The issue with teaching women how to protect themselves from rape is not that it isn’t a practical concern worth considering & acting accordingly.
The problem is that by doing so, it frames rape as a force of nature no one in particular is responsible for committing but people are responsible for protecting themselves from, and in fact they are the ones to blame if they don’t protect themselves properly.
If you park your car somewhere and someone breaks into it, people may say, ‘Well you should have known better. Cars get broken into all the time there.’ You can frame it as a passive voice sort of inevitable event. But if someone is caught doing it or is caught with your stuff, it isn’t an effective defense for that person to say, ‘Hey, that person knew people break into vehicles there all the time. I thought that’s what they wanted me to do.’
Same with passing out drunk and someone stealing your wallet, same with being drunk at a party and someone stabbing you. You may get passive-voice victim-blamed, but only with rape is that used to excuse the perpetrator of culpability.
And I specifically mean ‘rape of adolescent and adult women’ because a drunk guy who gets sodomized at his friend’s house is considered to have had a more awful thing happen to him than a woman who drank at a friend’s place and was anally raped. ‘Why did she go there alone & drink if she didn’t want to have sex? She was giving off all the signals or at least teasing him.’
And I mean that if an adult man is talking to a girl he who he knows to be incapable of consent because she’s mispronouncing words and bumping into things, and she says she loves him and maybe even hugs him or sits in his lap, he’s expected to be able to recognize this and restrain himself—if she’s 7. In fact, no amount of flirtation or assent matters because she is obviously incapable of consent.
But if she’s doing all that stuff because she’s stumbling drunk, hey dude, that’s a green light. Or at the very least people ask, ‘How could he have known she wasn’t into it?’ Again, no serious defense attorney would expect a jury to be sympathetic to that with a child but with a woman, why not?
Christ, a defense attorney would not try to say ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that toddler had already been molested plenty of times before my client even met her. That little slut seduced him‘ but could in fact say with a straight face and make a persuasive case that that 23-year-old is a mess who gets blacked out drunk and has been taken advantage of by a half dozen guys, therefore his client shouldn’t have known better: look at her past sexual history.
Rape is not something a person endures; it is a crime someone commits. Of course people have to protect themselves from other people to the best of their ability, but the focus always has to be on the people committing the crimes.
The ultimate result of this is that any woman can recall the person who sexually assaulted them, by groping them in public, taking advantage of their intoxication, or physically dominating them against their will.
Most men probably don’t even remember the times we did those things because it was so small & irrelevant to us, and this is so because to society we didn’t actually do anything, it’s just a thing that happens.
1. Women are regularly anally penetrated without their consent or against their consent. I would go so far as to say that any woman who is sexually active has had this happen to her in her lifetime. And sometimes, yes, it is just a mistake of not knowing where your cock is or something slipping, but come on, you know plenty of guys just want to see if she’ll take it in ass and pretend innocence because they think if they ask outright, they’ll be told no, but maybe if they just sneak it in there, she’ll be OK with it.
I would suggest you learn a little bit more about what women are blamed for in situations, because like the recent University of Minnesota football players’ gangrape of a woman, the fact that she had drunk something that night and was too afraid to violently fight multiple men forcing themselves on her was enough to make the police and prosecutors decline to move forward on the case.
So yes, if a woman woke up or was a little groggy and found someone fucking her in the ass, the girl would still be blamed by many people, and more importantly, the district attorney would likely figure it too difficult a case to be worth pursuing and possibly losing. ‘It’s he said, she said.’
2. A 7-year-old is never able to consent, and an obliterated drunk woman is also never able to consent. What is your question? BAC involves arbitrariness and gray areas just as much as the maturity of someone to be able to consent to sex with an older adult. It’s like: How many hairs on a chin does it take for someone to have a beard? Any precise point you define is going to be ridiculous and indefensible, even if we have broad agreement that someone who is clean-shaven doesn’t have a beard and the guitarists from ZZ Top do have them.
You don’t have to know exactly how young a girl is to know she’s too young for you to fuck her. You don’t have to know someone’s exact BAC to know they’re too drunk to fuck. If you have some question, you had better be sure to practice a lot of affirmative consent as in, ‘Hey, do you want to___? How are you doing?’ Etc. If you’re not getting coherent answers, that’s a pretty good sign. But also, just because someone goes home with you, they might want to change their mind, or by the time they get there, have taken a shot that hit them wrong, or someone else may have fucking roofied them without either of you realizing it.
I use the analogy because assent is not the same thing as consent, and check-ins and affirmative consent is really good for ensuring that (plus, I’d argue that you tend to end up with better sex if the person you’re with expresses the sorts of things that really get them off so that you can do it for them, and vice versa).
3. It’s important to educate and internalize all of these things largely because so much of sexual interaction takes place among people who have been drinking. As you lose the inhibitions of conscious behavior, you revert to your ‘instincts’, which are better defined as ingrained societal conditioning. People who are not at all capable of consent and may not even remember what they’re doing still are capable of insisting on protection via automatic conditioning. I have been entirely too drunk to fuck someone and said, ‘Nah, and I ain’t sticking my dick in anything without a jimmy cap on.’ I can be drunk and horny without necessarily acting dangerously.
Now, the reason that the focus is on men sexually assaulting women, as opposed to any other dynamic, is partially the sheer commonness of it, but I think that stems from the physical-power dynamic. I don’t have to be an especially large or strong guy to be able to physically dominate a woman. Unless I’m getting pegged, I also sort of have to be minimally physically responsive to participate, and when I’m dizzy, spins drunk, my floppy dick ain’t getting up for any business. And I’m not likely to get pegged because I can express myself or quickly stop a woman from doing anything to me I don’t like or am not comfortable with, even if I’m outnumbered in a group sex situation.
4. People often talk very strongly and unequivocally about hypothetical rapes, and as you said, people support women in all of the clear cut cases.
The issue is that like with police brutality, many will seize on literally any excuse not to call the crime ‘clear cut’. It could be past history (of the victim, only); it could be because there’s no video; it could be because the video leaves something out before or after; it could be because the video isn’t 360 degrees, live-streaming. No matter how much physical evidence there is, so long as the guy can say, ‘She was into it, and look, she lists BDSM on her OkCupid profile’ there’s a gray area that people will use to say, ‘I mean, it’s all so unclear.’
Rape is extremely clearcut and women ought to be believed—until a friend of yours is accused of rape. Then, even if he’s told you some of the fucked up shit he likes to do to make sure he gets laid, you’re going to find reasons to explain why she’s a dirty lying slut who got a little drunk and just woke up regretting sex.
In reality, every woman has at least one and probably multiple experiences of sexual assault from the time she’s 15 if not before, while men decry the possibility that they might one day fuck a drunk chick and get arrested for it or something, like that article they read on reddit the other day.
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