Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rape Culture: For Men Who Still Don't Get It

(Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault)

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about rape culture's Average Joe Response to women who dare to show anger at Rape Prevention Tips that place the onus for rape prevention on women, as opposed to perpetrators and the larger society.

A couple of men chimed into the conversation to instruct the women present to calm down and then proceeded to inform us womenfolk that such tips are Just Common Sense and well-intentioned. Recently, in response to the rape-murder of Chelsea King, another man wrote a column further mansplaining how women can keep themselves from Getting Raped, suggesting that women should limit their lives to an absurd degree by never venturing "out on trails alone."

I have little to add to how Melissa at shakesville responded to this man (She links to his original post, as well). For all that they "fail to see" despite woman after woman trying to break it down for them, may every Joe, Dan, and Patrick who still doesn't "get it" one day, finally, get it:

"Who is so thoroughly ignorant and impenetrably arrogant that he thinks writing a column admonishing women to stop getting themselves attacked, raped, and killed is fucking helpful.

Where is his advice for men who hurt women? Nowhere to be found, naturally, because Jenkins is just another passive recipient of rape culture narratives who lazily accepts that there will always be monsters in the world, oh well whaddaya gonna do?, and thus regards the only solution as exclusively tasking victims with rape prevention.

Look how helpful he is, lecturing women on keeping themselves safe.

I just positively adore how Jenkins gormlessly puts forth his ideas about how women should be more responsible for their own safety, as if no one's ever fucking said that before, as if no one has ever suggested that the burden of rape prevention should be on women. (And as if women aren't socialized from birth to be intimately familiar with rape prevention, from their behavior to their clothing choices to their attitude, etc. etc. etc.) Hardly a week goes by that I don't read an article saying the same goddamned thing, whether women are being admonished to "learn common sense" or "be more responsible" or "be aware of barroom risks" or "avoid these places" or "don't dress this way" or whatfuckingever.

If Jenkins wants to make a serious contribution to a conversation about rape prevention, he could try writing something that answers this question: Why is it always more important to lecture women on what they should be doing to avoid rape than to talk to men about the fact that they do not have the right to women's bodies without express consent?"

Thoughts on that question?

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