I find it hard to read about the Stanford rape case for more than a few minutes at a time. The whole thing is so grotesque and awful that I literally start twitching in anger and frustration and have to stop reading.
It took several tries for me to make it all the way through a three-and-a-half minute video from Buzzfeed in which a young woman read excerpts from the deeply unsettling letter the victim read to her attacker in court, and it left my stomach in knots.
Last night, a reader pointed me to what he said were some particularly egregious comments about the case he’d run across on Roosh V’s forum from a fellow who calls himself, perhaps appropriately, the Lizard of Oz. I finally forced myself to read them this morning, and found myself twitching again.
The Lizard is as angry about the case as I am. But he’s not angry at “poor wide-eyed fearful [Brock] Turner,” for violating an unconscious woman, or at the judge for giving Turner only a six month sentence (of which he will likely only serve half).
No, he’s angry at what he describes as “a society full of psychotic princesses and their despicable white-knight enablers which treats its young men as worthless roadkill.” And he’s angry at the woman who was violated for speaking up on her own behalf with what he sees as a suspicious eloquence.
Yes, that’s right. He’s mad at her in part because her letter is too well-written for his taste, complaining that the “emotionally dishonest” document “is a self-consciously literary text written in the hysterical tones of contemporary serious female fiction.” In another comment, he denounces her letter as “literary attention whoring from the first word to the last.”
His comments are worth looking at in some detail, if only as a sort of case study in the ways in which misogyny and rape culture can not only destroy a person’s basic human empathy but also their ability to see the facts right in front of them.
As The Lizard sees it, the only crime here is that a “drunk and confused teenage boy” had his “life …. destroyed” just because he failed to notice that his sex partner had passed out.
The idea that this is a “light sentence” is a tragically misplaced one. In reality, the guy’s life is ruined forever. He will be registered as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. He is an eternal pariah and outcast. All because this slut decided that a few moments of drunkenness were enough to destroy a man’s life for good.
The Lizard has somehow convinced himself, through a rather tortured reading of the victim’s letter, that she “liked” being violated by Turner.
This slut went to the party because she wanted to get drunk and cheat on her boyfriend. She obviously wanted this athlete guy to f**k her as she admits in this key passage from the “victim letter” which you need to parse correctly through its lawyerly wording.
Here’s the passage in question, in which she admits no such thing. (I’m putting quotes from her in blue to distinguish them clearly from his.)
And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet, fine. His guilt did not depend on him knowing the exact second that I became unconscious, that is never what this was about. I was slurring, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place
The meaning of the passage is pretty transparent. She’s not saying she consented. She’s saying that she was clearly, obviously, unquestionably “too drunk to consent.”
The Lizard has a somewhat different take.
In other words she’s admitting she was by no means unconscious when he started “fingering” her which she herself said she “liked”. This kid is now supposed to be a “rapist” because in his own drunkenness he could not figure out the exact moment when the equally drunk girl passed out? Really?
Yes, really. It doesn’t matter what “exact moment” she passed out, you stupid sack of garbage. If you stick your fingers into someone who is passed out, that is rape. If you stick your fingers into someone so drunk they’re on the verge of passing out, that is also rape.
The Lizard puts the word “liked” in quotes, as if it is a direct quote from the victim. It’s not. If you search her statement for the words “like” and “liked,” you won’t find her saying anywhere that she “liked” what Turner did to her.
Here are some of the things you will find. (I will put the words “like” and “liked” in italics.)
A paragraph in which she describes taking a shower in a hospital after several hours of being poked and prodded and examined for evidence of rape.
After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.
A paragraph in which she describes how she learned what happened to her that night in the time between her last memory of the party she was at and when she came to hours later on a hospital gurney.
This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information.
A paragraph in which she addresses Turner for trying to excuse his actions by claiming he was too drunk to know what he was doing. An excerpt:
Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.
A paragraph in which she discusses one way in which the sexual assault has affected her:
I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.
