The whole dang family is this clueless!

Brock Turner raped an unconscious woman. His dad called it a “20 minute action” and seemed to think losing his appetite for steak was punishment enough. Have you been wondering what his mom had to say? The court documents have been released, and now we can read what his heartbroken mother wrote to defend him.

Those happy family times are gone forever, replaced by despair, fear, depression, anxiety, doubt, and dread. I don’t think I have been able to take a deep breath since this happened. My first thought upon wakening every morning is “this isn’t real, this can’t be real. Why him? Why HIM? WHY? WHY?” I have cried every single day since Jan. 18. This is on my mind every moment.

Why HIM?, as if this was something horrible that just happened to her happy innocent son? He’s a rapist. He raped someone. This wasn’t something that happened to him, it was something he did. He is the subject of the sentence “He raped her”, not the object.

I am sure this event has made her family miserable, but let’s not get confused about who is responsible.


  1. John Morales says

    I personally think it’s an useful heuristic to be aware that most miscreants aren’t caught out in their first offence. Given that, I consider the excuse that this was an atypical, one-off offence (the intended connotation of the 20 minutes action) rather implausible.

  2. iggles says

    Those happy family times are gone forever, replaced by despair, fear, depression, anxiety, doubt, and dread

    “I’m so sorry he got caught”

  3. unclefrogy says

    this is in deed a sad depressing story no argument .
    It is blowing up (how no one could have foreseen that is astounding) so who knows where it will really end.
    I can say one thing for sure that Brock Turner has been given an undeserved break he has a choice to make. he can freely admit what he has done and truly seek help, he can sincerely make amends or he can plead he was a victim and did not think what he was doing really wrong and feed his resentment and self-justification. If he does that he will not prosper and likely end up in trouble with the law again. (party on to the end)
    uncle frogy

  4. Ed Seedhouse says

    I guess everybody has thought “why me?”. Certainly I have, and still do, despite being an atheist and thinking that there is no “why” in the first place.

    The best response I’ve heard was from a woman who was being interviewed about a book she wrote about being widowed. She said that one of her turnarounds happened when she realized “well, why *not* me?”

    That’s helped me through more than a few of my own “why me?” moments. That I still have them from time to time suggests it’s not a cure, but it does help, or at least it helps me.

  5. wzrd1 says

    Well, in her shoes, I’d ask a similar, although utterly different question, Why him? I was sure that we raised him right, he should have never done such a thing! Where did we fuck up?”.
    Note the difference between responses? I don’t blame the world, wonder about how my special snowflake got “wronged”, I’d acknowledge the crime and horror, whist openly wondering what we did wrong in raising our child, to create such a monster.

  6. says

    For those who are not familiar with that great song by that great band, XTC:

    No thugs in our house,
    Are there, dear?
    We made that clear.
    We made little Graham promise us he’d be a good boy.

  7. johnhodges says

    There was a “Calvin and Hobbes” cartoon (By Bill Watterson) in which, If I recall correctly, Calvin was hammering nails into a coffee table or some other such act. His mother discovered him doing this, and in shock and horror, shrieked “Why would you DO something like that!?” Calvin considered the question solemnly and offered “Bad genetic material?” Last panel, Calvin sitting facing into a corner with a painful hind end, muttering “Wrong answer.”

  8. A Masked Avenger says

    Reportedly Prince Charles, on hearing that Lady Diana’s funeral was on the day he planned to marry Camilla, he responded, “Why me?”

  9. JohnnieCanuck says

    Now I read that he will only serve 3 months before getting out of the county jail. Is there any chance the prosecution will be appealing the sentence?

  10. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I don’t want to be an interpreter to give her consolation, but I will anyway.
    I read that as a woman desperately asking why is he a rapist (what did we do wrong)?

    With only those two words for her quote, it is possible to infer opposite meanings. Either
    (1) Why is he being tormented so,
    (2) Why is he such an awful person to rape a helpless person?.

    Given the dad’s outrage at the non-sentence, the answer to (2) is obvious, and (1) the more likely question of the two.

