3/26/2008

Rape victims are not to blame

I was disgusted but not surprised to read that one in four people believe women who have been raped are partly to blame because of how they dressed, their sexual history or how much they had to drink.



The poll in today's Irish Examiner found that

1. More than 30% think a victim is some way responsible if she flirts with a man or fails to say no clearly.

2. 37% think a woman who flirts extensively is at least complicit, if not completely in the wrong, if she is the victim of a sex crime.

3. One in three think a woman is either partly or fully to blame if she wears revealing clothes.

4. 38% believe a woman must share some of the blame if she walks through a deserted area.

This sort of idiocy makes me so angry. It repulses me to think that people have these kind of outdated and deranged prejudices.

It doesn't matter if a woman engages in drink fuelled sex orgies every day for ten years. At any stage she has the absolute right to say no. No means no and that is something that many people are going to have to accept.

How dare these people blame rape victims just because these girls don't fit their ideal rape victim, such a suggestion of an ideal victim is repugnant.

Societal attitudes need to change; people have to stop blaming victims.

What I have found most confusing is that these views are so prevalent amongst women.

I remember when I was last on a family holiday to Spain a few years ago and my mother saw a young fella and girl courting on the rocks.

Her immediate reaction was "whore". I was shocked and asked her why she said that, after all the fella was involved as well and I couldn't see what they were doing wrong.

A woman should be able to walk where she wants, when she wants and not be thought of as "asking for it".

Women should be able to wear what ever length of skirt they want and not be thought of as "asking for it".

A woman should be able to have as many sexual partners as she wants and still be able to say no at any time.

The difference in sexual attitudes towards men and women perplexes me. A man who has multiple sexual partners is "the lad", a man to be respected and revered yet a sexually liberated woman is just another whore.

I can't figure it out.

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