Friday, 10 June 2016

The Prevalence of Rape Culture

I was reading an online conversation about whether the 6-month sentence in the Stanford rape care was too lenient, and one commenter claimed to know the victim and that she had been lying the whole time.  I immediately called him out on it and said that the evidence was clear that she had been brutalized, and that his bringing up her sexual history was pure victim-blaming and rape culture BS.

He then proceeded to attack me, asking me if I had really been sexually assaulted (I had mentioned it in another comment) and asking what I had been wearing at the time.  As far as he was concerned, wearing nice panties was an invitation for sex.

That, my friends, is how to push my Berserk Button.

So to avoid cluttering up the comment section of that forum I'm posting my rant here.

People who have never been sexually assaulted can't possibly understand.

Forcing sex onto a person who is defenseless is reprehensible.  Nobody ever asks to be raped.  End of story.  It doesn't matter if the person was drunk, high, or wearing skimpy clothes.  A woman could be wearing a full length burqa and still be raped.

It has been embedded in our culture for too long that women must always have the onus of avoidance.  From the age of 13 women have to learn to carry their keys in their hands, to not walk in dark areas alone, to watch their drinks, to not hang out with strangers.

At the same time, many men believe that they can take what they want without fear of consequence.  It's all in the misogynistic mindset of power and control.  Especially if the man is rich, athletic, or successful.

"If a woman gets treated like a victim she will act like a victim.  Too many women show off their panties in public, thinking it is a sexy thing to do.  LOL" wrote the aforementioned commenter.

I dare any man to walk down the street wearing a Speedo and a muscle shirt and see what kind of reactions he gets.  Does that mean he's asking for it?  What about all those guys who walk around with their pants down to their knees and the boxer shorts showing?  Are they asking for it?  Chances are they won't get that much attention, because, well, they're men.

Women get the attention because their bodies have been objectified by rape culture and the media.  And to quote an online acquaintance: "It's baffling how men don't want women in positions of power because they're slaves to their hormones and emotions, and yet one of the first lines of defence when it comes to rape cases tends to be: it's hardly his fault, look at what she was wearing, how could we expect him to control himself?"

I was emotionally abused and sexually assaulted by my ex.  I never asked for it.  He believed that since we were in a relationship he was entitled to it.  It happened when he was angry with me.  At night when I was trying to sleep.  In the morning while I was trying to get ready for work (I nearly lost my job because of chronic lateness stemming from that).  Whenever I told him "no" he would pout, guilt-trip me, and claim he was being "deprived".  Even after I left him he stalked me at my new place, and assaulted me when I tried to talk sense into him.  I had a nervous breakdown and was in therapy for months.  I told his family about it, but they said "he wasn't raised that way" and disowned me.

Why did I never do anything, you might ask?  For the same reason that so many other abused women never take their attackers to court.  Because we know full well that the burden of proof will be on us, and that we will be blamed and shamed to the point of losing all faith in a system that is supposed to protect us but doesn't.

So I speak out now on behalf of all women who've had to go through the same thing.

Men need to be taught "Don't rape" instead of women being taught "Don't get raped."

1 comment:

  1. It can't be said enough that boys and men need to be held accountable for their own decisions. It isn't a woman's job to second guess them or to dress a certain way, lest we tempt them. It's their job to respect women and to obtain consent before any sexual contact.

    It's time we all get that clear.