The entire convicted rapist Brock Turner situation really drives me bonkers. It’s the perfect intersection of white cisgender straight male privilege, sports privilege and the culture of holding top participants to a different social and legal standard, the protectionist attitude of alumnists & brotherhoods, the sad reality that bad parenting does contribute to bad behavior by offspring in a lifelong cycle of douchebaggery, and the culture of rape and revictimization.
To that end, I struggled with how to respond. Do I write an open letter in support of the victim? Or to the shitbag father who both created and defended his egotistical rapist son? Or to society itself on why the outrage cannot end with this rapist or with the unfortunate outcome of this trial?
I don’t even know where to begin as a father trying to explain to padawan when the time comes what these kinds of situations mean to them. There’s so many things they need to know and so many different ways the conversation could go that it makes my head spin.
What I decided was to give some more general statements to them that I hope they can keep in mind as they go through the formative years of their life. Those years when we are all bound to make some bad decision but there are opportunities to mitigate the jail worthy, life altering mistakes.
Quite simply, in modern parlance: Don’t be a douche.
- You control you. Seriously, no one else does. NO ONE! Every action you take is yours and yours alone. Period. You choose to do, or not do, things and you are responsible for the domino effect those decisions have not just the immediate impact you perceive from them.
If you are passing blame by saying you felt pressured or incompetent or otherwise feel like an of your decision is not yours most likely you are being a douche. You need to reconsider the events chain and evaluate your path of control. If you can’t find it you are blinded by privilege or some other distortion and need to start over again.
- Always consider the implications beyond the immediate effect on you: Very little of what you will do in life only about you. There are countless participants, stakeholders and recipients of your actions who all are as much, if not sometimes, more so affected by every single decision you make and action you take.
If you fail to show compassion to those who are affected by your decisions you are most likely a douche. I you blame them for it you are definitely one.
- Own up to the outcomes of your decisions. This means acknowledge the unintended as well as taking credit for the indented. It means accepting the bad endings as well as the potentially good ones. This means admitting failure. Failure is not weakness it is a potential for self-improvement, a sign of humility and an opportunity for growth.
If the first two points remain confusing to you at this point you are beyond a douche.
- Only yes means yes. This is especially important for sexual encounters but in general, an explicit affirmative is custom for just about any joint venture. One cannot enter into a contract, business, marriage, or otherwise just by awaiting a negative. It needs an explicit positive and so to does the social contract implied during a sexaual encounter. To treat it otherwise is exploitation. It is rape. Sure, No means No and you HAVE to respect the no, but for everyone’s sake in every single situation in your life only yes means yes.
If you don’t even consider an affirmative as the minimum you are a douche. If you abide by the only no means no standard you are more than likely an exploiting jackass and that goes for being a rapist or a business shark or just being a general shitbag of a human being. If you do anything else, such as ignoring the no, well there just aren’t words to describe the insufferable excrement you are.
- Facts are facts and nothing else. You may not like the facts but that doesn’t make them any less real, relevant or substantial. On the other hand opinions are like assholes: everyone has one, they’re all smelly, dirty and able to produce shit stains. Facts are not circumstances or excuses either which are kind of like mouths: we all have one and they only accept as arbitrary inputs what we allow them to.
While I’ll grant you there are shades of meaning and interpretations inherent to facts if you seek to manipulate them outside of the context of the above four cases you are, in fact, a douche. You are carving an opinion or creating an excuse of which confines to your narrow douchebaggery set of standards. Lying and not accepting reality in the face of facts? Well that’s also douchbaggery.
While they say parents should stand behind their offspring under most any circumstance, I will have to say in advance not only will I be upset, and moreso disappointed in you having negated any of these five and been a douchebag, I will not stand behind you and negate my own sense of morals and values.
If you exploit anyone ever. If you rape them physically or emotionally. If you harm them in a way where you could surmise they would be compromised. Sorry, so sorry, but I cannot support you. You’re on your own and deservedly so, because you disrespected the fact that you are not alone in this world and your actions have far reaching effects and consequences.
On the flip side, live a good life and you’ll always have my respect, support and dedication. People make mistakes and those who did their best to mitigate a mistake, own up to it’s affects, do their best to right the wrongs and learn from the experience deserve every bit of support.