So it’s been a very, very long week, and I’ve had a couple of days where the bad news just keeps coming. I’m filled with more rage than I can stand at the entire Brock Turner debacle, but one thing that the terrible rapist, and the terrible judge, and the terrible father kept reminding me of is the broken distribution system for placing the burden of rape. Turner’s father, and Turner’s judge, both act as if the rape Turner committed is something that happened to him, not to his victim. His “20 minutes of action” shouldn’t be held against him. The poor dear. His victim delivered a powerful statement, one in which she makes it clear that at many points it was her actions that were on trial, not his. She recounted the questions she was asked about herself, and her actions, the night of her assault:
Never take a ride from strangers; if you see a man watching tell a teacher; if someone says they know me, make them say the code word, “Purple Goldfish”; wait for your sister inside the building; wait for your friends to walk home from school with you; don’t wear things that have your name on it, someone could say your name and you’d think you knew them; you have to be less trusting honey, there are people in the world who will try to take advantage of you; tell me when you’re going for a walk, don’t go very far; always lock the door, lock all the windows; keep the shades drawn so people can’t look at you; don’t open the door without looking through a window to see who it is; don’t answer the phone when I’m gone, if you do don’t say I’m not home say I’m in the shower never say that you’re alone; if you’re at a friend’s house and you go somewhere call me; the internet is full of creeps, I really don’t like you being on it, please be careful, I’m just trying to keep you safe; never tell people your real name in a chatroom; never give out your information on the internet; never put a picture of yourself on the internet; never go places that don’t have any lights; avoid places like alleys; if something ever happens try to make a lot of noise, but don’t fight back to the point you’ll get hurt, nothing’s worth your life; never pick up hitchhikers, you don’t know that what they’re going to do; keep your keys in your hand when you walk to your car so you can defend yourself; look in your car before you get in it; lock your car before you start it; if you think you’re being followed stop in someone else’s driveway; wear makeup that looks like you’re not wearing makeup at all, it’s better to be subtle than to stand out; if you are going to a party, make sure you have friends with you; take your own drink, never let it out of your hand, carry a Dr. Pepper in your purse I don’t care that’s what you need to do; if you start feeling dizzy or drunk get your friends to take you home; never trust someone else to do what you can do for yourself; never trust someone not to take advantage of you if you’re not being careful, you have to be careful honey, you have to be safe.
Elle Irise is a regular contributor to This Week In Tomorrow. When she’s not trying to explain all the things wrong with firing teachers for talking about rather common body parts, she studies gender in popular culture.
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