Short answer: never.
End of blog post. Not really. I guess this blog might need a trigger warning, but I’m not 100% positive about that.
We live in a “just” world. Things are “just” this, or “just” that… It’s “only…” Fill in the blank. Don’t believe for a minute that I am using the word “just” in the sense of “justice.” We live in a money-driven culture where laws apply differently based on social strata. Gender and color fall within that category as well – we have implemented so many “-isms” into our social systems that we barely even see it all anymore. Opportunity is less if you grow up in a lower income neighborhood. Pay is less if you happen to have a vagina. And if you need a court-appointed attorney, your access to “justice” is less as well.
But if you’re the victim of rape, “justice” may just rape you all over again.
I know that these are not popular viewpoints. I’ve spent more time wallflowering my way through different experiences, observing from the sidelines, and the above statements are things I have seen firsthand.
Turn on the news, and you will see them as well, in one way or another.
Is it a crime if you don’t get caught? Is it a crime if you can justify it? Is it a crime if you didn’t mean it? Is it really a crime if she wore a mini-skirt?
The simple answer is yes. And there I can tell that is a yes that means yes, not the ridiculous “no that means yes” or “no that means wear her down.”
Rape is rape. The person who commits rape is a rapist. The Justice Department updated our laws to make sure that men would also be protected, although the stigma is just as bad for a man reporting a rape, in my opinion. It’s different, but equally terrible.
I know everyone goes crazy talking about rape culture as it pertains to college athletics, or drinking, or a youthful sense of invincibility.
I disagree with that focus.
Rape culture, to me, is the choice to blame the victim for the crime.
As a society, we blame the victim whether s/he is gay or straight, sober or drunk, dressed nicely or a nudist. It doesn’t matter. If you are raped, apparently everyone wants to know what YOU did.
I will tell you now: nothing you do “asks for it.” You do not deserve to be robbed of choice, ever. You do not deserve to be terrorized or punched or verbally abused into an attack.
Never. Not ever.
A crime is always a crime.
Heavy thoughts for a Monday, I know. Current events and local news reporting get me fired up sometimes.
Blessings (and safety and comfort) to you all.