How to Aid a Rapist

(I meant to make my next post about something lighter, I really did.  There are just too many idiots out there to correct.  And of course I, and I alone, have all the answers.  🙂 )

The internet is a great thing.  If I have a question all I have to do is google it.  I don’t have a television but I can still keep up to date with what’s going on in the world through the net.  It has allowed easy access to knowledge for the masses.  Whether or not the information is correct is a different story.  Which brings me to my point.

Turns out everyone has an opinion.  While we’ve always known this, the internet is able to give anyone and everyone a space to voice their opinions.  All kinds of trolls and idiots who used to only bother their friends and families with their opinions are suddenly able to spew ignorance and hate anywhere they please.  The barrier and anonymity of the computer screen also allows for dehumanization.  Not saying that every person who says something mean or spiteful online wouldn’t also do it in person, but they may think twice.  Instead of using all the potential knowledge that is at their finger tips they insist on spreading the ignorance.

Take for example the following commenter and why I am currently so angry that I keep having to pause, and refrain from saying something incredibly stupid and hurtful back.  I have learned not to read through the comments on pieces related to rape, domestic violence, and sexual assault.  They are often hurtful and intended to shame or blame the survivor.  This upsets me more than virtually anything else as it is something that I am well-educated on, have personal experience, and know several survivors.  I do not understand how there are so many misconceptions and so much ignorance around these issues.  So many of the things I hear from people are either archaic notions about a woman’s purity, or myths that have been debunked over and over again.

I was recently reading an article about how many states do not have laws against a rapist seeking parental rights if he impregnates the woman and she decides to have the baby.  This is extremely upsetting to me in and of itself and I naively thought others would be upset as well.  So, I went against my better judgement and scrolled through the comments.  Not only did people not agree with me but the comments turned towards defining what rape is and who can be raped.  That is when I came across this gem.  Pay attention to the second commenter.

Chartreuxe: “It happens: 90% of rapists get away with their crimes because of the 18th century attitudes of society. The victim is held responsible for her rape. Most rapes aren’t reported. I didn’t report mine.”

sc2pilot: “Chartreuxe: If you did not report it, then you were not raped. Failure to report is tantamount to consent. That’s all there is to it.”

Are you kidding me?!  There are so many things wrong with this statement I don’t even know where to begin.  I am so mad right now I can hardly type.  Failure to report does not equal consent.  Not even close.  It is attitudes like this that keep survivors from reporting.  The article mentions a quote from Lord Chief Justice Sir Matthew Hale,  “In a rape case it is the victim, not the defendant, who is on trial.”  The above comment proves his point perfectly.  It becomes more important to define rape and prove that there was a reason for it than supporting the survivor.

No one is responsible for the rape but the rapist.  It is the rapist who decides to rape.  It has nothing to do with the clothes, behavior, or attitude of the survivor/victim.  It does not matter if she was drunk.  It does not matter if she was high.  It does not matter if she went on a blind date.  It does not matter if they were married.  And it does not matter if she doesn’t report it.  Rape is rape.  The only person responsible for someones actions is that person.  I don’t know how to say it any clearer.  Rape is about power and control.  It is not about sex.  The rapist maintains that power and control by making the survivor afraid to report it.  This doesn’t have to be done overtly.  The rapists power over the survivor is aided by the silence and disbelief of other people.  Did you catch that?  By shaming a survivor or blaming her for what happened to her you are taking the side of the rapist.  You are helping the rapist keep the survivor down.  You are helping him to disempower her.  You are helping him to take away her voice.  You are aiding the rapist.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “How to Aid a Rapist

  1. It is so awful how women are basically on trial when they come forward with a rape. The horrifying part is, they are not just on trial in a courtroom, they are on trial and judged by every person they encounter.

    I feel sorry for any victims who have to read comments such as that from sc2pilot.

  2. gimpgirl says:

    I saw this on a friends page and while it is to some degree ‘off topic’ I thought you may appreciate it. Hope it’s not offending in any way !
    ————————————————————————————————

    “Men should be offended when someone claims that women should prevent rape by not wearing certain things or not going certain places or not acting a certain way.

