Rape. The image that comes to mind when I hear that word is a tall, strong, white male jumping out of the alley on a dark night dragging a small female back into the dark.
The truth is that this rarely ever happens. 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Every two minutes, someone in the United States of America experiences sexual assault. Over 600 women are raped or otherwise sexually assaulted every day.
This leads smoothly into a discussion of victim blaming. Have you ever heard someone say “she was asking for it”? The definition of victim blaming is holding the victim accountable for a crime that was committed against them. We live in a society where women are being educated on how to avoid rape or how to deal with what happens if they are raped rather than educating men on how to not rape. I’m not saying that the women are the only victims of sexual assault, but 90% of the the time that is the case.
Why is rape such a big phenomenon in our culture? Rape is most of the time not about sex, but about power. Our society promotes the idea of men being aggressive and makes the idea of consent so unappealing that it’s no wonder why the idea of rape has been planted in people’s heads. However, it is NEVER the victim’s fault. If he/she had been asking for it then that is not rape because the definition of rape is nonconsensual penetration. Key word NONCONSENSUAL. A person should be able to walk down the street naked without worrying that they are going to be taken advantage of. I also have heard the excuse that guys can’t control themselves, which infuriates me because that is not true and is offensive to males. Males are not incapable of having control and no matter what there is no excuse for rape.
Rape is rape. Stop blaming the victim, start changing the system, and teach that consent is not only good, it is required.
–Alethea Tyler, PBJ Campus Organizer
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