Why We Should Be Worried About People like Brock Turner

**WARNING: Very GRAPHIC. Could be a potential trigger for victims of rape** NSFW

This is one of the most haunting collections of photographs I’ve ever seen. It is right in your face. There. It happened. It happens every single day.

Photo featured in 2016 “It Happens” campaign.

Someone you know was raped or will be in their lifetime. This is NOT okay. We cannot keep condoning this. Every 2 minutes an American is sexually assaulted. One out of every 6 women in this country have been or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It may be random, it may be a family member, it may be your spouse, it may be your best friend, it may be your teammate, it may be your teacher, it may be your boss…anyone can assault anyone—white, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, straight, young, old, man, or woman. Please talk about this. We have to make the cycle end: #ItHappened #ItHappens #RapeAwareness

Brock Turner is just one of many people that has been raised to believe that human bodies were put on this earth for the taking. And we all are helping create this culture of acceptable, forcible rape. Yes, I am calling everyone out.

Until we change the mindset of America this will continue.

Men:  Females were not put on earth for you to use and abuse. We were put here to be by your side- your equal, hence the whole ‘God made Eve from Adam’s rib’ thing. You’ve got to stop objectifying women in this world. What females decide to wear on their bodies is for them, not for you. When they buy a new pair of heels or a sweet LBD, I promise YOU were not on their mind. Look, I know that in school you kept hearing “boys will be boys” every time you did something stupid so you think you share no responsibility here. And I KNOW that the school dress codes further helped your cause by telling you that when women dressed a certain way it was distracting for you, and they should be punished because of it. Look, I get. We made you this way. So…

Women: Let’s stop talking shit about each other. Let’s stop slut shaming someone for wearing something we personally wouldn’t choose to wear. When we’re at a bar and see a girl surrounded by guys, let’s check on her instead of just saying “OMG, she must be such a hooch.” Women, let’s stop hating ourselves because of what older generations keep telling us. Again, I know, you were conditioned to believe that your body is shameful. The rules of school kept you covered and made you all but too aware of what your body could make a boy do. Yeah, conditioned…

Parents:  Can we please stop the madness now?  Talk to your sons. Let them know that how they treat women is incredibly important. Show love and compassion for your fellow human. Talk to your sons about changing bodies. Yes, they will look at women, but let’s show them that the body is beautifully made and not something put on this earth just for sex. Talk to your daughters, teach them to love themselves. Help them understand that they were wonderfully made. This advice is also vice versa as we know that women can rape too. Lets talk to our children. We have got to stop sexualizing the human figure.

America: Be outraged that someone you know will be raped in their lifetime. It will continue to happen until we change our mindsets. Men like Brock Turner were raised to believe that their impulses mattered more than the other human’s humanity. While most of us can’t comprehend that, we all are allowing it to happen by not being outraged. Brock hasn’t been called a rapist by the courts or by the media, yet that is exactly what he is. And we should be scared that we have people in this world that think like he does and believe what he did was not wrong.  We conditioned him to believe that he can get his jollies no matter what. We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that if someone is too drunk or dressed a certain way, then they were “asking for sex.” Until we stop allowing our society to sweep this issue under the rug, it will continue. Go to your school boards, and stop allowing them to dictate what is acceptable for our girls to wear. Go to your legislators and make them hold judges accountable for when the few victims that actually come forward to get justice.

It does not matter what someone said before, what they are wearing, how much they’ve had to drink, if they are passed out naked, if they are your spouse, if they are your partner… you do not have the right to violate their body. PERIOD. You do not have the right to touch someone without their expressed permission. So world, I am asking you to be outraged. I am asking you to protect your children by telling them the truth. I am asking you to let your friends know you are there for them. I personally can name on 2 hands people I know that were sexually assaulted in their lives: randomly, by family members, and by friends. My heart aches for them, knowing that we can stop this. Please take a long look in the mirror, and make sure you’re talking about these issues, or we are going to be scared of people like Brock the Rapist for years and lifetimes to come. Stop the cycle. Be a voice for what needs to change. Stop looking the other way. Educate yourselves and those that you love on how to treat other humans.

