Arthur M 
Member since Jun 14, 2016


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Re: “Mercury News Editor Stands Behind Columnist Who Blamed Victim in Stanford Rape Case

I have struggled with this for days. Literally my initial reaction was the same as yours. I also read this aloud to my husband, but after I had researched for days on my own. Pleas know, I realize this opinion will be most unpopular amongst the general public, so I ask that you read my entire response prior to throwing your laptop across the room.

After my initial response, I clicked on links that led to links, that led to court documentation. I was doing this to see what led to this situation and how I could give my boys another example of how we are called and expected to behave. After I finished reading, my opinion changed quite drastically.

I don't know anyone affiliated with this case, university, etc. In fact, I am from a small town in SC. As mentioned, I am a mother of boys... 4 boys... The thought of my world in any way being thrown into a nightmare like this is terrifying. I am NOT excusing the young man's behavior in the least. He was wrong on so many levels that it is insane, but I am vastly confused on why he is the only one being punished.

Now, let me say that if my college aged boys were behaving in any of the NUMEROUS unacceptable ways, I would beat their bottoms (we still do that in SC ;) take their cars, and generally make their lives miserable. After that, and without the knowledge of my children, I would be at that university raising an incredible stink. I would love to know why a 23 year old female, who didn't attend the school, with her younger sister who also didn't attend the school, was dropped off at the college, by their mother, after doing shots at their house prior to leaving, and was "buzzed" was even on the campus. My next question would be why was alcohol being served to underage minors, and is apparently an acceptable practice even though it is illegal? My next question would be who purchased it, why an entire faculty couldn't manage to address it, etc. He was YEARS younger, with way less experience with alcohol, etc. Again, not excusing it, just looking at the situation as a whole.

She was drunk or buzzed upon arrival, was kissing him, went off with him at some point, and we expect a college freshman with a ridiculously high BAL, to know that even if she said yes, she was unable to consent. My question is how? The entire incident lasted less than 5 minutes or so, she walked there with him, and we have no idea when she blacked out. Female equal rights activists are blowing up the Internet in support and there is absolutely not one thing wrong with that, but saying even if she said yes, that it is the younger, also drunk, male's responsibility to end it and understand consent seems so hypocritical to the very foundation of equal rights. Why, even if she said yes, he was equally as drunk, is he solely responsible for the outcome legally? There is a legal drinking age for a reason, and he was under it.

The reality of the situation is that he did lose everything he worked for his entire life in one night. I am not stating that he should or should not have, only that he did. So the argument of "What if he was a community college kid" is really not an argument. The point of punishment is that you PUNISH someone. My youngest son came along and worked his rear off for sports. Long hours, all summer, etc. when his grades dropped guess what we took.... The sport.... My oldest son didn't play sports. In essence, that would be like asking why we didn't make our oldest skip a season of sports.... Well... Uhh... We didn't have that option. You punish by removing those things which they hold dearest and enjoy the most, because that is what makes the biggest impact. You obviously don't wake up one day and instantly become a Stanford student, and Olympic hopeful. You work your entire life for that. So regardless of the opinion on if the punishment fit the crime, you can not state that losing your lifetime goals and dreams, isn't punishment. That makes zero sense.

But, my biggest issue, has been the response to his traveling to colleges to explain how one night of bad choices can change your entire life. How many times as parents have we said exactly that? It is like no one thinks alcohol had anything to do with this. He obviously doesn't feel like he raped her. I mean she admitted to having zero recollection and he was smart enough to get accepted to Stanford. Surely, he could have embellished a little to make it less incriminating. There are tons and tons of reference letters to his nature from all walks of life. He worked with the Special Olympics because he lost a special needs uncle. Every girl he ever dated sent in a character reference. That amount of alcohol, that lifestyle, does lend itself to behavior not indicative of who someone normally is and/or behaves. I thought traveling to other colleges and sharing his story was fantastic idea.

You expect your boys to not be in that situation, you bleed your soul into teaching them, but you know you can't be with them every moment. So if they are drunk beyond reason, they can and probably will make a huge mistake. You just have to hope the end result is different. How many people have woken up after a binge drinking night with someone they didn't know, or would have never normally been with, and wondered "What in the world happened?" If you were that drunk, you couldn't give consent meaning it was rape correct? That is the crux of the issue, not if she said yes, but if she was able to give consent, correct? My fear is that we are confusing regret, poor choices, bad environment, etc. for rape. Everyone keeps saying he hasn't taken responsibility for his actions, but after reading the entire events, it appears that in an entire plethora of poor choices, chaperones, friendship, faculty, parents, coaches, etc. he is the only one that has taken ANY responsibility.

