It all seems so common sense, and yet ... the absence of the saying that the boys brought this on themselves belies the truthful undercurrent of perception of who is wronged when a rape occurs. It ties into who is responsible for a rape. More common sense would say "the rapist", but if that were true we wouldn't be blogging on this subject today as a "special day". We wouldn't still be quizzing the victims as to what they were wearing, what did they say (well, did you say no? did you say it loud enough for him to hear?), did they lead him on, why were they walking there, how much did they drink, why weren't they with friends. As if ..... as if you get raped by RandomGuy™ because of trivial things. As if all men are rapists if given the chance. As if it is not true that you only get raped when you are in the presence of a rapist.
This clearly needs to be restated:
You only get raped when in the presence of a rapist.
How much you drank along with the dark alley/short skirt/lead him on myths are there to keep rape culture alive. These myths make it easier on the patriarchal system that runs the streets, the courts, the businesses, and the relationships. It is a loathing toward self-examination and a refusal to action. It deflects critical thinking and denies self responsibility. We need to start breaking down these myths that require the victim to be the blame and the perps incapable of self control.
Through my decades on this earth I've been drunk around bunches of people. I've worn short skirts, I've said sexually suggestive things in jest, I've walked the streets at night from here to there. And guess what? All the people around me didn't rape me. I was doing all the things society said meant, "Rape me now!" and yet there I was not raped. I wasn't raped at those times because I was not in the presence of a rapist.
(Funnily enough when the sexual abuse and rapes happened, none of them were strangers, I wasn't drunk, or dressed in the warned-against ways.)
Really, I swear to you - the only single defining common denominator in rape is that it occurs when in the presence of a rapist. Period. All the rest is smoke and mirrors to keep the status quo, to make excuses for the perps, to keep non-rapists entrapped in a belief that they cannot control their urges, and to blame the victims. Let's work to stop this. Let's agree that every time someone brings up one of the myths we commit to raising our voice and clearly stating, "None of that matters. You can only be raped when in the presence of a rapist and they do not wear signs. It is only the rapist's fault that this occurred."
Only. The Rapist's. Fault.
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