In my experience of talking to people, rape culture refers to anything that blames the victim for being raped, or somehow puts onus on the victim to make sure they don’t get raped. This is obviously flawed, you can’t stop yourself getting raped, that’s what rape is – against your will. I can see why people would be angry about this as a concept, and I can see why people are moving away from this as an idea, especially the feminist hoard. Instead people would have you believe you should teach rapists not to rape people and that will solve the problem.
Is it right though? My answer – no.
I’ve mentioned this before, and I stand by it; we live in a world of crime and bad things. We can’t be so irresponsible as to ignore the fact that these bad things happen sometimes. This means we absolutely have to take some personal responsibility for our safety, and we can’t just rely on being safe regardless of what we do, say, or even wear.
See, if I go to a bar, I don’t leave my drink unattended, and neither should any person – why? Because the potential for that drink to get spiked is there. The only way to stop that drink getting spiked is to either take it with me to the toilets or finish it before I get up. If I get spiked at a bar, its not anyone else’s fault but my own for not monitoring my drink. I can’t blame the bar for not watching it or anyone else. It was my drink, my responsibility, and I slipped up and it got spiked. I live in a world where I know these kind of things happen, and it’s absolutely on me to be cautious of that fact and protect my self against it.
Rape is very similar to this idea. We can absolutely take personal responsibility to minimise the chances of being raped. We can travel in groups, we can text people to say where we are and when we’re arriving at our destinations, we can let people know we’re okay and back home safely and we can avoid getting absolutely tanked on alcohol or drugs. Except some feminists would have you believe that doing the above is contributing to rape culture. That we’re putting onus on victims to avoid being raped. Except, it really does make a little sense doesn’t it? Don’t leave your drinks unattended? Don’t travel alone?
I absolutely do not think its ever a victim’s fault that they have been raped, do not misrepresent my intentions with this post. It’s not okay to rape people and it’s not the victim’s fault when they are raped. However, we as people are still aware that rape is a thing that can happen to people, and in a lot of cases there are steps we can take to minimise the chances of it happening. This obviously doesn’t apply to all rape, such as spousal abuse etc.
We need to start being honest with ourselves about the world we live in. It isn’t all candyfloss and rainbows where we can just behave, act, and dress how we want. There are predatory and opportunistic people out there who will take advantage of you given half the chance. If you refuse to take any responsibility for your personal safety, then you leave that in the hands of other people, and eventually you’re going to stumble upon someone ready to abuse that.
Until we live in a rape-free utopia, telling people not to be cautious of their personal safety because that’s “rape culture” is absolutely down right dumb and wildly irresponsible. In short, think of it like this; Do you leave your doors unlocked knowing thieves exist? No. You take precautions. You know rapists exist, so take precautions.