The past couple days the internet has been consumed with the trial of Brock Turner, the swimmer at Stanford who was convicted of 3 counts felony sexual assault and only sentenced to 6 months in the county jail for a crime punishable by upwards of a decade in prison.
In the past, I would have kept scrolling and not looked too much into this but with having a daughter of my own, this story grabbed my attention. I don’t want my daughter to ever have to go through what this young woman went through. I don’t ever want to see her spirit wiped away by the most gruesome of personal violations and to have her reputation destroyed in the process of seeking justice. I want to provide her with the knowledge to protect herself from ever being raped. And by this I don’t mean the scary boogeyman rapist who lurks in the shadows looking for unknown victims; for that she will have be a kung fu master with a degree in mixed martial arts.
Blaming this type of crime on alcohol blows my mind. Can I blame my DUI’s on alcohol? Sure can, but that is part of the crime. There is no such thing an RUI (Raping Under the Influence). Sounds stupid doesn’t it? Sure I made mistakes and thought I was ok to drive after drinking but even after all the drinking in my life, at no time have I ever thought rape was ok. This entitled prick, Brock Turner had the world on a platter and because he thought he could do whatever he wanted, he took advantage of a young girl who even though may have drank too much, never deserved this.
The only cause of rape is rape, that’s it. I could tell my daughter to never drink which is what I am hopeful for but once she is an adult, that is a choice she will make for herself. What I would like to tell her is “don’t ever, not ever, drink a single drop of alcohol, ever no matter what! I don’t care how safe the social scene appears to you. I don’t care how awesome your girlfriends promise to be. I don’t care if you are the legal age. You have no idea if and when your judgment will be lost and since the Brock Turners of this world can’t be relied upon to exercise any judgment even when you are sloppy drunk to the point of unconsciousness. You cannot let yourself be vulnerable to the likes of him due to being drunk, so just don’t drink.” I know it is easier said than done but if I had my way that is how it would go.
This whole story makes me concerned for my daughter and for her safety, but my son won’t be off the hook when it comes to this. If he were old enough today to understand what happened in this case then I would look him in the eye and tell him, “don’t be like fucking Brock Turner.”
To be more specific, “don’t ever, ever, don’t even think about it. I don’t care what she is dressed like, how much you or her may have had to drink or whatever else you may be thinking. Treat women and all people with respect and stand up to those who may be vulnerable. And unlike Brock Turner, his asshat of a dad and the Stanford Alum Judge, be a good example for others to be able to follow.”
I am not perfect and have done things that I regret, but since becoming a father and getting sober, I know I have the ability to guide my children to know right from wrong. Brock Turner was an accomplished swimmer who may have had the opportunity to compete one day at the Olympics. He is now a rapist who pinned an unconscious woman down and sexually assaulted her in an alley. Both of these things are true. Everyone is going to have their opinion but this is mine and whether you agree with me or not, I don’t care. Parents and colleges should stress that every single person attending a campus party needs to take responsibility for watching out for everyone's welfare, especially people who are drunk. Keep women from being sexually assaulted and men from ruining their lives.