For some reason, that I cannot fathom, there are a lot of arguments out there that blame the victim. So for all you ignorant men (and few women) who seem to think that a woman (or man) asks to be raped because of their appearance or actions here is a clarification of your arguments. Here are the three main points of blame that are used against victims/survivors of rape. This article is so you can rethink ideas about victims an why violence and rape happen.
Your ignorant argument: When women(or men) dress a certain way they are asking for attention.
Your learned action: Stare a little too long, call out names such as “beautiful”, “baby” or “ho”, get mad when we don’t respond and harass further, assault, or rape.
Reality: YOU are turned on by someone else, they do not turn you on. It is YOUR reaction, not theirs that makes YOU feel a certain way. This is basic common sense and basic psychology. Humans dress different ways for different reasons, such as expressing our individuality, business, or comfort. This does not mean we necessarily want your attention. And when we do there are more respectful ways to show it.
Think About It: If you are a man walking down the street in your favorite team jersey and a larger man or group of men jump you and beat you bloody, was it your fault? Were you asking to be hurt or killed because you wanted to brag about or support your favorite team?
Women are raped wearing anything from a full burqa cover to a bikini. Men are raped in jail wearing drab jumpsuits or dressed up for a fun night out. Rape has nothing to do with what you wear.
Your ignorant argument: If a woman(or man) is drinking, drunk, or high she is loose and wants to have sex. Women(or men) should know better than to get drunk or high because rape happens.
Your learned action: Drunk = Sex.
Reality: People drink for all sorts of reasons like celebration, blowing off steam and fun. It doesn’t matter if that person flirts with you or tells you they usually get drunk/high and have sex, it doesn’t mean that they want to have sex with you. Having fun with alcohol or drugs does not give you the right to rape.
Think About It: Why do you drink? If you get mugged while you are drunk or high was it your fault? Shouldn’t you have known better than to get drunk because robbery happens?
3) Walking Alone
Your ignorant argument: A woman should know better than walking alone at night or anywhere other than her home.
Your learned action: A woman walking alone at night is probably a slut or a prostitute.
Reality: There are too many reasons to list why a woman can walk alone at anytime. Going to or from work, exercise, leaving a party, and car trouble are a few that pop into my head. This is probably the stupidest argument. It’s like saying that men should not go out alone for fear they will get mugged.
Think About It: Why should anyone be blamed for rape because they were walking somewhere or going for a jog alone?
Blaming victims is an easy way to feel like there are always easy solutions. Unfortunately that is not true. Yes, we can all take actions to lower our risk of violent crime and prevent ourselves from seeming to be easy targets for rapists, murderers, or muggers. No, that does not mean that if we feel like walking with music in our ears, alone, or dressing to express is being foolish. The bottom line is violence is never the victims fault. When you make a choice to disrespect a woman who says NO, you are now a violent criminal.
Since men are the ones who rape, it is up to men to stop rape. Start a discussion with your friends, brothers, sons, nephews, and co-workers. Below are some points you can bring up. Be sure to steer clear of victim blame.
Why do you think men rape women?
Is it fair that we say things like “She/he got raped because of appearance, inebriation or location”?
What can you say to another man who brags about rape or having his way with someone who was drunk or passed out?
How would you feel if your mom, sister, aunts, daughters, grandmothers, nieces, and friends were raped?
How much of a role do you think the media plays in exploiting and presenting women as sex objects?
How do you feel about men who call women slut, ho, or easy?
Do you think it is okay to get women or high so you can take advantage and have sex with them?
How do you feel about men who rape other men?
What can you say to other men to discourage the idea that rape is just what some men do?