Tag Archives: rape

Don’t Be a Victim: An Ode to Personal Responsibility

25 Jul

Let’s talk about a dicey subject.

Victim shaming.

Often considered an integral piece of rape culture,  victim shaming is generally known as any behavior, attitude, or stance that places blame on the victim for the incident or causes the victim to feel ashamed of his or her actions secondary to blaming the incident on the victim’s actions. As a part of rape culture, statements such as “she shouldn’t have been wearing that” or “she shouldn’t have drank that much” are common ways to propogate feelings of rape being a result of a woman’s actions, instead of that of a man’s (I’m using these particular pronouns because of the statistical frequency of rape to particular genders, however, I do very much acknowledge the presence of rape of men by men or by women – I’m not forgetting you fellas, I promise!).

It is important that we help to eliminate this brand of propogation of rape culture by teaching men and women what consent is and means and understanding that blaming anyone but the perpetrator is not okay.

I have, however, seen a lot of social media coverage of things that are basically telling anyone to throw caution to the wind. Run naked and drunk through that dark alley into that windowless van, young girl! Rape isn’t your fault!

Well, no. Rape isn’t your fault, and I do not want anyone thinking that I am suggesting that. I’m going to continue to use this scenario for explanatory purposes. If you do, in fact, run naked and drunk through a dark alley in a windowless van, this is not an excuse to rape you. It is not a reason to rape you. You should not be raped in this situation, or ever. (It is an excuse to provide you with a warm blanket, and probably call the police because a safe place for you to go is needed.) I am also not, in any way, attempting to make any person feel ashamed of whatever experiences they have been or will go through.

BUT…(yes, there is a but)…don’t be a victim.

A dark alley probably isn’t a great place to walk, regardless of your gender, how you are dressed, or your degree of sobriety. Getting into a strangers vehicle is not a great idea regardless of your gender, how you are dressed, or your degree of sobriety. Doing these things while drunk and naked is an even worse idea regardless of your gender or how you are dressed.

These things are unneccessary risks, especially in combination.

What it all comes down to is this:

The only person responsible for you…is you.

Please. Take personal responsibility for yourself. Be accountable for your actions. Be safe.

I recently saw a social media post about a girl who got hit by a car because she was playing Pokemon GO explaining that it was the game’s fault. There is no personal responsibility in that statement. It is terrible that she got hit by a car, and we would all hope that the driver in that situation was paying attention and had enough time to come to a complete stop without hitting the girl, but the fact of the matter is that this girl needs to understand that in the future, she should decrease the risk level she is taking by being more proactive in her own environment.

If you have done an acceptable degree of prevention, whatever the incident, and the incident still occurs, then at the very least you can say I did my part. It isn’t my fault. Because the last thing anyone wants to feel is that feeling of maybe I could have done this differently, or this, or that…The less someone has to face these feelings after a rape, the closer they are to healing.

We can tell everyone all the time from a young age until we are blue in the face that “no means no” or “lack of communiction is not consent” but just as it is with anything, variation in the human element means that rape will always happen. It is a lonely world out there, and I can only hope that there is someone out there that cares about you, but at the end of the day, we are all selfish human beings with our own needs to take care of.

That’s okay. We also try to be decent humans to each other and support each others interests.

But if you aren’t being responsible, there is no guarantee that someone else will be responsible. Empower yourself. Take the precautions needed when you need to take them. It’s okay.

What do you think of personal responsibility? What is something that you do to take charge when you’re feeling unsafe in your environment?

Humanity, Rape Culture, and When Rape is Okay?

