You Asked For It

askingI am so glad I don’t need to worry about being a feminist any more.I mean, when us girls have heroes like Kevin Mack, the inspirational civic leader of Albury, Victoria, on our side, what’s the point? Following the sexual assault of a 17-year old on her way home from work at 6.20pm last Tuesday, he was so right when he stated … “I always have encouraged women not to walk alone, to have someone with them at all times, because that in itself is an invitation for someone to take advantage of you,” he said.K-mack is so right. Every time I leave my house, I am mystically transformed into a temptress whose seductive powers cannot but be taken advantage of. This is why I can never walk out my front door unless accompanied by a big strong man to protect me.

SERIOUSLY?

A study released in February 2014 in the Lancet medical journal says 16.4 per cent of women 15 years old or older in Australia and New Zealand have been the victim of sexual assault by someone who wasn’t their partner  (i.e. other family members, friends, strangers). This compares to the global average of 7.2 per cent.

When the fabulously “just so wrong its right” comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted her “Ten Rape Prevention Tips” in March, naturally lots of people, mainly men, accused her of being a “man hater” and seemed to think that she was claiming that all men were potential rapists.

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.

4. If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is not to rape her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.

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

8. Use the buddy system! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you at all times.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you.

10. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When you are asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign you do not plan to rape her.

She was, in fact, highlighting the common double standard in how rape is treated in the world. It is in essence a reversal of the type of “how to avoid rape” tips given to women, with the onus placed upon the potential victim, not the prospective offender. We will never reduce sexual violence if perpetrators are allowed to hide behind language that implicitly or explicitly blames victims. The simple fact underlined by the list Silverman tweeted is that rape is a choice – one that the rapist makes.

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3 responses to “You Asked For It

  1. Spot on. I am so very tired of being told “text me when you get home”,
    “Better get a taxi”, “i wouldn’t take public transport”. Why the actual f**k do women/girls/children have to live in fear of sexual assault? Why isn’t the message “men, stop raping, attacking assaulting women. Stop treating us as objects, stop intimidating, dominating and taking what is not yours. Just stop it.”

  2. I wrote to Kevin Mack on Friday. I suggest others do the same. It is time that we stood up to this chauvinistic bullshit. So over women being blamed for crimes perpetrated against them. The men we love and respect need to speak up too. These men have a responsibility to challenge the crap that comes out of the mouths of some of their male peers.
    Leanne

  3. This is true and of course most of the services in the sector are for women and children who have been victims of abuse rather than more services to support men to work on their anger management or other issues they may have – and also working with the men after abuse has happened to ensure it doesn’t happen again! It seems the women have to work on themselves but the men don’t! Crazy

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