To posit a woman’s behavior as a means for stopping rape is a slap in the face of all the women who followed all the rules and still got raped; the women who were in sweats and messy ponytails, the women who avoided dark alleys and never talked to strangers, the women who were sure to avoid certain streets because of the kind of company they keep, even if it meant a longer walk home. Life isn’t a live-action “Law & Order” episode, where women get bopped on the head and dragged into dark alleys or kidnapped and held for grillion dollar ransoms. Rape is habitually committed by people that women know, trust and feel safe and secure with. Of female rape or sexual assault victims in 2009, 21 percent were assaulted by a stranger. Thirty-nine percent of offenders were friends or acquaintances of their victims, and 41 percent were intimate partners. So much for being cautious, huh?
What I’d like to know: why does the VSB author seem to think that women aren’t taught these things? Why does he think we’re not exercising common sense? Of COURSE we’re cautioned on how to act and how not to act (Don’t dress like a whore! Don’t act like a slut! Don’t be a tease! Don’t get drunk!). In excess. That’s why the vast majority of women feel guilt and shame after being raped (“I should have known better, I should have been smarter, I shouldn’t have flirted with him…”). We’re constantly told and reminded how to conduct ourselves, and guess what? Rapists are still raping. In excess.
Nobody is fighting against being told to be careful. We’re asserting that more often than not, we ARE careful, and we’re constantly educated about it, and rape still happens, everywhere, all the time.