I thought it was interesting that the other day, I posted a rather, I guess, instigating status to my facebook about how I was walking alone at night (listening to music, yes) because walking doesn't rape, listening to music doesn't rape, only rapists rape.
It was interesting that everyone was like "Yeah totally" but then half the comments were followed by, "...But everyone should be aware of their surroundings, etc etc."
As my one friend kindly stated, "I think some of them missed the point."
As rape-culture exposers often point out, there are an endless list of rules that women are supposed to follow in order to not get themselves raped. Don't be in a parking lot by yourself, carry pepper spray, don't get drunk at a party, don't get drunk with people you don't know, don't wear revealing clothing, don't flirt too much, don't invite someone over because it implies something, don't walk alone, don't go to the bar alone, don't a million things.
Yes, it's *true* many of these things are "common sense" as one might say. But in its entirety, the "list" implies that if you do these things, you will be safe, you will be okay! You will not get raped. And the further implication of these things is, if you DID accidentally forget a rule, well, you sort of deserved it then. You should expect it, then.
The point is that there is NO rule or preventive measure a victim can follow
that will make them safe from rape. Rapists come in all sizes, sexes, colors, relationships. They can be a friend you trust, the neighbor you help out, the boy you met at the bar, the girl you know from church, the bully, the clerk, the priest, the biker, the husband, the boyfriend, the best friend, the roommate. Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts, and NOT random strangers hiding in dark allies.
Are we just supposed to trust no one, will THAT save us from rape?
No. Victim blaming has to stop. No ifs, ands or buts. Only a rapist can rape.
Walking alone does not rape you, alcohol does not rape you, being beautiful does not rape you. Rapists rape. Apply the "True... but, if you do this and that..." argument to terrorism.
"Yeah, it's true terrorism is by terrorists BUT you have to be smart about it. Don't use airplanes to get anywhere."
"Don't use any sort of public transportation."
"Don't go in high buildings."
"Don't go to countries that are known to have terrorists."
Yeah, and if you just follow these simple steps, terrorism will NEVER happen to you!
..except that it can, and will happen to someone, because so long as there are terrorists that want to terrorize, terrorism will not stop. To stop terrorism the only option is to stop TERRORISTS. The same applies to rape.
Rape can happen anywhere. To anyone. It is never your fault. No one asks for rape.
*80% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows
*Sexual violence is the most dramatically under reported crime, with estimated 2/3 attacks unreported (victim blaming is a part of this)
*every hour (just) in America 78 women are raped
*only 2 percent of rapists are ever convicted and imprisoned