    Brock deserves all the media attention he’s been receiving, as a prime example of the deranged society we live in. The list of errors resulting in this “incident” are very numerous. (left as an exercise for the reader).

  11. wzrd1 says

    @johnhodges, our children both tried that excuse at the same time.
    I simply inquired, assuming the eugenicists robes, very well, you can be destroyed and replaced by a pair of children wyou look just like you and act in a superior manner.
    So, which is your choice? Nature or nurture, which you’re seeking to disavow?

    Let’s suffice it to say, they reversed course.
    While I was the coolest thing around since they stuck a handle on a Popsicle. I was also the purest excuse of asshole from hell when you gave me an answer that was defeated on first peer review.
    I’ll be honest, if we had a son that did this, he’d have one fuck ton of explaining to do, if he failed to succeed, he’d either face a full sentence of face me and my old fighting knife. I wouldn’t want to let the species face him when I departed this life unopposed equally.
    And yes, for the good of humanity, after harm has ensued, I’d eliminate whichever of my children or both that caused harm.
    My wife and I actually expect that for us, from them as well.

    Yes, in some very real ways, we are assholes, but we’re in very significant ways, uncompromising assholes.
    When the kids were right and prove themselves right, the entire innocent until proved guilty was a point of assholedom.
    If you’re wrong and lie to cover it up, you’re wrong as a platypus and aardvark being expected to successfully mate true.
    Screw up, admit your screwup and admit to want to learn how to move forward and mean it, the multiverse may yet be yours. Lie, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, stay there.

    That said, if that was my son, he’d get my fighting knife on day one of his release from prison, then I’d go hunting for that crap for human excuse judge.
    After all, I’d prefer to leave this world better than when I came into it. My wife overall agrees.
    She disagrees about summary execution of two people.
    Maybe the shade of counterterrorism hasn’t lifted from me yet fully.
    Or maybe, I fear giving society Hitler MKII by accident and a rape was an early error.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    So, you would assume failure on the part of the offspring as learner,
    rather than failure on your part as supposed instructor.

  13. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Such a complete lack of empathy for the victim. Wouldn’t be surprised if they considered her a “floozy” who “ruined his life and career” or some such.

  14. says

    @15 chigau (違う)-

    One thing I’ve learned for the job of tossing English at a couple of nations of children is that sort of failure is a vehicle with a capacity for two. While kids are massively influenced by the adults in their lives, what they decide to take away from that is very much up to them and if they decide to take nothing away from it, that’s also their choice.

  15. rq says

    I don’t know how she can not understand the fact that her son might be kind and sweet and perfect to her and in her presence, and still be an asshole when he’s off on his own. She’s not with him 24/7, so she has no idea what kind of a person he is without her observing him. Obviously, he is a rapist. Maybe for the first time, maybe not, but he is.
    And what’s with that “he will not survive prison” bullshit? Several things bleed through on that, including the fact that (a) he’s too pretty for prison (is she afraid he will be raped?); (b) he’s too weak for prison (isn’t he a champion swimmer?); (c) he’s a nice white boy (and prison is full of those black savages who will certainly destroy him!).
    And she never once mentions or addresses the victim to apologize or to express any form of sympathy, even off-hand and insincere. And she has the gall to say that Brock Turner is not entitled in any way possible.

  16. Intaglio says

    On the other Hand Joe Biden has done a good thing for the victim. Here follows his open letter via The independent
    An Open Letter to a Courageous Young Woman

    I do not know your name — but your words are forever seared on my soul. Words that should be required reading for men and women of all ages.

    Words that I wish with all of my heart you never had to write.

    I am in awe of your courage for speaking out — for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity.

    And I am filled with furious anger — both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.

    It must have been wrenching — to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.

    You are a warrior — with a solid steel spine.

    I do not know your name — but I know that a lot of people failed you that terrible January night and in the months that followed.

    Anyone at that party who saw that you were incapacitated yet looked the other way and did not offer assistance. Anyone who dismissed what happened to you as “just another crazy night.” Anyone who asked “what did you expect would happen when you drank that much?” or thought you must have brought it on yourself.

