Friday, June 3, 2016

"What Rape Culture?"


I'm tired. I'm tired of this post series. Every bit of news like this and the continual denial of rape culture by so many weighs on me, and I'm tired.

Campus rapist given lenient sentence to avoid "severe impact on him"

Former Stanford University athlete Brock Allen Turner, 20, raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Prosecutors wanted him put away for 6 years, but the judge, Aaron Persky, gave him 6 months to avoid being unnecessarily harsh on the boy. He'll be out in a few weeks.

This was one of those rare blatant cases of rape that actually look like people think rape is supposed to look like. He was found by witnesses raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, penetrating her with a foreign object. Yet the judge decided that this man is not a danger to society and therefore should only spend 6 months in jail.

I don't understand how other people don't seem to think that rape doesn't have a severe impact on the victim. Aside from the many studies on the after effects, the PTSD, the enduring emotional distress, fear, and relationship/sexual issues, can't they for a second imagine what that might feel like? What is wrong with this judge that he can't imagine what a horrible experience rape would be?

In the past, since early adolescence, I've suspected on and off that I'd been raped or sexually abused and had repressed the memory, because my reaction to the thought of rape is such strong abhorrence and disgust and terror. It took a long time for me to consider that maybe nothing happened to me other than developing a strong sense of empathy and compassion. Maybe there's something wrong with other people if they don't feel horror at the idea of rape. Or maybe the fact that people can react with horror at the idea of torture or cannibalism but not at the idea of rape is the product of a rape culture.

Something to think about.

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