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.