A quest to make sense of it all. Or a sense to make a quest of it all.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hold on, I'm angry again.

Women who don't want to be raped shouldn't dress provocatively.

At least, according to this asshat cop in Toronto.

Women get sexually assaulted under a lot of circumstances. A rapist can be a "normal" guy, taking advantage of a very drunk friend (and just because she doesn't scream "no" and fight you with her fists does not make it consensual, buddy. You can go ahead and write off a semiconscious woman as off-limits, mmmkay?). He can be the guy in the Lifetime movie, the serial rapist lurking around the corner, having no acquaintance with his victim. He can be your husband. He can be anyone. The varieties are endless, and it's pointless to try to list them here. Perhaps even harmful, because cataloguing the types sort of makes them caricatures, and that makes it easier to forget their very real threat. It doesn't matter what kind of rapist he is, because there remains one constant: he has a damaged chip in his processor that cripples his ability to regard his victims as fellow human beings, deserving of rights and space and privacy. Whether he's motivated by lust, power, humiliation, straight up insanity, whatever. The constant is that damaged chip.

And it has jack to do with whether or not you're wearing a short skirt.

This backwards way of thinking makes me so angry, so hurt, so frustrated. It's flawed and screwed up on so many levels. It doesn't just bring back the archaic, sexist and dangerous "she was asking for it" mentality, though that's enough to piss off anyone with half a brain. What else does it do? Say it with me: It takes the responsibility off men and places it on women. It asserts that a man is just a big dumb animal, and that if he's provoked, he just can't help it and gosh darn it, lookit what happened. She shouldn't have worn such a low cut top. She shouldn't have danced like that. She shouldn't have drank. She shouldn't have flirted. She shouldn't have exhibited any hint of sexuality in any possible way. She shouldn't have gone out. She shouldn't have gone out on Thursday. Because, after all, he's just a man and is thus in no way accountable for his own actions, his desires, or his reactions to those desires, regardless of what motivates them.

Yeah, I'm not buying it. It's sexism, any way you frame it. It's sexist against women to make them responsible for their own victimization, and it's sexist against men to let them slide on the rationalization that because they own testicles, there's an invisible and subjective point of provocation after which it's permissible to dismiss his self-control.

The fact that this asshattish thinking is in the minority doesn't make me feel much better. There are still way too many people who feel the same, as the comments on this article show. This particular worm of sexism is unfortunately deeply embedded in our culture, and it's going to be awhile before we root it out and kill it.

1 comment:

Foz the Hook said...

No need to go to Canada to find ass hats. We have folks in DC now trying to redefine rape against the victims.