Brock Turner Raped the Bravest Woman in America

Enough already. Enough. Stop with the “if he were a man of color” arguments around the pathetic “sentence” in the Brock Turner case. Enough with the race card. Race is NOT the core issue here and it distracts from what is.

Brock Turner is a waste. But I know this, Brock Turner raped the bravest woman in America.

Now we have an opportunity, built on the back of a bloodied and broken woman covered in pine needles who did not volunteer to be the anonymous spokesperson for a worldwide epidemic, to do MORE, in her honor. We as women and men, of all ages, races, and gender identities must link arms and stop the violence against women. Think about it.

Race was not the core issue here.  I’ll tell you what is: The fact that women in our society are not valued, cherished, or protected nor are we equal to ANY man.

I have been carrying a draft article written on napkins in my wallet for 3 weeks, not ready to work on it again and then this American tragedy unfolded. It makes me nauseous. It reminds me of my own experiences with sexual assault and mistreatment. It makes me want to hide my daughters away and never let them out. But it also made me want to work on this article. So please take a minute, read it all the way through and try to understand what it’s like to be an unprotected class, a woman, in America and in the world at large.

 

The real issue about a penis in the ladies room (my draft title at the time)

A nation divided about sharing bathrooms. Why? Is it really because we fear transgendered people, an extremely small group of citizens who undoubtedly have done more soul-searching than most have and perhaps have more compassion than others having dealt with a lifetime of discrimination, intimidation and fear?

Where are the protests about transgendered women, living as men, using the men’s room? Few, if any, people are bothered by a vagina in the men’s room but put a penis in the ladies room and everything changes. This is the real issue – the root problem – it is not the transgendered person, it is the penis. A penis in the ladies room conjures up for many women (and men too) real fear and anxiety of MEN.   The owner of said penis, his lifestyle, sexuality, preferences, it all becomes irrelevant. For some people like me the “bathroom issue” had me at odds with myself. Why didn’t it sit right with me?  I couldn’t articulate a logical argument against it, but I was not down with all the memes bashing those who were opposed. So I dug deeper, peeled back my subconscious. Sat with it. Read all the sides and I began to acknowledge my honest fear was in regards to a very basic issue: Women all around the world are mistreated, raped, and abused at the hands of people with penises. Over simplified, you bet. My true fear. Yup. I don’t feel safe alone in small, semi-private area with a man.

Our culture has created a sexual anxiety, a sort of ‘predicted-victim’ mentality, a feeling that sexual violence, domestic violence and abuse is the status quo. It’s something as an American woman you just need to steel yourself for. It’s going to happen to you. Maybe at the hands of a stranger or a friend. Maybe you’ll remember it. Maybe you won’t. Maybe there’ll be bruises and cum on your thighs after or maybe he’ll use a condom and you won’t have a scratch on you.

Get a group of women together. All you need is about 5 or so and then ask them about their rape. Ask them about their assault. Ask them about being hit by a man. Ask about being stalked, intimidated and then ask them why they never told. Ask them how many of them still see their attacker, around campus, at work, at the school picnic, or around the holiday dinner table. Ask them about the outfit they blamed for the attack that they moved to the back of the closet and never wore again. Ask them if a certain cologne or eye color or hair color on a stranger takes them back, makes their blood run cold, makes them nauseous and then ask them how many years have gone by since their assault. You’ll be amazed. It stays. Forever.

Are you a parent? Do you have little girls? The next time you’re at the playground remember that in American every 2 minutes someone is assaulted and every 8 minutes the victim is a child. (Source: https://rainn.org/statistics)

I was still kicking around thoughts for this article when I read about a lone student that was recently found from the mass abduction by the Boko Haram in 2014. And then somehow it clicked.

NO ONE WOULD CARE IF THERE WAS A PENIS IN THE LADIES ROOM IF WE TREATED ALL OUR WOMEN AND GIRLS WORLDWIDE LIKE CHERISHED, VALUABLE HUMANS, RATHER THAN PROPERTY, OBJECTS AND THROW AWAY BODIES.

The rapist Brock Turner, it doesn’t matter what color he is. He raped a WOMAN. It’s not his race that set him free it’s that in the eyes of our society and our government his victim doesn’t matter. She is a body designed for sex, nothing more. As a global society we turned our backs on 214 girls in Nigeria, who were studying for exams at boarding school when they were abducted by the violent Boko Haram group and used for rape and human trafficking. 214 of Nigeria’s best and brightest young women stolen in the night. And nothing was done. The world did nothing. Because they are girls. I hold back tears as I write this. Their average age was around 14. Taken from their beds, destined for a life of rape and abuse and the world does nothing.

The backlash against the bathroom policies is because having a penis in the ladies room brings up thoughts and fears of violence and assault of against our society’s nurturers, mothers, caregivers not at the hands of transgendered patrons but at the hands of the men. Period.

If men and women would step up, evolve, call each other out on disgusting behavior, protect, defend, and cherish girls and women it wouldn’t matter who was in the bathroom, or the elevator, or the cab, or on the running trail, or at the party with us. Because we would be safe. Always.

3 comments

    1. Lilia, I want so badly to not feel helpless against this. How can we make change? How do we bring the very real issue of violence against women and girls worldwide to the forefront of the global consciousness?

  1. julie, this is so powerful! Unfortunately, both my daughter and I know all about this first hand. We all have a story…thank you..

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