Brock Turner: Example of White Male Privilege

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Katelyn Coyle

By now, it is nearly impossible not to know about the Brock Turner rape case. It is perhaps one of the most talked about topics in media and news circuits nationwide. The case has been received in many lights: some highlighting the missing pieces of information in the case against him and some slamming him for his actions and his light sentencing.
Most recently in the news circuit, Brock’s early release from his prison sentence has baffled many people and left some wondering why a convicted rapist with three felony charges could get off so lightly. That being said, it is important to think about the whole story and take into account all of the details of the attack.
The victim, a 23-year old female, said she was attending a frat party with her younger sister who was a student at the school. She admitted to drinking and that it got to a point where events of the night were unclear or that she could not recall the next day. Many investigators and journalists latch onto this important piece of information and question if the incident that took place was as traumatizing as she claimed.
Without being insensitive, I do believe that it is important to note that parts of the story are still unknown— from both Brock’s side and the victim’s— and that should be considered when judging the situation. That being said, I do feel that the entire situation was a great injustice to both parties. The victim has to live with the effects of the attack for the rest of her life— an attack that she still does not even know all of the details to.
For Brock, it is unknown if he truly understands the impact of his actions on his victim. His short sentence does not seem sufficient enough for a felon to really reflect upon and grow from his crime. It is doubtful that he even recognizes just how important and catastrophic the event was. His early discharge from prison is insulting to rape victims who already feel that they receive no justice and additionally shows the injustice between prisoners of different races and genders— an issue that many journalists have picked up upon throughout the entire trial. It seems as though race and male privilege have become such an issue surrounding this case that it makes the case seem minuscule in comparison. Not focusing on the actual case at hand insults the people involved and exploiting the case just to take a stance on popular movements in today’s society is wrong. Focusing on just the case, it seems as though no clear call on what happened can be made for as long as there are pieces of information that are missing, forgotten, or unclear.
However, even with the missing information, it is still obvious that the events that took place were damaging. The victim suffered traumatically from events that she does not even clearly remember, and Brock’s light sentence and early release from prison will forever be held against him until the details of the case become more clear and a clear conviction can be made.

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