Public Shaming is NOT Okay

I was ecstatic last week when the Gators managed to pull out a victory over Tennessee. Treon Harris, freshman quarterback, comes out of nowhere and the Vols are left crying in their ugly orange outfits. Unfortunately, the victory was almost immediately overshadowed by the allegation that Harris sexually assaulted a female student after returning from the game. I’m proud of how the University of Florida responded to the allegation. He was immediately suspended while the investigation was pending. This is huge at a time when other universities (yeah, I’m talking about you FSU) don’t immediately look into serious allegations like that.

The allegation has since been withdrawn by the woman who made it. Harris has been reinstated and will play today. I should be overjoyed, but I’m not. The circumstances surrounding the withdrawal make me pretty uneasy.

Harris’ attorney released a statement on Thursday, which stated that the woman and Harris had been corresponding by text message from the time the game ended until he arrived back in Gainesville that night, that they knew each other before that, and had socialized together prior that evening. But, he also included that she had been sexually intimate with someone else prior to being involved with Harris, and referred to her as a “sexual aggressor.” He detailed that a number of witnesses saw them together beforehand and that everything looked like they were having a good time. They exchanged messages the next day.

I can tell you from personal experience that that does not mean that a sexual assault did not occur.

I obviously have no idea what happened between this woman and Harris. What I do know is that Harris’ attorney shamed a woman for absolutely no reason. What she did or didn’t do with someone else prior to being involved with Harris is irrelevant. She could have slept with the entire football team before spending any time with Harris. None of that sheds any light on whether Harris sexually assaulted her. Just because a woman enjoys sex does not mean she wants to have sex with every man she meets.

Let’s say it together now. Just because a woman has multiple sexual partners does not mean she automatically consents to sex with every man.

Also, women can change their mind about whether they want to have sex with someone. Maybe the woman thought it was something she wanted to do, but when put in the situation, the idea no longer appealed to her. Maybe she thought one thing was going to happen and Harris wanted something else. No one but the two of them will ever know.

What I do know is this: Harris’ attorney made public statements about her sex life, insinuating that she was a sexually aggressive whore and that no one was going to believe what she said anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want that to happen to me or anyone I care about.