As a result of the consistent failure the American Criminal Justice System to protect the those who couldn’t protect themselves, the debate surges on, surrounding what constitutes rape and who is at fault, the victim or the attacker?
Now, personally, I didn’t used to think that rape was something that really needed all that much debating. After all, rape is defined as sexual contact or penetration achieved with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or without consent. By that definition, rape is wrong and rapists are bad. Simple, right?
Apparently not. See for some reason that I just cannot fathom, people seem to think that if I, as a woman, decide to go out– maybe I’m at a party with friends, maybe I’m at a bar alone– and I happen to drink more than I can handle, the rights to my own body suddenly cease to exist. Or maybe I’m in a particularly good mood and I flirt with someone, or I wear an outfit that makes me feel comfortable but someone else identifies as “slutty”. To some people, these choices (all of which affect literally no one but myself) suddenly make me a viable target for anyone feeling particularly rape-y that evening.
Now if you’re like me, this line of reasoning–which I’ve affectionately termed “The Logic of Ignorance”–is completely absurd. But bless their poor ignorant hearts, a good chunk of people actually buy into this nonsense. Because it makes total sense to blame the victim of a violent crime for the violence through which they suffered, right? It must be! Because if it’s not right, then all the blame would fall on the attacker, and is it really their fault that their victim made themselves such an easy target?
To quote one living dumpster fire (who had the nerve to precede this load of crap with an apology akin to saying “I’m not racist, but…):
“[I]f you are a woman who puts yourself in a badly compromised position (like getting drunk at a frat party or doing drugs at a frat party), and you end up getting raped, the blame should not be squarely on the rapist, because you are the one who created the circumstances for that situations […] Sometimes the woman has to accept the consequences of her own actions if those actions are reckless. […] A woman like that has no one to blame but herself and should not expect to be “off-limits” when they render themselves unconscious or incoherent at a party lurking with sexual opportunists. […] They are like a light that attracts bugs, and the bugs will go for it when they see the chance.”
There is so much wrong with this statement that I’m not even sure where to start. But, to be fair, they did get one thing right–the part when they compared any human scum that would prey on another individual while in a vulnerable state to bugs. Although, in all honesty, that might be insulting to bugs.
I could spend days dissecting what this sad, twisted individual had to say about rape and where fault lies. But, truthfully, one sentence struck me more than the rest. Midway through this long rant, riddled with “The Logic of Ignorance”, this appeared:
“[Women] should not expect to be “off-limits” when they render themselves unconscious or incoherent at a party lurking with sexual opportunists”
So you’re saying that, should someone else decide that I’ve made myself ripe for the picking, my body becomes an open playing field? Or that, suddenly, in my drunken and/or promiscuous state, I lose all rights to basic human dignity?
I refuse to accept this. Not for myself. Not for other women. Not for any victim that has ever been told that they were “asking for it”.
I am not a light.
My body is not a beacon.
My drinking too much does not automatically flip some switch that suddenly makes it okay for someone to take advantage of me. My being incoherent does not put me at fault for someone else’s decisions. Neither does wearing a short skirt or low-cut top, walking alone at night, or flirting with someone.
Unless I say otherwise, by body is always “off limits”. My state of sobriety, the clothes I wear, or the presence of another individual has absolutely no affect on my status as a human being! You can slut-shame me, preach about promiscuity, or berate me with bible quotes all you want, but hear this: MY BODY IS MINE ALONE. It is not my father’s, my significant other’s, the president’s, or anyone else’s to govern. And it damn sure is not up to some flaming pile of sewage to decide what happens to it, whether I’m sober or not.
The fact this this has to constantly be repeated for ignorant individuals, like whoever crafted the piece of garbage quoted in this article, is incredibly disturbing. So in case it wasn’t clear or, you know, common sense: Drinking is not a crime. Raping someone is! Violating someone is! And just for the record, rape is not a mistake. It’s a choice.
It is logic like this that has facilitated a society where disgusting people like Brock Turner (and men like him) can walk away from crimes with ample evidence with a slap on the wrist, while his victim is stuck living with the reality of what happened to her and the fact that the criminal justice system couldn’t possibly care less.
So, for the love of all that is good in the world, stop victim blaming! And remember, unless she actually asks for it, she’s not fucking asking for it!
(Originally posted to BrokeandDisorderly.com)