn't one of them. I'm too angry.

You should be angry too. This is not just a problem for women. This is a problem for all of us.

Because in addition to Daddy and Judge Pecker, there are pages in support of this rapist. Pages I can't bring myself to read because I'm afraid that I'll spontaneously combust with rage. Pages out there supporting a convicted rapist. It could have been any of us and the outcome would have been the same.

It's sentencings like this and support for this type of criminal behavior that make vigilante justice a thing. This here is a phenomenal blog post on Abadoning Pretense entitled We with the Pitchforks. The major takeaway for me is this:
Let us gather, as a community, on behalf of this woman for whom justice was not served, with our torches and pitchforks, ready to put Brock in his place.Because the justice system failed not only her, but all of us. And goddammit, if the justice system is not going to protect us, I guess we are just going to have to fucking protect ourselves.

We are not protected now. And there are people who are okay with that. I'm not okay with it. And I don't want to know anyone who is okay with it. I will cut you out of my life in a second. 

This sentencing, and the ignorant victim blaming fucks it has exposed, has made my blood roar, my throat burn, and my skin run hot. Rape is never, ever, EVER the victim's fault, regardless of what she did or didn't do, what she wore, how she acted. Her life is never less important than her attacker's regardless of what station in life either of them occupies. 

This sentencing, and the way it exposes the rape culture that is so prevalent in this country that so many people deny exists, has made me clench my fists so hard I leave nail marks in my palms. 

This sentencing, and what it means for all women - yes, you, and your daughters and nieces and wives and girlfriends and mothers and aunts and grandmothers and neighbors and teachers and every woman here - ensures that I will bang my fucking feminist drum as long and as loud as I need to. I don't care who is tired of hearing it. I will do everything I can to affect change on this topic. I'll go to my deathbed doing it. 

In this current climate, women's bodies can be violated without punishment. When assaulted, women have to practically provide video to be believed and all the man has to say is, "I didn't do it." And before someone trots out of the woodwork saying but women falsely accuse men of rape too, stop. I don't want to hear it. That's the exception and for you to bring it up after this sentencing is honestly fucking insane and you're part of the problem. This bullshit is the rule and this is not anywhere close to equality. 

It will keep happening until the majority of society makes it unacceptable. Until we're vocal about it. Until we change how we talk about rape, the words we use, how we treat victims. This sort of societal change requires men and women. 

In this dark tunnel, I see the light of many males just as enraged about this as females. Good. It takes all of us - that means you, too, people who were worried about us getting raped in bathrooms by people who have no interest in raping us but only in peeing. Let's be productive in our anger. Let's take this repugnant and disgusting and inhuman and unacceptable rape culture and burn it down. 

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36 comments:

  1. You just said everything I've been thinking and feeling all week.

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  2. Thank you for articulating so much raw anger that many of us can't put into words.

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  3. All of this is everything in my head. I'm appalled that our justice system failed the victim so much. Also, the pastor that wrote the letter to Brock's dad is my former boss! :)

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  4. Fuck the patriarchy is right. Amen, Steph.

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  5. #Rage

    Thank you for articulating what I couldn't. I tried, but all that came out were F bombs. I should be a bigger person, but I hope Brock drops the soap. Maybe then Dad will understand that rape is more than "20 minutes of action". Idiots!

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  6. So much ANGER with this case. Literally get goosebumps and chills when I read the articles, and now, your post. What a prick, the father is. His son's life has been "forever changed" and "affected" Talking about how he hardly eats and barely functions like he used to. Are you ******* kidding me, dude? Just so much wrong with this..

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  7. Anyone else wish The Purge were a real thing? Anyone?

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  8. I've seen future Brock Turners as 9 year olds. I can pick them out. The privilege their parents put on them (whether they have money or not) practically sets off a warning alarm and it's nauseating.
    As much as I hate Brock Turner, I hate his dad more.

    Ironically enough, it goes the other way in the military. All a female has to do is say she's been a victim and the guy gets in trouble. It's just as sickening because I've seen the system be played.

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  9. Rage is a freaking understatement. I can't believe it. I still can't believe that this is the case. Rape is rape. Rapists cause rape. Your past shouldn't be an indicator of what your sentence is when you make the decision to RAPE someone. Ugh, effing hell!

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  10. I don't know that I'm as angry as you; my response when I read her gut-wrenching, soul-rending letter was fear. How many times could that have been me? Could it still happen? How would I ever live after something like that? Her violation is a violation of all people, not just women.

