By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Defending the now infamous Stanford rapist, the father wrote; “His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve…that is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life…He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile.”
The phrase “20 minutes of action” has rightly offended many people. Now the letter the victim read is being highlighted on the internet.
What always stands out in these cases is the excuses put forward. The victim was drinking. The victim talked to the perpetrator.
But let’s ask ourselves if the victim was not a young woman, but the father, being dragged behind a dumpster and raped by a man, how society would interpret the story. Let’s say a 50 year old man went out drinking. He talked to a guy at the bar. He left the bar. On the way to his car, the man he had met sexually assaulted him.
20 minutes of action.
So let’s ask if the father of the Stanford rapist received “just” 20 minutes of action. How would the father respond. Would it be “just 20 minutes”? I mean he can take that from a man raping him, right? It’s just 20 minutes?
Or suddenly when it is a man being raped, we recoil. Of course that’s wrong. How could that happen?! How could a man who talks to a guy at a bar and gets drunk deserve to be raped behind a dumpster?
Well it happens all the time to women.We learned today that Worcester Polytechnic Institute has claimed a student who was raped on a study abroad program in Puerto Rico was “partially responsible” because the student had a few drinks and went with a “stranger onto a dark rooftop.” Case closed, right? I mean he went onto a rooftop and then he got raped by this stranger?
Oh wait. It’s not a he. It’s a she who was the victim. Because obviously if it was a male student…or a college professor at Worcester, then of course he wouldn’t be partially responsible for being anally raped.
Some don’t like that, right? Does it offend you if someone suggests that a professor who had a drink and was then anally raped by another man he had just met, is “partially responsible.” Oh, but he’s a professor. Of course he shouldn’t be violated. But a 20 year old female student? Well, we need to know about her sexual history, how many drinks she had. Then she’s responsible?
The big lie about sexual harassment: If it happened to men the way it happens to women, it would stop tomorrow
Let’s imagine that sexual harassment happened to men at the office or at university, as frequently as it happens to women. A man recently hired at a firm gets text messages at 2am from his boss asking him if he wants a “late night drink at my place.” Maybe his boss just “wants to cuddle.” Maybe everyday his boss asks him if he could wear “tighter pants.” Maybe his professor, when he is studying for a PhD, asks him to sit on the professors lap while they “study.”
Oh, you’re shocked, right? I mean, obviously that would be unacceptable, for a college professor to ask a male student to sit on his lap. But when I studied for my PhD I know a woman who wanted to get a PhD and whose advisor always asked her to “sit on my lap.” But she’s a woman, so of course our university ignored it. Just like they ignored other men who had to have sex with all their PhD students in order for the students to get a degree.
Because if it happened to men, if men had to give oral sex to get a good grade in a class to their male professors, I think we know exactly how long that would be tolerated. But it happens at every university. At Berkeley a student was called “honey bear” and pressured and harassed by a professor. Of course, if it had been a male student being called “honey bear”…we know it would have stopped immediately.
The theatre directors who always ask the new performers to “come over for some special body lessons” late at night, the news anchors who send the female interns text messages all night, the bosses who always have to give a “massage” to employees who are working.
It’s just “20 minutes of action.”
So here’s the test. If all the men, and some women, who constantly excuse rape, sexual assault and harassment, are willing to put themselves up for “20 minutes of action”, then lets see if the excuses continue?
The Stanford rapist might be at risk of being sexually assaulted in prison. So here’s your question. If he is raped in prison, will the father say “it was just 20 minutes of action.” Or all of a sudden will it be a crime.
Somehow…it seems clear. It’s a clear crime if it happens to men. When it happens to women…it’s “how much did she drink.”