The Stanford rape case has caused a mass cry of anger and disbelief recently. A rich white male raped an unconscious women, his crime was witnessed and stopped by two men who luckily were nearby, the case then went to trial and he was found guilty by a jury of his peers and then even then the rapist was still believed to be innocent by the judge. He was given 6 months but will only serve 3. In the judge’s mind- even though this person had committed one of the most heinous acts that a human can inflict on another person- he did not want to ruin the rapists life by too harsh of a sentence. Brock Turner was a talented swimmer with a “bright” future, all of which apparently overrides the fact that he irrevocably altered the course of this young woman’s life by assaulting her. In this case the message is clear – men’s lives matter more than women’s.
Most rape cases never make it any where near court because most rape victims do not want to endure the emotional assault they will experience in the court room. Everything about them, their sexual history their alcohol consumption their choice of dress will be dissected and used against them.
When it comes to rape cases a rape victim is guilty until occasionally found innocent and a rapist is innocent until most likely proven innocent. Rape cases often come down to a man’s word versus a woman’s and men’s will generally always be valued more.
In this situation the way the victim’s life has been affected is not important. What is important is that the rapist was a good swimmer and was from a wealthy family and was a white man and therefore his future is considered more valuable than hers. It is not seen worthy of ruining just because as his father so disgustingly termed it he had “20 minutes of action”.
Roughly 80% of rape cases are Not left with a guilty verdict yet 1 in 5 women will be raped in her life time and most women will encounter some version of sexual assault in their lifetime. I wonder though, how accurate these statistics are when most women that are attacked never report it. And why would they? Victim blaming is still the principle reaction to a claim of rape. What a woman drank, wore, who she was with and who she has previously slept with are considered important factors in deciding whether her claim is truthful or not. The thing with victim blaming is is that it says all women are responsible for their own rapes and all men, All men, are rapists. The only person responsible for rape is the rapist and most men are not rapists so why are we still using this tired rhetoric that is harmful and unfair to everyone?
I hope if nothing else this Stanford rape case changes the dialogue and shines a light on the fact that no matter who you are, how wealthy your family are, how white your skin is, or how good a swimmer you are, if you do the crime you do the time. In this case I hope that Brock follows through with his ridiculous appeal and is sentenced properly for the crime he has committed by a judge that actually practices blind justice.