Even though we’d thought his dad had covered all possible excuses for Brock Turner’s rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, more and more quality blame-shifting keeps cropping up.
The Cut shared a letter on Monday from Turner’s childhood friend Leslie Rasmussen, provided by a source and supposedly one of many character references that Brock Turner’s lawyers presented Judge Persky with, leading to his disturbingly lenient sentence. In it, she blames the fact that everyone is upset with Turner for taking the clothes off a stranger and digitally penetrating her on political correctness and that we should “see that rape on campus isn’t always because people are rapists.”
I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.
She also draws the line between rape perpetrated by her friends, and rape conducted by kidnappers:
This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.
Rasmussen’s letter perfectly illustrates the problems with how we speak about consent, and the insidious influence of rape culture. Most rapists are just idiot boys who have been taught that they’re entitled to what they want and will suffer no consequences if they take it. Drawing a line between them and “real rapists” minimizes the injury of sexual assault to the point where people are shocked and saddened when a regular person who has committed rape must face their crimes to any degree.