I’ve said a million times — both in public and many times even on this blog — how much I enjoy being a man.
I love exemplifying the cliché, stereotypical aspects of manhood — irrationally obsessing over sports; eating crappy food but still working out within a one-hour time span; not shaving for weeks at a time; and wearing cargo shorts every opportunity I can, to name a few.
God bless cargo shorts, man’s version of carrying a purse.
And being a man my entire life (I feel like in 2016 it’s necessary to clarify that), there is undoubtedly so many things I’ve taken for granted.
One extremely basic thing being my own safety.
Generally, the average man doesn’t have to worry about being preyed upon when out in public. We don’t have any reservations walking alone at night. We happily go to bars and clubs by ourselves. We don’t even know where to buy pepper spray even if we wanted to.
And please, don’t misconstrue my words and think I’m implying that all women live in a constant state of fear. I know tons and tons of women who are a hell of a lot braver than I am and can take care of themselves just fine.
But they do have to worry about their safety on a day-to-day basis more than men do. And that’s simply because the greatest danger to women is men.
It’s for that reason why we as a society need to do everything in our power to protect women. And we collectively failed to do just that regarding what happened in Stanford.
Americans were outraged this week when a California judge delivered a lenient sentence to a 20-year-old man and former student at Stanford University who was found guilty for three felony counts related to sexual assault. A man who was seen by witnesses raping an unconscious women behind a dumpster, and then tried to flee when they attempted to detain him.
Brock Turner got six months in jail. The judge who decided that, Aaron Persky, faces a campaign to recall him.
You’ve all probably heard about this. But I don’t think it could be understated how harmful and how major of a setback this is for women victimized by sexual assault.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five college women are sexually assaulted, but less than 10 percent report the assault.
It’s tragic, but understandable why women don’t often report sexual assault, in order to avoid having to endure an entire legal process and the scrutiny that comes with it. But for a case like this, that was so clear cut, so indisputable, and for the rapist to still only receive a slap on the wrist is incomprehensible.
After this, you wonder why a women would ever report sexual assault again.
The judge considered the boy’s academic and athletic accomplishments as a rationale for the light sentence. Even the boy’s father made a statement in court complaining that his son’s life had been ruined by “20 minutes of action.”
What? We’re supposed to sympathize for the perpetrator, and not the woman whose life he ruined during his mere “20 minutes of action?”
If you’re not mad yet, then perhaps take the time to read a letter that the unidentified rape victim read to her attacker in court. A letter that was read live on TV by CNN news anchor Ashleigh Banfield.
All I can say to women is, on behalf of all men, I’m sorry we failed you so badly.