*If you’ve ever been the victim of a sexual assault, please don’t be ashamed. I am HERE for you. You are NOT at fault. You are NOT to blame. You did NOT ask for it. You did NOT want it. Male or female victims, I am here. I will always be your friend. I will always stand by your side. I will ALWAYS advocate for you. I will be there for you. If you need me, I am HERE.

Follow Tatum on Twitter at @UATatey for more insight on this and other interesting topics.

The TRUE Effects of Free Community College

ObamaThursday President Barack Obama announced his plan to provide two free years of community college coursework “for anyone who’s willing to work for it.” In a video that he posted on the White House’s official Facebook page , the President spoke about education being the key to success not only for traditional aged students but for work force development as well. As he sat aboard Air Force One the President spoke, “It’s something that we can accomplish and it’s something that will train our work force so that we can compete with anybody in the world.” The hope is that all 50 states will buy into the President’s initiative, supporting 25% of the program while the U.S. Government foots the bill for the other 75% (Parsons,2015) . Now the President’s plan is groundbreaking on the Federal level, but it can trace its roots to a plan implemented by Republican Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee, called the Tennessee Promise .

On the surface this looks to be a feel-good win for the President and an initiative that could do a lot of good in this country. When it comes to certain work force sectors in this country we are operating with serious gaps and deficiencies. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has cited studies that show by 2025 due to an aging population the shortage of Registered Nurses in the workplace could exceed 500,000 . A 2012 survey of employers conducted by the Manpower Group showed that skilled trades positions have been amongst the hardest positions to fill due to lack of job-seekers with qualifications and the prerequisite training . Allied health programs and technical training programs are two of the niche areas in post-secondary education that community colleges tend to do well in, so this initiative could go a long way towards fulfilling those needs; however there are still many questions and potential drawbacks that need to be addressed.

For starters, will this program actually meet its aim and actually help the people most in need of an opportunity? Many times initiatives aimed at getting more people an opportunity to enroll in school, ends up being taken advantage of by those who probably would have gone to college anyway without help. Can we really afford to pay for this at the moment? The White House hasn’t put an estimated figure on how much this program will cost yet, but I imagine it will be significant and will come out of the U.S. tax payer’s pocket. There is also the theory of ratcheting and the revenue theory of costs (Bowen’s Law). Howard Bowen believed that when it comes to higher Education that costs are determined by sources of revenue relative to student enrollment. This program would essentially be providing another stream of revenue to colleges, perhaps as an unintentional consequence raising the tuition costs of those who fall outside of the qualifications for the program. With the potential influx of new students what about increases in faculty, staff, infrastructure? You just can’t add more students without people to teach them, people to assist in all areas of instruction, and areas to house and educate them. In addition to these issues what, if any effect, will this initiative have on the ever looming Higher Education Bubble that some predict will burst under the burgeoning student loan debt and costs associated with it (Wasik, 2013)?

In reality the president’s announcement was merely a teaser and more concrete information about how this program will be managed and operated will need to be known before anyone can say objectively whether this program will be a major success or waste of tax payer’s dollars. For those crafting the program, they will need to pay close attention to how Tennessee’s program fares as it rolls out this year. This isn’t something that we all should rush into lightly. If studied, thoughtfully planned and executed, I could see this initiative doing wonders to help with the issues of access, equity, and workforce gaps we have in this nation. If enacted haphazardly without proper forethought this could become another Albatross around the American taxpayer’s necks saddling us all with more debt and doing nothing to actually improve the real issues at hand. At events today in Tennessee, the President plans to deliver more details of his initiative. Hopefully we can learn more about his plans in enacting this landmark move.

  1. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153120229619238&set=vb.63811549237
  2. Parsons, C. (2015, January 8). Obama plan for free community college: U.S. would pay 75%, states 25%. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, 2015, from http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-community-college-20150108-story.html
  3. http://tennesseepromise.gov/
  4. Nursing Shortage. (2014, April 24). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/nursing-shortage-resources/about
  5. 2012 Talent Shortage Survey. (2012, January 1). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from http://www.manpowergroup.us/campaigns/talent-shortage-2012/
  6. Wasik, J. (2013, September 4). Three Reasons Why College Bubble Will Burst. Retrieved January 9, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2013/09/04/three-reasons-why-college-bubble-will-burst/