June 13, 2016

I was planning to post a commentary on the Stanford rapist yesterday, but the Orlando tragedy detracted my heart a touch (being an Orlando native and friend/ally of the GLBTQ* community and so many individuals who identity as such). However, this is still just as pressing so I do not want to let this fall off the radar, even while we necessarily shift our rage.
It is important for our university and, particularly, the UCF Women’s and Gender Studies program at UCF to acknowledge the implications of the Stanford rape case because violence against women is a core feminist issue and, though we talk about it more and some legislation has progressed and adapted to feminist demands, the Stanford case is a glaring, explicit example of how much still needs to be accomplished. The Stanford rape survivor speaks for herself so eloquently and powerfully that I thought I should just share her words via a link. Then Vice President Biden’s words honoring her. Then rapist Brock Turner’s dads’ words (because we should interrogate all elements of the case in order to fully understand how rape culture operates). Then his mother’s words (who I would typically have immense sympathy for except for her lack of sympathy for the victim). And finally, like the bottom of the human chain that he is, rapist Brock Turner’s words, because it also demonstrates rape culture as perpetuated through a rapist’s mind.
We at UCF are committed to engaging and encouraging critical thinking about all issues related to women and gender and this is a glaring example of an issue that needs so much hard work. Please come to us if you need resources or wish to help lead a workshop or event, PLEASE contact us at [email protected].
If you are a victim or need resources (or know anyone who does, please share):
UCF Victim Services
Victim Service Center of Orlando
The Center in Orlando (GLBTQ* services)
RAINN National Org (with resources)
Speaking Out Against Rape
In solidarity,
Dr. Leandra Preston-Sidler, Associate Lecturer
UCF Women’s and Gender Studies