So, this week, I have been inundated with the stories of the swimmer who raped the unconscious woman he dragged behind a dumpster. He was sentenced to 6 months (he will serve 3) because the judge didn't want to ruin his life.
He has vowed to travel to colleges and high schools and expose the dangers of binge drinking and promiscuity on campuses.
So, this male is claiming that it was alcohol and promiscuity that provoked this rape....not his need for power over an unconscious woman....
As a woman...as a mother of daughters and sons...I call bullshit.
My sons understand that no means no and yes means yes and unless yes is said clearly and understandably, it is a no. My daughter understands this as well. She is 7.
I am frustrated with a culture that condones a light sentence to "not ruin his future." What about her future? What about the past year for her? What are those things worth? I am angered, as a mother of boys, that my sons are looked at as people who can not control themselves when a woman walks by...that there is something inherent in their DNA that makes them not responsible for their own actions.
I don't care how drunk she was or how promiscious she was or was not....I don't care if she is naked and gyrating against my son....they have been taught that unless she uses the word "yes" she is still saying no. That word has to cross her lips in a coherent manner.
can a person who is unconscious give consent? Can a person who can't stand up give consent? Can a person who is altered in any way, give consent?
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
I can't believe that 20 years after I underwent questions asking what kind of clothes I was wearing and if I was sitting with my legs closed or if they were parted, another woman was asked the same questions. Were my breasts showing when I bent over to hit the pool ball? Why was I wearing perfume that night? Had I ever slept with guys on the first night meeting them? Did I laugh provocatively? Did I find many people attractive? Did I tell dirty jokes? Did I laugh at dirty jokes? At any point in the evening did I lick my lips? Was I looking at the defendant? Where did I purchase my underwear from?
Do any of the answers to those questions change what he did? Nope...not for a second. Did I ever say yes? Nope. Did I say "no?" Several times. Was I injured? Yes. Was he convicted? No....
I thought that 20 years later, campus rape would be looked at differently...that it would be looked at as rape...
I was wrong.
One son is 18. He is in the army. My other son is 17 and will be leaving for college in a couple of years.
Today is the day I speak to my sons again...no means no and it never means yes.
Today is the day I speak to my daughter...to remind her that she can wear whatever she wants...she can speak to whomever she pleases...she can love whomever she loves
And...in my heart...I will try to believe that is true.