The title of this piece is one of the most common excuses given by a rapist who’s been caught. We hear variations on the theme such as “She was dressed provocatively; what did she expect?” “Why didn’t you fight him off?” “I knew she wanted it.” “Saying no is just a game; she was playing hard to get.”
Over three years of writing this blog I have seen trends as to what becomes a popular post. Sometimes it’s a few months after the original date. Some of my more popular posts were on Polygamy: I Do, I Do, I Do, and Polyamory: I Love You and You and You, as well as Starbucks and the Censored Mermaid, Travels in India: Betel Nut Adventures (who knew betel nut was such a popular search item) Incest, Betrayal and Genetic Sexual Attraction and Rape: It’s Just a Social Media Trend. Except for the Starbucks and the betel nut you could say that my top posts are about sex in one form or another. It’s not that I’ve written exclusively on this topic but when I look at the daily search topics that bring readers to my site the top one, since I wrote “Rape: It’s Just a Social Media Trend,” is “rape.”
In a way this disturbs me because I’m wondering what people are looking for when they are searching out rape. I would hope that it is a concern for women (and men) the world over who have been victims of rape, a violent physical crime that can leave a lifetime of emotional (as well as physical) scars. I would really hope people are trying to find solutions and ways to protect themselves and others from such crimes, as a way of education to stop the perpetration of such violence. But I worry because I know the internet, when it first started, was a big pit for people to look for sex, talk about sex, seek out all things sexual.
Sex is never a bad thing when between consenting adults and I’m certainly not against sex. However, rape is never a good thing and never consensual. It is the forcing of oneself on another. It may be less or more violent (resulting in death at its extreme) but it is never nonviolent. Holding a gun or a knife to someone’s head is still a violent assault when coupled with rape.
Rape is used by men to denigrate women in countries under unrest, being overthrown, destabilized by guerrilla warfare. It is far more horrible than being shot dead in a war. It is a crime against the defenseless, because of strength and/or weapons. A culture does not have to be so different from ours (in fact it can be and is the same as ours,) for it to perpetuate the stigma of rape. Some Middle Eastern countries put all the onus on a woman. If she is raped, she must bring witnesses. In other cases she’s charged with adultery, no matter that she couldn’t resist in one way or another. It’s always the woman’s fault.
But even here, we see the onus put onto the victim for the crime. As my first paragraph indicates, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a burka or a mini skirt, somebody will decide that you are a) nothing but the possession of a man, b) dressing to bring about a violent act upon your person and/or c) having to cover up because men cannot control themselves. If these atatements were true, then in fact it would show that men are more like animals than women and really, if that’s the case it’s obvious who should be running the world. But I want to point out that not all men are rapists and should never be considered so.
Yet, any man who is a rapist, is responsible for his acts. Not his mother, not his teacher, not his father, not the woman he rapes. Especially not the woman (or man) that he rapes. They are victims. It doesn’t matter if they’re naked or in a parka. If they say no, it’s no. In our western culture our ads and our lifestyle pumps up sexuality all the time. It’s pretty much the norm but it shouldn’t condone rape. And ads, like the Dolce & Gabbana piece that I mentioned in the earlier blog, are more than offensive. They’re criminal because they try to say that rape is sexy. And there are computer games where one can rape animated characters over and over again. Sure, a real person isn’t being hurt but there is no justification (as there is in shooter games where you might be shooting aliens or the enemy) that justifies such reprehensible acts.
This following site is by someone studying trends of crime against women and has some good information. How to Justify Rape No one should ever make rape acceptable or feel responsible if they’re raped. If you were specifically searching about rape, please take a moment to fill out the anonymous poll.