Last week former Stanford athlete Brock Turner was sentenced to a measly six months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. His sentence was a slap on the wrist—and has made Turner a poster child for white male privilege.
Perhaps worse than his lenient sentence, however, is the fact that neither Turner nor his family have taken any responsibility for his crime, instead choosing to blame it on "campus drinking culture" and "sexual promiscuity." We know this because the young woman he assaulted addressed Turner directly at his sentencing hearing and called him out on his bullshit:
Campus drinking culture. That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognize consent … You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.
Sadly, however, the Turners aren't the only ones who are confused about what consent looks like. For anyone who's a little murky on the topic, perhaps no single paragraph sums up the issue more effectively than this one, which has been making the rounds on social media:
Catch that, Brock? Rape isn't just some "type" of sex, or some "oops" hookup story. It's not a drunken mishap or collateral damage from college parties. It's rape. It's what one person does to another without their permission. Without their consent. And it's a crime.
Who wrote this spot-on message? It's unclear. But it's been shared on various Tumblrs since 2014—and in September 2015, a Facebook user posted it and it gathered nearly 48,000 shares. Since the news of Brock's sentencing hit headlines, it's once again making the rounds.
Let's hope many, many more people read it and absorb its message.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.