Jesus, life

Stupid Rape.

I spent the morning reading the statement by the Stanford rape victim, Ann VosKamp’s excellent post on the issue, a couple of related Guardian articles and a whole slew of comments on a Facebook post.

Over and over I saw these two comments: “Rape is about power.” “Rape is violent.”

And sometimes it is.  But not always.

Sometimes rape is about stupid.

Violent, power rape.

A guy lurking in the bushes, or in the backseat of an unlocked car, a guy who slips through a window at night and holds a knife to a rudely awakened throat, these are the guys who rape for power. These are the guys who use violence.

Date rapers are in this category, too.

Predatory rape.

Then there are the sexual predators.  The teachers and youth pastors and older neighborhood boys.  Their weapons are smooth words, positions of authority, trust, naiveté.

Ann told of this kind.

I’ve tangled with this kind.

Sometimes they are so smooth they can rape a girl and, though she was completely sober when it happened, may not realize she was raped until years later.

Stupid rape.

And then there’s stupid rape.

Here’s how it might look:

A freshman on a swim scholarship with a head FULL of STUPID stuff like “college is supposed to be one long drinking and sex fest” goes to a frat party.  He drinks, ‘cuz that’s what college is all about. Check.

He encounters an inebriated young woman and he sees an opportunity for sex.  Alright! About to check another one off the list.  About to be a bona fide college student.

The inebriated girl falls down. Outside. Behind a dumpster.

He has his way with her. HIS WAY with her.

Because it is all about him and his awesome college experience.

And not at all about another human being.

Instead of being horrified by his drunken behavior, instead of profusely and sincerely apologizing, he takes the low road. The really low road.  He hires an attorney.

Stupid strategy.

The attorney victimizes the woman all over again. Repeatedly. A strategy of verbal rape. A verbal rape that is all about exerting power, making someone feel weak and afraid.

Stupid choice.

In the victim’s eloquent (talk about the pen being mightier than the sword) statement she said, “You said, ‘During the trial I didn’t want to victimize her at all. That was just my attorney and his way of approaching the case.’”

Instead of saying “NO!” to the attorney, he allowed him to further victimize his victim.  And he wasn’t even inebriated or passed out when he gave his consent.

Because it wasn’t about being a man of honor. It was about saving his own young hide.

Stupid parenting.

When my daughter totaled her car (some of you will remember that story) because she was reading a text while driving, I was furious.  I told her so the whole 40 minute ride home from the tow yard.

Over and over I kept telling her that she could have killed someone.  Another driver, a child crossing the road, a dog….  “IF YOUR CAR IS MOVING FORWARD THEN YOUR EYES ARE FORWARD!,” I’m sure I yelled more than once. Yelled because she had a previous texting-related fender bender.  Yelled because I didn’t know what it would take to get the text monkey off her back.

My first thought (since she didn’t call from a hospital) was for the harm she could have done to someone else.  Because her life would have been ruined if she had killed someone. And every person who loved that someone would be ruined. And my life would be ruined if her life were ruined.

Forty minutes of trying to drive home the point that our actions and choices are not all about anyone of us.  It’s about us and others.

Maybe his stupid dad forgot to teach him that.

Maybe his stupid dad  forgot to teach him to say, “I’m truly sorry.”

Stupid statement.

But how can a stupid dad teach what he doesn’t get.  Really? Your son won’t eat his steak anymore? Stupid fuel to the stupid fire.

Stupid Sentencing.

Everyone is up in arms over the stupid sentence and the stupid judge.

I feel for the boy. I really do.  And I do believe that prison would harm him.  And I do believe that it is a darn shame.

But 6 3 months?

I think he should be sentenced to 7 years, as the prosecutors asked.

Not seven years in prison, 7 years of community service.  Working a rape hotline all day long. Sitting in on rape support groups in the evenings. Listening to heartbreaking story after heartbreaking story.

Sitting with Jesus a good long spell.

Until he gets it.

Until his heart is truly broken.

Then he will be able to give his victim all she ever really wanted: A heartfelt apology.  An acknowledgement that he hurt her, an understanding of what he did to her, took from her, and that he was WRONG to do so.

Stupid church.

“don’t forget that women are advised to “cover their heads” in the scriptures.” – comment in a discussion of the factors that contribute to rape.

But that’s a whole other post book.

Stupid society.

