I Hate Myself Every Time I Tell Her To Be Careful (Why Do We Tell Our Daughters Not To Get Raped?)

Cross-posted from: Ponderinglif
Originally published: 13.01.15

The world of media, Facebook as well as Twitter has been full of conversations about rape and sexual assault over the last few weeks. There are conversations about Ched Evans and what are called ‘political sex scandals’ (rape of children) and most recently there has been a groping incident on celebrity big brother. These conversations have become intertwined with people discussing degrees of rape, because some rapes are seen as worse than others. One journalist tells the story of how her friend was attacked and raped in a dark alley by a stranger and how this is far worse than the victim of Ched Evans whose victim can’t remember the rape as she was so drunk, so that’s not real rape. Perhaps if all rapists simply knock out their victims to impair their memories there wouldn’t be so young men whose lives are ruined when they are caught and prosecuted? Maybe all rapists should carry a bottle of spirits with them to make sure their victim is discredited because as we all know rape is an acceptable punishment for being drunk if you’re female.

Yes because all rape victims were drunk.

Let’s be clear, rape is rape, it is a deliberate physical act, whether it is a predator in an alley or a pub or a club or a kebab shop or in the home of the rape victim, at some point the rapist makes a decision to rape, the intended victim has no control over that and to keep insisting that women are responsible for the decisions of their abusers has to be one of the most bizarre and unfair fallacies known to womankind. Even if the victim is stone cold sober her testimony will be suspect.

One post on Facebook sympathetic to Chloe who was groped on this years CBB was soon full of victim blaming replies. “Chloe poses for page three she should know the effect she has on men”. “She was naked under her robe what did she expect?” These were women attacking and victim blaming and eventually sadly the post was removed as the negative comments and arguments grew and grew. Firstly we are all naked under our clothes, if one layer isn’t enough is two or is three enough to prevent groping? I wonder if all women who have worn swimming costumes and bikinis deserve to be groped as well? The irony is many of these people showing sexist attitudes would be the first to criticise anyone wearing the veil or the burqa. Can you blame any women from hiding from men?

Being raped by a stranger is uncommon, people are generally raped by people they know and trust, we will never know exactly how many rapes go unreported but as the conviction rates are so low it’s hardly surprising women don’t report, especially if the rapist is known to you and possibly your friends and family, would you risk reporting it? Can you imagine your friends and family accusing you of being a liar? Meanwhile it is deemed normal for women to walk around in a constant state of high alert making sure they’re not accidentally alluring to any strange men unable to control their basic animal instincts to rape, which is all men if you read any Facebook or Twitter comments. Of course if you know the rapist you must have been asking for it, because were you drunk? What were you wearing, were you alone with him, have you ever had sex before because once you’ve given consent to one man it applies to them all didn’t you know that? Of course don’t think being a virgin means you don’t deserve to be raped if you look, older, sexy and have ever flirted with anybody ever. It’s even your fault if you’re naive, because even though we value innocence you should always be aware of the effect you’re having on those poor men.

If I was a man I would be getting really pissed off being referred to as some sort of animal that cannot control themselves. Men do have brains, men do know right from wrong, men do know about consent, men do know if they get a woman drunk they can get away with rape, men do know rape is about power and not sex, men do know about the violence done to women, men know what men do. Men know they will be believed over a woman, men know all the above, silent men are complicit men. Men need to listen to women and to talk to men. But then again given the attitude of the chairman of Oldham football club  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2905199/Oldham-Athletic-director-Barry-Owen-never-regret-trying-sign-Ched-Evans.html  better not hold your breath. Sadly there are other examples such as this Oldham one, this isn’t a lone male voice.

But if we’re honest we’ve all known, or heard of a man known for getting women drunk in the aim of having sex with them,lots of us have probably had someone topping up our drinks whilst the predator has been on orange juice. I even had someone put vodka in my orange juice thinking I wouldn’t notice ( I was 14 at a village disco & I spat it out, I got called a prude), because once you get a girl drunk… I’d imagine a lot of men are very uncomfortable with the Ched Evans conversation, because they used to think it’s not rape if she can’t pick you out of a line up because she was unconscious.

To anyone who has suffered rape or abuse or any type of sexual assault, it wasn’t your fault, you are neither a mind reader or responsible for other people’s decisions or actions. Whether a page three model, a nun, a stripper, a prostitute, naive, drunk, drugged, half-naked, alone, dressed in hijab, dressing gown or asleep you deserve to be treated with respect.