“There’s not much you can do in terms of prevention- some of it is common sense, things that ideally you should learn before coming to college. Don’t travel alone at night, call dispatch to motor you if you need to, use the buddy system, carry mace…I guess there could be reminders of these things, if that could be counted as prevention”
“A rape is always the rapist’s fault, of course, but I do believe women have to be educated as to what could prevent them from being raped- namely putting themselves in an unsafe situation- that’s for protection from strangers. In the cases of people you know, though, that’s where it gets hard- women can be teases, they can lie and pretend to want something and then cry rape when they get it or for revenge/satisfaction. If a man is with a woman who gives the impression that she wants what he’s doing, either by actively participating (not saying no*) or acting in a way that will encourage sexual activity, then I don’t think it’s right for him to be accused of rape, but it gets tough too, because it’s her word against his, and, more often than not, the woman’s word will be taken. I think men can be taken advantage of that way. HOWEVER, you’re right to say that when women are violated and don’t speak out, that IS sick, and I believe something should be in place, more readily, on campus, for women to feel safe reporting it.
*this, of course, does not apply to rape at gunpoint or in fear of your life (or something of the like)”
Ahem. Alright. These are real live comments by someone from my school on my Facebook page. She is a wonderful person, very passionate and very smart. My replies were extremely lengthy and will probably seem redundant after everything that is already on my page so I’ll spare you. The point is, I really just want people to realize that if you are saying, “women can be teases”, “it’s not right for women to encourage sexual activity then cry rape”, stop. Because you obviously do not believe that rape is caused by rapists. I don’t care if a woman has a guy’s cock halfway down her throat, if she then does not wish to continue, you don’t. The thing people have to understand is there is no “but” after sexual assault.
And if you think prevention is telling women not to put themselves in danger, who the fuck are you kidding? You are preaching to the choir. Women have been taught their entire damn lives to be vigilant and terrified of all possible dangerous situations. We don’t need lessons. It’s not the way we were made, it’s not biological for women to be timid and anxious, it is evolution, because we have had to live in fear in order to survive. And that thought should make you cry, that it is that way. And it should make you want to do something about it.
So here’s the deal. I go to a Christian college. Sex is rarely, if ever, talked about in a positive light. Before attending school we had to sign a covenant, part of which was an agreement not to engage in premarital sex. It’s a sin there; in some people’s minds, the worst sin. What I want to do is raise awareness and spark change during my last year. I want people to know that when we talk about rape we should talk about rapists. And that it does not matter if a woman is a prostitute, completely naked, walking down the street at 4am alone, and shitfaced - she was not asking for it, she did not deserve it, and her sexual history or preferences have no bearing on justice, and what is right.
My question is this: I’m not naive enough to think I can remove the negative views of sex in one year. How do I approach the issue of rape and victim-blaming without being too offensive towards previously existing condemnation of sex in general?