Rape and Personal Responsibility
PREFACE: I hope this topic is not to racey or taboo for the forum (there are discussion on drug use, so I felt it would be okay, but I suppose I am not 100% certain). If it is, I apologize and welcome a moderator to close/delete the topic as needed.
Okay, with that out of the way, I'm going to discuss something that has been on my mind.
My sister-in-law recently Shared an image on Facebook. Here it is:
This reminded me of an advertisement I remembered from a little over a year ago. Here THAT is:
The ad in the latter image caused a great deal of controversy and ended up being removed from everywhere it was posted because it was deemed "offensive". The former image is a completely acceptable sign held by a girl at an event called a "Slutwalk".
Before I get into dangerous territory, I am going to open with some transparency:
I feel that, in both of those images, the unseen rapist is abhorrent. Rape is a crime, period. If someone commits rape, they should be tried, convicted, and imprisoned. If a girl is too drunk to consent or, worse yet, has drunk herself unconscious, that is NOT consent. And frankly, anyone who disagrees strikes me as a frighteningly sociopathic individual. Rape is rape, and rape is a crime. There is no excusing a rapist for committing such a terrible, tragic crime on anyone. If someone CAN'T say no that does not, nor should it ever, be implied as a yes.
The current culture seems to be moving towards a sense of no personal responsibility. The first image I posted is a girl who states she had more to drink than she could handle, flirted with someone, and had a crime perpetrated against her. She does his amidst throngs of other young women who support her bravery. The second image was removed after a public outcry bemoaned it as offensive and "blaming the victim". There is a removal here of personal responsibility. Do young women who go to parties and drink or do drugs deserve to be raped? Of course not; no one in their right mind would argue that they do. But if you willingly put yourself in a dangerous situation, and you do so while intentionally imbibing substances that impair both your ability to make decisions and resist harm, you have to accept some responsibility for your actions.
I feel like I can't stress this enough: I am not saying that the rapist should be absolved of his actions. I'm not saying that he is not still a criminal who should be tried for a felony crime. I'm not saying the girl "deserved it" or "asked for it". I guess what I'm saying is: if every day you leave your house, you leave your windows and doors wide open and then come home and find someone robbed you, I don't pity you. And I don't think their should be marches arguing for your right to do the stupid thing that led to the crime committed against you. And I certainly don't think that if society tells you "Well here's what you could have done to prevent that from happening", that society is being offensive or insensitive.
My wife and I had this discussion--and I feel the need to preface this with the statement that my wife is very much a feminist; she voted in the elections in 2012 for the first time in almost a decade because she bought into the Republican War On Women narrative, and she was very vocal about women's rights issues--and she told me about a class she had back in college. Her professor told a parable about a princess whose father never let her go outside. He refused to even let her look outside. He kept her locked up in his castle and warned her that if she went outside, the marauders would rape and kill her. After the king passed away, the princess finally had a chance to do what she wanted, so she left the castle. And was promptly raped and murdered by marauders. In this situation, who is at fault? My wife told me she was the ONLY one in her class who said the princess was at least partially to blame. She was told about the dangers over and over and knew what could happen to her, but she chose to ignore those warnings and do what she wanted, instead.
Now, I'm not supporting a police state: I don't want the government to tell us what we can or can't do "for our own safety". Not at all. But a simple public service announcement that says "Don't put yourself in a position where bad things can happen to you because bad things might happen to you"... I don't see that as offensive or insulting whatsoever. And if you know what perils could await you if you put yourself in a situation where things could get out of control and then perils happen to you, I don't pity you. And this whole movement where not only do you get pity, but become a hero of sorts? That's bewildering to me. "Yeah, girl! I SHOULD be able to walk into a frat house with a bunch of guys I don't know and lose all control over myself without any repercussions! Go you!" Well, yes... you SHOULD be able to, but that's not the world we live in. I reference back to my example about leaving your doors wide open at home all day. It'd be great if I could do that, but I can't, and I'm not stupid enough to ignore what I know could happen just so I could do it.
If you go out into a crowded, loud situation where you don't know or trust everyone there, and then you drink or smoke yourself stupid or whatever, and someone assaults you... I don't know, I just think you could have avoided that by taking a little bit of responsibility for your own actions and took steps to protect yourself. You're a victim, yes, but you're not a martyr or a hero. You're someone who chose to ignore common sense safety precautions for the sake of having a good time. And there has to be some level of personal responsibility for your own actions and decisions.
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