I have a friend, and I love her dearly, we have known each other for 15 years, and I hope to be her friend for another 15 if not longer. But we have a problem. I can't get past this idea of hers. Many of you are familiar with the cop who said people should not dress like sluts to not get raped and how much utter BS this is. She doesn't get it. She clings to this belief that scandalous people get raped. That people who go for walks alone in dark alleys in NYC get raped. That "you have to be modest because guys think differently than girls and have less control over themselves" (note that this post is mainly about men raping women, and I know that other types of rape happen, and are of equal importance, but I haven't yet broached this subject with her) WHAT!? It just infuriates me, this idea, this notion, this ridiculous belief that you can prevent rape. (Well, maybe if you live in a 10x10 cement room underground in the arctic?!) She has no idea that the "reason" people get raped is very, very, very simple. Luck. Rapists do not look for the girl wearing the sexy top. They don't care. The person who gets raped was the one who was unlucky enough to meet a rapist. The end. What do I do?? I just can't stomach this blatant BS she is spouting. Like, does she know that by saying this, she is actually helping rapists all over the world with their defense?! Does she really not realize how incredibly painful this is for people to hear? I'm not a rape victim, and I still find it just plain offensive. I just don't know how to make her understand that rape is not about wearing a short skirt and drawing "the wrong kind of attention" rape is about a rapist knowingly, full on, taking away someones rights and power over themselves, and then getting away with it.
I certainly understand why this has you so mad.
So, is your friend open to facts and statistics? For instance, if we want to talk about clothing and rape victims, we do have some research on that, research that shows that what most people are wearing when sexually assaulted are pajamas 9and not the sexy kind), or their typical street clothes, like jeans or sweatpants.
When it comes to the where of rape, we also have a ton of data to back up that most rapes don't happen in dark alleys, but at home, and not with strangers, but with people known to victims.
Have you shared facts like that with her and if so, how has she responded to them?
Alternately, have you tried getting to the core of where she's at? A lot of people cling to ideas like these because the alternative makes them feel much less safe. In other words, if and when someone could keep from being assaulted just by dressing a certain way, that makes them feel like they have a lot more control then they actually do in reality.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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The rape trope that men can just "lose control" if someone bares enough skin at them has always struck me as so bizarre. If people who believed this trope really thought about it deeply, why would they hand around men at all? Even if they are nice at the moment, it paints guys as though an accidental flash of too much cleavage can suddenly turn them all into wild animals. Anyone who has met more than a handful of guys should know that, like folks of all genders, they are not a monolithic group in terms of sexual behavior, and that they are most certainly capable of exercising rational thought and self-control. Rape tropes are demeaning to all genders - they paint women as dangerous whirling pools of sexuality that have to be covered up to be safe and men as cro-magnon beasts incapable of controlling their own bodies. I guess my advice on this front would be to ask her if she really, REALLY thinks guys have such radically different, less controllable minds and bodies than women, what evidence she has of that, and if she truly believes it, why would she ever want to be around men, since they're all apparently rape time bombs waiting for something to light their fuse?
You could also do a Google Image search for Slutwalk - I've seen a lot of photography from those protest marches, and many people carried signs describing the outfits they were wearing when they were raped, or even wearing those same outfits. That would provide pretty nice evidence of the total lack of correlation between skimpy clothes and rape.
Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012
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