Amidst the heat surrounding Brock Turner’s rape conviction, an important discussion has captured the nation’s attention in regard to the subtle ways we endorse rape culture.
Rape doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. Without knowing it, we are raising a generation of men who think it’s okay to tell dirty jokes about women, or at least laugh at them. We teach them that affectionately referring to classmates as “whores” or “sluts” is fine when it’s all in good fun, either by doing it ourselves, or by not saying anything when we hear it from others.
In a society where girls are told to get thicker skin, lighten up and learn to take a joke, it’s kind of hard to battle those “little things” that slowly degrade women over time.
It may seem like a big leap to make from a dirty joke to rape, but one girl’s chilling narration of a letter to her father reveals how closely linked they really are…
(Warning: This video contains explicit material.)
She starts by thanking her dad for looking after her so well, even though she’s not yet born. She knows he tries harder than Superman, as he won’t even let her mom eat sushi.
“I will be born a girl,” she continues…”which means by the time I’m 14, the boys in my class will have called me a whore, a b****, a c*** and many other things. It’s just for fun, of course.”
“By the time I turn 16, a couple of the boys will have snuck their hands down my pants while I’m so drunk I can’t even stand straight. And although I say no, they just laugh. It’s funny, right? If you saw me, Daddy, you would be so ashamed…because I’m wasted. No wonder I’m raped when I’m 21.”
She explains that the boy who raped her was the son of a man who was good friends with her Dad—a man who he went swimming with every Wednesday, and a man who always told insulting jokes. But her dad would laugh just to be nice. After all, they were harmless, right?
She continues to detail the painful situations that she faces throughout her life as a result of the subtle undertones of misogyny woven throughout her everyday experiences.
The girl doesn’t blame her dad, as she knows he would do anything to protect her, but she does ask him one big favor: to be one of those men who goes against the grain. And that’s exactly the message that every father in the world needs to hear in order to start raising boys who love and respect women as the cherished gems that they are.
As stated in a Huffington Post article on the Brock Turner case, “Enough is enough. It is time we ended rape culture, once and for all. Rape culture demonstrates the ways in which society blames victims of sexual assault and normalizes male sexual violence. It is frequently preached about via social media and when a case like this one comes to light, the amount of support from strangers is astonishing—yet we are still teaching our children not to be raped, instead of teaching them not to rape.”
We are incredibly reactive when an appalling case like Brock Turner’s hits the media light, but it’s time we’re equally proactive. The same hot-headed emotion we pour into bashing his pathetic excuse of a six-month sentence needs to be poured into how we teach our children to fight rape culture by becoming more like Christ.
A man who is raised to know that sex is sacred and a woman’s body is a temple doesn’t rape an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. He would have handled her like a real man.
As stated in a heartfelt open letter to the victim by Lairs Johnston, “I would have called for help while trying to get you to eat some bread. I would have gone to your phone to try and call one of your friends to come get you. I would have given you my coat, not removed yours.”
That’s the culture of men we need to fight the “Brock Turners” of the world, and it starts with us.
So let’s breed a generation of strong, God-fearing men—those who grow up speaking of women like the rubies they are, even when they’re not around. And those who look to the pages of Proverbs for a woman’s worth, not the pages of Playboy….so that when they see girls, they see daughters of the One True King, not pawns in a pornographic fantasy or a lifeless toy to be raped behind a dumpster.
THESE are the men our world needs.