Brock Turner, a former Stanford University freshman, was recently convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on January 17, 2015. He was set to get 14 years in prison. The judge gave him six months.
Brock's father, Dan Turner, spoke at the hearing on his son's behalf. He asked for the judge to only give his son probation because "20 minutes of action" (raping someone) should not have such a serious impact on a young man's life (which, of course, implies his rapist son's life is the only one that matters here).
I wrote about Dan Turner's original letter here.
Ozeri's edits expose how language has been used to diminish and reshape the grotesque violence of rape culture. Simply by reminding the reader exactly what Dan Turner is talking about here, his statement becomes a terrifying, albeit sort of hilarious, indictment of his own son.
Now, because the size of the text on that tweet is tiny, I transcribed Ozeri's version of the letter below. The segments in parentheses are Ozeri's additions:
As it stands now, Brock's life has been deeply altered forever by the events (raping an unconscious woman) of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile (that was there the whole time he was raping a young woman thinking he wouldn't get caught). His every waking minute is consumed with (not taking responsibility for the rape he committed). You can see this in his face, the way he walks (the fact that he took the girl he raped to trial and blame it on her,) his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food before he raped someone and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big rib eye steak to grill, but it just wasn't the same after (he raped an innocent young woman). I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn't be around long after Brock walked in from swim practice, (but these cute details don't have anything to do with the rape he committed). Now he barely consumes any foods and eats only to exist (because he screwed his own life and many other lives up by raping someone). The verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many way, (because our son is now a rapist). His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve, (the one where he gets to rape a beautiful strong human being and then go back to his swim meet). This is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action i.e. raping someone one out of his 20 plus years of life. (This isn't like the three second rule for food, rape still counts no matter how many seconds it lasts. This is rape.) The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, (rape) and how he will be able to interact with people (who don't wan't to be raped) and organizations (who don't want their employees to be raped). What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the punishment for Brock, (but a longer punishment meant for a rapist). He has no prior criminal history (aside from this rape) and has never been violent to anyone (except for the rape) including his 'actions' (and you know what that means -- rape) on the night of Jan 17th 2015. (Bringing up the fact that this was only his first rape is like bringing up that it's somebody's first murder or first terror attack, so it's still a crime.) Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society (but instead he chose to rape someone) and is totally committed to educating other college students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity (which is irrelevant because he should be talking about how he shouldn't have raped someone). By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of drinking and its unfortunate results (and get misinformation from a rapist with a light sentence). Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society (in an unjust and seriously creepy way). Very Respectfully (and Ignorantly), Dan A. (father of a rapist) Turner
My favorite edits happen in this masterful sentence, which so clearly lays bare how ridiculous and delusional this man's language is:
The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, rape, and how he will be able to interact with people (who don't wan't to be raped) and organizations (who don't want their employees to be raped).
The important thing to take away from this is rapists like Brock Turner don't just pop up, fully made, like grandiose TV serial killers.
No, they are all over this country, and they are encouraged by those around them to believe sex is something they deserve, that women are to be conquered and that the things and people of this world are there for them to take because even if they do, they'll only get six months.
In this case, the views Brock's father displays in his letter suggests to me Brock was raised by at least one person who encourages rape culture.
Brock's childhood friend Leslie Rasmussen also wrote a letter on Brock's behalf, blaming the rape charge on, because why the fuck not, political correctness.
In reading this woman's letter, you really get a sense of how prevalent this attitude of rape being something that just happens -- not something someone does -- is with the communities Brock is a part of.
As Rasmussen described things,
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.
This is the most insane part of all of this. "Clouded judgement" is not what causes a person to drag someone behind a dumpster while that someone is losing consciousness, rape him or her and then run away. That's like saying getting too drunk will make me, for example, start drop-kicking toddlers. It's completely ludicrous. Rape is not an accident.
I mean, this friend of Brock's literally said she was totally shocked about the “horrible situation [Brock] was involved in,” but that she could “name off 5 [other people] that I wouldn't be surprised about.”
She said this in an attempt to show Brock was a good guy. But, all any reasonable person hears is this woman can name five other people in her high school she would expect to rape someone some day. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ.
I don't know what more to say. This is all just too horrible. But, I'll end with this: If, at this point, you don't believe rape culture is a thing, you're likely a part of it.
Citations: Someone Edited the Letter Brock Turner's Father Wrote Defending His Son (Cosmopolitan), Brock Turner's Childhood Friend Blames His Rape Conviction on Political Correctness (Jezebel), Brock Turner's Childhood Friend Blames His Felony Sexual-Assault Conviction on Political Correctness (The Cut)