I’ve been thinking about Brock Turner and his future as an Olympic athlete.
I’ve been thinking about another star athlete AND teacher who sexually assaulted young women in my high school.
I’ve been thinking about how happy I am that social media wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. It would have torn those women apart. Or maybe it would have backed those young women in more of a public way.
I’ve been thinking a lot.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I never understood consent. I wasn’t enraged by the assault of my school mates.
I’ve been thinking about why I didn’t have the back of those young women back then, but I have the back of Emily Doe now.
I find that interesting.
I find it interesting that Brock Turner actually has people supporting him. It makes me curious. Will they regret that decision in 10 years? 20 years? Next year?
I know I regret my choices.
Listen, I cannot sit here and write this and pretend to know what those young women went through. I cannot act as if I know about the type of support they received. I cannot act as if I know their journey. I cannot even write about this as if I was their friend or even part of it.
But, they should have had more support.
Even if they had all the support in the world.
They should have had more.
They should have had mine.
They should have had yours.
Did I believe the young women in my school when they came forward?
I did. I always did. I was raised by parents who believed.
Yet, did I support them?
Did I hug them when I saw them?
Did I speak up?
Did I tell anyone, besides very vaguely telling my parents about the night I saw him being a creep with one of my friends?
Did I gossip about it?
Did I think that those young women might have made a mistake by coming forward?
Did I think this was a terrible thing for my teacher, his family and my school?
I’ve been thinking a lot.
I think the worst thing, was at the time, I thought that a two-year sentence was more than appropriate for his crime.
He abused his position of power. He abused young women.
I’ve been thinking that if I could go back in time with the knowledge that I have now, I would have done things a lot differently.
I think that the reason it outrages me more now then it did when I was a twenty is because I now have more life experiences behind me, and most importantly, I have a daughter and a son.
I hope my daughter is never in the situation Emily Doe or the girls from my high school was in, but should the worst ever happen, I hope that the justice system has changed. I hope that my daughter supports her friends. I hope she has the courage that I didn’t have twenty years ago. I hope she steps up.
I’ve been thinking about how to teach my son about consent and respect.
I’ve been thinking a lot about rape and I think we can do better. We can support victims, demand strong consequences for rapists and most importantly, make sure our kids are educated on the issue.