Warning this post contains graphic and mature content do not proceed if you do not wish to read
Let me take a moment to paint a picture for you of a scene that could very easily play out across the country on any college or university campus.
A young woman in her early twenties is walking home alone late one night from school. As she is walking home from school one night a man approaches and offers to make sure she gets home safely. He seems a nice enough person so she accepts the offer.
As they pass by a back alley, without warning he grabs her arm and drags her into the alley. She is thrown the ground and he starts to tear her clothes off exposing her breasts and body. She starts to scream but he promptly covers her mouth with his hand. As he is doing this he takes his pants off with one hand and begins to fondle her breast with the other. She is completely naked now and exposed as he forces his way into her.
While she is being assaulted in such a horrible and horrific manor unable to call for help in any way she thinks to her self “I am so glad I did not learn to defend myself as that would have only served to contribute to this rape culture. That would have made this experience so much worse”
At this same university, the next day another women is walking home alone at night. This same man approached the woman and offers to walk her home to keep her safe. He flatters and flirts with her. She is feeling quite comfortable around this man. As they pass by the back alley, without warning he grabs her arm and forces her into the alley. To his surprise however she abruptly turns on him, grabs his arm and twists it around his back. Using her legs and feet she shoves him to the ground, his shoulder is now dislocated. She immediately takes out her phone and dials 911. He tries to get up but he is subdued once again and in even more pain as she continues to throw him to the ground. She is thinking “I am sure glad I learned how to defend myself. That could have turned out quite badly for me.”
Which one of these 2 scenarios makes the most sense to you?
I know what I am about to say is shocking. Disturbing and even down right sexist. At least according to some radical feminist out there. When the Miss America beauty pageant winner suggest that women should learn to defend themselves against would be assailants and being the sexist man who I am or so I would assume I must be given the response to this woman, I agree with her. Their can be no other explanation other than I am some kind of insensitive jerk perpetuating rape culture for daring to agree or suggest that a woman should be not only prepared but capable of protecting herself. How could anyone be so insensitive. I should focus on telling those mean boys to just leave the girls alone. If someone had just told them then they would not have made those choices to rape those girls.
Below is the clip from Sun News Network here in Canada talking about this.
What kind of world are we living in where you can’t suggest that we take the time to protect ourselves from those who would cause us harm. Why is this sexist in any way. How does this in any way suggest that the offender is not responsible for his actions and that the onus is on women to prevent rape? As a father of 3 Girls I know that their will be men out there who would treat my girls terribly. I know that their would be men out there who would seek to take advantage of them. We won’t get rid of evil and predatory men. They are part of the world we live in. They will not be stopped by saying things like rape is wrong, evil and you should not do it. We will not stop them by threatening jail time and other forms of punishment. This is evident in that crime and sex crime still happens. No amount of law enforcement, no amount of laws, no amount of prison terms or other forms of punishment has stopped these crimes from happening. These crimes will not disappear simply by “teaching boys not to rape”. It won’t happen no matter how much we might wish it to.
Rape culture has not persisted by asking young girls and women to learn how to protect and defend themselves. It has persisted because we have created a culture of victims. A culture where it is wrong and morally objectionable to teach girls how to protect themselves. A culture where telling them to learn from the poor choices others have made is victim blaming. A culture where daring to suggest that if you make good and smart choices you can avoid and prevent becoming a victim. By throwing labels around like “Don’t blame the victim” when anything like that is suggested we are creating a culture that teaches young girls and boys that they should not have to think about the potential consequences as they will not be responsible for the bad things that happen to them, that they are helpless and a victim. There is nothing they could have done. They should be able to go out, get drunk and high on drugs and be intoxicated to the point of not caring who they are having sex with. But because they are high and drunk anything that happens is not their fault and they are victim and there is nothing they could have done about it. At the same time the guy who is high and drunk and just as intoxicated is responsible for your rape because while you could not give consent and clearly was not in the right state of mind, he was perfectly capable of respecting you and could make decisions with a clear head and therefore is 100% responsible for his decision but you the victim are not.
Obviously teaching our young men to respect women is important. Women are God’s grandest and most beautiful creation, but that is not what this post is about. It’s about understanding that no matter how hard you try you cannot rid the world of predators. Teaching young men respect for women is a noble and wonderful ideal and should be highly supported but that does not negate our responsibility to teach young women to protect themselves.
Rape culture cannot be fought from simply one angle of teaching boys not to rape. It must be tackled from all sides. Teach respect for women and teach women to defend and protect themselves. That is what will give them power to end “rape culture”