The trial of Brock Turner became a huge moment in the national conversation about rape and the penalties awarded to people who perpetrate it. Punishments regarding rape vary wildly depending on one’s social standing, and one thing that seems to happen frequently is that rich young white boys get off with a slap on the wrist. Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford, but was only given six months to serve by Judge Aaron Persky.
Stanford has reacted to the case in a host of messed up ways. On Monday, they announced a new range of policies regarding alcohol, which included banning “large volume containers” of hard alcohol from campus. You can still drink, though, and this policy doesn’t actually address campus rape in any way, but that’s where they wanted to start.
You might think that this change is unrelated to Brock Turner, but the university also published an article on “Female Bodies and Alcohol.” After an outcry, it was somewhat edited, but an archived copy reads, “The link between sexual aggression and alcohol use is multidimensional. Research tells us that women who are seen drinking alcohol are perceived to be more sexually available than they may actually be. Therefore, women can be targeted with unwanted attentions due to that misperception. One study found that, for women, the odds of experiencing sexual aggression were nine times higher on days of heavy drinking compared to days when the women did not drink. Individuals who are even a little intoxicated are more likely to be victimized than those who are not drinking."
“Other research studies have shown that men who think they have been drinking alcohol—even when they have only consumed a placebo—feel sexually aroused and are more responsive to erotic stimuli, including rape scenarios," it disgustingly continues. "For some, being drunk serves as a justification for behavior that is demeaning or insulting, including the use of others as sexual objects.”
Once again, the idea that alcohol makes men rape and that having a drink is a woman’s invitation to be raped is being perpetuated by people in authority. While drinking responsibly is good, for all genders, what’s really allowing rape to flourish on campus is a lack of education and awareness around consent and, as can be seen in Turner’s case, a lack of punishment for people who commit crimes on other people’s bodies.