I wouldn’t.

[content note for discussions of rape culture]

I saw the following image on post secret this morning. It may be incredibly triggering for some.

From Post Secret

I am saddened that the OP would have such a profound lack of compassion for their daughter if she were in such a situation.  This attitude is both symptomatic of and perpetuates rape culture. It places the burden of not getting raped on women to police their own (and other women’s ) behavior, rather than the burden being on a rapist not to rape people. The flip side of this statement is that if you had a son at a frat party who saw a girl alone drinking shots on an empty stomach spending the night, it would be OK for him to rape her.  Does that sound fair to you? Would you tell your son that?

Women are not responsible for their own rape. There are no specific conditions where raping someone is OK, just as there are no specific conditions where robbing someone, or assaulting someone, or burglarizing a house are OK. If I leave the keys in my car, this may mean people think I am stupid but it does not give anyone the right to take my car. Taking my car even if the keys are in the ignition is still a crime.

I don’t know why we treat Rape and sexual assault differently from other crimes. Maybe it is because it is something that happens primarily to women. Maybe it is because there is a bizarre societal perception that men are totally incapable of controlling their sexual desires and so women must do what they can not to entice them. Whatever it is, it is not right.  The more we think about rape and sexual assault this way the more permissive we are as a society to its occurrence and the situations in which raping someone is permissible grow ever wider.

If I had a daughter I would say to her that there is nothing you can say, or do, or wear, that makes rape OK. I would say that your body is your own and you can dress it and treat it how you see fit. I would say that yes means yeas and no means no.  I would say that being drunk in the company of males never implies consent. Your bodily autonomy is not conditional on your actions, whatever they may be.  There is no such thing as implicit consent.

If I had a son I would tell them that all the same applies to him. I would also tell him that when he has a sexual partner he should ensure that it is someone who is consenting enthusiastically, and that he himself is also consenting enthusiastically.  You my son are far more than your sex drive – it is not something that controls you, despite what the world tries to tell you. It is OK for you to say no. That does not mean there is something wrong with you.

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10 thoughts on “I wouldn’t.

  1. This may come as a shock to you, but some people in this world are shit. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they kill, they maim, they rape, they burn, choke, stab, shoot, kick, punch, bite, whip, gouge, and hurt other people… You might also be surprised to hear that every single person on this planet has done at least one of these things. That said, if you put yourself into a well known, vulnerable situation, you’re really doing yourself a disservice, and you’re contributing to your own injury. I should be able to ride around South Central LA on a brand new, shiny bicycle and expect not to be hurt, just like this girl should be able to drink liquor on an empty stomach and sleep in a house full of drunk, adolescent boys and expect not to get hurt. But that’s not a very smart expectation (I suspect such an expectation would be a result of unfit parenting). I’ve seen a lot of situations where someone stupidly puts themselves directly in harms way and gets hurt. But when someone says, “well that was stupid” the response is usually, “STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM!” What you fail to acknowledge is that stupidity is a cause of suffering. It is not “THE” cause of suffering, but it is a cause, and it needs to acknowledged so that others don’t make the same mistake. So you go ahead and blame rape culture and the patriarchy and tell your daughter rape is not OK (although I’m not sure you’d be conveying any new information to her with that one). I’ll opt to blame the rapist, and you. I’d blame you for being a grossly negligent father that raised a girl to be so naive as to think that drinking heavily with frat boys at a party, without any friends, and sleeping over in a home full of drunk, adolescent boys, is an OK idea.

    • You do realise that in this comment you are saying it is OK frat boys to rape? Why do you think that is OK? I’m not sure how you got the idea that I am saying rape is OK or that I am a man. You are wrong on both counts and yes this comment is full of victim blaming bs. Responsibility for rape begins and ends with the rapist

      • I worked with girl in a restaurant who was a striking beauty. Beautiful blonde hair, and this adorable little gap between her two front teeth that made her smiles look so innocent and genuine. Everyone in the restaurant loved her; she was a great, light-hearted character to be around. One night, she went out drinking with some friends and someone put a roofie in her drink. Being with friends, they noticed something was very wrong right away and removed her from the situation. She was taken to the hospital where she remained for several days. It took her almost two weeks to fully recover from the effect of the drug. During her recover time, I, along with every male in that restaurant wanted to find out who the guy was and exact some ultra-violent revenge upon him. Despite all of us putting a sincere and substantial effort into finding out whom the guy was, he was never caught.

        The reason I raise this story is to illustrate blame a little better. This girl knows that there are men in this world who are capable of raping women. She also knows that roofies are a drug frequently used for date rape, and that they are usually put into women’s alcoholic drinks for this purpose. Because she had knowledge of all of this, she decided to take some friends with her to make the situation safer.

        Right now you may be thinking that she shouldn’t have to take ANY precautionary measure, and I agree. In a perfect world, I’d be able to leave my cash and bike on the side of a busy sidewalk and come back a few days later to retrieve it. I wouldnt need locks on my doors, my car… I wouldnt even need a bank account. But we already acknowledged that there are fucked up people out there who are willing to do fucked up things to other people, and are looking for the opportunity to do it. If you are aware of this, but act in reckless disregard for it anyway, you have to account for that. You have to account for it because if you don’t, you’ll do it again. Your expectancy of others’ behavior will be grossly misplaced, and you will be inviting dangers to your self interests that you know exist, but refuse to acknowledge.

        If you’re thinking that by acknowledging your own contributing factors to any harms caused to you by another is tantamount to “excusing the crime”, you’ve really done a disservice to yourself and to anyone around you. Not only have you excuse yourself from changing your own behaviors that put you at a high risk of harm (e.g., not inviting your friends to come to the bar with you so you aren’t alone and vulnerable), but you’re also putting your friends at risk of the same thing (i.e., the belief that you shouldn’t have to keep an eye on your friend at the bar because even if she falls victim to a rape that you could have prevented by simply paying attention to her, it’s not your fault, the rapist did it).

      • These narratives have never been used for that purpose, nor would they be successful.

  2. @ WTF Indeed – you need to educate yourself. Putting the kind of stuff you are saying out into the world protects rapists and shames victims/survivors. Sit down a minute, and listen to what G’s post is trying to tell you..

    • You didn’t even read what I wrote. You’re both just responding with pre-manufactured statements that are unrelated to my message. It’s too bad we can’t talk, I think it would have been an interesting discussion.

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