author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Brock Turner is not a star swimmer, he is not a Stanford honour student: Brock Turner is a rapist.
Game over. It’s time for reality. No more hypotheticals.
I am going to run a hypothetical concept by you: I, a university student, burn a house down. This crime does not benefit anyone, the people who live in the house are rendered homeless, and there are thousands of dollars in damage. For the sake of our game here, guess what the news headline will read? Well, if I am anything like Brock Turner, it will read something along the lines of: “University student warms hands by bungalow blaze, does nothing wrong.” Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? She committed a crime, you’re thinking; she hurt so many people!
Game over. It’s time for reality. No more hypotheticals. Brock Turner: aggressive rapist, criminal, misogynist, violent offender. Wait, that’s not what the headlines read? Instead, they highlighted his Stanford swim career? He was sentenced to just six months in prison, only to be released in three, after raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster? Disgusting, but unsurprising, as there has unfortunately always been a trend of allowing upper class male rapists to walk away from their offenses. They’re “good kids,” they have “never acted out in their lives,” they have “promising careers ahead of them.” They are Brock Turner, and they are rapists that never pay the price for their crimes.
These men are powerful, these men are financially sound, and these men are rapists.”
I should not have to write this piece. I should not have to sift through endless web pages of content, testimonies, traumatized victim statements, and interviews with sexual offenders that promise to “change their ways.” Women should not have to be afraid late at night, walking down the street, on university campuses, in parking garages, or in their homes. Women should not need to keep silent out of fear of public demonization, out of fear of Brock Turners being released early, only to face a barrage of voices asking, “why didn’t you speak up when you had the chance?”
Brock Turner is not the first of his kind, nor will he be the last. The upper-class man has had a stranglehold on the criminal system for as many years as it has existed (it is easy to control what you invent): the “beloved” Bill Cosby was defended, photographer Terry Richardson continues to abuse models, and Mike Tyson was released halfway through his sentence after raping an eighteen-year-old model. These men are powerful, these men are financially sound, and these men are rapists. Read that again. These men – these wealthy, educated, influential men – are rapists. These men have raped women, these men have been inadequately punished, or not punished at all, and they are still respected.
Allow me to speak frankly as a woman for a moment. As a gender, as a community, we are very, very tired, and we are very, very afraid. Brock Turner was found guilty of rape. Under the law, with the evidence presented, with eyewitnesses, “Stanford sweetheart” Brock Turner is a violent offender, and still, he walked. This is precisely why victims stay silent. Why abusers openly and proudly post pictures and statuses about their “exploits,” and this is why I have to write this article.
Women keep getting raped: and before someone says so, this is not a convoluted feminist construction, women are being raped all the time. Their offenders are walking free, idolized by the media, and protected by their family. All the time.
Brock Turner is not a star swimmer, he is not a Stanford honour student: Brock Turner is a rapist. Read that again, and again, and again. Rapists are rapists. They are not anything but.