Does this story surprise you? Honestly, none of what happened to Brock Turner, or more specifically what didn’t happen to him, surprise me.
Apart from the slight creases on his shirt, this soon-to-be-golden-boy leaves prison without so much a whiff of prison. Well, he did lose his swimming career but after all it seems the chances of him having had it seem equal to those of him getting it back.
This should hardly come as a surprise, given that to many people; and very unfortunately to many men still today, still in the 21st century, Brock is only guilty of ’20 minutes of action’. No federal prison, no fourteen year sentence, a private cell, a private guard-and that’s only the official line…
Philip DeFranco’s videos on the Turner case are thought-provoking and it is certainly interesting to hear from an American man on the matter. Recently, DeFranco said in one of his videos that only aspect of this case that makes it unique is shockingly enough-Turner’s punishment. Not only do millions of cases of rape and sexual assault go unreported every year on major college campuses and beyond, but millions of sex offenders and rapists get no punishment whatsoever.
These may seem like speculations, but David Becker proved these right when he raped three girls and got away it. Rape culture is within our, unsurprisingly, patriarchal culture. Millions of girls and women get raped every day, and many day after day. It is devastating to see this so blatantly ignored in a country who has survived based on a democratic constitution and mutual respect for the many differences in gender and ethnicity of its members. American democracy is valuable one, that should not undermine itself with decisions like that of Judge Aaron Persky.
Notice how Turner’s ‘good family’ and big car make him innocent to some people-because they don’t change the fact that he is a rapist.
Aside from the pure disgust that this man and his case evoke, the People v. Turner case, has more to teach than the fact that white male privilege still reigns in the American elite. Firstly, it shows just how far ancient, corrupt, nepotist sexism in a male patriarchy of whites prevails in the world-this alone is disturbing in the American scene alone, given events such as the Trump nomination. It also makes it clear that there are ‘special privileges’ in America, and definitely not just in America, to ‘special’ boys, from ‘special’ schools and colleges-to the point that it affects how criminal justice is served.
Feel free to disagree-but how many people honestly believe Turner would ever have been sentenced to any time in prison and registered as a sex offender, without the widespread media attention his case received? This brings me to my ultimate point-the Internet.
Like most people, I have numerous times been asked what I dream of doing, what I would do if I could do anything. I thought of many overused, typical and to an extent, pointless answers. After following this case, I realized that human stupidity and evil is both unstoppable and inevitable. The only thing we can really do when we have failed to use the democratic mechanisms in our disposition justly, is to spread knowledge of what happened.
The media is extremely powerful in manipulating this knowledge, and indeed can be dangerous. It is, however, without a doubt, one of the greatest freedoms available to us, one of the greatest means to serve justice to all those who are told they did not deserve it. Hatred does not stop between men and women, and goes far beyond sexual aggression-fortunately the Internet has made all these crimes and all of the victims harder to sweep under the rug.