27 May

Hello readers. I want to share something with you. Please, settle in, and read all these quotes about rape:

 

Rape him again n again till he bleeds to death through his asshole” – Justin Lyons

“He got what he deserved [by being raped]” – Trish Drury

“Don’t care if it’s wrong. He got what he deserved” – Connie Kostecky Mattair

“Good, hope it keeps happening.” – PerfectChaos

“…i hope he gets raped daily…” – TwiztedAngel

 

We talk about how we need to stop the cycle of rape culture, but here are 5 examples…pardon by language…some messed up shit! Real people said this. I didn’t make those up, they aren’t in books. The first three were from the comment section of a Facebook post, and the last 2 were from a forum. So what might you ask are these comments on? You might have already read the article, but a man who raped and killed a small child was taken to prison, and during the 30 days prior to his hearing, he was raped by 20 men. Then, because of the injuries he sustained, he was taken to the medic to be sewn up, following which he got raped again by the group again causing him to tear out his stitches and bleed through his pants.

If you’re interested in reading some more, and seeing pictures (required if you are going to post a comment similar to those above) you can find it here.

Seeing these pictures and thinking about the amount of pain he must have been in makes me physically ill. It makes me want to cry. No, no child deserves this. What he did to that child was also horrific. But this…it just makes the people who raped him rapists and suddenly, instead of having one child rapist there are now one child rapist and 20 rapists.

I simply can’t imagine having this feeling in my heart to wish that it would keep happening or this man would get raped daily or that he would bleed to death from his asshole. How do these people not have the same humanity?

What do you think? How do you think this plays into rape culture?

Don’t Get Raped

11 Apr

It seems like a simple enough phrase: “Don’t get raped.”

Really, though. It is quite the opposite.

Those 3 words conjure up feelings of spite toward rape culture, of dark alleys filled with men waiting for a girl to unknowingly walk through, of the act itself. The only time I’ve found myself saying this phrase to anyone, whether male or female, is when I’m being facetious. This comes from the same place that causes me to both be very aware of my surroundings, but also not fear them. My choice of advice when a friend is leaving is actually “don’t get murdered.”

Same amount of usefulness, but it suits my style a little better.

You see, saying don’t get raped isn’t very useful on the surface, and people get all up in arms about this phrase because we shouldn’t be advocating don’t get raped we should be advocating don’t rape. Saying don’t get raped somehow puts the blame on the victim of such a crime making it somehow his/her fault, which is obviously untrue.

Just like saying don’t get murdered saying don’t get raped is actually a much more loaded phrase than we think it is. It means “watch your surroundings”, “make good choices”, “don’t get into a windowless van with a stranger”. It embodies all of those things in just 3 words, because if it was as easy as teaching people to not rape, rape wouldn’t be a thing anyway. The kicker is that people who rape, or murder, or commit serial crimes have problems that extend beyond the simply telling them to not rape. They don’t care about consent because they crave the power that comes without it. I’d love if someone could post some statistics in the comments (that’s what you get when you blog with a poor internet connection), but I feel like rape and murder have to be statistically similar.

I also want to point out that because of the mentality that is commonly associated with rape and murder and such crimes, telling someone before they go out on the town “don’t rape anyone” automatically casts blame onto the recipient. They go from feeling like a normal person to feeling as though the person giving such advice truly feels that they are capable of such a crime. I know that “no means no” and if a friend of mine told me in all seriousness to not rape someone, I would be extremely offended. The phrase don’t rape assumes the worst in someone, and that isn’t okay either.

My advice is to use better word choice when teaching young people about consent, such as “no means no” and that coercion isn’t okay and that you are never entitled to someone else’s body, regardless of your relationship to them.  We should also gravitate toward using phrases such as “make good choices” because even if rape disappeared entirely, you can still have a lot of bad things happen to you from point A to point B. 

“Make good choices” is also an empowering phrase, that brings us out of this vicious cycle of rape culture. Because really, while I have a very unpopular opinion of rape and sexual assault, I’ve never met a single soul who really thinks that rape is caused by the victim.

Make good choices, folks.

Do you agree that “don’t get raped” is a much more loaded statement that just being about rape? Do you agree that “don’t rape” is assumptive and negative? How do you think we should teach kids about sex, consent, and relationships? Does “make good choices” perpetuate rape culture, too, and if so, how do we not perpetuate rape culture?

Safe Dating – What is it?

19 Mar

Safety. For whatever reason, it isn’t something I ever consciously think about. I’m not sure why…it could be that I’m just so clumsy safety precautions don’t seem to be useful.