I have 4 boys ranging in age from 17-23. We didn't/don't allow our boys to be alone with a member of the opposite sex. They can group date, hang out with us, etc. but they aren't allowed to be alone with a female. This is for a multitude of reasons including protecting her reputation, but this situation is another factor. I have seen young men's lives destroyed and families' hearts get ripped in half after a nasty breakup. One accusation, regardless of the validity, makes a guy guilty until proven innocent. It just does. The only way to avoid the smallest chance is to eliminate the possibility. Even if it is later dropped, was only told to parents or friends, etc. it drags families through the mud. Do I know sometimes it is true? Absolutely. Do I think we better teach and show our boys how to be men? You bet I do. Do I think they should ever be in this type of situation? 100% no... Do I think this is a problem in today's society? I do and I think it is gut wrenching and heartbreaking, and we never really know the truth. I also think that we as a society, cannot be so politically correct that we even take the chance that we are blurring the lines between rape and a mistake.

Don't you think that if he or his family for one second thought he would be found guilty that they wouldn't have taken the financial settlement offer she made not once but twice? I wonder if people realize that he is categorized in the same manner as a 40 year old man who jerks a 16 year from Walmart and rapes her is categorized for sex offender registration? Because regardless of your stance on punishment etc., you can not think those are equal. Personally, I would have rather served 2 years in prison than to know I would never be able to chaperone my children's field trips. The point of Prison is rehabilitation and learning to become a productive member of society. His threat score was ridiculously low on the test they give to see if there is predatory inclinations. He is obviously capable of being.a productive member of society as he has done such for most of his life. So what am I missing?

Respect the jury's vote I have read a million times. Ok, then why shouldn't we respect the judge's decision? It is the same as the equal rights argument from earlier. You simply can't have it both ways. You can't pull it out when it is convenient. The judge has had threats, has been told they hope his daughter's get raped, called for his resignation, etc. How in the world are people calling for lack of violence in that manner?

For those people who would immediately slam me and my children (the trolls you mentioned earlier) Let me explain that I did not have this view initially based on the sensationalized media headlines and partial quotes. I still have mixed views on the actual events, appropriate punishment, etc. I am only saying that after reading every published court document, this could be a slippery slope. It is just my opinion, as none of us know the entire truth, but I asked that before I am lynched, that people read everything.

Finally, before someone assumes that we let our boys run the streets and treat women like property, I will go ahead and address and possibly save someone some key strokes. I mentioned the no single dates, but we also require that our sons sit down with the young lady's parents and ask both their permission and their expectations/requirements for dating their daughter. If the parents say straight A's and 20 jumping jacks a day, then he has to abide by their wishes or choose not to pursue the relationship. On the off chance that one of our boys is disrespectful, my husband will quickly say "She may be your mother, but she is my wife first, and no one will be allowed to be disrespectful to her." Now, we may raise 4 serial killers, but my point is that we try very hard to lead them daily. This has zero to do with not holding boys accountable. I just think it should swing both ways in a legal matter.

Finally, I will leave you with this... Suppose this had been a Saturday afternoon at the park, with no alcohol involved, do you believe the end result would be the same? See, I don't. I feel like we can continue to treat, punish, eliminate the symptoms,or we can address the cause. If we don't, if this was anything other than exactly what people think, and this sets the expectation the the only thing wrong with this scenario is that he didn't gain consent in an appropriate manner (and I think we all agree on that point) then we run the risk of tying up millions of tax payer dollars chasing bad choices made on college campuses across the USA. That will limit resources to deal with predators, sex trafficking, and the meth epidemic that is running rampant. Again, I have no idea which is the actual case, or the correct answer. I am just offering a possibility.

Please know that I am not, in any way, condoning his behavior. It was deplorable. I am just so confused at the lack of attention that the surrounding factors have received.

A worried mom!
Please excuse any grammatical errors as this was sent from my iPad

Posted by Arthur M on 06/14/2016 at 4:26 PM

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