Thursday, June 9, 2016

Letters

At 14 the girl had gone from being called "toothpick" to being whistled at in a two piece bathing suit. It was the mid-sixty's so the suit, while showing off some boob and curves, would be called modest by today's standards. The girl kind of liked the attention. At 14 the girl knew a little bit about making out, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. All three were usually done on a double date  (if you can call boys driving one car and girls driving another, parking next to each other, then pairing up,  a date) at the drive-in movie.  At 14 the girl knew the basics of sex, but had never seen or experienced an erect penis or ejaculate. She had never heard of oral sex, anal sex, kinky sex. To say she was naive would be an understatement. To say her naivety mixed with her blossoming sexuality was a dangerous combination was a certainty. At 14 the girl walked a tight rope between being a "good girl" and following other girls who pushed the limits of "good" to frightening conclusions. The girl made straight A's. She also lied to her parents about where she was going and how she was getting there. She lied about who she would be with. Once out the door, the girl never gave her lies a second thought.

Hitchhiking one night, for no other reason than to see if she and her friend could catch a ride (to nowhere?) a policeman stopped. "Do we look like the kind of girls who would run away from home?" they asked the cop who was seriously considering calling their parents. Holy crap! How would she have explained that? Or the time they spent the weekend at the beach when their parents thought they were at church camp? The stuff parents' nightmares are made of.

One Saturday night, the pair planned to go to a dance at the beach. They assured their parents they had rides both ways and would be home by midnight. The perfect plan. Once on the dance floor they shimmied and gyrated.  As the evening wore on the girl realized a) the clock was ticking closer to midnight b) no Prince Charming had presented himself to drive the girls the 10 miles back home and c) this was beginning to feel like a problem. Good girls, especially good girls who tell lies, often worry about getting caught. Eventually an older guy presented himself. He had a car and didn't mind giving the girls a lift. They jumped in and didn't blink an eye when the guy stopped at a 711 to pick up some beer. The extra guys that hopped in the car did give them pause.

The ride, as you might expect, turned scary before the first bottle of beer was opened. One girl sat in the front seat sandwiched between two ... let's call them what they were ... men. The other squooshed between three. The men hooted and hollered, the girls remained silent. We've got to stop at a party said the driver, pulling off the main road between the beach and Jacksonville onto a barely visible dirt path through the woods. The nightmare began. Where the car stopped could be the scene from any scary movie where you scream at the screen, "don't go in there." Staying in the car wasn't an option. There were other people there, both men and women, none of them teenagers. And liquor. Maybe drugs, tho' they weren't a big deal back then. Crying to go home got one girl slapped to the ground. The other can't remember much more than the final ride home. 2 girls 5 guys. 2 heads forced down on one huge penis after another. The taste of ejaculate. Choking. Spitting. Swallowing. Crying. The girl can't remember how long it took to get home. Long enough for any semblance of naiveté to be gone.  The girls were let out of the car down the street where from where they promised to spend the night. They snuck into a downstairs porch. Somehow they fell asleep. The next morning, the girls opened their eyes and looked at each other. They laughed. They never spoke of that night again.

At 14 the girl learned what it means to be violated. Because she had lied, she felt she had no recourse. She could not tell her parents. Besides what could she have said. No names were shared, only semen and beer drinking, story-telling innocence. Fifty years later the girl still wonders if what happened to her that night was rape? She still carries a bit of shame for "bringing it on herself.

_ _ _ _


June 9

Dear Mr. Turner,
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said and splashed across the Internet. Still I'd like to add my two cents to the growing hue and cry.

It's been said that you are not a rapist. You may be a star athlete and a great student. You are also, by the very definition of the word, a rapist.

So what if you were drinking and made a bad decision? People under the influence of alcohol make dumb, stupid, bad decisions all the time. Some end up embarrassed or with a headache. Some plow into other cars and kill innocent people. They go to jail for their actions.

Should your victim have been so drunk she couldn't understand what you had in mind? Probably not. That in no way, however, relieves you of culpability. FYI if a woman is too drunk to say yes, she's saying no. Please DO NOT ever use the word victim for you and her in the same sentence.

This notoriety might cause you to think your life is over. You're right. That's what happens when people make bad decisions. I dare say your drunken actions bad decisions have changed the lives of your victim, her family, the men who saved her, your family, the judge, Stanford University and women all over the world. I'd like to think the life of your defense attorney had been changed also, but, even if he was doing his job, I put him in the slum bag category so I don't care too much about him. Here's what I'm wondering, Mr. Turner, what do you say when you look at your mother? Do you have a sister? a female cousin? and aunt? How do you face them knowing that you've violated another woman in the most despicable of ways?

Time is going to pass. This news story will fade away. Years will go by. Perhaps you'll find a woman to love. Maybe she'll marry you in spite of your poor decision making abilities. Maybe you'll be a father someday. Maybe a little girl will call you Daddy. Maybe she'll look to you for protection. Here's what I really want to know, Mr. Turner. What if someone does to your daughter what you've done to your victim? I daresay you'll be calling for more than 6 months prison time. Is that when you'll  apologize for your part in making a culture of rape okay for a certain elite set of men?

Shame on you, Mr. Turner. Shame on your father. Shame on your lawyer. Shame on Judge Persky.
Each of you may one day be able to put all this notoriety behind you. Rest assured, no matter what transpires in her life from this day forward, she will never forget.
Merry ME

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