Standing There, Shining

If you haven't read the letter by the woman who was sexually assaulted by the former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, I encourage you to do so. He was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault but will serve only 6 months in jail with some probation. It makes me sad and angry that in the face of so much pain, people still scoff at sexual harassment and discount it as a minor offense. Sometimes, given the nuance in what is and is not acceptable when it comes to romantic relationships, the law is too blunt an instrument with which to sift through the grey areas. In that sense, we should be careful about what we mean when we say "sexual harassment" or talk about "rape culture." This case didn't fall in the grey area, though -- many do not -- and I think this brave girl's message is important. Below is an excerpt from the end of the letter:

"And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. Although I can't save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can't be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you."