So, a bit ago, I was talking about the not-so-nice guys of OKCupid and the Tumblr dedicated to pointing them out with its fair share of snark. The Tumblr has apparently been taken down for reasons unknown, though there is an archive you can view that hosts most if not all of the posts the Tumblr once had. Anyway, there was something that I wanted to talk about during that post that I realized kinda deserves its own conversation.
Victim blaming and the true colors of male (and, sadly, female) douchery.
A friend of mine posted this status update on her Facebook that has apparently managed to catch on enough for a random blogger to make a graphic out of it and now know who the original writer was.
It says the following:
Men should be offended when someone claims that women should prevent rape by not wearing certain things, or not going certain places, or not acting in a certain way. That line of thinking presumes that you are incapable of control. That you are so base and uncivilized that it takes extraordinary effort for you to walk down the street without raping someone. That you require a certain dress code be maintained, that certain behaviors be employed so that maybe today, just maybe, you won’t rape someone. It presumes that your natural state is rapist.
Now, I don’t actually know how much victim blaming you’ve ever heard, particularly when it comes to rape, but it is a shockingly popular trend amongst men, and sometimes even women, to blame the victim (read: woman, as the majority of rape cases are male rapist(s) and female victim(s)) for something she’s done. Our politicians have been getting into the ever so subtle swing of doing that all the time lately, something to talk about later. Just think about all the politicians that have decided to not simply say, “Rape is wrong and should be severely punished” and instead want to qualify rape, as though some non-consensual sex is better than others.
And then you run into the ordinary jackholes that do things like this wonderful picture, which was apparently done by a guy but, if you look at the right, posted by a woman with the comment “Made me laugh lol.”
The reason calling people out for their God awful lines of thought – like the partner in a relationship is obligated to sexual activity with you when you demand it, or is required to meet a certain standard of physicality set by you – is a good thing is because of victim blaming and how horrendously it treats everyone. When we start saying, “It’s the victim’s fault,” then we easily move on to “Got what they deserved.”
Can you think of any moment someone deserves to be raped? I really hope that answer is no.
It’s thoughts like that that cause depressing statistics like this graph by The Washington Post. People just decide that the victims are lying about it or seeking attention or something. And, as that graph shows, too many victims are often too afraid to even report their rape. The environment we’ve created can’t be helping.
But like my friend said, it also makes rape seem like a natural, okay thing because rape is just one of those things men do, like farting. “Shouldn’t have eaten that Taco Bell! Now I have gastrointestinal distress.” “That woman shouldn’t have worn that short skirt! Now I have raped her.”
It throws our humanity and evolution into higher thinking beings back to the age of the primordial ooze. What’s worse, it creates a scenario wherein people believe all rapes occur that way: Woman got drunk, dressed like a slut, walked where she wasn’t supposed to, etc. I know I’m kind of narrowing my scope to heterosexual rapes of women, but that tends to encompass a majority of known rape cases as I recall, and the majority of rapes people blame the victims for. Point is, rapes very often occur in homes by people the victim knows, such as a boyfriend. Alcohol doesn’t need to be involved either. I know a metric crap ton of women that have gotten very very drunk in public and private places and manage to get home entirely unmolested. From what few stories of being raped I’ve been told about, alcohol wasn’t even involved.
If we’re going to start trying to do some good in the world, trying to turn this problem around, we need to stop lying to ourselves about the “why” and “how” of the conversation. We need to stop blaming anyone but the person taking the unconsented action. We need to start educating children on what consent is, and start warning them about the effects things like alcohol can have on it. Maybe then, that graph I linked to won’t be so freakin’ depressing.