Sorry I haven’t written anything in ages, I’ve been so busy studying for upcoming exams. I feel very strongly about this, so decided to write something. Hopefully I’ll write something again soon, though it may not be for a while yet.
I hate society. I hate rape culture. Since when did it become ok to blame victims for the crime committed against them? Last week two high school football players from a town called Steubenville in Ohio America, were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party. Neither boy thought they had done anything wrong. One of the perpetrators apologized to the victim’s family, though not for the rape of the girl. “No pictures should have been sent around, let alone ever taken.” This is pretty much him apologizing for getting found out. If he hadn’t of taken the photos, no one would have been any the wiser.
This moves onto more rape culture that I encountered during the week. Picking up a newspaper at work, I saw Bill Roach had some insightful things to say. I only read the headline, “Sex abuse victims bring it on themselves for past life sins,” but that was enough for me.
It seems that whenever a woman is raped or assaulted, she is to blame. Maybe she provoked them by the clothes she was wearing, maybe she was too drunk, maybe she shouldn’t have flirted with them, maybe she shouldn’t have lead them on. This is rape culture. The blame always seems to lie with the victim. It seems it doesn’t matter what the perpetrator has done, if people can find anything, even the tiniest thing, they will try their hardest to blame the victim.
A few days ago a picture was shared onto my Facebook, it was a picture of a woman holding a sign reading; “You raped her because her clothes provoked you? I should break your face because your stupidity provokes me.” A lot of the comments on the picture consisted of victim blaming. That a woman’s skirt was to blame for her rape. The ironic thing I found to be, in the sign there was no mention whatsoever that a raped woman was wearing a skirt, it merely mentioned her clothes. She could have been wearing a burka, yet the people commenting assumed she was wearing a skirt and by that it was her fault.
I cannot even begin to explain how much this angers and saddens me. By blaming victims for their rape on their clothing or their behavior excuses the horrific behavior of these perpetrators. We are letting them get away with it. And what’s even worse, we are telling the younger generation that it is ok to victim blame and rape is excusable.
A couple of days ago I found a brilliant blog on twitter. This is a blog post from a teacher in America. It consisted of her talking to her fifteen-year-old students about rape and the blaming of victims. One quote from a student really caught my eye; “How can she be raped? She wasn’t awake to say no.” Along with the justice for Ched rape apologists; this is something a lot of people believe in. The absence of a no always means yes. Well it doesn’t.
This brilliant teacher spent time talking to her students, explaining that what they had learnt along the way was wrong, that their victim blaming was wrong and in the end she had taught them a valuable life lesson.
I hope we all talk to our kids about rape, because we need to. We can change the rape culture around us, we just all need to work together and speak up. Our silence no longer means yes, it means shut the hell up and go away.