So where does the idea she “liked it” come from? Not from her, but from Turner. In her letter, she recalls reading a news account of the evening’s events:
In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.
Speaking of the word “like,” The Lizard’s comment received fifty “likes” from Roosh V forum users. Here they all are:
MiscBrah, Horus, n/a, BallsDeep, GlobalMan, KidA, Samseau, Captainstabbin, spokepoker, Genghis Khan, RoastBeefCurtains4Me, Burt Gummer, Tokyo Joe, bigrich, gajf77, Comte De St. Germain, Mr. Scumbag, getdownonit, Renton1875, H1N1, Benoit, Chevalier De Seingalt, J. Spice, DJ-Matt, debeguiled, Neo2, Grodin, PUA_Rachacha, VincentVinturi, arafat scarf, Professor Fox, godzilla, Roadrunner, UroboricForms, B TAHKE, MMX2010, yfc4, Grizzles, Ocelot, TooFineAPoint, Polo, DeltaSmelt, Dismal Operator, Gmac, Geomann180, mpr, tradman, Avarence, dies irae, Matrixdude
In a followup comment, The Lizard begs a fellow forum member who actually sees the incident as”obviously a real case of rape” to have some empathy — for Turner.
Please try to think about this in actual human terms and understand what happened here. The idea that a young kid’s life should be ruined forever because of this incident is disgraceful.
It’s not long before The Lizard sets forth a conspiracy theory to explain just why the victim’s letter went viral. Weirdly, it involves Donald Trump.
I can tell you why it went viral:
1. They need this to make up for the loss they took on lyin’ Jackie [last name redacted –DF] in the UVa case — a loss they’re still smarting from.
2. It’s needed as payback for TRUMP — pretty much the fact that he still dares to exist.
Unbelievable. The Lizard concludes:
There is serious evil afoot here. But it’s not in the actions of one drunk confused kid — the evil is in our society and the hysterical extremes it has reached in pandering to female lies.
In a series of followup comments, The Lizard informs us that white men can’t rape:
“Rape” victims are few and far between, and real rapes, violent drag into the bushes rapes, are vanishingly rare on college campuses, and not committed by young white male college students.
That women apparently love — no, LOVE — having sex behind dumpsters:
What I know for sure is that women go to parties and get drunk because they want to f**k; and women, especially when they are drunk and horny, LOVE the idea and the excitement of having sex in public locations to an extent that most prudish men and white-knights can never understand.
That he’s pretty sure the victim didn’t write her letter, because reasons:
I did not believe when I saw it, and I believe less now, that it was written in full by “Emily Doe”. It bears all the marks of a far more experienced, ideological, and nastier hand.
I cannot prove, but strongly suspect, that this document was written in part or in full by Michele Dauber, the Stanford Law professor who has been primarily responsible for coordinating the propaganda campaign in this case.
Several commenters on Roosh’s forum, to their credit, take issue with The Lizard’s arguments, such as they are.
And then there is the odious piece of human garbage who calls himself GlobalMan — who may be a man we have met many times before, since“GlobalMan” was for years the internet moniker used by the extremely odd and terrible person better known as Peter-Andrew: Nolan(c).
Here is his take on the situation:
Wow. If [Turner’s] account is indeed accurate and true, not only is this the furthest thing from rape there could ever be, but it is also quite scary that men have to now worry about roving pairs of violent white knights intruding on any public lustful escapades with a willing and enthusiastic lover because they’ve been trained to view all males with natural virility as a threat to public safety.
What you have is in fact actually a sweet and beautiful scene, two young drunk kids slipping and falling and going at it right where they fell. Not too long ago in history someone would have walked by these kids and smirked, passing by with a smile at the thought of young lust. Now such a scene is cause to use violence to restrain the male and send him off to the gulag for societal castration.
A disgusting and sad outcome if there ever was one.
A “sweet and beautiful scene.” That comment got more than a dozen “likes” from the Roosh V Forum crowd.
I’m twitching again.