The internet can be a powerful platform to speak out against sexism and rape culture. One Twitter user did just that, but went one step farther -- she corrected it.
Twitter user Ali Ozeri edited a letter sent by Stanford sex offender Brock Turner's father to the judge asking for leniency on his son's sentencing. The letter, which became public on Saturday, is a blatant example of rape culture and misogyny, with Turner referring to the sexual assault his son committed as "20 minutes of action."
"These verdicts have broken and shattered [Brock] and our family in so many ways," Turner's father wrote to the judge before sentencing. "His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life."
Brock Turner, a now-former Stanford University student, was convicted last Thursday on three sexual assault felony charges for attacking an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in January 2015. The 22-year-old faced up to 14 years in prison, but only received a six month sentence in county jail and three years probation.
Turner's father has since told The Huffington Post that he feels his words in the letter have been “misinterpreted,” and that he was “not referring to sexual activity by the word ‘action.’”
Ozeri brilliantly added in some key points that the father seemed to intentionally leave out about the assault. Below is her edited letter in which she points out exactly what Turner did.
Ozeri's edited version of the letter definitely struck a nerve, receiving more than 11,000 retweets and 13,000 favorites as of Tuesday morning.
Read the full transcript of Ozeri's edited letter below (the bolded parts are what Ozeri changed):
As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events (raping an unconscious woman) of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile that was there the whole time he was raping a young woman thinking he wouldn’t get caught. His every waking minute is consumed with not taking responsibility for the rape he committed. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, the fact that he took the girl he raped to trial and blamed it on her, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food before he raped someone and and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big rib eye steak to grill, but it just wasn’t the same after he raped an innocent young woman. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from swim practice, but these cute details don’t have anything to do with the rape he committed. Now he barely consumes any foods and eats only to existed because he screwed his own life and many other lives up by raping someone. The verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways, because our son is now a rapist. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve, the one where he gets to rape a beautiful strong human being and then go back to his swim meet. This is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action i.e. raping someone one out of his 20 plus years of life. This isn’t like the three second rule for food, rape still counts no matter how many seconds it lasts. This is rape. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, rape, and how he will be able to interact with people who don’t want to be raped and organizations who don’t want their employees to be raped. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the punishment for Brock, but a longer punishment meant for a rapist. He has no prior criminal history (aside from this rape) and has never been violent to anyone (except for the rape) including his “actions” (and you know what that means - rape) on the night of Jan 17th 2015. Bringing up the fact that this was only his first rape is like bringing up that it’s somebody’s first murder or first terror attack, so it’s still a crime. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society, but instead he chose to rape someone, and is totally committed to educating other college students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity, which is irrelevant because he should be talking about how he shouldn’t have raped someone. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of drinking and its unfortunate results and get misinformation from a rapist with a light sentence. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in an unjust and seriously creepy way.
Very respectfully and Ignorantly,
Dan A. (father of a rapist) Turner
Well done, Ozeri.
Read Turner's father's full letter below, and head here to read the survivor's powerful letter to Turner about how the assault has forever changed her life.