Campus Event, Lauren Meyers

Melinda Lopez’s play, “Back the Night,” explores the relevant topic of sexual assault on college campuses. Lopez follows two different women’s paths after being sexually assaulted. While Cassie posts her story on social media, Em represses the event, even making herself believe that it was not an instance of assault. She appeals to Brandon’s seemingly good character and rejects the fact that “good people” are capable of doing bad things. While viewing this play, I continuously thought of the Brock Turner case. Brock Turner was a Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted Chanel Miller. In the news articles following the story, journalists posted Turner’s times after writing of the details of the assault. Turner’s father spoke of his son’s happy, easy-going personality and welcoming smile that no longer exist due to the event. Rather than emphasizing the victim’s suffering, the articles appeal to Turner’s humanity. They say, he was a good, talented boy. He just messed up this one time. Also, in the interviews, Miller was asked what she was wearing, if she was intoxicated, if she was a party animal, and multiple other questions that were framed to take the blame off of Brock and onto Miller. Both the play and the Turner case remind us that seemingly good people are capable of committing horrific acts. Denying this fact and victim-blaming are much too common, and in order to decrease the occurrence of sexual assaults, we must hold perpetrators accountable.

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