She Got What She Deserved?
So, I find my self in an interesting and not all together comfortable emotional place. The controversy over the Stanford rape case of Brock Turner really shouldn’t be controversial other than the fact he was not punished for his crimes. And yes, it was a crime.
It is a crime to violate another human being. Sex is only allowed if both parties consent. Otherwise it is called “rape.” Sadly, the word itself has been derogated over the years to the point we use it so casually we take away from the true horror of what it is. “I got raped at the car dealership.” It’s so common place the actual crime is no longer considered a crime. Now, women “get what they deserve” for putting themselves in a “bad” situation.
I feel the men (or women) who speak this rhetoric are not parents of little girls, nor are they women who have ever been raped. I’d ask these same people this … if your son gets hammered at a fraternity party (this happened at Michigan State- look it up) and wakes up having been gang raped by his “brothers,” did he get what he deserved?
Would you ask for punishment stiffer (no pun intended) than 6 months in county jail? What about if a trusted family member drugged your son and violated him? How about a clergy man? How about a woman who got your son drunk and sodomized him? Should he have taken more care? Did he get what he deserved?
As mothers of girls, what do we teach?
- Do NOT accept a drink from anyone you don’t know … doesn’t work because I’ve had two different bartenders put drugs in my drink and if I hadn’t been with a trusted female friend who recognized I was in trouble and made me regurgitate who knows if I’d have been pulled behind a dumpster and been raped and murdered? Perhaps.
- Do not drink too much, might work, might not on any given night.
- Do NOT ever leave alone. If you somehow find yourself alone, ask to speak to a female employee and request you are walked to the car. What if there aren’t any female employees? What if there are no other women left?
- Do NOT ever leave with someone you don’t know. Seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how quickly you can become familiar with a person with an agenda.
- Do NOT get into a car with anyone you don’t know. Not a solid plan. Someone will “know” them.
- Do NOT EVER leave your friends anywhere. A must.
- Leave with who you arrived with. Always the plan, but not without vulnerabilities.
- Do NOT go to the rest room alone at a party or a bar. Is this realistic?
- Just because you are with male “friends” they have an agenda. Sad we must be so cynical. This where things go wrong on a lot of fronts. Trusting your friends.
These are the rapes among women I know.
- Talked into sex at thirteen by her eighteen year old step-brother.
- Her boyfriend got out of bed and one of his room mates got in.
- Pressured into sex at thirteen by a seventeen-year-old senior.
- Went to the restroom at a party and was ambushed by a male guest. Her screams were not heard as the party was too loud.
- Was raped at knife point at her mailbox.
- Went out with two of her guy friends she’d never dated, drank too much and one of them forced himself on her.
- Passed out during a college party, in her own room and was raped by a room mate’s boyfriend.
Which ones are punishable? Which are crimes? Which women “got what they deserved” and which women didn’t? Is the man who raped a woman at knife point less of a predator than the room mate of the boyfriend? The answers are thus … all are punishable. All are crimes. None of the women got what they deserved. Any man who is a sexual predator should be punished with his own crime. I bet he won’t do it again.
At what point do the parents of boys teach? How about this … raise a man who doesn’t PREY on women. Raise a man who understands the difference between rape and consensual sex. Raise a gentle man. Not just a gentleman, but a gentle man. There is a difference. The ideal man is one who is both gentle and a gentleman.
Sadly you can’t turn on the TV or read media one day without a tragic story about sexual violation. Is it any better or worse than it has been historically? Probably not, we just hear about it more, which is likely a bad thing because it once again waters down the grisly nature of the crime.
Parents of boys, you have an obligation to teach your boys women are not holes into which you can insert yourself. Women are people who have the right to say “no.” For every man who thinks a woman has gotten what she deserves, I pray your son never gets what he deserves.