On most of the feminist blogs that I have been reading at the moment there is at least one post on the subject of rape, and on those posts there is usually a comment stating that rape isn’t just the rapists fault, but in some cases it is the woman’s as well. So I thought I would share my opinions on that. Because I can.
It will never cease to amaze me how so many people legitimately believe that rape is not entirely a man’s fault. An interesting and valid point was raised on a blog titled A Touch of the Crazy, well one of the many interesting and valid points raised on that blog, was that was that people feel the need to blame the victim in this crime because the rapist is blamed so routinely. So they feel the need to question the situation and draw conclusions about the woman, and how her actions have impacted on the situation, instead of how the man’s actions have affected the woman.
One thing that a lot of people argue is that if a woman was drunk, and then raped, that it is her fault too. I’ve got a two pronged argument on that, my first point being what difference does it make if a woman is drunk or not? Is a rapist less likely to rape a woman who is sober? Could a woman fight back or stop the man from raping her if she was sober? Maybe some men might target women who are drunk, but 9 out of 10 ten times I think rapists will rape a woman sober or not. Yes, women may but themselves in more risky situations than she normally would, but then again, maybe not. Any situation where there is a rapist involved could be a dangerous situation, but you aren’t going to know about it until it is too late.
If drunk women are going to be held accountable for their own rape, then what other situations would a woman be held accountable for someone raping her? Walking outside at night alone would be one. She is putting herself at risk. In fact, going anywhere alone could mean that someone could rape her. Knowing people is dangerous, a lot of rapists rape people they already know. On the other hand, some men don’t really care, and would rape anyone, so not knowing people well, and not knowing whether they are trust worthy is putting yourself at risk. Going on a date is putting yourself at risk, you could be date raped. Bloody waking up in the morning is putting ourselves at risk, having fathers, husbands, male friends, all of these things are putting ourselves at risk. So at what point do we say it was the victims fault, that she was asking for it, and at what point do we say it is entirely the rapists fault? It is simply not fair to assume if she hadn’t done this and she done that that she wouldn’t have been raped. At what point do women stop living their lives because we ‘might’ get raped.
When you look at many other crimes, the victim is never blamed in this fashion. If someone works at a petrol station at 12am in the morning, and someone decides to rob the place, and shoots the staff in the process, no one ever says it was the persons fault for having that kind of job. No one seems to care if a murder victim is drunk, it doesn’t change the fact that the murderer killed someone. It doesn’t somehow undo the crime and make it better. Because the murderer was always going to kill, just as a rapist was always going to rape.
Rape is a hard enough case to win in court, because there is always the argument that the woman asked for it, or that she agreed to it. Why, instead of saying if a woman didn’t do this and didn’t do that can’t we say well if the rapist didn’t decide to rape, then there wouldn’t be an issue. No woman asked to be raped, and when someone decides to rape, it isn’t a mutual decision. It is reached by one person, and I don’t care what anyone says about what the woman did or didn’t do, it is and always will be decided to by one person and one person only. If a rapist wants to rape, a rapist will rape, and there is no way anyone could possibly say that those decisions that an individual makes are anyone else ‘s fault but their own.