How ‘bout we turn college back into what it was intended to be:  A place for the serious pursuit of a higher education with the goal of contributing something useful to society.

How ’bout we teach our sons and daughters strength of character.  How ’bout we model it.

How ’bout we practice respecting and treasuring one another.

How ‘bout we ALL sit with Jesus a good long spell?




27 thoughts on “Stupid Rape.

  1. Mmmmm. I was going to write on this too, especially after reading her letter and then an account of a 16 year old boy who was sentenced to 10 years for a rape, only he did not rape as it was later recanted. Ten years versus 6 months for rape, total injustice. While I disagree that he should spend time in prison, yes, it will harm him, but you pay the cost, I also think spending time working the rape hotline would also be beneficial, but not in place of prison time. Prison time is the punishment. The rape hotline is more of a rehabilitation tool.

    Great post. Rant on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have been more clear – 7 years of hotline in addition to the 6 months of prison time – which is actually county jail time and in reality will only be 3 months.

      I don’t know many of the facts, but I can imagine that with his head full of garbage, the young man may not have realized that what he was doing was rape – since he didn’t hide behind bushes and drag her into a dark alley… NOT to make excuses for him, just to understand the mindset so the mindset can be rehabilitated on a societal level.

      He did know what he was doing was WRONG – or else he wouldn’t have run when confronted. Yes, definitely prison time.

      10 years for a 16 year old vs. 6 months? So much about which to rant, so much to make one’s head explode…

      Liked by 2 people

      • I know Julie. I am still taking it in. I just had a conversation with my 15 year old grandson and was deeply encouraged. I told him about the case, about how much time the rapist got for his 20 minutes of action. My grandson’s response was yeah, but a lifetime of scars.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wise grandson. Bless his loving heart.

          The whole stupid 20 minutes comment. It takes seconds to pull a trigger. Moral of the story: it only takes a second or two to ruin lives.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I know. I don’t know why the father said that. How could he say that? He literally reduced his son’s reprehensible act of violation and dehumanization as 20 minutes of action. I’d like to know what the mom thought about that? I would love my son too, but if life is valued and taught, that would not be an automatic response.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes. I think the father was trying to make the sad point that in a very short time his son destroyed many of his plans. If he had made that point by saying “His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action reprehensible, dehumanizing, criminal behavior out of his 20 plus years of life.” a) His point would be more accurate. b) His point would show that at least one male in his family gets it. c) The price wouldn’t sound nearly as steep. So, I’m going with c) as the reason the father called it 20 minutes of “action”.

              Unfortunately for him, by reducing it to an “action” the father managed to make himself an object of scorn, resulting in comments like, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

              Loving one’s son does not = minimizing horrible, criminal behavior.
              Loving one’s son does = holding him accountable and standing by him as he pays for his “actions”.
              And pro-actively teaching him the adage, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

              Liked by 1 person

    • Laurie says:

      The thought of a rapist working on a rape hotline to avoid prison time is sickening – when you think about it. How much trauma is to be inflicted on victims? Who would call for help if they new a rapist was going to answer?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Robert Young says:

    Julie, I agree with most of this but with all that I read, alcohol had 100% determination in being stupid on both the victim and attacker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, alcohol made both parties stupid. The perp wasn’t a violent rapist, raping for the sake of raping. He was a stupid, drunken rapist. But he was still a rapist. And rape is illegal, drunk or not. And should be punished, drunk or not. Otherwise, all those gross drunk guys who come home and rape their kids would be off the hook. Guys who would never rape their kids sober. Or would they?

      The things is, lots of people get really drunk and they don’t rape. Because rape is wrong. Because they have regard for the lives of others. If, deep down, this young man had in his heart a regard for others, he would not have stripped and humped the young woman, no matter how drunk. It’s what’s not in his heart that is the real issue.

      Thanks for sharing your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more, Julie. I am angry at how much STUPID has been involved in this whole incident. No excuses. No leniency. He belongs in jail, and his dad should have the cell next to him.

    On a brighter note, I wanted to tell you that the client I asked you to pray for with me? The session went well. She was completely open and ready to do the work to heal from the trauma she suffered. And this will be a soul winning opportunity as well. So thanks for your prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully put. I like your idea of punishment for him; I wonder if judges have that latitude? I recall a drunk-driving fatality where the offender was sentenced to restitution of writing a check to the victim’s parents every week for like, twenty years. The amount was only $1, the point being that he had to remember he caused that death due to his own stupidity, every single week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that restitution. It’s important for a drunk driver to have a weekly reminder of the price innocent people paid for his stupidity, lest he forget and go stupid again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve lost count over the years of how many people have come into my life shortly after they were the victim of sexual assault. Men and women, age ranging from 5 years old to well into adulthood.

