I have really always felt like I was put on this earth to change the world. I was born for a reason. And I finally know why. I was put here on God's green Earth to be an advocate for drunk women everywhere. And I'm up for the challenge.
I consider myself an expert on the subject. I have, on occasion, drank so much alcohol that I have blacked out. It's happened in the past. It will probably happen again in the future. And for all I know, I could be in a black out right now.
Some people don't like to talk about getting drunk. Some people think it's poor manners. Some people get embarrassed when they get drunk. Some people like to pretend they don't get drunk.
I'm not that person. It happens. People get drunk. A lot. I get drunk. A lot. And that's just fine. Just because I get drunk doesn't mean someone has the right to rape me.
No. Matter. What.
I'm a little late to the game on this one. My summer drinking session is in full swing, so I haven't been paying all that much attention to current events. Apparently there's a recall on hostess products and I sent my kids off to the last day of school with bags full of ho-hos and ding-dongs. No judgement.
Anyway, my cousin Keggy posted an article on Facebook that caught my eye. Keg is a state's attorney and I really respect and look up to her. She has taken on a lot of cases where women are the victims. She's amazing at what she does. And people are lucky to have her fighting on their side.
About ten years ago, Keg had a case where a teenage girl was raped by several boys in an extremely affluent suburb of Chicago. There was 13 minutes of video of the assault. I was young and naive back then and assumed that because there was actual video evidence of the crime that it would be a slam dunk. I was so wrong.
"Lawyers' descriptions indicate that it shows Missbrenner and codefendant Burim Bezeri having sex with the teen during the party in Missbrenner's home in the upscale suburb. The tape also shows the men and others spitting on the woman and writing on her naked body." -Chicago Tribune
I remember the night the verdict came out on one of the defendants. Not guilty. I was shocked. I remember calling Keg that night and the sound of her voice. I could tell how personal it was to her and how much the verdict stung.
A lot changed that night. I realized how unfair life can be. I realized that the judicial system doesn't always work. How could a girl be treated that way and no one be held accountable? (Another defendant went on to be acquitted of the charges even after fleeing the country.)
So when Keg suggested to take a minute to read the statement the Stanford rape victim read to her attacker, I read it right away. All seven thousand plus words of it. And I recommend you do too.
This woman was violated. She got drunk and was taken advantage of. In the worst possible way.
In both cases the defense tried to shame the women. They re-victimized them both throughout these trials. How do defense lawyers sleep at night? They probably get drunk and pass out. Without being raped.
This. Needs. To. Stop.
I'm so sick of hearing stories of women being raped and blamed for it. She was asking for it. What did she think was going to happen when she wore that outfit? What did she think was going to happen when she got drunk and passed out? Ummmm....not get raped.
These woman were made out to be the criminals. Getting drunk is not a crime. Rape is.
I'm so sick of hearing, well she shouldn't have put herself in that situation. All the women did was get drunk. The men were the ones who made it a situation. By freaking raping them. By violating their bodies in ways that a woman should never be violated. In ways no human being should ever be violated.
I drink to get drunk. Not raped.
Just because you're drinking doesn't mean you're asking to be raped. I'm so sick of hearing this total bullshit. I don't care if someone is petrified drunk and sitting on someone else's lap naked. That doesn't give anyone the right to violate them.
Being drunk is not consent.
It's time this freaking nonsense stops. We need to talk to our children about this. No matter how old they are. We need to have the same conversations with both our sons and our daughters. You do not put your hands on someone else unless they want your hands there.
Treat every woman as if they were your mother, or sister, or daughter. Treat every man like they're your father, or brother, or son. Look out for your friends. If something doesn't seem right, look into it. Be like the two men who stopped the Stanford victim from being hurt further.
Not only do I hope I raise my children to not be rapists, I also hope they are never bystanders. I hope they're the ones that do something. They are the ones that help. They are the ones who speak up.
I also hope they have the same qualities that the Stanford rape victim has. I can't put into words how this woman makes me feel. How her words impacted me. She had one of the worst possible things happen to her and she didn't just take it. She used her words to fight back.
To the mother and father of the victim. I hope I raise my children to have the courage of your daughter. I would hope that I, also, would have half the courage she has.
To Dan and Carleen Turner, the parents of the criminal that was convicted of rape. You are the reason your son thinks it's okay to have sex with an unconscious girl. You taught him he was better than others. You taught him he could have whatever he wants. That's why he isn't familiar with the word no. Dan, your statement made it crystal clear that the rules don't apply to your son. Your son raped a woman. And you likened it to "20 minutes of action."
To the judge Aaron Persky, Stanford grad and former lacrosse captain, who handed down such a lenient sentence. You are the reason our society has this rape culture. You are perpetuating it. You are telling rich athletes that it's okay to continue what they are doing. Women are there for the taking. And even if you get caught, it's okay, you'll only get a slap on the wrist.
I talked to my cousin Keg the other day. I told her how the Stanford case reminded me so much of her case years before. That case was in 2002 and here we are in 2016 having the same conversation. She was surprised I remembered it. I was shocked she thought I could ever forget it.