I'm seriously not trying to point fingers, here. Really, honestly. I don't think anybody is doing anything intentionally harmful, malicious or otherwise mean.
But I wonder how it is that you can resolve what you just said with this, AB?
1) Modifying your behaviour has an impact on your risk of being raped
2) If you do not modify your behaviour your risk of being raped has increased
3) You have some responsibility in reducing your risk of being raped
4) If you do not reduce those risks, take those steps, then you have some responsibility in having been raped if it is to occur.
I just can't see how you can go to step three but not see how it leads to step four? (I'm genuinely not trying to be an a4$ehole here. I just don't get it, and I'm really trying to - because I can't see another way that that logic plays out. If you have responsibility in impacting the outcome, if the outcome that you didn't prevent occurs, you were responsible).
I can't think of another situation that this wouldn't hold true?
Tam, do you lock the door to keep the bad guys out? If not, and someone breaks in, are you responsible? I say no, the person who enters is to blame 100% but if you do, do you do it to reduce that risk? Do you then believe people who don't hold some responsibility if the house is entered by someone who is uninvited?
Somebody breaking into your house is not at all like rape. I know I don't need to tell you this, given your experiences ( ), but it's a common comparison and one that really triggers some anger in me. I'm trying to keep that under control at the moment.
If a house is broken into, the police might certainly ask "Were your doors locked" (and if not the police, certainly your insurance company would), but neither they, nor the rest of society would stand about asking "Why on earth did she have her house painted like that?! She was just asking for trouble", or making insinuations like "Well, you know she's given gifts away before, so she probably gave the stuff to them and now just has gift-giver's regret", or saying things like "If she'd only lived in a shabbier part of town/had a vicious guard dog/never left the house (etc) this just never would have happened". or "What was she doing, having so many windows on her house?! It's clearly an enticement to robbers. She clearly wanted to be robbed." She also wouldn't, if she went to court, be asked to prove that she didn't want to be robbed in the first place by a magistrate.
And yet all of these things happen to rape victims (some of which, again, I'm sure I don't have to tell you about - and I'm terribly sorry for that).
And the answer is actually no. I don't lock the doors on my house. But that's because of where I live. And because there is a massive window right next to the front door that could be easily opened or broken if the door was locked. There are windows all over my house. They don't have bars on them and I would hate them to.
But that's me and the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere, where I can hear cars coming a mile off and know all of our neighbours.
I accept that other people's risk assessments are different and I don't criticise that. I accept that everybody does what they need to do to feel safe. But when society at large is imposing it's own risk assessments on women (and only women) and telling them that if they don't do x, y, and z, well then what else can they expect - even though we KNOW x, y, and z not only don't work - but they take the focus off the real problem.
Why are we telling boys and men to modify THEIR behaviour to ensure that they don't rape? Why are our conversations not going "Be sure that you know you have consent before you have sex with a woman", and "A lack of 'no' doesn't mean yes. You need to ask". Why are we focusing SO MUCH on the behaviour of the people who have the least power to prevent rape, and not at all on the behaviour of the people who could stop it altogether?
Aside from that - I notice that you didn't actually answer my question about how it is that you can go all the way to step three but not accept that that by logic means that you are engaged in step 4 in my verbal flow chart...and I am genuinely trying to understand that. Can you please consider having a go at trying to explain it to me? I'm not snarking or looking for holes to pick or trying to be argumentative. I am truly, genuinely at a loss and trying to understand.
To all who has had to live though the nightmare of being raped. I hope the b@st@rds who did it are behind bars for a long time. It happened to my mum by her ex husband and it wasn't until I was older that I fully able to understand this heinous act. She never did anything about it.
I know that when I started uni a forum was held for both men and women about rape, helplines, and obviously clarification of what it is. I think that this needs to be done a lot earlier, perhaps as part of sex education. It saddens me that so many women don't come forward because they may feel ashamed of something they don't need to be ashamed of. This is what needs to be taught as well, not just the facts and helplines, but the fact that it's never the woman's fault and she should never be ashamed of this.
I already said that I cannot make someone follow the law, but I can do what I have control over and that is to make it harder for them to commit a crime against me. I can learn defensive driving to avoid collisions but I cannot prevent them from happening at all. I cannot stop someone from breaking in, but I can make it more difficult. I cannot stop someone from being a ralist but I can try to stop them from raping me. It won't always work. It really won't. But if I make sure we are inside a locked house by nightfall, and stay inside, it will reduce that risk. That does not mean it will *increase* the risk by not doing it.
Robbery and rape are not comparable. I lock my door at home for two main reasons, 1. I have no insurance if the door is unlocked - I am not so stupid as to believe a locked door stops you being robbed - locked doors only keep out honest people and of the two times I have been robbed once they broke a window and the other time they forced the back door - so go figure - the locks didnt stop me being robbed and 2. It stops the kids wandering out the house LOL - well it used to before they learnt how to unlock the door but these days they're old enough to not go wandering.
It's NOT illegal to leave my house unlocked - it IS illegal to rob my house
My problem is the way that the 'experts' keep hammering at people to avoid being raped but there isn't any onus or hammering or education about stopping rapists raping.
In fact I am almost of the belief that the victim blaming that goes along with the advice on how to keep yourself safe seems almost a ticket to rape in the mind of a rapist - I have (more than once) read where a rapist says that the victim deserved it because she was drunk/wearing sexy clothes/got in his car/*pick a reason - almost as if he also knows the rules for girls/women keeping themselves safe/nice and seeing she broke the rules she knew the consequences...
I heard direct from the mouth of a child rapist (in court and on his interview tape and yes a *slightly* different animal than a 'normal' rapist) that the child was asking for *it* as she 'paraded' in front of him in her pj's after he heard her mother tell her to put a dressing gown on. In his mind the child broke the 'rules' and therefore had no-one but herself to blame .
Seeing that so many women know their rapists - then how good are these rules for avoiding strangers? Whereas the application of the rule "DONT RAPE" would stop rape happening and places the onus upon the rapist to stop their actions
Women have been trying to avoid being raped ever since Adam and Eve got chucked out of Eden (or ever since we climbed down out of the trees) - and women trying to avoid being raped has not worked.
Hows about we instead start teaching men to NOT RAPE?
How about we teach our sons about respect for ALL humans - oh and don't rape either
Hows about we DO teach about what constitutes consent and someone who can't say no can't say yes either?
Yes I will probably tell my daughter to consider her safety when out and about and at home too JUST AS MUCH as I will teach my son to consider HIS safety when out and about and at home and also teach BOTH kids to respect other people and BTW don't rape.
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