The latest duo that have illustrated exactly how prevalent and damaging rape culture continues to be in our society are Austin Wilkerson and Judge Patrick Butler, of Colorado.
Austin Wilkerson, a student at the University of Colorado-Boulder, told people he would "take care of" a fellow female student who was inebriated. Instead, he raped her while she couldn't maintain consciousness. He was convicted of his crime.
This is important.
Wilkerson was convicted.
Judge Butler however, decided not to send our poor little rapist to prison even though in Colorado his conviction would carry a sentence of four years to life in prison. Instead, he decided that two years of work release and twenty years probation was enough. Again the argument by Wilkerson's supporters was that HE had suffered enough and his future life shouldn't be negatively impacted by this one event.
Again the focus was on what would happen to the perpetrator, not what has happened to the victim who has admitted that she has been physically, psychologically and financially traumatized. But that didn't matter to the judge who ignored prosecutors pre-sentencing memo stating that Wilkerson has shown absolutely no remorse and changed his story as needed.
How many times is the future of the criminal going to trump the future of the victim in our court system? How many times is the victim going to be re-victimized by the trial that questions whether or not she deserved or invited what was done to her (or in many cases, him)? How many times are we going to be outraged, with no options other than to sign petititions and continue to rail against his vile reality. How many more times am I going to open Facebook and discovered it has happened again?
Fucking end this people. Just fucking end this.
Let me introduce you to Alexander Rodriquez, 34, from Tennessee.
He's a (former) school bus driver who has admitted to raping a 15-year-old student. Not only did he rape her, he kidnapped her, moved her from the location of the assault (a motel), ordered her to lie to police if questioned, and told her during the assault he was trying to hurt her. WTVC
Guess how much prison time Rodriquez will be serving?
Initially Rodriquez was sentenced to four years, but his attorney, Johnny Houston, argued that the victim had "credibility issues." Distractify
Let that sink in for a minute. A 15-year-old girl was taken to multiple locations, raped in a motel room by a man who admitted he wanted to hurt her, and the attorney argued she had credibility issues because the "evidence" didn't support her claim that the oral sex was forced. Did he expect her to have black eyes and a broken nose, or ripped lips, or teeth knocked out, in order to believe that a man more than twice her age forced her, in an unfamiliar place, to do things she didn't want to do?
Oh and not to mention Rodriquez had "already served 100 days in jail." He will spend 10 years on probation with a GPS monitor. She will spend the rest of her life processing what happened to her.
Again, the victim is re-victimized by the justice system. And the worst part is, this is no longer surprising, at all.
She's a 15-year-old girl. Fifteen. Year. Old. Girl.
Fuck you Johnny Houston. Fuck you Alexander Rodriquez. Fuck you judge who let this sentence happen. Fuck you all for continuing the culture of rape and rape apologists, and victim shaming and all the bullshit that has failed this girl.
I am furious, steaming mad, and shaking with rage over the Brock Turner case. But I don't want anyone to forget the case of the 11-year-old girl gang raped in a small Texas town in 2010 and how the media, the town, AND THE INVESTIGATORS questioned what could have drawn the men (21 of them) involved into such an act. The girl was reported as "dressing older than her age" and hanging out in more dangerous parts of town. In short, she was asking for it. ELEVEN YEARS OLD.
Every single man involved was convicted. Every single one. But even with video evidence of the crime, SHE WAS SHAMED and those "poor boys" were excused for so long it took well over a year to finally sentence the last of them.
I am very happy that Brock Turner's victim has been strong enough to say the things that needed to be said about what it means to be so violated. Victims are consistently re-violated by the system and the media. Rape is the least reported of violent crimes, and the least understood by anyone who hasn't been impacted by this atrocity.
I don't want anyone to forget the women who won't, can't or haven't yet reported their assault. Or the men who struggle with the same decision. I don't want anyone to forget that rape is NOT ABOUT SEX. This isn't about attraction. It is about power, control, access.
I don't want anyone to forget that you probably know a victim of sexual assault if you are blessed enough to have not experienced this violation personally. Actually, I can confirm that if you are reading this, you are familiar with a victim of sexual assault.
I don't want anyone to forget that if someone uses claims of rape to get back at someone, THAT DOES NOT INVALIDATE ANYONE ELSE'S EXPERIENCE! Just as MRA's and apologists are quick as bunnies to spout "Not all men!" MOST women who report rape, the vast majority of the vast minority of actual victims, HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED and each and every account should be taken just as seriously as any other reported crime.
I am angry and I am frustrated and I am DONE!
I am DONE with people so quick to judge the woman who drank too much, while excusing the man, because he was drunk.
I am DONE with warnings to women to not walk alone or leave a drink unattended or show too much skin.
I am DONE with people judging a woman's worth or intentions when she dresses for attention. Or for damn comfort.
I am so fucking DONE with "what was she expecting?"
She was expecting to go dancing, or hook up, or get to her car, or go home to her kids, or go food shopping, or get blind fucking drunk, or just make it through a day.