    You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted — year after year after year. A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye.

    The statistics on college sexual assault haven’t gone down in the past two decades. It’s obscene, and it’s a failure that lies at all our feet.

    And you were failed by anyone who dared to question this one clear and simple truth: Sex without consent is rape. Period. It is a crime.

    I do not know your name — but thanks to you, I know that heroes ride bicycles.

    Those two men who saw what was happening to you — who took it upon themselves to step in — they did what they instinctually knew to be right.

    They did not say “It’s none of my business.”

    They did not worry about the social or safety implications of intervening, or about what their peers might think.

    Those two men epitomize what it means to be a responsible bystander.

    To do otherwise — to see an assault about to take place and do nothing to intervene — makes you part of the problem.

    Like I tell college students all over this country — it’s on us. All of us.

    We all have a responsibility to stop the scourge of violence against women once and for all.

    I do not know your name — but I see your unconquerable spirit.

    I see the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman — full of possibility. I see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest.

    I see you.

    You will never be defined by what the defendant’s father callously termed “20 minutes of action.”

    His son will be.

    I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors: I believe you. It is not your fault.

    What you endured is never, never, never, NEVER a woman’s fault.

    And while the justice system has spoken in your particular case, the nation is not satisfied.

    And that is why we will continue to speak out.

    We will speak to change the culture on our college campuses — a culture that continues to ask the wrong questions: What were you wearing?

    Why were you there? What did you say? How much did you drink?

    Instead of asking: Why did he think he had license to rape?

    We will speak out against those who seek to engage in plausible deniability. Those who know that this is happening, but don’t want to get involved. Who believe that this ugly crime is “complicated.”

    We will speak of you — you who remain anonymous not only to protect your identity, but because you so eloquently represent “every woman.”

    We will make lighthouses of ourselves, as you did — and shine.

    Your story has already changed lives.

    You have helped change the culture.

    You have shaken untold thousands out of the torpor and indifference towards sexual violence that allows this problem to continue.

    Your words will help people you have never met and never will.

    You have given them the strength they need to fight.

    And so, I believe, you will save lives.

    I do not know your name — but I will never forget you.

    The millions who have been touched by your story will never forget you.

    And if everyone who shared your letter on social media, or who had a private conversation in their own homes with their daughters and sons, draws upon the passion, the outrage, and the commitment they feel right now the next time there is a choice between intervening and walking away — then I believe you will have helped to change the world for the better.

  17. wzrd1 says

    @chigau, there are times when one must needs remove a defective creature from the world out of necessity.
    Perhaps, there was a failure to instruct, perhaps, there was a failure in genetics, regardless, if someone is so lacking in redeemable graces and is significantly harmful to society, one should not leave it for others to clean up in the end.
    Granted, that’s a last option, not a first option, but I prefer to clean up my own mess, rather than leave it for others to clean up after I’m gone. I’ve never been one to ask others to do anything that I’d not do myself, regardless of how distasteful the duty.

  18. tkreacher says

    johnhodges #9

    Your point stands, but minor correction: the hammering nails into the coffee table was –

    Mom: “What are you doing to the coffee table?!?”
    Calvin: *looks at the obvious nature of what he is doing* “Is this some sort of trick question, or what?”

    You’re thinking of the one where Calvin is standing with a baseball bat next to a broken lamp –

    Mom: “You’ve been hitting rocks in the house?! What on earth would make you do something like that?!”
    Calvin: “Poor genetic material?” *Calvin in his room punished* “Bad guess.”

  19. Anton Mates says


    And what’s with that “he will not survive prison” bullshit?

    I KNOW. What does she think happens to everyone else who goes to prison? The US prison system is a pretty awful place, but it’s not more awful for rich white athletes with big blue eyes.

    And yeah, it would be be terrible and unfortunate if he got raped in prison. It’s terrible and unfortunate when people get raped. That’s why we (ideally) send you to prison for it.

    (c) he’s a nice white boy (and prison is full of those black savages who will certainly destroy him!).

