This Guy Explains Perfectly Why Brock Turner's Drinking-Made-Me-Do-It Rape Defense Is So Wrong
A Facebook post about the Stanford rape case written by an enlightened fellow named Matt Lang is making viral rounds for its humor and clear-eyed take on the whole matter. Brock Turner, a star swimmer at Stanford, was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. He was caught in the act by two Swedish graduate students who noticed the woman was completely not participating. Turner, given a light sentence, has further evaded responsibility for his actions by blaming excessive drinking for his, and his victim's, behavior.
Lang poignantly and wittily shows exactly what is wrong with that defense.
Read it for yourself:
I've been drunk many times, even in the presence of promiscuous women who were also drunk, and I managed not to rape them, so I don't think drinking and promiscuity are the problems.
This here is the problem: some guys are entitled pricks, and they're entitled pricks because their fathers and coaches and friends taught them to be entitled pricks. Because they are entitled pricks, they think they can have whatever they want, and that their worth is defined by what they have and what they take.
Alcohol has this capacity to unlock what, deep down, we've always wanted to do. For me, that means, occasionally, running naked in places I probably shouldn't, like through libraries or deserts (remember for next time: deserts = cactuses). But even at my most intoxicated, I've never lost sight of the fact that rape is wrong, because I was raised to know it's wrong. No amount of alcohol can depress that value.
Brock Turner and his ilk were never taught that. They were taught that they can have what they want, when they want, including women. And that's called being a man. Brock Turner thought he was entitled to a little "action" any way he could get it, and he thought that long before he got drunk. The alcohol didn't introduce that thought, it unlocked it. That thought: "I can take whatever I want, including her," was planted and watered by a whole, rotten village.
It is right that we shame him, and his father, and the friend who came to his defense, and the judge, and every other entitled prick we meet.
Just as importantly, we need to love our boys, and teach them the dignity of the body, and how to live through disappointment and confusion, and how to navigate confusing feelings, and how to separate feelings from action, and how to communicate and listen. We need to redefine for them what it is to be a man, that their worth doesn't come from that which they have and take.
Another Facebook post offers this simple visual (for the reading impaired) on the causes of rape: