Although rape can be one of the most devastating experiences an individual endures, the realities that result from it oftentimes seem equally disturbing and debilitating. This certainly seems to be the case when one considers that Montana District judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced former teacher Stacey Rambold just 30 days in jail for repeatedly raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales. This-to many people-may seem like a slap on the wrist in light of the fact that sexual assault constitutes one of the deepest and degrading violations that can be exacted against another individual. I stand in agreement with individuals who view the situation thus. Discussing the matter in "Victim Blaming Judge Gives Rapist 30 Day Sentence," Ms. Magazine noted that Rambold will also be registered as a sex offender and spend 15 years on probation. The sentence still precludes me from experiencing any profound sense of serenity or satisfaction.
What makes judge Baugh's sentence seem so inappropriate and insensitive is the fact that it was not his only manifestation of an ostensible indifference towards the concept of really reprimanding a rapist. In addition to the 30 day sentence, Baugh stated that Morales was culpable for the activity that transpired upon noting that she was "as much in control of the situation" as Rambold. Although he offered what may have been a sincere apology, his assessments function as concrete evidence that we still live in a society willing to adopt a blame-the-victim stance when the issue of rape is discussed. In considering this ideologically recidivistic tendency, it is important for forward-thinking people to recognize the fact that everyone isn't and hold those in the latter group accountable for the injustice and inequality that is perpetuated by their sexist suppositions and resulting praxis.