    Yeah, that was a very obvious undercurrent in her “Look at him” plea. Prison will damage him specially because he’s the kind of person that can be damaged–so much potential, so much innocent whiteness. Whereas all those drug-dealing gang-banging thugs are naturally at home in prison; they’ve got no potential to squander in the first place.

  20. Olli Pehkonen says

    It’s a fair observation that a prison sentence can and often does punish severely the family of the accused. The stories of people who grew up without a father because of the father being in prison are not rare. And the wife would also suffer great financial loss in addition to the heartbreak. But this is pretty much as minimal as punishment to the family gets, as long as there is a family. No financial dependence, no children…

  21. Bob Foster says

    I haven’t paid close attention to this case (rape is such a depressingly ubiquitous crime that I get both repulsed and depressed when reading about the specifics), but the father’s comment about ‘twenty minutes of action’ struck me as a perfect example of what a sociopath would say when asked about his feelings towards a victim. I’m still amazed that any sane person could say such a thing. The fact that he said it in public, by the light of day, makes it even worse. It’s not as though he was sitting with family or friends after a few martinis and blurted it out in a moment of frustration. I don’t know what the father-son relationship was in this family, but taking my cue from this single comment, I can imagine that junior could do no wrong.

    And the idea that Stanford’s part culture is to blame is mere deflection of blame. Every college in America has a party subculture. Anyone who has ever attended college knows about it. Ever since witnessing the excesses at a large state university in California I have felt that the fraternity system should be broken up, dissolved and abandoned. The same holds true with university sports culture. Saturday football is an excuse to get drunk and rowdy and violent. Then comes basketball season, with more reasons to drink. The only partiers I ever saw that were laid back and nonviolent were the potheads. They were content to hole up with friends, listen to music, talk earnestly about politics or philosophy or religion and then go out looking for food.

  22. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Reading her defense of her “little flower who is so beautiful that all the deprived prisoners will eat him up”, thinks that playing with his medically challenged uncle as a child is sufficient argument to excuse his rape, also goes off into idealism about how vigilant citizens are about tracking registered sex offenders every move, every second of the day. That being a R.S.O. he’ll be forbidden from ever entering a playground or giving his little daughter a push on the swingsets. I guess she never sees the stories of RSO’s going into playgrounds and picking up multiple children repeatedly, and police saying they are powerless to find these criminals (“but we’ll work on it” they’ll say).
    It also sounded like they spent their entire parenthood duties praising everything he did, continually stroking his ego to soothe all imagined anxieties. I could see how the effects of alcohol, loosening ones inhibitions, could fuel the attitude that anything he did was okay. And afterwards blaming alcohol as the cause of the behavior instead of an enabler.
    It’s also clear now that of the options I provided in my previous post, she is clearly asking why her son is being punished, not why he is a rapist. Introspection appears beyond her capability.

  23. kome says

    Everyone directly involved in this case is doing a wonderful job trying to erase the presence of a victim at all. “Prison will have a severe impact on him” said the judge. “A steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action” said the dad, who noted that his son *gasp* no longer likes steak. “Those happy family times are gone forever” said the mom. “Rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists” said Turner’s friend in a letter to the court. “The dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity” said Brock Turner. We get his swim times from the media and we get a school photo rather than a mugshot from the police stations (plural!) involved in arresting and booking and holding this rapist.

    It’s almost as if he were caught with his hand in the cookie jar rather than caught violently penetrating an unconscious person without having secured anything remotely resembling consent. A victimless crime that we’re blowing way out of proportion because we stupidly think some random woman should have some say over who gets to interact with her body.

    And the saddest part of all is that this isn’t indicative of a broken system. It really isn’t. This is indicative of a system doing exactly what it is intended to do: protect the entitled and privileged from the vulnerable and the wretched who don’t know their place.

  24. drivenb4u says

    While the lightness of the sentence is eyebrow-raising (especially in comparison to what other, non-white convicts are sentenced to), there’s no indication that a longer prison sentence would do anything to rehabilitate him. While certainly punitive, how would it benefit society as a whole?

