You Do Not Have The Right

I often see people talking about how the world has gone crazy lately. How things are going downhill. How there is no loyalty or dignity or honor or respect.

While I agree with a general downward spiral of reality, I also think that this shows a lack of understanding of where our species has evolved from. Rewind 300, 200, or even 100 years, and the majority of people today would have serious difficulty surviving or accepting the reality of the era. Go back even further to the hundreds of thousands of years that humans have been on earth…and you get the idea.

That being said, though, much of society’s strife has come from the notion that we have the ‘right’ to something. I’m not really sorry to be the one to say…you do not have the right.

Brock Turner, you do not have the right to rape an innocent [unconscious] woman because you happen to be athletic, white, or an Ivy League student. There is a vast amount of [warranted] outrage towards someone who was literally caught in the act of raping a young woman and only sentenced to 6 months’ jail time because the judge said that a longer sentence could have ‘serious consequences’ on him.


Yet, the consequences of his conscious actions towards someone else which will affect her for the rest of her life, are minimized? Minimized by the abhorrently short sentence given to this…’man’…who felt that he had the right to violate someone’s well-being. You do not have the right.

You do not have the right to lock up other living beings for your own entertainment. I have been silent about the killing of Harambe, a 450 pound captive gorilla who was murdered after a young boy fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo. Yet…I find myself constantly thinking about how we, as humans, have the arrogance to think we can tranquilize and hold a wild animal captive in a cage for our own entertainment.

An animal stronger, faster, and potentially even more intelligent than us [in some ways]…locked up for their entire life, to be…looked at. You do not have the right to determine that your life is more valuable than another living, breathing, thinking being.


Harambe is, obviously, far from the only example of this. The other day I saw an article about a lion who lunged at a small child in the zoo, only to be stopped by the glass which contained him.

The photo shown in the article, of the split second when the lion hit the glass, was heartbreaking to me.

This lion is held against its will natural instincts in an artificial environment which is confusing and unfamiliar to him. Our ego, once again, has taken a freely living animal out of its own existence into one designed for our entertainment. Sad. It is just, sad.

You do not have the right to tell someone how to live their life. You choose your path, and they choose theirs. It is none of your business to tell them what will or won’t bring them happiness, or how they ‘should’ do something.

Elliot Rodger, you do not have the right to murder women because you were lonely. Because you were a 22 year old virgin and had never kissed a girl. Because you had a deep hatred for women who rejected you and for men who were sexually active. Because you saw yourself as the perfect man, the “true alpha male” as he you said in your videos – and yet all women rejected you.

You do not have the right to assume fundamental characteristics about a person because of where they were from or how they were raised. Prejudice may be the worst quality of our species, and we need to overcome it.

You do not have the right to see someone naked without their consent. You may remember around two years ago when there were leaked nude photos of a certain actress…I spoke out freely against looking up these photos and why it was nobody’s business, but the person they were intended for, to see them.

Privacy is increasingly important in today’s world, yet it is taken less seriously. Just because there may be certain media which gets into the wrong hands does not mean that it is your right to view it. “Because it’s there” is not a reason to invade someone’s privacy. Be a mature adult and move past it.

You do not have the right to take advantage of someone because they made a mistake. You do not have the right to invade someone’s privacy because they ‘gave you the chance.’ You do not have the right to make someone go against their will. You do not have the right to assume someone is okay with something because they are drunk. You do not have the right. You do not have the right to make someone feel badly about themselves because of how they choose to live their life.

You do not have the right to victim blame a woman for being hospitalized by her professional fighter boyfriend simply because her chosen profession falls outside of your moral code. Your choices are yours. Her choices are hers.

You do not have the right to make decisions for anyone except for yourself. If we all realized this one simple thing, the world may become a better place.


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17 thoughts on “You Do Not Have The Right

  1. But YOU do have the right to pontificate on psychological and ethical topics without any professional credentials or training. Interesting!

    1. Huh? Not sure what training or credentials are required to express an opinion that rape is a horrendous act that nobody has the right to commit. But maybe I’m missing something…

      1. I don’t think you’re missing anything. Rape is evil. Actual Evil. No matter the reason for the reduced jail time, the perpetrator didn’t even acknowledge that he had committed a crime. Not even after the jury convicted him and found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your post is about accountability, not judgement.

      2. You sir are wonderful, professional, insightful and ethical. No one need follow you; you simply and generously extended an invitation to everyone. I find great help and relief reading your thoughts and concerns. Thank you!

  2. Gee, really James? You think you are the first to figure out the rape thing? Attention courts — James has just figured out that rape is not a Constitutional Right. If you are so informed, why didn’t you mention all of the judge’s reasons for the reduced jail time?

  3. I didn’t know that an ape could be murdered. Killed maybe, put down maybe, but murdered?!!! And the ape had a “right'” to kill the small boy? If you haven’t seen the video, then don’t give me the Jane Goodall phony take on the situation.

  4. Forget captivate, look at “captivate an freely living wild animal and stick them in a cage” for horrendous grammar and redundancy despite the word(s) misuse.

  5. James, thank you for being a courageous and bold voice for HUMANITY and for the planet as a whole. Your meaningful words are kind and protective of all beings. Thank you! And as for the bullies who are on the attack rather than interested in uniting with one another, it makes sense that they would write with venom and frustration. Most women with a strong sense of self-esteem will choose a GENTLEMAN any day. Thank you!

    1. Oh, shame on those Internet bullies. They are soooo mean! Oh my, this is terrible… Oh, the humanity! … “

  6. I’m not sure why this sparked controversy, as I personally believe that those are all very fair points and I have been equally outraged by the continuous lack of acceptable punishments for terrible acts, and for the murder, because yes, it is murder of an animal which should have never had to have been in that position in the first place. Here! Here! James

  7. Hi, coming back to the animal thema, we dont have right to kill them just to satisfy our vanity, like all the luxury products made of leather.. Or even more simple example we dont have right to eat the animals too….

    1. Hello God, Mari thinks you made a mistake in letting animals eat other animals. Fix this error immediately. You God do not have the right…

  8. James,
    Thank you for being bold enough to call people out on their poor behaviors. While there will always be people who think that faceless communication through technology gives them the “right” to say whatever they want, most of us actually do agree with what you say, and appreciate your saying it. I’d even add two more things to your list:

    – you do not have the right to assert your thoughts, opinions, or desires at the expense of others. Freedom of speech should not lead to verbal abuse. If you want your opinion to be respected, you must first treat others with respect.
    -you do not have the right to verbally attack someone, just because technology allows you to without having to look them in the eye while doing it. Only communicate online what you would have the balls to say to someone who was twice your size and sitting in front of you.

  9. James, as always, I enjoy reading your blog. Too many people in this country take their rights for granted; therefore infringing on the rights of others through blatant disrespect and cruelty towards others. This guy did not have the right to rape this young lady just like the guy who recently killed 50 people in the Orlando area and injured 53 people, did not have the right. The freedom we have isn’t to harm others or stroke our selfish desires. Our freedom is a gift that allows us to live a life of harmony and respect.

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