If the recent Stanford rape case taught us anything, it’s that schools and the justice system have shitty policies towards golden boy rapists. If you don’t know about that case, you can read the powerful letter that the victim wrote about the incident and read to her swimming star rapist Brock Turner at the trial here. It’s become a nationwide phenomenon due to her eloquent, haunting words such as “you don’t know me, but you’ve been inside of me”, and the sexist and frankly disgusting response made by the rapist’s father, detailing the impact on Brock’s life (oh, boo hoo, he can’t look at ribeye steak the same way again!), who equated the rape to “20 minutes of action”—an actual gut-twisting quote. They’re both worth a read if you haven’t read them already.
In the same vein, now former Yale basketball superstar Jack Montague had alleged charges against him from a woman he was in a relationship with. The woman claims that she did not consent to sex with him, while Montague says she did consent during their sexual encounters in 2014, according to NBC Connecticut.
He was set to graduate in May before the Yale board decided to actually step up and expel Montague due to these allegations. This is surprisingly uncommon for a school board to do, because most tend to brush it off or keep the trial within the school so it doesn’t filter into the mainstream media and become a PR disaster like the Stanford case has become. It’s all too often that girls’ (and some boys’) cases are cast aside because of the clothes they were wearing, what they had to drink that night, or being accused of lying for attention. Countless unnamed men and women have experienced this, such as this Vassar student and countless others that have penned incredible letters and those who have stayed silent. There was even a recent award-winning documentary, The Hunting Ground, made about the negligent policies and handling of rape cases on college campuses.
I’m glad that Yale stepped up and actually did something to show this kid that his actions have consequences, and took a stand in the shadow of the most publicized college rape case in recent history. No matter if Jack Montague raped this woman or not (he’s technically innocent until proven guilty, people), this kid is learning his lesson and teaching others as well. One can no longer say that victim blaming isn’t real, and that stars and athletes aren’t given unnecessary second chances. Consent is probably the easiest thing in the world to understand, but it is so grossly ignored so often. Rape is a real and unfortunately common occurrence, 1 in 5 girls will be raped while in college, and the statistic is 1 in 16 for boys. For someone who is going off to college next year, that is something that burns in the back of my brain, and how these cases are being handled doesn’t make college kids or their parents feel any safer sending them off on their own for the first time.