Hilbert Morales / EL OBSERVADOR
Much public commentary has followed the sexual incident at a fraternity party on Stanford University campus last January 2015 which was recently adjudicated in Superior Court, County of Santa Clara.
This ‘sexual misconduct’ case resulted in the rape conviction of a Stanford athlete who was intoxicated when he violated a young woman, also intoxicated and unconscious. Clearly the standard of ‘mutual consent’ by both parties was never agreed upon. ‘RAPE’ is defined as the act of physically forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse.
This case needs to be used by the community at large as a case study which permits discussion to update relationship standards which are congruent with our ethics, morals, and religious faiths.
Responsible parents may use this case to demonstrate personal safety concerns. Especially, reasons why not to attend certain parties where too much alcohol is consumed with the consequence that a few individuals loose full control of their sexual desires and drive. Acceptable civil and social behavior requires respect, caring, kindness and consideration. Rapacious predatory behavior is never acceptable.
Let’s focus on the young lady (pseudo named Emily Doe) who was accompanied by her sister and a friend. Where were these two individuals when Emily Doe experienced drunken unconsciousness? Was it not their responsibility to ‘look out’ for each other? Where were those chaperones whose responsibility was to uphold acceptable standards of relationship behavior?
Human sexuality requires ‘learning to stay in control of oneself’. Girls mature earlier than boys. Both hardly ever get full instruction and factual information about deferral of their biological procreative drive. Both boys and girls need to take time to court their partner so as to asses compatibility and reach mutual understandings after first setting limits and defining expectations. All this requires negotiations and dialogue (‘talking things over’).
The most basic human drive is to reproduce (biblical ‘begets’). The ideal is to get to know your partner before being intimate with each other. Too many youth have not been fully informed about what certain basic urges lead up to and what are the outcomes of not knowing how to set limits to which both partners agree to. That requires having a frank discussion with your partner. One cannot have that discussion without first learning an acceptable vocabulary for both male and female body parts. Vulgar terminology does not encourage a full discussion of consequences.
My 19 year old grand-daughter was visiting this past weekend. She is a college student home for the summer. When asked about freshman orientation, especially about sexual behavior orientation, her reply was that the content of that orientation portion was how to use those phones located all over the campus to call for help. There was no instruction about always participating in social activities as a member of a group of friends ‘who looked out for each other’. I noted that it is single (as in ‘alone’) women who are assaulted, groped, abused or violated.
Boys need to learn very early that once a girl begin to have ‘her periods’. she is capable of becoming the mother of his child if the two become sexually involved. A pregnancy results in an 18 year long responsibility required to nurture and raise a child to age 18.
Both boys and girls need to be told about sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) which are transmitted from one partner to another only by sexual congress. Syphilis, herpes, warts, AIDS, gonorrhea, yeast infections; HPV (human papillomavirus which may cause cervical cancer), etc. All STD’s have ‘sub-clinical stages’ when the infected individual shows no symptoms while being infective through direct contact. The use of condoms prevents STD transfers.
This court case is another example of ‘double standards’ where the woman becomes the scapegoat. It took much courage for Emily Doe to convey what happened to her body, mind, and spirit in a 12 page document; to appear in court to be subjected to the traditional questioning by the defense lawyers; and to go through it all in a court setting. A female friend confided she was raped when 20 years old. The experience of her body being penetrated without her willing receptivity. Without her consent she was traumatized: body, mind & spirit. This is a physical violation for which women often do not receive therapeutic assistance or counseling. The shame and blame is mainly ascribed to the woman. It is time that males be held responsible and accountable. It happened in this case because two bicyclists intervened and held the perpetrator until campus police and paramedics arrived.
And Emily Doe has been traumatized so a normal future relationship will initiate flashbacks at inappropriate times. The male perpetrator gets to register as a ‘sexual offender’ when entering a new jurisdiction…big deal! No wonder most violated women choose to suffer alone in silence.
Already proposed legislation has been crafted to update the definition of RAPE. That is not enough. The entire community must learn a vocabulary which permits full understandable communication. Traditional platitudes do not do the job. New mental health & behavioral modification technology, updated knowledge of human brain physiology; new psycho-tropic medications…all this recent available knowledge about our human condition must be used to update the current law-enforcement/judicial system; sentencing alternatives and standards; etc. Jury decisions must not be set aside by a judge sympathetic to the perpetrator. In this particular Brock Turner case, equity and justice was not achieved. The community must take corrective measures and actions.
This case exposed many failings to society. Emily Doe’s courage revealed that a miscarriage of justice occurred here. Many made personal decisions which had consequences.