If we’re going to protect women, let’s do it properly.

Posted in missing the point, rape, rape culture on June 2nd, 2011 by steph – 2 Comments

The topic of who’s to blame for rape is red-hot right now in the wake of comments by Paul Quinn and discussions about Slutwalk. And I’ve been thinking a lot about rape culture and victim-blaming. In light of these serious discussions about the role of clothing in rape and how it’s not a woman’s fault for being raped but she could’ve been more careful or something, the idea of ‘slutty’ clothing comes up often. And oh so helpful people have explained to me that slutty clothing makes you an easy target and let’s people know certain things about you that they might just have to act on. Short skirts are not as innocent as they appear. And I figure that if provocative clothing is really so dangerous, and so culpable in the act of rape as people keep saying, why is slutty clothing even allowed to exist? If an outfit is “designed to turn men on” (13th comment in the comments section), and it is so dangerous for women to wear such outfits and send these siren song messages of whoreishness, and these things are actual factual real risk-elevators for the act of rape, then why are we not just trying to outright ban them? I mean, we as a society obviously care about our women- after all, we’re just trying to protect them by telling them what clothing is “safe” and what is rape-lust-inducing, so we obviously care about the safety of women! But if we know these types of clothing to be so key in rape and have such power to drive the urges of rapists, then why aren’t we going that extra step further to protect women and calling for slutty clothing to be banned full-stop? I mean, it’s not like women need to wear miniskirts, right? And bad things happen when women do wear miniskirts. So why don’t we get rid of these horrible rape-facilitating items? Don’t we care about protecting women???  If something like a short skirt has potential to incite such an awful sexual crime, then it isn’t enough to say “don’t wear that to the club while you’re drunk”- after all, that isn’t the only place you could wear a short skirt. We need to stop focusing on women who dress like whores when they’re out on a Friday night- the power of the short skirt is obviously somehow inherant in the skirt itself and thus can be wielded in any location or at any time. I’m wearing a skirt right now, at work, and the hemline hits me mid-thigh. I shouldn’t be allowed to wear something to work that has the power to provoke rape! Why isn’t anyone stopping me? Do you people who say “she isn’t to blame, but is wearing that kind of outfit really wise..?” only care about those sluts in bars?

The only solution: total miniskirt ban. And probably a ban on v-neck tops just to be on the safe side. I mean, maybe we could make an allowance for a woman who wants to wear a short skirt for the purpose of titiallating her husband in her own home in the context of maritial relations- as long as the curtains are closed so no rapists can see it and be compelled to rape her. Seriously; all you people out there who are trying to help us ladies by letting us know that what we wear out on the town could be a bad choice: why don’t you care? Why are you half-assing this campaign to stop rape? Are your cries of “but I’m only trying to  keep you safe!” not actually true? If you were really trying to keep us safe you would  ban the demon miniskirts from ever touching the legs of another woman again, and we would all be safe from rape, hooray!


Men are not wild beasts

Posted in doin' it wrong, rape, rape culture on May 27th, 2011 by steph – 3 Comments

All this talk of ladies in short skirts driving men wild, and what do women think a man thinks about when he sees a woman’s cleavage? has made me realize something: collectively, we view men as uncontrollable, untamed animals, incapable of higher-level thought processes and incapable of stopping themselves from making sexual advances when they see a miniskirt. Men are Pavlov’s dogs: miniskirts = sex, and they’ll get some by whatever means necessary. Because sure, woman aren’t to blame if they were wearing a short skirt or drinking or out late at night, but what did they really expect to happen wearing an outfit designed to turn men on? Obviously it will turn a man on, 100% guaranteed, and he will now have to have sex with her or he will die or his dick will explode or something. Target acquired, mission set, autopilot on, failure is not an option. What can we expect ladies- we don’t want to be responsible for a man’s wang exploding, do we?


So to sum up: not the fault of the ladies, but also actually their fault for doing something or wearing something that is 100% guaranteed to program a man on a mission to have intercourse or die trying. Men: cannot control their animal instincts in the face of a halterneck top. Men: must rape every woman who has had more than zero drinks. Men: unstoppable machines programmed for sex, and a “vulnerable” woman out on the streets at 3am is their trigger. It’s funny how all these dudez who perpetuate this myth of the magical sex-inducing miniskirt  don’t actually realize that this view – the one they so strongly believe and espouse – is actually a more man-hating worldview than any man-hating they have ever accused any feminist of. These men have such a rock-bottom expectation of men; they think men are so weak and uncontrollable that they can’t not have sex with someone in a short skirt: the short skirt is a sign of being up for it, and even though she says no the power of the miniskirt is still so strong that a man couldn’t control himself and make a choice. His animal urges override any rational thinking he is normally capable of and he must have sex NOW. Basically people who hold this view seem to have such rock-bottom expectations of men that it takes my breath away. Guess what, jerks? I actually believe most men to be good and rational, and have too much respect for them to buy into the myth that their behaviour is completely under the control of the up-for-it miniskirt. You can continue to collectively insult every man on the planet, and I will continue to hold men to the same standards I do everyone else. So who’s the man-hater here?


