Rapists are usually the very clear choice as to the person to blame in rape cases. If this is a common thing then why is it said that often times it is the girls fault. If she wasn’t at the party, if she didn’t drink so much, if her clothes weren’t so revealing and if she would have just been smarter than nothing would have happened to her. These are many time peoples responses when talking about rape cases along with “she was asking for it,” and “she was flirting the whole night.”
It has been somehow thought to be that raping is “okay” just because it’s somehow “natural” for a man to have the desire to rape someone. In no way is having a desire to rape natural for anyone, male or female. Rape culture has also made a habit out of “victim shaming” or “slut shaming” victims of rape, just because they wore “provocative” clothing at the time they were raped. But who determines what a woman wears as provocative and not provocative? Why is wearing a short skirt considered provocative while jeans and a hoodie isn’t? (BBC News) Rape culture has made it okay for society to look past rape victims and we leave those victims alone with the physical and mental damage they recieved from being raped. But somehow it is “their fault” they got raped. Rape is never a victim 's fault, the only person to blame for rape are the rapists. We need to put an end to rape culture if not, more and more people will deem rape as being okay.
Nowadays, there are pills slipped into drinks, skipping all of the brutality and allowing the attacker to walk away, but above all of the pills and physical violence, there lies another story that is more commonly heard of today: rape through blame and excuses. What this means is that, more often than not, women wake up from a night of alcohol consumption, drug abuse, or from a situation where they were not strong enough to say 'No,' and they cry rape ('Blaming the Victim of Acquaintance Rape: Individual, Situational, and Sociocultural Factors' 2019). It is because of the definition of 'rape' that women who are actually attacked are finding it harder and harder to present a case for themselves. Claims of rape and sexual assault are on the rise, and most of these cases are false claims. (Belknap, 2010).
Many of these mock rape cases occur when a woman is not strong enough to say 'No' and understand that her consumption of alcohol and drugs may impair her ability to act wisely. In these cases, the woman has not been raped. Of course, this does not give a man the right to take advantage of a woman when her judgment has been impaired, simply because it may not be defined as a rape case. However, the fact remains that a woman who puts herself in a vulnerable position should bear some of the responsibility for a sexual assault, both in preventing it and stopping it.
Rape occurs when one partner's words and demands go unanswered by the other. When a woman says 'No' in a clear and strong voice, she means 'No,' there is no other way to define it. The sooner women learn how to use this word, the sooner they can save themselves and their male 'attackers' a great deal of grief. Along with this goes the understanding that women should not put themselves in a vulnerable position where they can be taken advantage of. If a woman impairs herself by drinking alcohol or using drugs, and then consents to be alone with a man in a dark room, what exactly does she expect?
Rape culture: “a culture in which sexual violence is considered the norm, in which people arent taught not to rape but they are taught not to be raped” (buzzfeed.com). In today’s society, rape has been occurring more and more. This is largely because rape culture is a “thing”. Today, we are teaching people to prevent themselves from getting raped instead of teaching them not to rape. Rape culture has made a habit of blaming rape victims rather than rapists, why is that? Why should victims of rape be held responsible for being raped? We shouldn’t have to adjust ourselves in order to not be “asking for it”. We also shouldn’t have the responsibility to prevent ourselves from being raped. Why should we have to make sure we don’t get raped while walking down the street? It’s because rape culture has made it okay for us to be held responsible for being raped. Rape culture is something we could all live without but too many people justify rape as being “okay”. It’s not.
It seems like today we are are teaching people to prevent themselves from getting raped instead of teaching people to not rape others. Take Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez for example, upon winning Miss USA she was asked about sexual assault on college campuses. She replied with suggesting that women should get training to learn how to defend themselves. This sparked a nationwide outrage shortly afterward. Half the people posting on social media sided with Sanchez while the other half completely targeted her and saw her as “wrong”. Half of Twitter commented that instead of women having the responsibility of protecting themselves from rape, men should just “not rape”. Meanwhile, the other half of Twitter responded saying that it isn’t wrong to be able to defend yourself. (Marcotte 2014). Yes, it shouldn’t be a woman’s responsibility to be able to fully defend herself in situations like that but also men should be taught how to not act in situations like that.
- Gaitskill, Mary. 1998. 'On Not Being a Victim: Sex, Rape, and the Trouble with Following Rules.' In: Gilbert Muller (ed.). Here and Now : Current Readings for Writers. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., p. 167-180.
- Broderick, Ryan. “What Is Rape Culture?” BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed News, 31 July 2018, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/what-is-rape-culture.
- “Victim Blaming: Is It a Woman's Responsibility to Stay Safe?” BBC News, BBC, 10 Oct. 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-45809169.
- Gravelin, Claire R. Biernat, Monica. Bucher, Caroline E. “Blaming the Victim of Acquaintance Rape: Individual, Situational, and Sociocultural Factors.” Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers Media S.A., 21 Jan. 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348335/.
- Belknap, Joanne. “Rape: Too Hard to Report and Too Easy to Discredit Victims.” Violence Against Women, vol. 16, no. 12, 2010, pp. 1335–1344., doi:10.1177/1077801210387749.
- Marcotte, Amanda. “Sorry, Miss USA. A Black Belt in Taekwondo Is Not the Solution to Campus Rape.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 9 June 2014, https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/06/miss-usa-on-campus-sexual-assault-nia-sanchez-a-black-belt-in-taekwondo-wants-women-to-defend-themselves.html.