I’m Not Sorry

I’m Not Sorry

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,10 June 2016

When I was a heinous teenager, I remember the fights I had with my mom when she annoyed the bejeezus out of me. She would start off saying “I’m sorry”, pause for a millisecond and say “No, I’m not sorry…”, and then finish up with whatever statement would most rile her emotionally charged, hormonal daughter. I always thought that would be the most enraging non-apology I ever heard.

That was until I read the whiny-ass, blame-avoidance non-apology of the entitled Stanford University student, Brock Turner, who brutally raped a woman and recently received a paltry six months in county jail from an elected judge who should be run out of town. Turner “apologized” for having too much to drink and making the “wrong decisions”. To top it all off, this numbnuts has the unmitigated gall to say he wants to lecture high school and college students on “the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.”

In other words, alcohol made the victim promiscuous and now Turner’s career as a swimmer and all-American college student is over. I’d cry tears for him if every time I thought about him I didn’t turn over a table and run down the street screaming.

I’m sorry but I tend to believe victims. When a woman or man comes forward and suffers through the terrible invasion of their bodies and minds that is a rape kit exam, and steps forward to say “I was assaulted” despite the knowledge that their own characters will be besmirched by their assailants and their assailants’ supporters and attorneys, I assume this victim is not lying. Turns out, the numbers say I’m right to believe the victims. False reporting for sexual assault happens at about the same rate or less as other crimes — somewhere between 2 and 8%.

And yet universities around the country would have you believe that number is far higher. So would the first pick of the 2015 NFL draft, Jameis Winston. Winston was accused of rape by a student at FSU and because he was an athlete and because the school wants to seem like rapes aren’t real on campus, the school didn’t properly investigate him. He would have you believe she was lying. That it was consensual. Despite his friend walking in on the assault and saying, “Dude she is telling you to stop.”

For what is hopefully the last time, let’s make this crystal fucking clear: rape doesn’t happen because of what a victim wears or drinks, because of peer pressure or bad decisions. Rape happens because of rapists. Rape happens because a small percentage of men believe they have the right to take what they want even if what they want is crying, screaming no, drunk, or unconscious. Rape happens because we spend more time trying to make victims feel responsible than we do catching, prosecuting and punishing the rapists. Rape happens because we treat college athletes like gods and make them think there are no repercussions. Rape happens because we value the victims less than we do their attackers.

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Image Credit: Wolfram Burner on Flickr

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