Tag Archives: crowd

Does the Reaction to the Stanford Rapist Signal a Cultural Shift?

By now you’ve probably heard that Stanford student Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to only 6 months in prison for raping an unconscious woman at a party. You’ve probably also heard his father shamelessly attempt to downplay Turner’s actions as “20 minutes of action”.

Hopefully, you’ve also read the letter written by the rape survivor. In it, she breaks down many of the myths around rape, myths Turner’s defence used to attack her testimony and represent Turner as some kind of victim instead. Her heartbreaking personal account has broken down the defences of almost everyone who has read it (except Turner and his father, it would seem). According to Buzzfeed, one of the main sites to release her letter, her words have “gone viral” in a way few conversations about sexual assault ever do.

And as the word has spread, almost everyone has gotten behind this brave woman. Her story has brought light to the problem of systemic injustices, like light penalties for many cases of sexual assault and disproportionate penalties based on racial or economic background.

More than anything her story has prompted a united public outrage. Every comment I have read expresses distain and anger towards Turner and sympathy for his victim. Even internet trolls who would normally find a reason to challenge the victim’s story (i.e. some members of the Men’s Rights Reddit page) admit that “outrage over this issue is legitimate” (although their comments inevitably lead back to criticizing feminism).

In some ways it’s encouraging to witness the attack on Brock Turner. It seems like we’re experiencing a massive shift in the way we talk about rape and sexual violence. As this story has unfolded we’ve seen few if any attempts to slut shame or victim blame in the media or public conversation.

As glad as I am that this conversation has come out in favour of the victim, I can’t help but wonder if the public condemnation of Turner actually signals for a yearning for justice, or if perhaps other factors are at play. I’ve been struggling with two questions in particular. Continue reading

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The 3 Best Parts of a Professional Sporting Event for People Who Don’t Love Sports (i.e. Me)

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been struggling to keep up on my weekly posts since heading back to school. This has been primarily due to a creeping deadline at work, paired with more school assignments than I had been expecting from my “easy” filler classes. This weekend, I also had another distraction:

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It’s no secret that I’ve never been a sports lover. This is probably because I’ve never found a sport that I’ve been good at and I’m a sore loser. Yet somehow, I married a sports lover and, since then, I’ve begrudgingly come to appreciate the pastime. I just don’t always appreciate them for the same reasons that John does. Below, I’ve shared a few reasons why my first NBA (pregame) experience was a blast, and why I hope we can make it a tradition. Continue reading

A Culture War Report: The 2013 StarCraft II WCS Finals

The 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series Finals. How exactly does one sum up an eight hour event, one that largely consisted of staring at two South Koreans waging war against each other with virtual armies?

It was, in a word, great.

Yours truly opted to stand behind the VIP seats for the better part of the event. My legs were killing me.

A friend and I arrived at the Toronto Congress Centre a few minutes before 1:00 PM, and stepped into an immense room that was already largely full. There had to be at least 1,500 people there when we arrived, and hundreds more would wander in as things began. Everyone was concentrated either on the stage, if they had good seats, or five four-foot-wide screens on the left and right, or the huge screen you saw upon entering the venue, in front of which were seats for VIP members only. Continue reading