    I think the sentence that strikes me the oddest in Daddy's idiotic letter is the part about how his rapist son has worry, anxiety, fear and depression. Um, Dad? That's called guilt. Those aren't the symptoms of worry about a verdict - he feels GUILTY (AS WELL HE SHOULD) because he violently violated another human being for no reason. I hope he has worry, anxiety, fear and depression forever and never sleeps soundly again. That sounds like a terrific verdict for what he's done to that poor girl.

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  11. this is the most vile thing i've heard of in a while. it's no wonder this asshole isn't even taking any sort of responsibility for his actions given his father's dismissive statement. i bet they wouldn't be singing that story if that happened to the mother/sister/grandmother. if it happened to their own family member, you'd better believe they'd be out for blood.

    and to think that this guy now wants to 'educate' others on the consequences of drinking/alcohol abuse? what kind of passive aggressive excuse bullshit is that; as if it's the woman's fault...how about the fact that he fucking stuck his dick in someone without consent; that he CHOSE to do that to her; that he felt he had the right to do that to her. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

    as a parent, i am fucking appalled that his parents are standing behind him and what he did. as a mother and woman, i would be disgusted and embarrassed and enraged that my child could do that to another human being.

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  12. I appreciate your anger and, like you, wish there was more of it going around. 6 months?! GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. Between this and the covering up of sexual assaults at Baylor, it just feels like we're taking 10 steps back.

    The dad mentioning a ribeye made me want to punch him in the face. Who gives a shit. And it's so telling that his letter makes no mention of the real victim.

    Love that Feminists United tweet.

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  13. Reading this made me angry all over again about it. Every single rapist has that "first time" just because it was the first time and he's never done it before does NOT make it right. SO if he didn't get caught would he just keep going and not ever do it again...highly unlikely and with just his slap on the wrist he will do it again.
    I just had this conversation the other day with some friends of mine...I am SO TIRED of it being my responsibility as a woman to keep a guy from lusting, raping, or whatever. Why is it my responsibility to make sure some asshole doesn't have horrible thoughts or actions by what I'm wearing, drinking, eating or how I'm acting. Why in the hell am I responsible for that? Why is it my job to dress appropriately or not over indulge just to make sure that some guy keeps it in his pants or doesn't make some rude comment about me. When is society going to start making the man responsible for his own damn actions...
    Girl you got me heated all over again...ha!

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  14. The letter from the father explains it all, no wonder this kid believes his actions have no consequences. Are we supposed to feel bad for your son b/c he's suffering for a CHOICE he made to rape someone? It's so disgusting, and is typical victim-blaming bullshit. Over it!

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  15. This is so perfectly written. Reading this just fueled more rage over the whole thing that now I'm sitting here crying. Who gives a fuck if a proper sentence will affect his future. What about hers? As if her future isn't altered now... Oh he won't be happy go lucky anymore? As opposed to her who is going to be a ray of sunshine because of this?

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  16. It so incredibly sickening. Her letter was heartbreaking to read but so brave. I literally cannot even wrap my head around the logic in the judges sentencing. And the statement Brock gave was basically a list of excuses and it wasn't his fault because he was drinking! RAGE!!! The world lately is honestly letting me down :(

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  17. This ... I just cant get into it or I get in this dark place myself. & what's so freaking sad, nothing will change from ANY of our anger. Not one flipping thing. Just shows how stupid our world is right now.
    & the bad thing, this is happening every day. Men getting away with this violence & crime. & women still getting fingers pointed on why it happened. UGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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  18. I have commented on a few other posts that mentioned this case and I honestly still cant even put in to words how I feel and how angry this makes me. I hope that fucking prick drowns in a damn pool when he gets out in 6 months. The fact that it is inconvenient for him to be in prison for longer than 6 months for a horrible act of rape that he did just enrages me to the depths of my soul. This is such a grave injustice and this is what is wrong with society today. What message does this send out to guys out there???? That they can take any woman they want and do whatever with her just as long as they have a little money and a promising future because then the sentence is considered with leniency?!?!?! I cant.

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  19. Punish by removing their assault weapons which may include a lobotomy. What the fuck else will stop this. Let the victims decide their fate. Rape is worse than murder.
    Sending lights for this lame attitude of some people to change and the rapists' dicks to fall off if they even THINK about raping anyone. Thoughts are things. Love. Your. Momma.

