Don’t Be A Rapist

The following was originally written by my son, Andy Greenway, and is published with permission.

The details surrounding rapist Brock Allen Turner’s rape of an innocent young woman (did I mention that he’s a rapist? Brock Turner, that is; as in “Brock Turner, rapist”? Just to clarify.) remind me of something that happened to my brother and I just a little over a year ago. We had gone to Verizon Amphitheater to see ZZ Top and Jeff Beck. The tickets were a graduation present, and my brother drove us up there from Fayetteville. I had a few beers during the concert and by the time the show ended I was enjoying a healthy buzz. As we made our way back to the parking lot after the show, I noticed one particular couple in the crowd ahead of us. The woman was clearly inebriated—this is not an uncommon sight after a ZZ Top performance—and she seemed to be having a hard time walking, so much so that the man had her by her left arm, and almost seemed to be leading her along. Their progress was slowed considerably by the lady’s condition, and by the time we got near Michael’s truck we had almost caught up to them. The young woman pulled away from the man, and sat down on the ground next to a garbage can. I could see the man trying to help her to her feet before he walked off and got into a pick-up truck that was parked nearby; a lowered, crew-cab step-side GMC with a turquoise over white paint job. Michael and I didn’t think anything of the incident; like I said, drunk people were everywhere—one more hammered girl in a crowd of beer drinkers and hell raisers wasn’t going to raise any eyebrows. The traffic was pretty heavy; Michael and I were waiting to pull out of our parking space when we saw the same pick-up truck pull up next to the girl by the trash can. The driver got out and went over to the girl. We couldn’t hear what they were saying—Michael’s windows were rolled up and it was too far away—but it seemed pretty clear that he was trying to get her to come with him and she didn’t want to. When he grabbed her arm and she jerked it away I decided it was time to do something. I told Michael that I would be right back, and then I got out of the truck and started walking toward the couple. When I got about twenty feet away I called out to them, basically asking if everything was okay. The guy looked at me over his shoulder, and then quickly went back to his truck, got in and drove off. By now the traffic in the parking lot had died down enough that, other than Michael’s truck, there were only a few vehicles in our corner of the parking lot. I didn’t know what was going on with the young woman; I wasn’t sure if her date or her boyfriend or whatever had just abandoned her in the parking lot or what but, between the way my parents raised me and the values instilled in me by the United States Marine Corps, I couldn’t just leave a young, drunk women in a dark corner of a parking lot, so I walked over, squatted down next to her, and introduced myself. I don’t remember her name, but she was plastered. Absolutely shit-faced. I was eventually able to figure out that she had gotten separated from her boyfriend and the folks they’d come to the concert with. As far as the guy in the low-rider went, she had no idea who he was, he had promised to help her find her friends, but she had balked at getting in his truck. I don’t blame her. I told her that I would help her walk back to the front gates to find her friends. I noticed an iPhone on the ground next to her, and the screen showed several missed calls from one number, so I swiped the screen on the hunch that that was her friends trying to find her. I was right, and after a few confusing minutes while I established my bona fides and assured her friends that I wasn’t cruising around looking for someone to put the lotion in the basket we were able to work out a meeting place at one of the entrances to the amphitheater. We found her friends, everyone was reunited and happy, and I walked back to Michael’s truck, where he had been waiting patiently for the half-hour or so it took to find the girl’s missing friends. We both agreed that it was fortunate that we’d been there to help her out, otherwise we might’ve heard about her on the six o’clock news, and I couldn’t live with the knowledge that I could have helped someone avoid tragedy and didn’t. I didn’t give the guy in the low-rider another thought. Within a few days, the whole incident faded from memory.

It wasn’t until I started reading about rapist Brock Allen Turner’s exploits that I thought about that young woman in the Verizon Amphitheater, and the guy in the pick-up truck. I’ve never known what his intentions were, but I’m pretty much convinced that they weren’t honorable. I don’t know if he was trying to take advantage of a drunk woman, or if he was a serial rapist with dozens of sexual assaults under his belt. Either way, it makes no difference. Rape is rape. Turner’s father called it “twenty minutes of action”—as if his POS son was wounded in the first wave at Normandy—but its rape. Lying to a drunk woman in order to lure her into your vehicle is a real pre-rapey way to start your evening in my book, now that I think about it, and I can’t think of too many possible happy endings for that young woman if she’d gotten into that truck. For my brother and me it’s simple: don’t rape; and taking advantage of a woman because she’s inebriated is rape. I think our parents did an excellent job teaching us that lesson as young men; it’s a shame that more parents can’t do the same. A woman’s virtue is worth defending, regardless of her blood-alcohol-content. Let me try and state this as clearly as possible: Guys, don’t try and score with the girl that’s so drunk she can’t stand up straight. That’s not easy pickins’; that’s rape. Dudes, don’t let your buddies try and score with the super-drunk girls; that’s rape. Don’t let your buddies be rapists. It’s that simple. Don’t rape, and don’t let your buddies rape, and for God’s sake, quit using alcohol as an excuse to justify rape, or to blame rape victims. Brock Allen Turner is a rapist. Don’t be like Brock. Don’t be a rapist.

June 10, 2016

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