You’re not, of course.
But what if you WERE Brock Turner’s mother? As the parent of a son, I keep returning to this terrible thought. Of course, I have a daughter, too. But imagining how the victim’s mother feels, however horrific those feelings must surely be, well, they’re simpler to put your finger on: devastation at the violence committed against your child; profound sadness at the damage to your child’s present and future; and outrage at the failure of the justice system to appropriately punish the convicted criminal that raped your beloved daughter.
But what if you were the woman who raised Brock Turner, convicted rapist? What if you were the woman who kissed his booboo’s and cut his toast into triangles and rocked him to sleep at night? Don’t misunderstand me: this is not about sympathy for a convicted criminal or his family. Every bit of my sympathy belongs to Brock’s victim. But take a second to consider the awful thought: What if he was my son?
Would you look at Brock’s childhood pictures, staring from the walls of your home, and wonder what you could have done differently? It would haunt me.
Would you have read your husband’s statement to the judge and winced when he referred to rape as “action?” God, I hope so.
Would you have ever considered not providing for his legal defense? Can you honestly say that if your beloved child called you from jail, no matter what he had done, your next call wouldn’t be to the most brilliant attorney you know? It’s not a pleasant truth to sit with.
Would you regret not talking to your son more about sex, about love, about respect? How could you not?
Would you be just so damn mad at that little sh*t for ruining a young woman’s life and his own? SO mad.
We can all say, No, not my son. Not ever. Those aren’t the values we teach in our home. My son has sisters/female cousins/friends who are girls. (The rapist’s version of “But I have black friends!”) But I bet Brock’s mom said the same thing. Let that gross feeling wash over you and then ask yourself what more you can do so you’re never, not ever, Brock’s mom.