Brock Turner—the notorious "Stanford rapist" whose brutal sexual assault of an unconscious woman made national headlines—was released from jail today after serving only half of his already infuriatingly lenient sentence.
He spent three months in jail. That's it. And seeing him walking away today as a free man gives me actual chills:
I can only imagine how his victim feels. I hope she's not online, not seeing the coverage of him strolling out of prison looking every bit the privileged white male this case exposed him to be.
Watching Brock Turner go free is nauseating. Remember how, during the case, the rape survivor expressed extreme disappointment that he had continuously "failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct"? Yeah, that feels all the more poignant today.
Here's what I'm wondering:
Does his dad now feel even more validated in his assessment of the rape as simply "20 minutes of action"? Does his mom, who wrote a letter to the judge begging for leniency because, ironically, jail would cause her son to be "damaged forever," still feel that he's a victim?
I want to know what's next for Turner. Will he change his name? Go back to a quiet life in Ohio under his parents' roof? At least he's on a sex offender list—but what are the terms of his probation?
It's so depressing—numbing, even—that he gets to saunter out of jail after a mere three months after what he did. But I will feel even more livid if he parades around on the talk show circuit (don't do it, Dr. Phil!) because I don't care what he has to say. None of us should.
There's really no good that can come out of Turner's freedom except a reminder that we need to do more to explain the nuances of rape culture to judges, to college administrators, to boys and the men who raise them. We need to make sure everyone understands that rape is a devastating crime, that anyone—no matter what they look like and no matter their upbringing—can be a rapist, and that a woman or man's behavior and past can never be used as justification for *why* they were raped. I'm done saying Brock Turner's name. There's more work to do.
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