I’m not even sure if I know what “safe” is sometimes.

I’ve decided to try an online dating site, and perform a sort of social experiment in the meantime, that is focused on the date more than the person. It takes the pressure off, which I like. Basically, I make up a date, and if someone thinks it would be fun, they connect with me. If someone else makes up a date I think would be fun, I connect with them. Simple.

Except…what makes a “safe” date? Dinner and a movie? Boring.

What about going for a drive with someone? They always say to not pick up hitch-hikers. Or going to someone’s house? You are only one step away from being held hostage in their basement.

These things don’t scare me, but I wonder if they should.

What is acceptable territory for going on a date with someone you’ve never? What would you steer clear of doing? If you partake in something a little more risky, what safety measures do you increase to combat that?

Consent and Consequences

14 Dec

This is not my first blog about this, and will undoubtedly be my last.

But I want to talk about rape culture, sexual assault/harassment, and consent.

It seems easy enough…right? Consent is consent. You need consent. Problem solved.

Wellllllllll…not so fast.

I could even argue that there are some gray lines with rape. But I won’t. Not today.

The reason I bring this up because the words “assault” and “harassment” and “consent” all make me feel victimized, which is not something I like to feel. You are a victim of assault. A victim of harassment. All because you didn’t give your explicit consent. Here are three scenarios for you to think about:

Stranger slaps your ass.
Person you are hanging out with takes your hand to hold it.
1st date kisses you.

All of these have [sort of] happened to me. Does it matter the relationship of the person? Must you explicitly tell them that something is okay…or does it have to happen once followed by a firm “no”?

The reason I ask is because if a stranger slaps your ass, is it consensually different than if your SO does? Most people say well, yes…it is very different but when do you give your consent if your SO smacks your butt? You COULD do an SO agreement like Sheldon and Amy on Big Bang Theory. OR you could wait until it happens, then tell them no, but that kind of defeats the purpose of consent. Finally, your SO could ask if he/she could slap your ass prior to the slapping.

I don’t expect anyone, ever to take such measures. It borderlines crazy.

That is how I feel about things like kissing, and holding hands, too.

Because apparently, if someone kisses you without asking, that is sexual assault? Harassment? I don’t know the difference. I think a strong part of being assaulted or harassed is the emotional feeling it causes, and I can’t say I’ve ever had that feeling from someone kissing me without asking first. I’m not a victim of anything.

I think it adds drama, unnecessarily. I also don’t think it promotes rape culture.

I also think it would be super awkward if someone asked me if they could kiss me or hold my hand.

Person: Can I kiss you?
Me: *looks around* Uh…sure…

Followed by what would probably be the most awkward kiss in the world.

It doesn’t seem fair to me that women (and probably some men, too) are doing so much to make consent sexy. Yes. You should not be forced to have sex against your will. But a kiss? A held hand? I don’t think it is necessary.

Thoughts?

Date Rape: Breaking it Down [Infographic]

27 Aug

 

I found the above picture shared on my Facebook feed, and there are a few important points I’d like to share and discuss.

I don’t think that the goal of this nail polish is to end date rape or in its entirety – I think it is just one more tool to keep yourself safe. But, even if it was, this graphic has a good point: there are more important things to focus on about preventing rape.

The first thing that actually caught my eye as interesting was the first bullet point on how to “End Rape”.

1) Address those at risk of committing sexual assault.

Is this common knowledge? Are there people who are predisposed to commit sexual assault? I guess I know the answer is “yes”, but how do we recognize that well in advance of them actually committing sexual assault?

We talk about teaching our boys about consent, just as we teach our girls about protecting themselves, but this statement goes further than that. And if we assume that it refers to males i general, than 4) is hypocritical of itself and this graphic is quite flawed.

As I read further, I found that all of the points under the “End Rape” section are quite interesting.

2) Address the culture that condones and teaches predatory sexual behavior.