  25. soul_biscuit says

    It would keep him away from potential victims.

    Yes. It may also make him think twice about raping again, make others think twice about raping in the first place, and communicate to society in general that rape is a serious crime that will be dealt with severely. These are the incapacitation, specific deterrence, general deterrence, and retribution theories of criminal punishment. Rehabilitation is important, but nothing like the only reason to imprison someone for a serious crime.

  26. soul_biscuit says

    Of course I meant that as a response to drivenb4u, despite quoting microraptor‘s response. Sorry!

  27. Doc Bill says

    Carleen and her husband, Dan, should go out into the backyard tonight. Carleen should lie in a flowerbed, unmoving. Dan will dry hump her for 10 minutes. Hey, Dan, be sure to rub some dirt into her hair and ruck up her clothing.

    Carleen, of course, would be horrified at the idea. Most people would find that kind of “action” very disturbing.

    But, that’s exactly what Careen’s darling little son did to a stranger behind a dumpster.

  28. says

    The whole damn family must also get into their kitchen, pull their tongues out and chop it off all the way beyond the tonsils, including the uvula, with a kitchen knife. Hopefully this will ensure that nothing comes out of their potty mouth. As far as their kid is concerned, he must grab his whole junk and get rid of it in addition to the tongue.

  29. grumpyoldfart says

    The sad faces are for public consumption. Behind closed doors it’s party time. “Only six months in protective custody. Shortest sentence of the year so far. Our boy is definitely a winner.”

  30. Tethys says

    I have three sons. I know of two different instances where my son intervened and prevented their friend from being raped at parties. I never taught them that they shouldn’t rape, or to intervene, but somehow they managed to see their female friends as people, rather than prey, and got the attempted rapist arrested and the intended victim to a safe space

    The father is just as disgusting as his son. 20 minutes of action? Sounds like he is giving his son fistbumps for his sexual prowess, rather than owning the fact that both of them are sexual deviants. His mother lamenting her poor baby is going to be subject to the same treatment by men in prison who really don’t like entitled white boys. I can’t find an iota of sympathy for her or the disgusting piece of filth they have raised. Death is the only cure for rapists,

  31. says


    Death is the only cure for rapists,

    That’s not OK and you know it.
    Prison rape is not OK and you know it.
    As little sympathy as I have for Brock fucking Turner, this is not OK and I’m angry that I have to type this and wast words in defence of that bastard.


    While the lightness of the sentence is eyebrow-raising (especially in comparison to what other, non-white convicts are sentenced to), there’s no indication that a longer prison sentence would do anything to rehabilitate him.

    Rehabilitation depends on somebody knowing they actually did wrong. At the moment neither Brock Turner nor his support system realise that yes, he has committed a horrible crime which means that he’s not fit to be released into society. Hell, that bastard still dreams of being a surgeon probably because it means unconscious women without underwear.
    Secondly, there’s the matter of proportion. Given the average time a black person gets for non-violent activities that probably shouldn’t even be illegal, months sends a loud message about how serious that crime is and what women are worth.

  32. elspeth says

    I was about to defend the mother by pointing out that she clearly thinks her son did NOT do what he’s accused of… and then I recalled his story, which is essentially “It wasn’t rape because she was too drunk to say no” (with a shit-cherry on top of “… and I didn’t notice that the not-person I was humping at was completely nonresponsive”). Y’all are right, Mommy’s as toxic as Daddy and their boy.

    Regarding being barred from competitive swimming, for life: It may not sound like much — it may not BE much — but it’s a good deal more than Big Sports (NFL comes right to mind) do in similar cases.

    Regarding punishing the family of the accused, the fact that he’s the son (rather than, say, the father and breadwinner) and the family’s comfortable financial setup will not actually help. High caliber lawyers and endless appeals are costly, and families do, will, and have all but bankrupted themselves attempting to save a family member. In cases where there’s reason to think the convicted really is innocent, I can kind of admire that. In this case, it will be self-inflicted damage… but I’m thinking it will still be pretty severe financial damage.