    I’m glad you clarified in a previous comment about the perpetrator not speaking to the victims on a rape hotline, but there’s one thing about it that has disturbed me.

    I met a man a while back who didn’t know he was a rapist until the police came to arrest him. I know, how can you not know? It was simple: Alcohol. He and the girl were both drunk – very drunk. Well over the limit to drive. But he didn’t drive. He thought their activity had been mutually consensual. She eventually dropped the charges after her intoxication was brought up and only after his attorney filed a counter-charge of rape against her for the same reason – he was too drunk to consent.

    I’ve heard it said “stupid is as stupid does”. Somewhere there needs to be accountability for the suppliers of alcohol that can lead to this level of stupid. The result of the case I mention was the boy was expelled from college and unable to get a place anywhere else. The girl was given extensive counselling for her trauma – despite neither of them actually remembering the whole of the night in question.

    There needs to be balance in the way things are dealt with. Male victims are often dismissed and then victimised by the system for no reason than they are male and “should have been able to defend themselves” from their attacker, whether male or female. Male victims often suffer in silence as a result, and there is a much higher incidence of suicide among male victims than female because help is not made available to them.

    I’ve been a Christian over 30 years, and I’m only 44 now. These people, have been coming to me for support since I was 13 years old. I seem to be a magnet for them. I don’t mind as it gives me a chance to extend compassion of Jesus to them, but why is there nothing in place where they can feel safe enough in the system to find this comfort – and I don’t mean the legal system, I mean the CHURCH! Victims get repeatedly accused of “inviting” the attack by their dress, behaviour etc. Maybe we need to teach our kids not to drink until they can’t be held legally responsible, but Jesus drew the attention away from the woman caught in adultery. He showed compassion. He came to bind up the broken-hearted.

    Maybe stupid is as stupid does, but that goes doubly for the stone-cold sober “counsellors” (not the professional ones usually) who offer the same comfort as Job’s friends – none worth having.

    And it’s time we teach our kids not to rape instead of how to avoid being raped. It’s funny (not “ha-ha”) how when I was younger I could go out for a drink with a girl I was attracted to, both of us enjoy several libations, then walk her home and leave without it even occurring to me to try removing her clothing or my own. I was brought up in a home atmosphere where honour was more than a word, it was a code of behaviour I didn’t even think about. There wasn’t enough alcohol in the world to get me THAT stupid.

    But I guess I’m old, which scares me at 44. Honour has been replaced with greed and selfishness as things to aspire to.

    Stupid is in its element these days.

    God help us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, David. When I wrote that the rapist should have to listen in on hotline calls, it was based on the perp’s statement to the court that he was just a naive freshman from a small town in Ohio who was inexperienced with celebratory drinking and made a rookie mistake. I later learned, though, that he misrepresented himself. It was subsequently reported that his phone revealed a history of text messages bragging about the acquisition of drugs – including ecstasy – and asking a friend to hook him up with a more potent marijuana. He wasn’t so innocent.

      I would never, ever want a violent rapist to even listen in on a rape call. No way. Helping someone through their trauma and pain is holy ground. No unredeemed rapist has any business there.

      I agree that we should a) teach our kids not to rape – to respect and protect others rather than exploit them – AND b) we need to teach them how to avoid rape, because there will always be those who don’t/won’t learn lesson a.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alma Mater says:

    You are completely right in this, I think. I read those statements, too. The boy was definitely a stupid-rapist. It is not politically correct to state that rape is ever about anything other than power, but it is true. I hope this boy finds Jesus and comes to a true understanding of the devastation that his stupid, careless, selfish, piggish action has brought to this young woman.

    And while we’re on the subject, what a smart, articulate, insightful young woman. She took a horrible tragedy and processed it somehow, coming out of it strong enough to create a statement that really took hold of the emotions of the culture in a very powerful way. Truly a brilliant, beautiful girl.

    (Her statement stands out in stark contrast to the boy’s father, doesn’t it? What an entitled piece of arrogance he is.)

    Liked by 1 person

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