And if you still want to believe that women “aren’t to blame, BUT…” and that men are driven solely by their sex-lust and skirt-lust, then here are some tips you should be passing on to all your male friends to help them stop being led around by their dicks and sometimes raping someone along the way. I think we should pay special attention to tip 7- if guys can’t stop themselves at the sight of a short skirt, maybe we need to have a rape-prevention buddy with them at all times.


Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1.   Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2.   When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3.   If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4.   NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5.   If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6.   Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7.   USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8.   Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9.   Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

(tips via No, Not You)



And some more tips here, if you are really having trouble not raping somebody.


Blame the rapists

Posted in rape, rape culture, Uncategorized on May 26th, 2011 by steph – 4 Comments

Now that Slutwalk Aotearoa is drawing near, there has been a fair bit of discussion going on about it and the issues it aims to address, including coverage on Backbenches where Paul Quinn failed big-time totally misheard the question, you guys. And apparently people still haven’t gotten the memo that rapists are actually to blame for rape, not drunk women, or being out at 1am or 3am or 6am, and or short skirts. Funny that, because it seems like it would be fairly easy to comprehend. I feel like reiterating the point: rapists are to blame for rape, nothing else.

Not a rapist, as far as I know.

Mini-skirts don’t rape people; rapists do. So please stop talking about them in the context of rape.


Also not a rapist.

Alcohol doesn’t rape people; rapists do.


This deserted alleyway has never raped anyone.

Dark streets at night don’t rape people; rapists do.

If that’s still to difficult to accept, think about this: take all those things – a short skirt, alcohol, a poorly-lit street late at night- and add them together. Drunken woman+miniskirt+alleyway =/= rape. You might think that sounds like the perfect equation for rape, but you’d be wrong because there’s one crucial element missing: A RAPIST. Without a rapist in the equation – this equation or any equation- there wont be a rape. It seems like such a simple idea to grasp, and yet we’re still swimming against the tide of a victim-blaming rape culture, desperately trying to get people to understand.


*if at least one person isn’t thinking about Goldie Lookin Chain after this post, I have failed miserably

The hard fight

Posted in rape, rape culture on March 10th, 2011 by steph – 4 Comments

I spent too much time this morning trying to convince a (female) “friend” on Facebook that her statement that

No woman asks to be raped, but behaving like a slutty cock tease in skimpy clothes and dating a psyco isnt exactly the smartest idea.

is actually not ok. And it’s not right.  And actually, what really isn’t the smartest idea is being a big, shameless rape apologist who thinks those stupid, slutty teases should’ve known better.

With the aid of Blue Milk’s exception piece, “Don’t Get Raped”, I tried to explain that rapes don’t only happen to women who wear miniskirts and date “bad” guys.  This escalated into pointlessness of the “but women rape men too!”, “maybe the rapists were abused as children!” and  “how easy is it for a women to go to court these days and accuse any man of rape because she is a psyco and wants revenge?” (direct quote) variety. After I mentioned the fact that the rates of false reports of rape are around about the same as false reports of other crimes, she veered wildly off-topic into asking people to discuss the “psyco” women they knew, and did anyone know a “psyco woman”? Oh, and I did I mention that apparently if you’re with a man who hits you that you have options and you either leave of stick around for another bash? I had no idea it was so simple.

And after that, I was exhausted. Tired from how hard I was trying to convince someone that if anyone is victimized by a rapist- a criminal!- that the blame lies squarely with the person who committed the crime, period. Tired of fighting for myself and my right not to be blamed should anything happen to me, and tired of essentially trying to tell her that if some scumbag should ever victimize her that she didn’t ask for it and it wouldn’t be her fault. I shouldn’t have to fight someone so hard to convince them of something that is beneficial to them (unlike their current belief, which would be detrimental to them should they ever be a victim). I shouldn’t have to tell someone that domestic abuse- which may one day affect them- isn’t as black and white as “leave or stick around for more”, and that abusers often try to create a situation where you have nowhere to go or are scared the abuser will hurt your family, and so you stay.

I am so, so tired of fighting this fight. I shouldn’t even be fighting this fight at all- none of us should be. This shouldn’t even be happening; it should be a given that the victim isn’t to blame for the crime committed by the criminal.

And even more draining is knowing that I can’t get through to this woman, and she’ll continue on in life believing what she does and perpetuating her harmful beliefs to other people.  Maybe one of her Facebook friends saw that status about how slutty cock teases should’ve known better (and thus should’ve know tjheir behaviour would have led to rape) and will feel like shit and blame themself for what happened to them. This is the nature of rape apologia: it hurts people.

I hope that one day all this fighting makes things better, and we don’t have to fight this fight anymore.

Rape in Congo

Posted in rape on August 25th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Rape in Congo

Yeah, when I think about sexual violence on a mass scale, the phrase “several women” is exactly the way I conceptualize it too. Last time I checked, “several” isn’t typically used to refer to a three-digit number.

Rape as a weapon of war is absolutely horrifying. And it seems like such an insurmountable thing, so big and terrible that it is easy to feel helpless.