Rape: What Part Of “It Is Always Wrong” Is Unclear?

Rape: What Part Of “It Is Always Wrong” Is Unclear?

By Amanda Fox

We had not planned for a follow-up to our recent post on the rape culture, which is inexplicably prevalent in society, nor did I plan to take on this topic again so soon. Circumstances, however, dictate that we, as Spicie, make certain points abundantly clear regarding this epidemic global crisis. That is what we do believe rape is, and statistically, it does qualify as such.

 

We realize full well that there are women that do commit the crime of rape. We also know that the number of men that commit rape outweighs those committed by women by a staggering chasm. According to the US DOJ, 1 in 6 women has been or will be raped during their lifetime compared to one man in 33 that will experience an actual or attempted rape – note attempted rape had to be included to break the 1% barrier, most of which occur in prison. We in no way marginalize men that have been victimized, but as women, our focus is on women.

 

An example of what a 13 year old victim is enduring right now

An example of what a 13 year old victim is enduring right now

In less than one week, our previous column and associated materials have garnered a fair amount of attention. Somewhat surprisingly, there was a fair amount of commenting that seemed to take the stance that preventing rape falls on the shoulders of the victim, or in a few isolated cases, that rape wasn’t really that bad – no worse than having your car broken into was one example provided to us. Then we saw that a 13 year old girl in Connecticut was allegedly raped (No verdict yet) by a pair of 18 year football players, Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio. The school and community both rallied around the boys rather than the victim yet again.

 

You can see some of the comments made regarding this situation, which to some degree, mirrors some of the same type of response we experienced. What it seems like, is there are too many people that do not understand what rape is.

 

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines rape as: “unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent”

 

We have heard numerous arguments that one, or a combination of, the following ideas is what will stop rape.

 

  • Arm all women with guns.
  • Have women stop dressing in any provocative manner.
  • Have women go wherever they must with an escort.
  • Have women stop flirting or socializing with anyone in a way that could be construed as leading them on.
  • Teach women to protect them self.

 

And a young woman blaming the victim and giving the rapists a shout out

And a young woman blaming the victim and giving the rapists a shout out

The list could go on, but what remains is even more absurd. The point is, so many people that chimed in during our various discussions all focused on what women can do to avoid being raped – maybe – instead of the concept of people being taught rape is wrong in the first place. They didn’t focus on the concept that a better solution might be to take a multifaceted approach to the problem which entails better education, stricter laws, better reporting procedures for victims and maybe actually enforcing the law once in awhile. Personally, I’m a fan of castration for convicted rapists, chemical or physical. I would think that might stop some rapists cold in the tracks although it certainly wouldn’t stop all as rape is about asserting power far more than it is sex.

 

We concede, we don’t have a solution for ending rape. The sad reality is, there will always be rapists. A brighter reality is, however, that not everyone that rapes is chemically/biologically predisposed to. If they were, none would ever have remorse. None would feel shame for what they did. They wouldn’t, often, try to hide it. We fully understand that in some cases, the “pack mentality” takes over and people do things they never would on their own. We can do a better job as parents, siblings, educators and human beings in general, to make it known rape is not okay and that means it isn’t okay whether it be 1 on 1 or a group, no matter what kind of peer pressure they may be feeling. It is always wrong.

 

We are big proponents of better laws that protect victims and bring the rapists to justice. This includes a better system of reporting rapes. A system in which the victim doesn’t feel violated all over again. We further realize that the laws are no good unless they are enforced. Time behind bars does very little if anything to deter rapists from raping, but it’s what we’ve got to work with. In too many cases, they ply their trade in prison as well. We need the enforcement of laws to be carried out swiftly and to the max. No more suspended sentences for rapists or rapists that get to serve several terms concurrently. Furthermore, we need to prosecute witnesses of these crimes that do nothing to stop them just as harshly as the rapists them self, and continue on the trend of prosecuting those who intimidate victims whether it be live or online.

 

In closing, we want to make these points crystal clear:

 

  • No one asks to be raped.
  • Wearing sexy clothing is not advertising that you are looking to be raped.
  • Flirting is not asking to be raped.
  • Walking alone is not asking to be raped.
  • Living alone is not asking to be raped.
  • Being drunk is not asking to be raped.
  • Declining someone’s advances is not asking to be raped.

 

NO ALWAYS MEANS NO

 

There is no gray area. Without consent, there is no sex. It is beyond high time we stop making excuses for rapists. We need to enter an era in which the global mindset is not teaching people how to best avoid rape, but one where we teach there is NEVER an excuse to rape. Consider this … rape is one of the only crimes in which we see the media shame victims while defending the indefensible actions of the rapists. They tell us to mourn their loss while ignoring the loss of the victim. We have people that think rape is no worse a crime than car theft. We have people that think rape is just one of those things and victims just need to get over it.

 

That’s just wrong and we all know it. Now let’s do something about it.

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