You know what really irritates me? When women go off and get themselves raped. Honestly, I think half of them do it just for the sake of inconveniencing the rest of us, especially when they go crying to the authorities about it, like it was some kind of violent crime or something. And half of them don’t even use birth control! Irresponsible skanks. I mean, clearly, these dregs of society (or “rape victims” as they call themselves) were asking for it. After all, everyone knows that if you wear your hair in a pony tail it makes an easy handle, and if a man sees it instinct will take over and he’ll have no choice but to grab you and drag you down a dark alleyway. And that if you show some skin (God forbid you reveal cleavage) any man who looks upon you will be overcome with natural instinct, and the poor fellow will have no choice but to force himself upon you.
Yeah, it sounds stupid to me, too.
And yet we are still in the habit of blaming the women (or men) for being victims of rape– as if getting raped is on par with getting a tramp stamp that reads “Angle” (misspelled on purpose) tattooed on your skin. We greet it with the tongue clucking attitude that “if she wasn’t so drunk, it wouldn’t have happened to her.” Right, because intoxication clearly has a devastating effect on another person’s ability to not commit a crime against you.
Already, I can imagine all of you readers shaking your heads in disbelief. “It’s not like that,” you say. “We place the blame where it belongs– you’re making something out of a non-issue.” Well, not so, my dear friends. We are surrounded by media and attitudes that suggest if a woman gets raped, she was asking for it. Take for example that old e-mail forward that I’m sure we’ve all had in our inbox at least once. The one that tells women how not to get raped. Don’t wear your hair in a pony tail or bun. Don’t wear “suggestive” clothing. Don’t flirt– it’s teasing. Don’t do this or that or you’ll get raped.
Why are we warning the victim?!
Instead of telling people how to avoid getting raped, shouldn’t we be making sure potential offenders know the consequences of committing this crime? Instead of lying and telling people that certain actions, wardrobe choices and hair styles will lead to their being sexually assaulted, shouldn’t we be warning people not to rape anyone? Shouldn’t these e-mail forwards be titled “How to NOT RAPE SOMEONE?” That’d be a pretty short e-mail, because the solution is simple; you just don’t.
There is nothing that can make a person rape someone. Not intoxication, not extensive flirting, not catching a glimpse and some woman’s breasts. Even if sex starts out as consensual, and in the absolute heat of the moment one partner says no, there is nothing that can keep the other partner going other than pure maliciousness. No ifs ands or buts about that one.
It both amuses and infuriates me to hear people give the excuse that “men can’t help it– it’s just the way they’re wired” or other similar nonsense. Not only is that giving the few villains amongst the male gender a free pass to be cruel and malicious, but it’s insulting the general population of them that are good. You know what statements like that and the “how not to get raped”lists remind me of? The bear warnings you see posted along walking paths.
WARNING: In the event of a bear sighting, do NOT turn your back on the animal–this triggers the animal to attack! Ooh, naughty critter. It can’t help it though– it’s a wild animal. No real intelligence, just instinct, right? That’s why we have to arm ourselves with knowledge of its habits and triggers.
WARNING: In case of a man sighting, do NOT reveal your mamory glands–this triggers the man to have sex with you against your will! So… are men nothing but beasts as well, lacking reason and driven by instinct? Kinda harsh, don’t you think?
Clearly, the suggestion that women can cause themselves to get raped is a horribly sexist one– sexist not against women, but against men. A culture that believes men aren’t to be blamed for their sex crimes is a culture that believes men to be ignorant and mindless. Stupid. Inferior. Do we really want to continue to regard a little less than half of our population as ignorant savages?
Because really, that’s what it comes down to. Sorry guys, you can either stand beside women as equally intelligent and productive members of the dominant species or you can claim to be driven by a magical instinct that makes you brutalize (even non-violent rape is “brutalizing”) a woman who has the audacity to wear a short skirt in front of you; can’t have it both ways.
So gentlemen, it’s time to stand up for yourselves at last– throw away this harsh stigma, the sexism that suggests you’re nothing but ignorant brutes. It’s time to prove to the world that you are smarter than the average bear, and you are, indeed, the master of your own bodies and your own actions. At long last, take hold of all of the perks that being cream of the animal crop has to offer; you thought the opposable thumbs were cool? Well here’s something better: free will.