Sunday, December 04, 2005

How To Avoid Rape

I first saw this on livejournal where's it's been doing the rounds all over the place, but the Disillusioned kid has asked us to repeat it anyway, and I agree with the contents, especially given my post last week:
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape...
Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.

Instead of that bullshit, how about:

If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.

If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching tv, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.

If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and It's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.

Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.

Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, repost it. It's that important.
We do live in a culture that tacitly accepts violence against women and sexual assaults on women. We do place implicit blame on the female based on her dress, behaviour or demeanor. We seem to think that consent, once given, cannot be withdrawn before or during, that minds cannot be changed. Wrong. All wrong.
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8 comments:

buytrafficforblog said...
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PaulJ said...

I'm going to inflame this, because whilst I agree with most of what Mat has quoted, I want to ask one question:

Is there any way, any way whatsoever, in which someone could be considered responsible for their own rape?

Because, the way I see it, in pretty much every other (less emotive) crime, we do level an amount of responsibility on the victim if they really were responsible in some way.

Now I know that 'short skirt', 'long hair' and 'asking for it' do not construe responsibility in any way whatsoever. But whilst I'm quite certain that in 99% of cases, the vicitm is in no way responsible, I can't help but think that in some circumstances, there may be some level of responsibility.

This is not me trying to condone or justify anything - this is me basically playing the odds and trying to stay objective.

Disillusioned kid said...

Mat, Thanks for the link. I'm heartened to see people are prepared to face up to the questions which rape - and our attitudes to it - raise.

Paul, *perhaps* we could come up with a hypothetical situation in which someone could be considered responsible for their own rape (although I can't think of anything). Equally, however, we *might* be able to come up with a hypothetical situation in which you were responsible for me sodomising you with a broomstick. Something tells me that you'd still be pretty pissed off if I did.

It's not so much that the question's innappropriate, rather it's largely irrelevant.

PaulJ said...

Well obviously I'd be pissed off - and you'd still be breaking the law.

It's not irrelavent though - many aspects of law revolve around responsibility and mitigating circumstances. You're arrested on suspicion of murder, but the invesitgation and trial determine whether it was murder, manslaughter, self-defence or whatever. If a person killed someone after being seriously provoked, we say that the victim was partially responsible for what happened, and we may well pass a verdict of diminshed responsibility or manslaughter.

Likewise, if it is possible to say that person is responsible for their own rape, it may have implications for how we judge the rapist. Yes, we need to be serious about this idea of responsibility, and the current environment of 'it's her fault, she was asking for it' is a rancid pile of shite, but I also don't think that we should automatically jump off the edge whenever we hear rape to the point that we cannot look at the events and make a decision based on what actually happened.

Toque said...

"We do live in a culture that tacitly accepts violence against women and sexual assaults on women. We do place implicit blame on the female based on her dress, behaviour or demeanor. We seem to think that consent, once given, cannot be withdrawn before or during, that minds cannot be changed."

I don't think we do live in such a culture. Can you find me someone that agrees with that last sentence? Most people do accept that no means no. That rapists chose to ignore the word 'no' doesn't mean that they do not comprehend what they are doing.

MatGB said...

Can you find me someone that agrees with that last sentence?

We seem to think that consent, once given, cannot be withdrawn before or during, that minds cannot be changed.
I can remember a case about ten years ago, went to a fairly high court, university student, male, charged with rape, acquitted.

She had previously consented, they were naked in bed, then she changed her mind. I can remember at the time, new in a job, my then (male) boss reading the story in a newspaper, and agreeing witht he verdict. Yet even he (the 'not-guilty' student) admitted that she had changed her mind when they were in bed.

I've heard stories of date rape, of withdrawn consent, of changed minds, and I've heard male friends agreeing that "she led him on", or "it's too late now".

I disagree with these sentiments, and from your tone, I suspect you do to. You may have been lucky and not encountered them, it doesn't mean they're not there, and not prevalent in some areas or sub-cultures.

I can't refer the case directly, but it did happen, it was about twelve years ago, it may have been a Lords case, definately high profile though.

Toque said...

They may be prevalent in some areas or sub-cultures but that doesn't mean that we live in a culture that tacitly accepts violence and sexual assaults on women.

Quite the reverse if it is confined to 'areas' and sub-cultures.

Rachel said...

'Is there any way, any way whatsoever, in which someone could be considered responsible for their own rape?'

I can see that there are situations where the victim is more at risk.

They are drunk, they are on drugs, they are walking down the wrong street.

That makes him/her more VULNERABLE not more CULPABLE.

I really struggle to see how someone could EVER be considered responsible for inciting their own rape.