Since the news of Brock Allen Turner’s horrific actions reached public consciousness and the world reacted in horror to the lack of acceptable consequences, I have seen way too many people react by wishing that while in state custody, Brock would be raped.
Think about that for a minute.
We as a society, as individuals as fellow humans are rightfully outraged at Brock’s actions, his lack of remorse, the defense penned by his father and the sad excuse of a sentence handed down by the presiding Judge. Why is it that then we want to trade the moral high ground that we soundly and wholly possess for blind vengeance? Why, in our pain would we want to become no better than Brock himself?
The answer is, we wouldn’t.
This is certainly not a punishment we would participate in ourselves. No, we want some “criminal” to do it on our behalf. As if wishing for some “degenerate” other to do the dirty work of our twisted brand of justice absolves of guilt because we did not carry out the rape ourselves.
Make no mistake, prison rape is still rape. It is no different just because both parties are convicts. As humans we are either against all rapes or we are for rape under special circumstances. I am against all rape.
Believe me, I am horrified by rape and rape culture (I have written/posted on the topic many times). I am horrified by a system that gives 15 years to a black man for the same charges as well as a system that jails people for much much longer for possessing a small amount of pot. I am outraged when we blame the woman for irresponsible drinking and turn around and use alcohol as an excuse for the man. I am sickened when we ask–– What was she wearing? What is her history? What should she have done to avoid being assaulted? I am incensed when we look for reasons to excuse the perpetrator while searching for reasons to blame the victim for their assault. Make no mistake Brock Turner deserves to be locked up and certainly for a lot longer than 3 months (which is how much of his 6-month sentence he is expected to serve).
When we advocate for someone to be punished in the same violent way (rape, torture etc.) that they inflicted pain on another, we do nothing to make the world a better place. In fact, we simply add on to the misery. I think we do this to absolve ourselves, we do this to avoid the uncomfortable reality that we as a society bear some responsibility for these assaults because we continue to tolerate a culture which is willing to turn a blind eye to the conditions that produce men like Brock Turner. I am hopeful this case and Emily Doe’s statement will be the beginning of a wave of change in this area.
One thing is for sure, making Brock Turner into yet another rape victim is not the answer.
I will leave you with the words of “Emily Doe” the victim of Brock Turner…
“The world is huge, it is so much bigger than Palo Alto and Stanford, and you will make a space for yourself in it where you can be useful and happy. … I fully support your journey to healing, to rebuilding your life, because that is the only way you’ll begin to help others.”
“Right now your name is tainted, so I challenge you to make a new name for yourself, to do something so good for the world, it blows everyone away,” she wrote. “You have a brain and a voice and a heart. Use them wisely.”
That my friends is how we make the world a better place…be more like Emily.