When women get assaulted by men, they are blamed for it. They are told, “You shouldn’t have been wearing a short skirt/ drinking/ jogging alone/ insert normal behavior here.” Rather than blame rapists for committing crimes, victim blaming—and shaming—runs rampant in this world and I, for one, am absolutely sick of it.
At Wronging Rights, Amanda Taub recently wrote a post considered controversial and even offensive by men about how we can stop rape by limiting men’s freedom instead of women’s—since men, after all, are the rapists (in these cases). It’s almost hilarious when you read it, since some of the ideas call for blindfolding men in public since they can’t control themselves when they see a woman in skimpy clothing (which is not the cause of rape, by the way—only a part of rape culture). These ideas reduce men and women into caricatures—men as violent animals who are helpless and unable to restrain themselves from raping when they see skin, and women as evil temptresses when they show any to begin with. These are also false ideas, which both men and women ought to be outraged by.
Statistics, such as that 6% of men will likely commit sexual assault in their lifetimes, are used in the blog to justify advice such as men not going out at night unless accompanied by a female friend or relative to prevent them from raping women, since rapists usually commit the crime alone or in groups with other men. A quote I particularly like says something about how men’s rights groups are concerned that this will interfere with men’s daily socializing, work, and life in general—but religious rights groups respond that the minor inconvenience is nothing against the horrors of actual rape that victims experience. Could you imagine if society really handled sexual assault this way? It’s true, by the way—though I’m not advocating adopting “rules” like these, merely insisting that they are even more ridiculous when demanded of women to prevent attacks against themselves!
Give the blog a read and keep in mind that each of these statements, as outrageous as they seem, are a direct refutation of what religious leaders, lawmakers, and cops all demand of women when women are assaulted—only instead, they are asking these things of men instead. I hope the post helps make men aware of the ridiculous blame that is often placed on women as well as demonstrates how ridiculous any response to assault is unless it’s the simple compassion for victims and arrest and prosecution of rapists. Period.