#BrockTurnerisarapist | rape and rape culture at universities in 2016

I’ve had this post unfinished in my drafts for six weeks now. I am angry, more than anything, as I write this. I am angry and afraid and upset and I have started too many posts this way, and yet, I still cannot fathom the anger and sadness that the victims of rape must be feeling.

Brock Turner is a rapist who is good at swimming. After raping an unconscious Stanford student at a frat party, and being proven guilty – he was pulled off of an unconscious woman by two grad students. The day after the rape, Turner remembered nothing. He couldn’t remember what she said, or whether he left with her. Come the trial, dear Brock, guilty of  ‘twenty minutes of action’ according to his father [that sentence made me throw up in my mouth. Twenty minutes of action? He raped an unconscious woman. RAPED. To call that ‘action’, as if a swimming feat accomplished is everything wrong ] could remember everything. He could remember that she said ‘yeah’ repeatedly. FYI: if all she can say is yeah and can’t form a coherent sentence, you shouldn’t be having sex with her. Brock Turner received six months imprisonment, because Judge Perksy believed that a confirmed rapist would not be further harm to society. Because Brock Turner, the rapist, shouldn’t have to suffer the adverse effects of a longer time in prison.

John Enoch is a rapist who is good at academics. After raping two women in 2013 and 2015,  he was found  faced two counts of felony rape, but was only convicted of misdemeanour battery with moderate bodily injury. Enoch, the rapist, with a bright future in  economics, avoided jail time and was sentenced to just one year probation.

At Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, earlier this year, a series of rape protests took place. The #RUReferenceList was released, displaying the names of people who had raped victims. You can catch up here.

I was in a protest at my university this year. We lay on the ground in silence, showing solidarity with the one in three women in South Africa who are raped. I cried. We sang, and talked, and cried.

I am tired. I am tired of sexual assault being a recurring theme in my blog posts. I am tired of being angry about my friend who was raped. I am tired of having to explain to nineteen year old boys why ‘she was pretty drunk, so’ doesn’t count as consent.

There is one way to have sex. ONE. You ask for consent. If a partner disagrees, you don’t have sex.  It’s that simple. I don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t know how to write about this anymore. I don’t know. I am sad.

Rape culture is your rape joke, your slut shaming, your fetishisation, your victim blaming. That is rape culture. That is why Brock Turner and John Enoch will walk. That is why this victim’s letter is nothing but a scratch to her rapist.

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

Rape is a lack of consent. If you rape someone, you’re not a good kid who made a mistake. You are a rapist.

shalom

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I AM THE GOD IT WAS BUILT FOR

there is only so much one can take, relating to this subject. the number of times i’ve had to explain that “asking for it” is not an excuse, the number of times that i’ve had to explain that “she already said yes” doesn’t allow you to continue after she said no, the number of times i’ve had to tell well meaning boys that they cannot whistle at girls on the street because they think it’s a compliment.

i have held friends to sleep because a boy would not stop. because he didn’t listen, because he held her down and forced his 90 kg body on her 54 kg frame, because she couldn’t move underneath him, because her mother told her she should have “dressed better”, because her thighs must have been too much for his pathetic level of self control, because she was blamed for her rape because she wore a skirt, because she is pansexual, because rape culture tells him that he is correct, that she is a slut, that her sexual liberation is a joke, that a nineteen year old woman should not be taken seriously when she reports a rape to the police.

because she is not the first friend i have had to hold.

savannah brown released a new slam poem this week called, hi, i’m a slut and i think it’s important that everyone hears it. in it, she says, “my body is a temple, and i am the god it was built for”. i am the god it was built for. i am the god adorning myself with winged eyeliner and chokers and leggings because i am trying to be the master of my fate. i am the god hiding in the same oversized grey hoodie every time i’m out past 10 pm for fear of men with nothing to lose taking all i have from me. i am the god who has been ripped to pieces by every “she asked for it”, “the bitch deserved it”, “feminism is for pussies”, “how fucking dare she say no to me”.

i am the god it was built for, and i have had enough.

shalom