Addressed to the current President of the United States
When I heard about the Brock Turner case and his sentence, I couldn’t believe it.
The Justice system is avoiding the grounds that it was founded on; bringing Justice. This man, who violated a woman, is walking free after three months in prison because he and his father are rich, white men. This very case is an example of Rape Culture in action. In this letter I hope to address the problems that are problematique in our society and the way that Rape Culture worms itself into everyday life in this letter.
For clarification, Rape Culture is when sexual assault and rape are regularized by the media and society. It often has its roots in misogynistic and sexist tendencies. It usually expresses its existence when talking about rape and sexual assault. This is the society we live in; where sexual assault and rape are the victim’s fault instead of the assaulter or rapist.
It’s gone on record that the victims of sexual assault and rape have been asked accusatory questions, such as:
- “What were you wearing?”
- “Were you drinking? If so, how much?”
- “Were you leading him on?”
- "Why didn't you fight back?"
And it’s truly sickening that we blame it on the victim. Instead of trying to fix it we simply encourage women not to be “provocative” and to be prude.
This worldview has been expressed in several different ways; ways that we might not even pay any attention to nowadays. Like how girls have to cover up more than boys in dress codes. How women are shunned for being comfortable in their skin and wearing “revealing” clothing. And how women are encouraged not to say they’ve been sexually assaulted or raped because “it’ll tarnish your reputation”.
Rape Culture, as stated before, often has its roots in misogyny and sexism. Women are objectified and have been for centuries. Before the Women’s Rights movement in 1920, women were treated as slaves in the household. Their only real purpose was to have and tend to children. Women couldn’t own businesses or property, couldn’t get equal pay, and couldn’t vote.
But it’s not just women who are affected by this. Men can also be a victim of Rape Culture. Men can be raped or sexually assaulted just like women. And men are made fun of for being raped, and that men can’t be raped because they’re men. Men wanted it, apparently. But the very definition of the word “rape” is to have control over someone. So how can that be, of course, other than people making excuses and wrongfully making accusations.
In the media, they need to address it as it is. The use more gentle wording, such as “sexual misconduct” and “inappropriate behavior”, is evident when the Press covers rape and sexual assault cases and allegations. We need to stop protecting the assaulter simply because “she should’ve fought back” and improve the way that rape/sexual assault victims are treated. Not like they’re responsible for what happened, but as what they are. Victims.
In conclusion, we must change the mentality that society has on rape and sexual assault and not treat it as some run-of-the-mill case. We need to give victims proper mental health treatment and lock away the rapists/assaulters for the violation they did to an innocent person. The way that we treat these victims has to stop.