This one slightly boggles me. I feel as predatory sexual behavior is not a cultural norm, so I’m at a loss for what it is actually referencing. My personal views on rape are slightly skewed compared to the populous, so there I have an inkling that the predatory behavior she is referring to is simply pursuing someone you are interested in. Of course, if she is referring to what most people consider stalking, then it absolutely needs to be addressed. I do still firmly hold the belief that just because you are a victim, doesn’t mean you don’t hold some responsibility (on a case by case basis, of course). I know…unpopular opinion.

3) Teach sexual consent and respect for women’s bodies from a young age.

This statement should not be in the same set of statements as 4). It should not be centered on women’s bodies, and respect for men’s bodies is equally as important. Men, I feel, can be coerced into having sex just as easily if not moreso than women and its absurd to ignore this. Coercion is not consent. I was never taught that “no means no” except if I’m saying no. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I think the author wasn’t meaning to be biased, and is giving a good message, just in the wrong words.

And the final point caught my eye immediately after 1) did.

4) Address the sexist myth that men are naturally predatory and women are responsible for stopping them.

This actually illustrates a point rooted much deeper in sexism: women are responsible for men. We aren’t. We aren’t responsible for your laundry, or cleaning the bathroom, or keeping you in line. Men are responsible for men, and women need to stop feeling like we should be. Not terribly long ago, I heard a beautiful explanation for Muslim women covering their bodies. The reason they cover their bodies is so that they do not tempt men because being tempted is shameful, and they wish to save them from that shame.

While I like this, and I often feel this way about certain relationships I have, it is not my responsibility.

But on the flip-side, men are not naturally predatory. They have self-control. They have the ability to choose their actions, and I think it is very sexist to assume otherwise. I can’t tell you how frustrated it makes me when we discriminate men solely because they are men.

I’ve already mentioned that my views are slightly skewed, but it’s important to acknowledge that men need help too. For me to deny someone a ride simply because they are a man and not a woman is just as bad as me denying someone a ride simply because they are not white. For me to drive by a person on the side of the road having car problems because they are a man and not a woman is just as discriminatory.

Maybe I don’t feel discriminated against for my sex as much as some women do, but I often feel like we go on about sexism in the wrong way.

I should mention how much I love Laci Green and I highly recommend her videos. We don’t always see eye to eye, but that is okay…I still recommend her videos. I don’t always agree with decisions on how women should be proactive about preventing rape, but the guys who created this nail polish did have a pretty good idea. We already use nail polish, and this type of preventative doesn’t change our routine really at all (which is my pet peeve). I think, especially, if you live in a high crime area or know if you are going to be in an area that monitoring your drink might be difficult, that this is a good idea.

Any interesting stories you’d like to share about date rape or fingernail polish or role-reversal? How do you feel about this new fancy nail polish? Are you a Laci Green fan? What do you think about this infographic?

Stockholm Syndrome

24 Jun

 

While Stockholm Syndrome isn’t recognized as its own disorder, but rather as a subset of PTSD, it still has one major symptom that sets it apart – love for ones captor.

I’ve never been in any situation that would end in acquisition of any sort of PTSD, and I would like to keep it that way. I’m torn, however, at how I would react if I was in fact taken hostage, abducted, or whatever other situation comes to mind. I consider myself resilient, which would make me less susceptible, but in an effort of self-preservation, I can see myself doing whatever it takes. If that means getting chummy with my abductor, so be it, but what happens if that goes a little too far?

What I’m saying is that if I let my guard down enough to try to be civil with my captor in hopes that I can outsmart them, its not a terribly huge step away to get to know their good traits. And unless I’m dealing with a sociopath, everyone has good traits. Even sociopaths can be charming. At that point is it too far-fetched to think that I could develop feelings for my captor, especially if we are in close quarters for a large amount of time? And lets be honest, in thought (not necessarily practice), this submissive role is a turn on for quite a large number of people.

Keep in mind that I’m also not a stranger vengeful, hateful thoughts. I’m not afraid to die if the situation called for it, either. Put those together and you have someone who is okay with fighting back.

How susceptible to Stockholm Syndrome do you think you are?