6.16.16 | J.R. Thorpe
Whether it was because of the horrendously short prison sentence received by Brock Turner, the rapist in the Stanford rape case, or the intensely beautiful, brutal, brave letter read to Turner by his victim, the court case will now be one of the defining moments of 2016. It's attracted huge media attention, rage across all forms of social media, intense discussions in politics, and pledges to do better. But, like all media storms, it is gradually draining away, quickly overshadowed by new atrocities. The conversation started by Brock Turner's survivor has been an extremely positive, angry, powerful one: how can we keep it going?
It's not as simple as just talking about it long after the cameras have gone home. Turner will go to jail, the think pieces will dry up, the victim will wake up every day with her unbelievable burden, and we'll all wonder what else there is to say. To engage with rape culture on a constant and vigilant basis means being attentive. It means listening to the way people talk about rape, about sexual assault, about victims and perpetrators, about deserving it and safety, and what affirmative consent actually means.