It is 4:45am, I’m laid in bed, and my mind is on overdrive.
So, I begin to surf the internet, and I come across an article stating that woman are somewhat responsible for rape, if they are dressed provocatively, or, “basically like a slut”. I feel my blood begin to boil; I kick my duvets off and march downstairs, a woman on a mission, to bring this to wordpress.
Firstly, my body is MY body; it is a perfectly natural thing to have, as a human being (shocking, I know). Furthermore, my body is not a sexual object; it’s a beautiful chariot which does a wonderful job of carrying my mind. It is therefore my decision as to how much of my body I wish to express- whether it’s my fingers, my chin, my legs, my stomach, my shoulders, my cleavage- I am not a “slut” (whatever THAT ridiculous term means, but that’s a different rant), I am merely deciding not to cover up something which is perfectly natural.
Secondly, my expression of my body, does not, UNDER ANY CONDITIONS, make it anywhere near acceptable to harass me, to assault me, to violate my body, to physically force something into me, to invade MY BODY, to leave life-long scars on my mind.
The rape does not lie within my body, there is no rape in my breasts, there is no rape in my mouth, there is no rape in my freckles, there is no rape in my toes and there is no rape in my stomach. The rape is within the action of someone RAPING ME. I refuse to take any responsibility for this.
Also, why should women have to dress, to ensure that men do not view them as sexual objects to do as they please to? It is the rapist which is the problem, not the body of the victim. I am not usually a fan of analogies, but to demonstrate the absurdity of this issue – Imagine you have a person who attacks people who have blonde hair, or people who expose their blonde hair to him/her. Would we then encourage the potential victims of this person, to cover their hair to ensure this person does not attack them? To wear hats in public? To dye their hair? Of course not!
We must tackle the issue that this person thinks that it is okay to attack people, who have blonde hair- who believe that in a person revealing their blonde hair, they have the green light to physically and mentally hurt them. This goes for men who think that it’s okay to violate women on the basis that they are showing some of their body, which they may find sexually exciting.
Just imagine, having to enforce a rule that women at the beach must cover up their thighs, breasts, bottoms, shoulders, etc.
NO. Women should be able to walk around in bikinis, freely, without the fear of attracting potential rapists. We need to focus on the issue- the rapists; the people who think that it is okay, under whatever circumstances, to physically attack a women in the most degrading manner. We need to preach that rape is NEVER okay, and that the victims are NEVER responsible, regardless of how they were dressed.
We need to stop being so patronising to men, insinuating that they lack the ability to control how they act on their sexual urges. We should expect everybody to have the self-control, not to harm someone else. We need to teach men, and women, that women’s bodies are NOT sexual objects; we need to teach women that they should never have to consider how much of their body they reveal, in case they attract “that sort of attention”.
So, no, rape is NEVER acceptable, rape victims are NEVER responsible of someone attacking and degrading them, because they exposed their body in a particular manner. How we decide to express our bodies and harmlessly embrace them, does not, ever, excuse anybody for harming us in one of the worst ways possible. You may not think showing cleavage is “tasteful”, but since when did taste come into a discussion of rights?!
NO IFS, NOT BUTS, RAPE IS WRONG AND IS NOT EXCUSABLE.