Home » Opinion » Rape, and its tolerance, no laughing matter

Rape, and its tolerance, no laughing matter

Please follow and like us:
Facebook
Google+
Twitter

So I took this test the other day and I totally raped it.

Do you see anything strange about that sentence? Is there something about it that rubs you the wrong way?

For most of you, I’d say apparently not. It seems that most of my peers see nothing wrong with equating doing well on a test with a brutal crime that has been committed against one in six American women, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

One in six women.

The use of the word rape in that manner in just a symptom of a larger disease. Our culture has somehow not managed to grasp that rape is unacceptable. Although we might prosecute rape offenders, only about 6 percent of rapists will ever be jailed for their crimes, according to RAINN. And though police investigate rapes, there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits across the country that sit on shelves because there is no money or time or staff to complete them. Until 1993, there were laws in parts of the country that let men rape their wives, yet there are still college kids out there who don’t think about that when they equate the horrors of rape to doing well on a test.

Why on earth is this still happening? How do we as a society still permit this?

The answer is in the way we look at rape. We can all agree that rape is horrific. But the onus is, and pretty much always has been, on women to protect themselves. We tell women not to walk alone at night, not to wear revealing clothing, not to leave drinks unattended, not to be alone with strange men.

All sound advice, to be sure. But if a rapist wants to rape, he (or she) will. Period.

Think of it this way. Most of us take basic precautions to avoid burglary. We lock our doors, maybe buy a security system. But, frankly, if a bad guy wants to get into your house badly enough, he will.

The same goes for rape. I can take all the precautions listed above, and more, and if someone wants to rape me badly enough, then none of it matters. I cannot stop it. I can take reasonable steps to avoid it but I cannot keep someone from raping me.

The responsibility to stop rape falls squarely on the shoulders of men (or rather, potential rapists. Although women can be and are rapists, the majority are men). At a certain point, the men of this country, and of the world, need to stand up and say “enough.” There is no reason to commit rape. There is not a single reason to excuse it. And we, as a society, need to teach our children that. We need to make it clear that rape is a horrible, inexcusable crime. We need to teach our children that the best way, the only way, to stop rape is for people not to rape.

There are plenty of people who will say that sometimes women are just asking for it. That men can’t help themselves, that they just have to rape. That if a girl was wearing a tight shirt or a short skirt, the man just couldn’t control himself. How are men not insulted by this? That reasoning says men are animals, unable to control their instincts. If someone told me that I’m incapable of controlling myself, that, given the right provocation, I’ll just have to irreparably hurt someone, I would be furious. It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea that human beings, as far as we have come from our cave-dwelling days, are incapable of acting humanely.

There are no circumstances in which a woman “asks” to be raped. There are no circumstances in which it’s acceptable to rape. Until we start teaching this to our children, and until this message sinks in, we will still hear reports of rape on the news. We as a society must rise above the excuses and end this. Because no woman deserves to be that one in six.So I took this test the other day and I totally raped it.

Do you see anything strange about that sentence? Is there something about it that rubs you the wrong way?

For most of you, I’d say apparently not. It seems that most of my peers see nothing wrong with equating doing well on a test with a brutal and violent crime that has been committed against one in six American women.

One in six women.

The use of the word rape in that manner in just a symptom of

a larger disease. Our culture has somehow not managed to grasp the fact that rape is unacceptable. Although we might prosecute rape offenders and keep it on the books as a crime, only about 6 percent of rapists will ever be jailed for their crimes. And though police investigate rapes, there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits across the country that sit on shelves because there is no money or time or staff to complete them. There are still laws in various parts of the country that permit men to rape their wives, and there are still college kids out there who don’t think when they speak and equate the horrors of rape to doing well on a test. Why on earth is this still happening? How do we as a society still permit this?

The answer is in the way we look at rape. We can all agree that rape is horrific. But the onus is on women to protect themselves. We tell women not to walk alone at night, not to wear revealing clothing, not to leave drinks unattended, not to be alone with strange men.

All sound advice, to be sure. But if a rapist wants to rape, he (or she) will. Period.

Think of it this way. Most of us take basic precautions to avoid burglary. We lock our doors, maybe buy a security system. But, frankly, if a bad guy wants to get into your house badly enough, he will.

The same goes for rape. I can take all the precautions listed above, and more, and if someone wants to rape me badly enough, then none of it matters. I cannot stop it. I can take reasonable steps to avoid it but I cannot keep someone from raping me.

The responsibility to stop rape falls squarely on the shoulders of men (or rather, potential rapists. Although women can be and are rapists, the majority are men). At a certain point, the men of this country, and of the world, need to stand up and say “enough.” There is no reason to commit rape. There is not one single, solitary reason to excuse it. And we, as a society, need to teach our children that. We need to make it clear that rape is a horrible, inexcusable crime. We need to teach our children that the best way, the only way, to stop rape is for people not to rape.

There are plenty of people who will say that sometimes women are just asking for it. That men can’t help themselves, that they just have to rape. That if a girl was wearing a tight shirt or a short skirt, the man just couldn’t control himself. How are men not insulted by this? That reasoning says men are animals, unable to control their instincts. If someone told me that I’m incapable of controlling myself, that, given the right provocation, I’ll just have to irreparably hurt someone, I would be furious. It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea that human beings, as far as we have come from our cave-dwelling days, are incapable of acting humanely.

There are no circumstances in which a woman “asks” to be raped. There are no circumstances in which it’s acceptable to rape. Until we start teaching this to our children, and until this message sinks in, we will still hear reports of rape on the news. We as a society must rise above the excuses and end this. Because no woman deserves to be that one in six.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.