She was NOT expecting to be raped by a friend, a first date, a boyfriend, a stranger, a gang, a husband, a family member, a teacher, a preacher, a counselor...
No one deserves to be violated. Ever! A rapist is a rapist is a rapist. The victim was the target, not the cause.
If you haven't heard of the Brock Allen Turner rape case, Google "Stanford Rape Victim Letter" and be prepared to be very very angry. If you have heard of this case, on top of all the high profile rape cases of the last several years, you will understand the inspiration for the following.
I have a daughter. Currently she is six-years-old. She is my only child. The only child I will ever have from my body. She is my light and love and life. She is the person who taught me what love is. She is the reason I left my husband and have worked so fucking hard to make myself a healthier, happier, more complete human. She is outgoing and brave and fast. She is annoying and intrusive and doesn't respect anyone's privacy but her own. She can talk non-stop, or not at all. She has ADHD and impulse control issues. She is going to be taller than I am, soon.
She is being picked on at school by a boy in her class.
If anyone tells me, or her, that any boy teases, pushes, pokes, pinches, harasses, annoys, bothers, verbally denigrates or otherwise hurts my little girl, is doing it because "he likes her"... I will get violent.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that's the very first step toward the culture that allows a convicted rapist to be sentenced to THREE MONTHS of jail IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY because his life shouldn't be too harshly affected by his "mistake."
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that is the beginning of the lifetime of conditioning that men receive that tells them if they want something, they get it.
That attitude, that boys hurt the girls they like, that "boys will be boys" is why rape victims are asked "What were you doing? What were you wearing? Why were you out alone? Why did you drink alcohol? Do you have sex? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have sex with your boyfriend? Do you cheat?" And on and on and on...
That attitude is why rape victims are victimized over and over and over.
That attitude is why rape is vastly under reported.
Men and boys are not the default, the desired, the primo members of society. They share this planet with women and girls. They are responsible for their actions in the world and to the people around them. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. They are not gods. They need to know that if they want something, and they can not have it, it is not theirs for the taking. INCLUDING PEOPLE! Women and girls are not put on this earth to satisfy the desires of men and boys. We are here together. We are in this together.
Ever hear the phrase "fake it 'til you make it?" How about the concept of acting something until it becomes natural? Like faking confidence for public speaking until it becomes easy?
Men... Especially those men who have this idea that they are allowed access to anything their greedy little hearts desire... WE ARE IN THIS WORLD TOGETHER. Fucking act like it. Act like you understand that women have autonomy. Act like you respect those around you to have their own lives, their own desires, their own accountability. Act like if there is an incapacitated human being, you will protect that person from harm, even if there is a part of you that is horny and frustrated. Act like the hero that person needs. Act like this until you feel it. Act like this until you believe it. Act like this until it is TRUE.
Do not "act out."
Okay first off, I don't have anything against pink as a colour as you can see from this very site. I think pink can be lovely. It's cheerful and bright. Sometimes when mixed with a little gray or brown it can be soothing and comforting. It looks great on all skin tones. Pink flowers can brighten any room and almost anyone's day. Pink is a great colour. But why, oh why, does pink have to denote "girl."
Thank you Target for getting rid of the pink and blue isles in your kid department and just having you know, toys. Because if you don't know what the kid you're shopping for likes, you might want to just fucking ask them. I'm waiting for other retailers, and designers to get on board. I'm sort of sick of anything that might have started out as a "boys" theme, being pinkified to but put in the "girls" section. Case in point. This Avengers themed set from Walmart.
I bought this tank and pantie set from my local Walmart yesterday, on a whim, because I love fandom merch. And it's comfortable. I have one major question though... Why the fuck is anything that should be red, pink? By the way, the entire back of the tank and most of the pantie is pink. Now personally a pink Iron Man would be awesome, and I'm sure Tony could carry it off, but his suit isn't pink, it's red. Really red. Captain America's shield is red and blue and white. Not pink and blue and white. You get the picture.
Yes this tank top is ridiculously comfortable. And cute enough that I don't terribly mind dropping approximately $12.00 on the set. I am however really annoyed by the message that anything I like that is geeky or nerdy or "traditionally masculine" has to be made more girly for me to want to buy it.
At the same time that I got this set, I found a super comfortable and soft t-shirt for my 6-year-old daughter with the Captain America emblem on the front. Guess what colour it is? Guess!
The Iron Man t-shirt she rocks like the awesome kid she is, is bright red and has a kick ass image of Iron Man flying. I had to get it from the "boys" section.
Come on corporate America! The times they are a changing. Target got the message. Lego is getting the message. Walmart, step up! Merchandisers and designers, get the fucking message! If I like something, I'm going to like it, without you making it pink.
Just have to put some love out there to the BBC Merchandise for their Doctor Who lines, thank you for not making the Tardis pink. However, more female shaped cosplay clothing would be awesome, since I like to wear 12's clothing and the navy coat is too long in the arms for me. Just sayin'.
I'm Kirsten. Some things you could label me with; tattooed, geek, mama, animal lover, weirdo, nerd, writer, movie and TV addict, lazy, ambitious, insomniac, feminist, LGBTQ+.