[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, MILD DESCRIPTION OF RAPE, SEVERE RAPE APOLOGIA, VICTIM BLAMING, ABLEISM]
I've used this term before. There are many aspects to rape culture, but the one I think people tend to soften, gloss over, or outright ignore is the fact that so many people just don't care. The don't care about rape victims, they don't think rape is a big deal, they don't care that there are a crap load of rapists out there, they don't care about the devastation it causes. They don't care.
This group of people, of course, overwhelmingly contains men, as they are much less likely to be raped than people of other genders.
This aspect of rape culture is the one that horrifies and triggers me the most. It's therefore no surprise that these past few days have been emotional shit for me. The amount of awful that's come out of this case, from the sentence, to the father's defense of his rapist son, to the reaction of the general not-caring-about-rape public, is overwhelming. I haven't felt this angry and disgusted in a while.
I haven't read the entirety of the father's defense of the rapist Brock Turner. I can't. But there is one part that stands out. He says that his rapist son shouldn't get a multiple-year punishment for 20 minutes of wrongdoing in a lifetime of supposedly not raping people.
This makes no sense. It takes an instant to commit a crime. It takes a couple minutes maybe to rob a convenience store or a person's home, and you can get years of prison time for that. It takes 60 seconds to buy an underage person a beer, and you can get a year in prison for that. It takes less than a minute to take or purchase drugs offered on the street, and you can get years of prison time for that. It takes an instant of passion to hit someone over the head with an object, and you can get years of prison time for that.
20 minutes of rape is a fucking eternity. For the victim, it's a fucking eternity. This wasn't a momentary lapse of judgement. He raped her for 20 minutes including penetrating her with a foreign object. If he had taken out a knife and cut her unconscious body, slowly carving her skin for 20 minutes, nobody would be saying, "oh but he's such a good person overall."
No, they'd be saying he "snapped" or that he's just one of those craaaaaaaaazy people, because you know all mentally ill people assault unconscious people for extended periods of time.
Rape is tantamount to torture. You can physically assault or even murder someone in a fit of passion, an instant of rage. It takes something truly cruel and terrible within a person to pin another human being down or take advantage of their incapacitated state to spend several minutes consciously harming them, exerting power over their bodies, and using them like they're a disposable object rather than a person. That is not a mistake. It is not an accident. That is deliberate and it is evil.
But what made me feel even worse than the father's defense is something that was reported to me by one of the followers of my Tumblr account. There's a post going around on Tumblr with the contact information of the courthouse where Judge "Punishment Hurts Criminals But Only When They're Rapists" works. I got a message saying that they had indeed called the courthouse to file a complaint about the lenient sentence, and the clerk laughed at them, saying that "the girl wasn’t kicking and screaming, and they had been at the same party together and she didn’t stop him taking her with him from the party, so how could it be an attack or a real rape?"
She was unconscious at the time of the rape. The vast majority of rapes are committed by person the victim knows. Going to or from a party with another person doesn't make you deserving of rape. Women do not possess the ability to read minds. Turner was caught raping her while she was unconscious and RAN when caught, proving that he knew he was doing something wrong. He has already been convicted of the crime so whether or not he committed rape is NOT UP FOR DEBATE.
This is all widely available information that anyone working at a courthouse should know. Clearly, this clerk is just another that doesn't care. Doesn't care that the victim was raped, doesn't care that the perpetrator will soon be free to rape more people, doesn't care about the devastating effects of rape on victims, doesn't care, doesn't care, doesn't give a single wild fuck.
They laughed. They laughed about it. Then hung up.
People don't care about rape.