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  20. I'm sickened by what this poor girl has been through so publicly and the rapist got a slap on the wrist. It breaks my heart that women of all ages go through this, and a lot of times the guy tries to make it look like it was their fault. Disgusting! There is no excuse EVER :(

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  21. I am just sickened beyond belief over the slap wrist that RAPIST got and his dad's appalling defense. How rape victims are often treated worse than their rapists. How we blame them. Not okay. Not true. It just makes so me angry and yet some lawmakers are soooooo worried about transgenders using the "wrong" bathroom and using rape to justify their discrimination. If they were so fucking worried about rape, then where are they now? I've signed the petition and hope to God that dumbass judge gets thrown out. The only good thing is Brock can't hide. We know the truth: he is a convicted rapist. He may have had a bright future but he CHOSE to throw it away when he RAPED a woman. This was HIS choice and he needs to be held responsible, which pretty much everyone but the judge seemed to understand.

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  22. I'm not going to get into my actual feelings on this topic, because I don't think it's good for my blood pressure :) I completely agree with you on all points, although I did read a really interesting article in the Washington post the other day on showing the rapist's smiling face instead of his mugshot. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/why-the-standford-attackers-smiling-photo-is-far-more-telling-than-any-mugshot/2016/06/07/a3c007b0-2c9d-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html

    Ok, I will just say one thing. It's a bit of a moot point since they found him guilty (small favors), but I cannot comprehend how he is still claiming that they were having consensual sex... Behind a dumpster. Yes, every woman wants to lay on the ground behind some nasty ass dumpster to have sex. That makes ALL the sense! Ok, that's all. I quit.

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  23. Agree with you 100% on your comments - the judge's sentence was unbelievable, the rapist's dad's letter was unbelievable, and anyone showing for support for him is also unbelievable.

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  24. I 100% agree with you on all of this! I can't believe that this guy received such a light sentence for raping an unconscious person! You don't do that! You weren't raised that way! Even if you're drunk, that's not an excuse! Alcohol can't make you do anything! It's all just so disturbing!

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  25. AMEN! the presidential stuff is ridiculous, but this is DISGUSTING and so far off the charts of disappointing from anything else this country has done in a while. my mom, the calm and respectable catholic woman that she is, always says that every rapist "should be strapped upside down by his balls". in this case they should strap the kids dad up too because i have never in my life read a more ridiculous statement in my life. so technically if I shot someone, but it only took lets say 2 mins start to finish I should not be punished to the fullest extent of the law because it "only lasted 2 mins"....are you fucking kidding me?!??!

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  26. 100000% agree with this. Couldn't have said it better. The shit that women have to deal with makes it feel like we're still living in 1900. He and his sympathizers are monsters.

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  27. I've commented several places on your fb this week, so you know I'm right there with you, my fellow feminist warrior!

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  28. When I read the article you posted I saw red. I can't even explained my feelings besides anger at all the things except the victim and the two bicyclist. Thank you for posting!

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  29. And now they're saying he won't even do half that time. I can't even put into words how this makes me feel every time I see someone else mention it or talk about it. Luckily I haven't seen any sympathizers.

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  30. As usual, I agree . Shared this on my blog today.

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  31. Very well stated - how repulsive that it needs to be spoken at all.

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  32. Thanks for this awesome web page, i like it because the article is very unique and easy to understand. Best Dehumidifier for Basement

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  33. Hello friend . . . I just enjoyed reading a ton of your previous posts to catch myself up on your life. You've been busy, and the paint incident of 2016 will go down in the record books as a doozy. I love reading your thoughts and hearing about your shenanigans . . . I tend to agree with your points of view and feel we are like-minded on most things. Just thought you should know that I truly enjoy reading your blog and am glad you are such a faithful poster . . . unlike some of us!


    And yes, just like yourself and most folks with a heart, this post topic brings out the rage in a big way. I simply cannot fathom how things are so broken in our system that this "boy" all but gets away with it. And the senseless deaths in Orlando this weekend . . . sometimes it seems like watching the news just isn't worth it. You take care and happy summer!

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  34. Rage doesn't even cover it. There are no words. Complete and utter injustice.

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  35. this whole thing just disgusts me. i truly hope he gets what is coming to him. i cannot believe there are people out there supporting him. i keep thinking 'i can't believe this' like i have a choice or something. this is disgusting. what the fuck is wrong with this fucking world. 'Let's be productive in our anger'. Yes.

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