Monday, June 6, 2016

Stanford Rape Case


I want to use this opportunity to speak up about the injustice of the Stanford rape case.

I've been sick to my stomach over it the last couple days. We live in a society where misogyny, victim blaming, slut shaming, and rape culture run rampant. In a nutshell: The Stanford victim was unconscious and raped next to a dumpster, and two witnesses who saw what was happening had to chase and tackle Brock Turner to the ground, holding him there until police arrived.

All this should have been the perfect recipe for a strong conviction and due sentence, right? Brock Turner faced up to 14 years in state prison when he was convicted of three felonies: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious woman with a foreign object. Prosecutors asked for six years. But Judge Aaron Persky's final ruling was to give him only six months, saying that any longer would have a "severe impact" on the rapist. Isn't that the point of serving time??

To add insult upon injury, we see Brock Turner's father has issued a heinous letter on Brock's behalf, saying that poor Brock has anxiety and will never enjoy steak the same way again (what even...?). He says the consequences of Brock's own actions are "a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action".


(Fixed it, though. Thanks, internet.)


I beg of you to read the victim's statement. The way this entire case was handled just goes to show how incredibly difficult it is for rape victims to not only come forward, but find justice. This is why so many women choose to stay silent about their rapes. Victims are constantly blamed for rapes (Are you sexually promiscuous? Were you wearing revealing clothing? Were you drunk?) as if any factors other than clear consent nullify accusations of rape. A woman can be naked and you still do not have permission to touch her if she did not give it. And on the flip side, we see men painted as fallen stars--The Washington Post titled their article with "All-American swimmer found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious woman on Stanford campus". OK. We don't care that he's white. Or that he's an athlete. HE'S A RAPIST. And in that article, they wax poetic on Brock Turner's upbringing and achievements, trying to make the audience empathize with the poor privileged white kid who "fell from grace". According to them, it appears he's the REAL victim here because of the loss of his bright future. The amount of victim shaming in that article (and in society!) is absurd. Take, for instance, their comparing how much drunker she was than he was. Alcohol consumption doesn't somehow negate the severity of this crime.

I read a very poignant comment regarding this case. Someone noted, "I don't claim this to be a fact, but I see a pattern emerging in rape culture that suggests women have a past, while men have a potential. When women are violated, we're asked, 'What did you do to deserve this?' and often our past is looked at for clues. When men violate women, they're asked, 'What do you have to lose?' and their future is looked at for clues."

I would be wasting my "influence" and reach if I didn't use them for good.  It's jarring that we women all have a Brock-like story. Let's band together and fight for what's right. Today, I'm calling on you, my wonderful, woke, good-hearted kindred spirits, men and women and gender nonbinary people alike, to take a stand with the Stanford rape victim. We need to send a message that rape is wrong, this sentence was not enough, and justice was not served. Sign the petition to unseat Aaron Persky and fill out this form. The information you will need is as follows:
Name of Judge: Aaron Persky
Court: State Bar
County: Santa Clara 
Name and case number: State of California vs. Brock Allen Turner Case #B1577162
Please specify: Appearance of bias toward a particular class: Persky sentenced fellow alumni and athlete of Stanford university to an unusually lenient sentence of 6 months for a unanimously guilty verdict on three counts of sexual assault, despite Mr. Turner showing no remorse and being caught in the act. Inappropriate comments on the bench: "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him (Brock Turner)" in relation to why this convicted rapist would serve such a short sentence. 
Present parties include Brock Turner/Aaron Persky/Jeff Rosen/Mike Armstrong/Emily Doe/others

I am also involved in a nonprofit event happening on June 15 in NYC, where partygoers can get together and fill out stamped, addressed forms aiming to unseat Judge Aaron Persky. We need all the help we can get. If anyone has any connections to paper supplies (paper, envelopes), stamps, pens, and *the biggie* an alcohol sponsor, please email me at eugenie@feralcreature.com. If you want to donate supplies, please email katie@KLLERCOLLECTION.com. And if you want to volunteer, please email borkowski.theresa@gmail.comI'll have more info on the event in the coming days, and hopefully we can celebrate in the name of feminism and justice!

Let's pave the way for a better future for women, together.

xx
Eugenie

Cover photo courtesy of BuzzFeed News.
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17 comments

  1. YES. YES. YES. Thank you, Eugenie.

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  2. Just wanted to point out an important typo towards the bottom in the info you need section - Judge Aaron Persky, not Pensky

    Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Oops, thank you! I copied and pasted that from the Change.org petition--guess I should pass along the news!

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  3. There are so many reasons why I look up to you as a blogger, and this is one of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for addressing this and putting out what we can do to address this case. I've been so angry these last couple of days.

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  4. You inspire me so much Eugenie <3 not only are you a huge fashion icon for me, but as I see more and more of this side of you, You are also a person who uses their platform to influence and bring attention to events such as this...I'm even more inspired to do the same thing c: you are body positive and you are gorgeous in all ways <3 keep doing what you do!! Tbh the popular media needs more people like you. People who don't simply support something, but actually take actions to stand up against something like this. Love you!!!
    -N. W.

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  5. Thank you so much for addressing this very important issue and for motivating people to get involved! People need to know about the injustices for victims of rape and how to they can help put a stop to it. This is just one of the many reasons you're such an amazing blogger! Thank you again! <3

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  7. I respect and applaud you for using your platform to speak out about this. I have signed the petition and plan to mail out the complaint form tomorrow.

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  8. I've only been made aware of the whole thing yesterday but having read the two letters - Brock's dad's and the victim's, I find it appalling. Six months in jail time is not enough. I have deep respect for the woman as her grace and strength really shone in her statement. I hope justice will be had.

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  9. Thank you Eugenie. I had been hoping there would be some kind of petition started or a movement to go against this case. I'm so glad you had posted about it, otherwise I would've just sat angrily reading article after article.

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  10. What a horrible crime. He should be in jail!

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  11. Lenient sentence? Will he be able to graduate from Stanford? Will he be able to graduate from any university or even from a comunity college? Will he be able to compete in the Olympics? Will he be able to live anywhere without disclose his neighbours that he is an convicted sex ofender? Will he be able to erase his record as a sex offender? Will he be hired by any employer despite his record as a sex offender? Probably3-6 years of jail is the least of his concerns.

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    1. This kind of insensitivity completely disregards how the VICTIM is feeling. IT'S NOT ABOUT HIM. It's about justice. Where's your sense of decency?

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  12. I wonder if you would call this sentence lenient if you or somebody you care about received it. It´s not about him, it´s not about her, and it´s not about whether his sentence is the most appropiate. It´s about whether having your life ruined forever is a lenient sentence or not. You make it sound as if it were just a slap in the wrist.

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    1. If you've ever looked into cases of POC being sentenced to 20 years for driving without a license, or a POC being sentenced to the maximum possible for rape, or even POC being shot and killed for shoplifting--YES. This is a slap on the wrist. To deem it as anything other than systematically problematic is to be blind and privileged as hell.

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  13. I really appreciate you posting this and making it so public on your website. Using your reach for so much good.

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  14. You are not only beautiful & talented but also admirable for speaking about things that make others cringe at. thanks so much for sharing and bringing light and attention to this horrific crime. YOU ARE AWESOME!

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