Unless you are a rapist, you are unlikely to ever think or admit that when it comes to rape, your sympathies don’t lie with the victim?? And you’re unlikely to ever say so in public. I mean, you totally see what The Onion video (above) is getting at. But, what if I were to tell you that you had been sucked into rape culture’s blame-the-victim way of thinking and you didn’t even know it? I hope I’m wrong…
Of course you don’t blame the victim – you were shocked and disgusted when CNN sympathised with the
promising young athletes rapists, and outraged when CNN, MSNBC, and Fox revealed the name of the victim, right???
I have devised a very quick way to find out what you unconsciously think. But first, I want to tell you what happened to a friend of mine:
It was Saturday night, and my girlfriend had been out clubbing. At 3am, she left the club (where she had drunk a bit more than she normally would have) and staggered along the street, alone, to find a taxi home. Since there was no taxis to be found, she started walking home – it wasn’t that far anyway. She decided to take a short cut through a dark alley (she’d never have gone that way, had she been sober) and was brutally and horrifically raped by two men.
What was your first thought upon reading that? What was your second thought?
1.Why one earth would she go up that dark alley alone at night?
2. She should be able to walk anywhere at any time and be safe.
Now here’s the test: Unless your answer is always the second option, you’ve bought into the blame-the victim culture that we have been immersed in for so long – so long, we don’t even recognise it for what it is.
It doesn’t matter how old a girl or woman is, or where she goes, or what she wears, or how much she has had to drink, or anything – she has the RIGHT to be safe, to not be raped, and not to be blamed. It doesn’t matter if she is a prostitute or a nun.
It doesn’t matter how old YOU are, or where YOU go, or what YOU wear, or how much YOU have had to drink, or anything – YOU have the RIGHT to be safe, and not be raped, and not to be blamed. It doesn’t matter if YOU are a prostitute or a nun.
If she had been walking there, sober and in broad daylight, and been hit by a car driven by drunk driver – would you still be thinking she shouldn’t have gone up the dark alley? She would be just as much “to blame” for being raped as she would for being hit be a DUI driver – NONE!!!
Let’s all make a conscious decision to “Say no to rape culture and say no to blaming the victim”. After all, you don’t condone rape. But when you blame the victim, you say she got what she deserved. When you blame the victim, you take the blame away from the rapist. No-one deserves that. Let’s all make a conscious decision to fully understand that even if a woman walks down the street naked, she’s not “asking for it”.
See how the discussion is unfolding elsewhere on wordpress:
Misogyny, Macho Culture, and Apologists