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I don't know why, because my brain just randomly pulls up topics at times for no apparent reason, but today I was thinking about rape, and victim blaming. As I thought about it, something startling came to mind. Something occurred to me that allows me to perfectly describe my feelings about victim blaming:

Imagine for a moment the common thing fictional child molesters say (real ones might say it too, I dunno; I've never seen one say it, but it wouldn't surprise me) when talking of their crimes, the "She was asking for it; didn't you see how she was dressed?" line. Remember the kind of shock, rage, and disgust that follows a statement like that; almost everyone has the same reaction, a horrified reaction like "HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT?" and a strong desire to beat the shit out of the person saying it. And if anybody else agreed with him, they'd be viewed with the same horror, and the people hearing it would say things like "You must be a child molester too" or "what a horrible parent" (depending on who's saying it) or similar things. You get the point; imply a child wanted to be raped, and OMG THE HORROR. Which is good. I feel the same way. I react with the same shock, rage, horror, and disgust to those statements.

So why is it that a rapist can say the same thing about an adult victim, and half the people who hear it agree with him? Myself, I have the same shock, horror, rage, and disgust regardless of the age, sex, sexual preference, or gender of the victim, whether the rapist or anyone else says it. But a lot of people don't share this. They blame the victim.

I do not understand this victim-blaming, not one little bit. Nobody wants to be raped, not really. "Rape fantasies" are just fantasies, role playing. Even those people who have rape fantasies don't want to be raped for real, any more than folks into torture role play want to be tortured for real. Real rape is violent, makes you feel powerless, often is done to you by a stranger or someone you don't like, and there is no safe word. It's a traumatic experience. Fantasy is one thing; role playing fantasy still involves consent. As long as there is a safe word, and both parties abide by the safe word, it is consenting. The moment someone's safe word is ignored, it becomes rape. If no safe word was pre-planned, then "No" is the default. Anyone hearing their partner say "No" should stop immediately; it is wrong to assume that No means yes. Sex may resume if consent is reaffirmed, and a safe word other than No should be decided upon if a person tends to say No when they don't really mean it. And even if a person is known to say No when they don't mean it, unless there is another safe word it should ALWAYS be assumed that No means No.

Rape IS a traumatic experience, a violent loss of control that can do a lot of damage, physical and psychological. I've never experienced it myself, thank goodness, but I have a strong empathic gift and can feel the victims' pain when they speak about it as though it were my own. And as if that weren't bad enough, when others don't believe the victim, it is a fresh trauma, equal in severity to the crime itself. And blaming the victim for the rape is even worse. In my opinion, if you blame a victim of a rape for being raped, you might as well be raping them all over again, because that's the kind of damage you're doing.

A rapist is a rapist regardless of the age, sex, or gender of the victim. Rape is a traumatic, violent experience regardless of age, sex, sexual preference, or gender of the victim. And blaming an adult victim of rape for being raped is just as nonsensical and disgusting as blaming a child for being raped.

That is all.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh, I can explain it (heck, when I was young and foolish, I actually *said* that sort of thing to someone)

There are two *separate and distinct* things that get conflated.

First, in an ideal world, people wouldn't get raped, wouldn't get robbed, wouldn't get bullied, wouldn't get attacked for being gay/trans and wouldn't be victims of conmen.

People should never do that sort of thing to other people.

Which brings us to the second point. In all cases of some of those crimes, and many cases of the others, there are things you can do to make it less likely to be victimized.

So for *not* doing those things, people can be seen as "responsible". But just about all such "precautions are "slippery slope type things.

And people slide down them far too easily.

Even if you do something stupid you don't deserve to get attacked for it....
Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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