I’ve been looking forward to this summer for practically this entire school year. I’d fantasize about heading to the beach once it’s summer, finally hanging out with my friends once it’s summer and doing a ton of fun things once it’s summer. But now that it’s summer I can’t wait for it to be over. I don’t know what to do. I’m spending way too much time by myself- to the point that I’ve actually started to loathe being alone because I inevitably begin having conversations with myself and pretending I’m in situations I’m not just to make my life seem more… Lively. It’s sad. And slightly pathetic. I’ve watched way too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy to even be considered sane anymore. By the way- if you watch Grey’s: Do you think Meredith and McDreamy will finally last this time? I mean they’ve broken up a crap ton and continue to lust after each other, only for one of them to mess the situation up each time and reset the cycle. Come on guys. Just get together all ready and stop stealing the show from the rest of the characters. Jesus. Anyway, I digress- this is what my life has come to. First World Problems, am I right? We always want what we can’t have. It sucks. But I have a total of about 11 weeks left of summer and I plan to make the most of it. Whether it’s finally finishing all 12 seasons of Greys (I both love and hate that idea because it would totally reveal my lack of social life), becoming comfortable with alone time in which I finish Greys or do some other unproductive activity, or maybe- just maybe- actually doing something with my life. Hm. We’ll see. –Anya
Since Sunday, June 12th, 2016, I have strolled the streets of my hometown feeling weighed down. I have walked with a heavy heart. I live about 2 hours from Orlando, Florida. My father routinely goes to Orlando for business. Just 3 weeks ago I laughed and danced around Universal with my school group. To think that a place I reside so close to, a place that I frequently visit and explore, is under distress is something that just doesn’t seem to register in my mind. You see things on TV- a massacre here, a breakout in gun violence there, oh and just a couple flaming riots in that town across the country- but you never expect something to happen to you. To your people. Media allows us to separate ourselves from events and immediately place the blame on someone else. But that has not been the case recently. On Sunday there was a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, that resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people. 50 people who had lives, who had families, who had people who loved them more than life itself. It baffles me that a human would actually murder another human being- let alone a group of human beings. Where was the compassion your parents raised you with? Am I naive for assuming your parents raised you with any qualities at all? Do I have false expectations of society or has society just sunk to a new low in this case? In my mind Love is Love, no matter who is involved in it. Love is a state of being that can’t be policed by human notions of right and wrong. You can’t help who you fall in love with- point blank- and you shouldn’t have to. So to commit a mass murder in the name of something as trivial as homophobia is ridiculous. It was a cowardly act that resulted in the deaths of innocent people who deserved nothing less than safety, confidence and compassion. So I walk around knowing that I could have known people in that nightclub and that under different circumstances I could have been inside of it. That there is always a possibility that someone- anyone- could snap at any moment- costing a person or even people, their lives. I walk with understanding- for I finally see the world as it is. I walk with anxiety, I walk with despair. But I do not walk in fear. I stroll these streets of my hometown slowly, for my heart is scraping the concrete, eternally weighing me down.
The World Sucks.
Sorry, that was a bit harsh. However let me give you some perspective: in the span of 24 hours I have been informed of the atrocious 6 month sentence Brock Turner received for convicted rape, the death of Christina Grimmie at a meet and greet, and the violent mass shooting at Pulse gay club in Orlando, Florida. Needless to say, I am amazed at the ignorance and just overall prejudicial attitude consuming the minds of so many people in today’s society. Because I can’t fit all of my opinions on society in one blog post without boring all of my readers: Here is my take on the Brock Turner rape case.
Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts and in no way are RIGHT. Please don’t take this as the “correct” idea: it is completely my opinion. Feel free to comment your thoughts an opinions on the matter.
As stated by the Merriam Webster Dictionary, rape is: unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent. The issue with this case is not the validity of the charges agains Turner: he has committed rape. He defiled a woman behind a dumpster without her consent, he was caught and he was convicted. That much is crystal clear. However, this is where things began to anger me. The maximum sentence that Brock Turner could have received for his crimes would be 14 years behind bars. The prosecutors were only advocating for 6 years. The judge presiding over the case sentenced Brock Turner to a 6 MONTH SENTENCE. Not only this, but Turner will only be required to spend 1/2 of that time in prison and will be released on parole after 3 months to continue serving his time. The judge’s defense of his sentence was this statement: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said. “I think he will not be a danger to others.” Do I really need to explain why this sentence is utterly ridiculous? Not only does it have disregard for the purpose of a prison sentence, it also implies that the victim will not sustain a severe impact from the rape. Rape is not something that a person can pick up and move on from. The victim doesn’t just get up, file a report and go about their daily life like nothing happened. The pain lasts. The emotions last. It does not just go away. So yes, prison would have a severe impact on Brock Turner. Yes, it may break him. But regardless of his age, race, status or potential future: he raped a woman and that is a crime that he deserves to be held fully accountable for. In the future, I hope that the judge reviews his sentence and understands that his lenient punishment does not fit the atrocious crime committed. Sexual assault and rape are heinous crimes that deserve to be treated with respect and authenticity. It isn’t a joke. These “20 minutes of action” can ruin many lives. One day soon the world needs to understand that.
If you wish to petition against the sentence Turner received: feel free to sign or create a petition. Any voice matters.
Attatched is also the powerful speech that the victim read to Brock Turner concerning the court case.