    That line of thinking presumes that you are incapable of control. That you are so base and uncivilized that it takes extraordinary effort for you to walk down the street without raping someone. That you require certain dress code be maintained, that certain behaviors be employed so that maybe today, just maybe, you won’t rape someone.

    IT PRESUMES THAT YOUR NATURAL STATE IS A RAPIST
    ———————————————————————————-

  3. You’re right on with your last point: ” By shaming a survivor or blaming her for what happened to her you are taking the side of the rapist.”

    Yes. Ultimately, shaming rape victims, male or female, is taking the side of the rapist. Those people are PRO-rape.

  4. emmawolf says:

    Criminal law as explained by sc2pilot:

    It’s not murder if you don’t find the body. Failure to be found dead is tantamount to alive. That’s all there is to it.

    It’s not a burglary if you left the door unlocked. Failure to lock a door is tantamount to inviting people in to “borrow” your things. That’s all there is to it.

    It’s not blackmail if the person gives you his money. Giving money money under duress is tantamount to paying for a service. That’s all there is to it.

  5. jessiebolen says:

    Bravo!

  6. I completely agree, the comment you posted and others often justify blaming the survivor for the rape. I think this happens mostly because rape isn’t thought of as something that happens also to men and children. When it’s thought of as something that happens to women, it’s defended because underlying all violence against women is the idea that women should not be able to have control over themselves and their bodies.

    Oh, and it’s also nice that the comments on your blog are not like some of the horrific misogynist ones out there! 🙂 Thank you for the great post!
    -Liza Wolff-Francis, Matrifocal Point

  7. Sara says:

    Yesterday I was accused of seeing sexism and misogyny when it isn’t there because I ask questions like the one you’re posing here. It is because of rape culture, misogyny and gender inequality being so culturally prevalent that I do talk about it so much. It is articles like the one referenced here even needing to be written, people making comments like sc2pilot and thinking it is ok to feel that way, that keeps me talking, thinking, living and breathing feminism. I loved your post and am so glad you wrote it.

  8. […] “ By shaming a survivor or blaming her for what happened to her you are taking the side of the rapist.  You are helping the rapist keep the survivor down.  You are helping him to disempower her.  You are helping him to take away her voice.  You are aiding the rapist.” How to Aid a Rapist – Unladylike Musings […]

  9. Yikes…some interesting laws you have down there in the United States. I volunteer part time for a sexual assault crisis line, and as a policy we *never* recommend any time of preventative actions like altering what you wear or taking self defence classes or whatever. Sexual assault, at it’s core, is about power and victim self-blame starts with crap like, “If only I wasn’t wearing ____ or doing _____”. It’s truly a horrific indicator on our society when one observes the ease in which our system lets survivors of assault accept blame for something they had no control, and then proceeds to re-victimise and marginalize every step of the way to justice.

  10. […] our sisters suffer.  Too many women have been told that they were raped or sexually assaulted because they did something wrong.  This is not okay and it has to […]

  11. […] the amount of victims blaming that goes on when a woman is raped it is absolutely necessary.  I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it.  Rape is not about sex.  It is about power.  The only person responsible for rape is the […]

  12. Annie says:

    Rape is murder of the soul and should be judged as murder. My grandma said that when she told me about her own cruel experiences (I’Ve been the first person she told… inthe age of 78! Poor woman… no one to share her story….her hurt…)
    I know how hard it is to stand up and say: I was raped! HE was the rapist! All too often you end up standing alone, being the hystericall girl/woman whatever….. but sometimes somenone listens and cares. Everyone who decides NOT to listen, NOT to care helps the rapist (or, as my granny says in a very quite voice to me: “is a rapist in mind”)
    Since I’m German, I hope my English is not too bad…. sorry for mistakes.
    Isn’t sad that rape connects women/children/men from all over the world? Shouldn’t we be connected by the joy of life…?
    Greetings,
    Annie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s