The word “rape” is abused almost to the point of meaninglessness. Feminist zealots argue that a pervasive “rape culture” causes the high incidence of rape on college campuses today. In the name of addressing this crisis, federal legislation proposes to seize yet more control of higher education. The leading advocate for sexual victims, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), points out that overall sexual violence in the country has fallen by 74% since 1993. But when something like the horrific sexual assault at Stanford happens, national attention focuses on the huge problem of campus rape.
The perpetrator in this case, Brock Turner, claimed to be an innocent freshman from Ohio who “had never really experienced celebrating or partying that involved alcohol” until he became part of the party culture of the Stanford swim team. In a public plea for clemency, his father argued that a jail sentence was too stern a punishment for “twenty minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” Dad Turner sought sympathy on the grounds that his son “will never be his happy go lucky self with that easygoing personality and welcoming smile.”
The young woman his son assaulted will never be her happy go lucky self again, either.
At the sentencing, his victim addressed her attacker in a statement that should be mandatory reading for the parents of all teenagers.
Turner’s victim had already passed out from drinking when he took advantage of her (her blood alcohol was three times the legal limit by the time she reached the hospital). Her regaining of consciousness, while lying on “a gurney in a hallway,” was at first puzzling—she had no idea of where she was or what had happened to her. What followed, she recalls, was excruciatingly painful, as she slowly realized she’d been sexually assaulted. In her statement, talking directly at Turner, she details her physical, mental, and emotional anguish, describing how the attempted rape and subsequent trial changed her life:
You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrollment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice. . . .
Later, she speaks about Brock Turner to the court:
What has he done to demonstrate that he deserves a break? He has only apologized for drinking and has yet to define what he did to me as sexual assault, he has re-victimized me continually, relentlessly. He has been found guilty of three serious felonies and it is time for him to accept the consequences of his actions. He will not be quietly excused. He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.
Why should this young woman’s statement be required reading for all parents of teenagers? Because it demonstrates graphically what is waiting for their children in the pervasive hookup culture on the college campus.
Last year the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs published a study in which one in six college women reported being raped while incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol during their freshman year.
One out of six. Raped while incapacitated.
The hookup culture is the norm on most college campuses. For feminists, it is Erica Jong’s “zipless f*ck” dream come true: swift sexual encounters with no remorse and no consequences, no drama and no ulterior motives. There is no pretense of a relationship between the copulators, no emotion. Just rutting.
It is so contrary to human nature that in order to participate in it, both men and women have to suppress their innate inhibition against having sex with random strangers by getting very drunk or high.
For the Stanford victim, the hookup culture turned out to be a nightmare, not a dream. The hundreds of thousands of other women who are raped while living that feminist-inspired reality probably experience it that way too. Though some may not realize for years how damaged they have been.
One out of six. Raped while incapacitated.
Brock Turner apologized for getting drunk. He didn’t apologize for molesting his victim. Does he think drunkenness should absolve him from responsibility?
The victim said to him: “Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal. . . . We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference.”
Yes. That is the difference. The law held him, not her, accountable for his actions.
However, whether you’re male or female, if you willingly put yourself in a situation where you can expect to lose control of your reason, you should also be prepared to lose control of your well-being.
Brock Turner was prosecuted for sexual assault and convicted because his victim did not give her consent. Consent is supposed to be a rational act. Deliberately consuming enough alcohol to impair the exercise of reason means a person cannot, by definition, give consent. Turner’s victim was molested because, having passed out, she wasn’t able either to refuse consent or to fight off his advances. Was Turner so drunk that he too had passed the point of rationality? Was he unable to give consent to his own actions? Had he so subverted his intellect by alcohol that he was capable only of animal instincts?
Should every drunk female be allowed to claim rape after a hookup she regrets? Should every drunk male be allowed to claim drunkenness as an excuse for rape?
It doesn’t work that way in the case of drunk driving. If you choose to drink and then drive, society ratchets up the penalty if you harm someone. Mothers Against Drunk Driving taught our culture that drunk drivers can ruin people’s lives.
Drunken sex acts can ruin peoples’ lives too. Maybe the courageous statement of the Stanford rape victim will inspire some courageous man to start Fathers Against Drunken Sex.