20 Minutes of Action

I read Brock Turner’s dad’s statement and it made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Don’t get me wrong. I have endless compassion for that sinking feeling in realizing that someone you care for has done something horrible. I can relate to a strong sense of shame. I believe in the ability for people to change their lives for the better and to give back to the community after a crime. I salute those who take responsibility and do so.  I believe in second chances.  This dad’s life is never going to be the same either and I feel sad for him, from one parent to another. We all have hopes and dreams for our kids and it sucks when they get in their own way on the road to being good citizens and successful humans.

That being said, so much of this just not okay. I am speaking to the entitlement displayed here today and not to sentence length or judge’s decisions or making statements about what consequences should be meted out or political statements about the justice system in any country in particular. I’m talking about rape culture.

As a sexual assault survivor, I will say: You don’t get a discount on consequences because something didn’t last as long enough to feel “worth it” – the victim is not rendering services and offered no warranty on his enjoyment of her own victimization. You are not entitled to “buyers remorse”. The customer is not always right, and he was not a customer, he was a looter. Her safety, security and body are not commodities. 20 minutes can feel like a lifetime when you are hoping something will just be over and her pain didn’t stop there.

20 minutes of action is not what is being paid for.  It’s a settlement of pennies on the dollar for the lifetime this woman will spend getting over what happened to her and for all women who feel just a little less safe thinking about it. We are all very sorry to hear about Brock’s declining interest in steak, but to be fair, this isn’t the pound of flesh his victim was looking for either and it likely makes her sick to her stomach too.

Rape is not sexual promiscuity – it’s violence and entitlement. It’s not sexual promiscuity any more than shoplifting is excessive spending on too many pairs of shoes. It’s taking something that doesn’t belong to you – a sense of security, confidence, and the ability to be touched without thinking about that thing you wished never happened.

Rape is not “action”: it is destruction. It is calamity. It is pain. “Getting action” is something you brag about in the locker room with your buddies about your weekend. Rape is not “action”, it’s a crime.

Brock might not be hungry, but his victim is – for understanding and compassion – and the pantry probably feels pretty barren today.

 

2 Comments

  1. kathy radigan Reply

    Perfectly said. I don’t know what else to say about this, the anger I feel is so intense. Thank you for your smart words. xo

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