The more we depend on women to prevent rape, the easier it is to blame them when it happens to them. Here’s a look at the well-documented ways we can actually stop rape. Maybe it’s time we invest a little more time and resources into implementing them before we send gallons of nail polish to colleges across the country.
Ugh, I’m getting so tired of seeing stuff like this, because it’s not actually remotely helpful for actually preventing or addressing rape AND it’s full of just massive misunderstandings of various actual realities and factors. Let’s go over this.
1. Teach Men Not to Rape.
There’s two reasons why this needs to stop being said.
Reason #1: We already do this ad-freaking-nauseam. To the point where about 99% of our anti-rape campaigns consist of this somehow. Even RAINN has acknowledged this, and how unproductive it’s become as a result:
By the time they reach college, most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another. Thanks to repeated messages from parents, religious leaders, teachers, coaches, the media and, yes, the culture at large, the overwhelming majority of these young adults have learned right from wrong, and enter college knowing that rape falls squarely in the latter category.
Research supports the view that to focus solely on certain social groups or ‘types’ of students in the effort to end campus sexual violence is a mistake. Dr. David Lisak estimates that three percent of college men are responsible for more than 90% of rapes.
Other studies suggest that between 3-7% of college men have committed an act of sexual violence or would consider doing so. It is this relatively small percentage of the population, which has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages, that we must address in other ways.
Reason #2: This makes a whole lot of false assumptions, namely that all men naturally rape and only won’t if they’re told it’s wrong (do I even have to explain why this is problematic?), and that men commit the majority of rape (when facts from the CDC show men are only 60% of rapists).
2. Ensure Our Legal System Doesn’t Blame Women For Rape
Thing is, rape is actually handled in courts exactly the same way all other crimes are handled. Wait, before you kill me, let me explain this.
See, witness testimony is considered the weakest form of evidence in a case in literally all crimes. And, well, I’m going to quote me some law here:
(a) Reputation or Opinion Evidence. A witness’s credibility may be attacked or supported by testimony about the witness’s reputation for having a character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, or by testimony in the form of an opinion about that character. But evidence of truthful character is admissible only after the witness’s character for truthfulness has been attacked.
(b) Specific Instances of Conduct. Except for a criminal conviction under Rule 609, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to prove specific instances of a witness’s conduct in order to attack or support the witness’s character for truthfulness. But the court may, on cross-examination, allow them to be inquired into if they are probative of the character for truthfulness or untruthfulness of:
(1) the witness; or
(2) another witness whose character the witness being cross-examined has testified about.
By testifying on another matter, a witness does not waive any privilege against self-incrimination for testimony that relates only to the witness’s character for truthfulness.
In plain English, it’s actually completely standard operating procedure to establish/challenge the credibility of a witness.
Now in most crimes, there’s often plenty of other, more objective evidence available that a crime took place, so the weakness of witness testimony there is more helpful to prosecuting a case than required to prosecute it. But the generally private nature of sex and its related crimes means that, absent evidence of physical abuse, recordings, and/or other eyewitnesses, you can often end up with nothing but the accused and the victim’s competing verbal testimonies to go to determine whether non-consensual sex happened. Especially since testing can often only determine that sex took place, not whether or not it was consensual.
And since in the US at least we have a system where someone is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s harder than you think to be able to “not blame the victim” without risking infringing on the constitutionally-guaranteed right of the accused to confront their accuser and cross-examine and challenge their accuser’s testimony.
This is not some arbitrary system where we suddenly magically treat rape victims completely differently because we hate women. This is the exact same system we apply to every other crime, and the nature of rape being far more witness-testimony-dependent than other crimes is what generates the issues. It’s not an easily-dealt with issue, as a result.
3. Test the Thousands of Rape Kits Currently Sitting on Shelves
This is a fair suggestion. Due to the above factors, I question if it’ll be as much of a panacea as people are likely hoping for (since again, it’ll likely just establish sex took place and who with but not much else), but it is still a fair suggestion.
4. Improve How Campuses Handle Sexual Assault
I fully agree with the notion that campuses should be reporting potential rape situations to local law enforcement far more often, and they definitely should not be shaming or attacking potential victims as sometimes happens.
That’s as far as it should go, however, and I’m not OK with suggestions I sometimes see that campuses should sidestep proper legal procedure and constitutionally-guaranteed rights and conduct their own unilateral investigations and punish or expel students who haven’t had actual guilty verdicts handed down in a courtroom.
5. Teach Men What Consent Looks Like
How about we teach everyone what consent looks like, then you’ll have me on this one? Since I already established why it’s extremely problematic to assert that rape is solely a thing men do to women.
7. Stop Making Women Responsible For Men’s Behavior
You have a choice, folks. You can either hope and pray that every bad person will suddenly decide never do a single bad thing again despite this obviously not actually working in any other crime, violent or otherwise, in existence, or you can be smart and realize that you need to defend yourself because bad people are always going to exist.
I mean, sure, in a perfect world we should stop making people responsible for the behavior of thieves, murderers, bullies, computer crackers, and such, but obviously nobody in their right mind is going to go around with their everything unlocked and wide open and taking no precautions whatsoever because we realize that would be completely stupid. So why is it that when it comes to rape, we suddenly tell women they should go around taking no steps to defend themselves and relying solely on the niceness of criminals to stay unscathed? I can’t fathom this mindset, at all.
As someone who was bullied most of her childhood, I really have to boggle at the cluelessness of people who think relying on bad people to understand what they’re doing is wrong and not do it, actually accomplishes a single damn thing. Cause I can tell you it doesn’t. The people who bullied me knew damn well what they were doing was wrong, and they didn’t care. Same as many rapists don’t care. So, you have to be realistic and protect yourself.
Plus, in the case of things like drunken consent, especially when both participants are drunk, we’re often perfectly happy to make men responsible for women’s behaviors.
I mean, this sort of thing is why I can’t support feminism. Often their “solutions” don’t actually solve anything; they just perpetuate pointless and sometimes harmful and bigoted narratives. Me, I want a group that takes an actual objective look at the factors in women’s issues and offers actual practical solutions based on those factors. Stuff like this? Doesn’t do that.
This is a brilliant retort to an infuriating article, jeysiec. You’ve articulated my reaction to, and thoughts on, the issue far more eloquently than I ever could.
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody suggest that toilet paper or paper towels in public bathrooms shouldn’t be free. We’d consider it outrageous if that very basic necessity were to be missing, or provided only for purchase.
I dunno, you have to pay to use many public toilets in the UK because of the cost of supplying them with soap, toilet paper and paper towels. That doesn’t change the fact that those who need them who are either prisoners or very poor should get access to them though.
That said, people have to pay for their own toilet roll etc. for their own home.
Anonymous asked: Whites have privilege globally because if imperialism you idiot
Whites aren’t the only race to commit atrocities. Period.
So do the Japanese have it too? Whites have privilege in the countries where they are the majority such as in Western Europe or the United States, but they don’t have it globally because they are not the majority globally.