June 2016

Sexual Assault and College Campuses they seem to go together like cookies and crème. They shouldn’t. But unfortunately it seems that more and more this has become an alarming trend.

When I read about Erica Kinsman’s trial with Jameis Winston and Florida State I felt sick, when I watched the Hunting Ground I felt sick, and when I read “Emily Doe’s” letter to Brody Turner about her own sexual assault trial I felt sick. But what I never felt once was surprised. And that is what sickens me most.

And I don’t feel surprised because as a girl I have been trained and conditioned by society to accept sexual assault against women as a norm. More than that I have been conditioned to expect women to be found at fault. I’ve experienced the outer realities of this myself. It shocks me more when a man is found guilty of sexual assault than it does when he is found innocent. And thats wrong. And it enrages me.

But its just another aspect of being a woman. You wake up, you get ready, you go about your day, but you are ALWAYS conscious about your safety in a way men don’t have to be. And you learn this simply by going through life as a female.
When I lived abroad not a single day passed walking home from school that I was catcalled or leered at. Or there was the time I learned to keep my headphones on while on the subway because once a man on the subway gave me an “compliment.” Alone and feeling awkward I mumbled a “thank-you”- because society has taught me that women should always be polite. Well my politeness only encouraged this man to continue to harass me with his group of friends to the point where he tried to kiss me. Not a single person on the train looked up from their papers. I walked home terrified that night.
Or how about when here at home I instinctively put my keys between my fingers when I walk to my car at night because I have been conditioned to know that it wouldn’t be uncommon for a girl walking by herself to be attacked.

Thats the reality for women live in today. And I hope it makes you sick.

The case currently flooding peoples news feeds is an important and telling one. It involves 20-year-old former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was sentenced Thursday to six months in county jail and three years’ probation for three counts of sexual assault.

On January 18, 2015, two Stanford graduate students biking across campus spotted Turner thrusting himself on an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster at a party. This woman has been named Emily Doe as she has chosen to keep her identity private.

Emily Doe’s letter is important because it is a slap in the face to woman. It is a reminder of just how marginalized we still are and just how sexist the institutions we are supposed to trust can still be.

Brody Turner was found guilty by a jury.

Unanimously. 100% guilty of sexual assault and rape.

There were witnesses. IT happened.

Yet the judge only gave him six months of served time (which will in reality end up being three). SIX MONTHS. Because the judge “feared anything longer would have a severe impact on Turner.”

And that my friends is why when people say there isn’t a need for feminism or that gender inequality doesn’t exist, I want to slap them in the face.

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