Everyone is talking about the Stanford rape case. We’ve heard all the details of the case, from the rapist, Brock Turner’s, statement in court to the statement the survivor made. Then there was the sentencing and the massive outrage over Brock Turner’s initial short sentence of six months, and again when it was shortened to three months for good behavior. But there has also been a wave of support from people for the survivor of the Stanford attack, as well as for survivors everywhere. Even Joe Biden has something to say about the matter, and penned an incredible open letter to the survivor, which was recently published on Buzzfeed.
In this poem, which was recently published on Facebook and has been quickly gaining shares, Liz Ruddy attacks rape culture through an imagined response with a male colleague. This conversation, while fictional, is all too real for many of us.
Here’s the text in full:
Rape culture is the ways in which society points the finger at the victims (or survivors) or sexual assault, rather than at the perpetrators. It is in the questions we ask after a survivor comes forward, like, “But were you drunk?” or “What were you wearing?” that are often seen as attempts to invalidate their claims. Brock Turner’s father, Dan Turner, has also been said to perpetuate rape culture in his letter defending his son.
Liz Ruddy’s powerful poem could be one more valuable tool that we may use to chip away at rape culture.