Monday, June 6, 2016

History, morality, and AVPS gifs-the Brock Turner case drove me to babbling

Let's open this with a piece of advice.

If your first thought upon seeing a drunk woman fall down on the ground is "SEXY TIMES!" then you have SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH YOUR MIND.

Let's talk about Mr. Turner (not the Orlando Bloom variety). Poor beebee Brock can't possibly be a bad person, and he was drunk, so he can be excused for not knowing what he was doing was wrong.

But the girl was drunk, therefore it is her fault for being drunk.

Wait, what?

See, this is the logical problem with this kind of attitude. While I'm all for encouraging people to be responsible when drinking (and having been hungover once and not enjoying the lack of control that comes with drunkenness, I don't understand the appeal of overdrinking at all), when you start excusing people's bad behavior based on their drunkenness (and, in this case, whether they're male or female), that is when it stops being responsibility and starts being an utter lack of responsibility.

This is about the problems with a double standard, and, frankly, I see the same notions today that I'm seeing as I read my history book about the middle ages and the early modern era. There is an implicit belief that men somehow need sex more than women, so their sexual behavior, and sometimes misbehavior, is excused. There is, at the same time, a belief that women's sexuality is uncontrollable, and thus must be contained. If a woman is raped, people immediately question her statement that she didn't consent to sex. We see this in Brock Turner's statement about the events: claiming that she was flirtatious with him, seemed into him, and that even in her drunken, half conscious state, she was enjoying sex. He casts himself as the victim of a woman's rapacious appetite for sex. This is made even clearer in his decision on what to do now-teaching children the dangers of promiscuity and drunkenness, while claiming no responsibility, implicitly blames his victim for his problems-and in his father's weepy statement about how miserable Brock is, not out of guilt, but because he is bearing the consequences of his actions.

We live in a world where desire, especially sexual desire, is upheld above all else. If anyone desires anything, they should take it. Moral considerations, or even a simple examination of consequences, is considered "old fashioned" at best, and "judgmental" at worst. It should not surprise us then that a young man who has been handed everything in life should feel himself entitled to a young woman, regardless of her feelings or, in this case, her consciousness.

I have no pity on Brock Turner for the suffering he is experiencing due to his actions. I have no pity on his father, who seeks to shield him from any consequences. A good parent would not shield their child. They would stand by them, and support them, and love them, but they would not let them escape the consequences of their actions.

His victim will have to live with this for the rest of her life, and with seeing accusations against her based on her making the same decision Turner made. She can remake her life, but it will be a lot more difficult for her than it will be for Turner, who seems to be surrounded by people trying to keep him from understanding the enormity of what he did.

Also, I'm making myself feel sane about this by calling them "the Malfoys". It kind of fits, doesn't it?

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