A young woman’s opinions on a judge’s choice words

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

MADI MCGUIRE | OPINION COLUMNIST | mjmcguir@butler.edu

A judge in Canada is now facing a court hearing to see if he gets to keep his robe and gavel after he made questionable and rather sexist comments to a teenage rape victim.

Robin Camp is a Federal Court Judge in Canada. In 2014, a case opened about a young woman who was raped.

A 19-year-old homeless woman reported being raped over a sink during a house party.

When the case was brought up in court, Judge Camp said to the young woman, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?”

Camp also wondered why the young woman could not “skew her pelvis” or stand with her behind toward the sink to “avoid penetration.”

Camp then said women want to have sex — especially when they are drunk — and that pain and sex just go hand in hand. It is not a bad thing.

Maybe sexual tension rises when people have a little too much to drink, but I do not think that any woman wants to have sex against her will when she is intoxicated.

I also do not believe that pain and sex go hand in hand, especially when someone is being accused of rape.

Rape is an awful word. This word takes the love and naturality out of sex. This word is aggressive and spiteful.

As a young woman in college, this case tells me that some men really do not understand sexual assault as a punishable crime and that women are not just bodies to take advantage of.

We have all heard of Brock Turner, the Stanford student released early after being convicted of rape.

His case shows a pattern among male judges who do not feel so inclined to fully punish young men for the assault crimes they commit.

Men of all ages need to be aware of the chances they are taking while taking advantage of a woman and should not have examples like Brock Turner and Robin Camp to follow.

Men who have seen these cases are more likely to believe they will get away with sexual assault.

That scares the hell out of me.

Does this mean defense classes should be offered to learn to “skew” the pelvis? Or maybe a device to help strengthen the muscles in the legs so “keeping our knees together” is more effective?

Why does a woman who is taken advantage of receive the names slut or whore, but men get kudos from their friends with no repercussions of slut-shaming?

Camp reportedly told the young man in question he and his friends need to be careful with women because they are sensitive.

Sensitive? I seemed to have forgotten that rape is only just a miniscule and slightly sensitive thing.

I live not only in of fear of an incident happening to myself or someone else on campus, but because I am living in a world where men find it normal for drunken young adults to have sex without consent — or rape, for lack of a better word.

Yes, it is college.

Yes, kids are drinking.

Yes, there will be issues regarding sexual assault.

However, let us not make this a college “norm.” Let us understand that there are consequences to our actions and everyone should try to keep away from harmful situations.

Women should not have to learn to move in different ways to avoid sexual assault. Men should not have to involve themselves in the situations in the first place — and vice versa.

Butler requires students to meet for Red Cup Culture, which educates on how to keep safe from sexual assault, the dangers of alcohol, and caring for peers who appear to be involved in dangerous situations.

This training is important to take seriously so that Butler can continue to grow as a safe community.

The reality of sexual assault is not pretty, but as college students, we can work against the statistic and learn from Robin Camp and Brock Turner.

Camp may not believe that the young woman was a victim, but I surely do — and I hope you do, too.


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