This is very long, but I needed to say what has been weighing heavily on my mind these past few days.
I have been sickened by the rape of the woman I am going to call the Stanford Survivor. There are so many things I want to say about this, so many things I feel about this beginning with the fact that in 2016, there is a judge whose sentence was predicated on the impact it would have on the perpetrator. Seriously Aaron Persky? You’re a disgrace to the legal profession. There is also the rapist’s father who penned a letter stating that this has had a “devastating impact” on his son. Well yes, I suppose understanding that you’re a rapist, a predator, would indeed have an impact on one’s feelings about oneself. He also claims his son has a “gentle and quiet” nature. He did not appear to be either gentle or quiet when he raped a woman behind a dumpster. But hey, maybe he is gentle and quiet when the women he’s trying to sexually assault are conscious.
His father also states that his “life has been deeply altered forever…he will never be his happy go-lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile.” You know who else will never be their happy go-lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile? The Stanford Survivor. The rapist’s father claims that his “every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression.” You know what else fills every waking minute with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression? BEING RAPED. He continues by saying the rapist having to give up the life and dreams he worked so hard to achieve is a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action," whatever the hell that means. You know what it isn’t a steep price to pay for though? RAPE.
You may notice that I haven’t used the rapist’s name in this posting because I feel he isn’t worth having his name mentioned. There are two men who do deserve to be mentioned however and they are Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, the two Ph.D. students who happened to be biking on campus that night and rescued the Stanford Survivor. They are the men we should all want our boyfriends, husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers to be. They were witnesses to the suffering of another human being and they took action.
The rapist’s father talks about what an accomplished man the rapist is, but he is a criminal, a lowlife bastard who is getting what he deserves not through the court system, but by being shunned by society and forced to register as the sexual offender that he is. Accomplished men are those who see a woman in trouble and come to her aid. Accomplished men are those who stand up for the women in their lives.
In order to prevent the rape culture that is so prevalent in our society, we need not only women, but men, to stand up and say THIS IS NOT OK. IT IS NOT OK to believe that a woman deserves to be or should expect to be raped because she is drunk or wearing a tight skirt or dancing too close to a man. IT IS NOT OK to give out a criminal sanction based on the impact it will have on the criminal’s life (fuck you Judge Aaron Persky). IT IS NOT OK to think that because a woman has sex with more than one person during her life or on the same night that she’s a slut and deserves to be raped. IT IS NOT OK to look the other way when you see a drunk, nearly unconscious or totally unconscious woman being led to a bedroom. Or a dumpster. RAPE IS NOT OK EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Until we as a society stand up and say IT IS NOT OK we will continue to see the impact on the survivors as they are judged by society based on what they wore, how much they drank, or what their sexual habits are. We will continue to see the pain in the face of survivors whose rapists are sentenced to 6 months of time for a heinous, violent, crime that changed the lives of those survivors.
Stanford Survivor – I don’t know you, your name, or your face, but I do know that what happened to you IS NOT OK and I am urging everyone I know to stand up and say the same about what happened to you and what continues to happens to millions of other women across the globe every single day.
I’m mad as hell about this and I will never stop working to make it understood that RAPE IS NOT OK. Until both women and men stand up for the rights of every woman to be safe no matter the amount of alcohol she consumes, for every woman to be safe no matter what she wears and who or how many she sleeps with, there will be more Stanford Survivors. Maybe at a different school, maybe in a different country, but there will be more. AND THAT IS NOT OK!