Some Words About the Nature of “Consent”

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because I just heard about the whole Stanford sexual assault trial this week. [This was the travesty of justice headlined by Brock Turner, in case you have also been hiding under a rock.]

I found out about it when I read this article, We With the Pitchforks (which is excellent). Go read that – there are wonderful links to everything pertinent inside that post.

In my defense, I’m a writer and I tend to live inside my happy little bubble of motherhood and fictional characters. Also, the Hubs acts as a news filter for me and often keeps mum about the child abusers and rapists.

As for Brock Turner…well, there is no defense. He violated a young woman and has not taken any appreciable responsibility for his actions or shown any public remorse.

As a parent of a daughter, I’m outraged by him, but I’m more angry at his father, Dan Turner. He is a bigger asshat than Brock. Not only did he form the crooked psyche that sexually assaulted an unconscious woman, he then sent a letter to the judge referring to his son’s crime as “20 minutes of action.”

My head almost exploded when I read that. [Action? ACTION??! You putrid piece of humanity.]

Yes, I know he was arguing for his son. I know he then made this statement afterward to CNN:

“What I meant with that comment is a 20-minute period of time. I was not referring to sexual activity by the word ‘action.’ It was an unfortunate choice of words, and I did not mean to be disrespectful or offensive to anyone,” Dan Turner said.

And he’s asking for donations to offset his legal costs.

It all makes my blood boil. This letter from a pastor in North Carolina, father to father, made me feel a teensy bit better. The smallest, most miniscule, teensy bit. The letter from Joe Biden to the victim helped a smidgen too.

I tend to push for kindness in all things. I think our world runs low on kindness. But I can’t be kind about this one. I can’t find any kindness toward a young man who perpetrated this crime against an unconsious young woman, and then dragged her through a lengthy court battle when he got caught.

And what was up with this judge? As one Facebook commenter put it:

People like Judge Persky are a big part of the reason why so many rape victims don’t report sexual assault. The justice system failed that woman. It breaks my heart.

So, to Brock and all the other asshats who think consent is a murky issue, you need to watch this video. The Brits always know how to cut to the chase in brilliant style.

If you’re feeling a bit more militant on the Stanford Rapist issue (like the rest of us), this video by Philip DeFranco might be more your style.

I know this isn’t what you usually read about here on More Cowbell, but this outrage has been churning in my gut for a few days and I had to let it out. This victim deserved a hell of a lot more justice than she received.

Did you follow this trial through it’s entirety or absorb it in one sordid gulp at verdict time, like I did? Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.

~ Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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19 Responses to Some Words About the Nature of “Consent”

  1. Michelle says:

    Jenny, I knew something had happened, when my Facebook feed started blowing up with references to the statement made by the victim. Then, I read her statement for myself. The more I read, the angrier I got. Then, I read about the ridiculously lenient sentence given to Brock Turner, the rapist, and my blood began to boil.

    Not only did I share the victim’s statement on my blog ( but I signed petitions to have the judge removed from the bench and made a donation to my local crisis center.

    But, what gave me hope, was seeing my male friends and family members speaking truth to power and standing in solidarity with me (and the other women in their lives).

    My sincerest wish is that this case helps us reframe the conversation around sexual assaults, to place the blame, accountability and responsibility where it has always belonged – on the RAPIST, not the victim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Her statement was so amazing, and so very heartbreaking. And yes, I got madder and madder the more I read. And it has been encouraging to see men step up and take a stand on this, to defend their mothers-sisters-friends-females. Perhaps sex-as-entitlement shaming will go further than all the slut-shaming has.

      Watch that second video by Philip DeFranco. It shows that, and it is AWESOME.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah. This disgusted me. And in the wake of the Jian Ghomeshi debacle up here in Canada . . . I was left pitying humanity. That’s all I got aside from inarticulate rage noises.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Yes, Melanie, while I understand it’s an attorney’s job to defend the client, I really despise the victim-on-trial behavior that happens in these cases. It’s appalling and shameful, and just discourages women from pursuing justice after a sexual assault. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma says:

    My blood boiled when I read about this in the papers and online this week.
    But unfortunately Ireland has no better reputation when it comes to standing up for victims of sexual assault. The justice system over here stinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I don’t know a lot about the justice system in Ireland, although what I’ve heard isn’t super encouraging. Are the statistics for sexual assault better over there than they are in America? (It’s one in five women on college campuses here.)


  4. Emma says:

    I’m not sure of the statistics. Many many women and girls don’t report assaults because the instances of a case being taken to court are slim and even if the case is heard, the judges usually give lenient sentences in this country. It’s shocking. There is a lot of anger over here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People like this father and son give my entire gender a black eye. And the scum lawyers and judges who enable them are no better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      It’s been really nice to see the men stepping up and talking about it as well. Nothing the ladies say seems to have made an impact. And Lord knows Brock’s male influence in his home leaves a lot to be desired.

      I’m glad that USA Swimming has banned him for life. Even though he was not punished by the courts, at least there will be repercussions that do more than inconvenience him.


  6. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Father and son are rich white trash. Disgusting.

    Patricia RIckrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I can always count on you to tell it straight. This kid seriously miscalculated by letting this go to trial. Now EVERYONE knows who he is and he will be publicly maligned and shunned in the same way Casey Anthony is. Americans are not forgiving about sex offenders or baby killers. Although it seems like some judges are.


  7. How horrible! I knew nothing about this. Shameful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 5-11, 2016 | Writerly Goodness

  9. Kelly Byrne says:

    Oh, Jenny. I’m feeling everything you are. And no, I hadn’t heard about it till around the same time you did. I’ve signed a million petitions to have the piece of shit Persky disbarred and unseated and publicly flogged (which he probably already feels is happening because of the extent of media coverage and social media outrage – yay for social media!) and as for the POS Brock? Well, if there is any justice in this universe – clearly there won’t be any handed down by the legal system – his life will NEVER be the same. He will be released from jail (JAIL not prison!) on September 2, 2016 a free man, but it’s my sincere hope he is never a free man again. That his every move will be scrutinized until he fully understands the scope of his horrific actions. That he will someday ask for forgiveness, that he will cop to what he’s done. I really believe it’s daddy Turner pulling the strings on that account. I think there’s a special place in hell for men like him. But I digress. Oh, I have digressed much on this case for the last couple weeks. And now Orlando – first Christina Grimmie and then Pulse. I can’t even with our world right now. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  10. yvettecarol says:

    Good on you for speaking out, Jenny! This is such a complex issue.
    When I think of the issue of consent, I always think of that Oprah show, where she said, ‘no means no.’ The message being, if someone comes back after you say, no, then you know they’re showing you that they’re a potential abuser.


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