The Rapist is Not the Victim

This weeks top news story, besides the sad primary election, has me really fired up. Reading about the outcome of the rape case at Stanford infuriated me. How is it that again and again, we worry about the future of the rapists’ lives over the victims? It worries me that we still live in a culture where a white, privileged Frat boy or athlete can easily get off when he or he and his friends rape an innocent girl. What message are we sending to the young boys and girls out there? The one I am hearing is that if you are white, male, and have money or a future in sports you are allowed to go around sexually abusing any women you please with no consequence.

The fact that time and time again there is outcry not for the victim, but for the poor boys losing their scholarships or their sports careers, makes me sick. How can the judge take pity on Brock, when he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. What is there to feel bad for him about. He chose his fate when he decided to take advantage of a vulnerable person. He deserves zero pity. Screw is future!! What about her future? She has to live with this incident as a scar on her skin for the rest of her life. She will need therapy, she will lose her appetite, she will lose sleep, she will hate herself, she will feel sick in her own skin. I don’t care what he feels unless its remorse. He should have to serve 14 years in jail for what he did to her. Who cares about what affect it has on him. Maybe it will force him to rethink his actions, which he cannot blame on alcohol and sexual promiscuity. Even if you are both drunk and making out, the second you notice the girl is unresponsive it is time to get help and back off. This is his fault and he needs to pay for it.

We don’t hesitate to lock men of color away for life sentences for raping women, but we worry about the future of a white man’s career or schooling if he rapes a woman. Will we ever get past the white patriarchy in this country. These white boys need to be taught from a young age they are entitled to nothing. No man is entitled to a woman’s attention, a woman’s body, a woman’s phone number, etc. For some reason white men walk around like they deserve the world on a platter and that is an issue with their parenting and society. This is why we have white men shooting up schools, because they are angry none of the girls would date them. This is why white men rape women behind dumpsters and somehow get off with probation and 6 months in county jail.

I am not a mother yet, but if I have sons, I plan to teach them this: women should always be respected. If you are interested in a woman, it doesn’t always mean she will be interested back and so you must respect her decision to say no. You do not get to get angry with her or not take no for an answer. She has free will and her word is very important. You must always ask permission first before kissing, touching, having sex with a girl. If she says no, back off. If she is too drunk or incoherent to give you an answer or she says yes but you know she is drunk, take that as a no. The only true yes is from a sober woman who says yes. If in the middle of the act, she changes her mind and decides she is not ready or feels uncomfortable, stop immediately and respect her wishes. No means no. Maybe means no. Only Yes with a clear mind means YES.

As a woman who experienced assault by a stranger, I feel totally enraged that we still make it so hard on women and men who are victims to feel comfortable coming forward and we often times blame them. We ask them what they were wearing, if they were drinking, what messages they were sending. NONE of these should be a factor in whether rape was acceptable. Women do not bring rape upon themselves. The way we teach men to treat women is the only factor. Nothing gives men an invitation to rape a woman. Women should not have to change their actions to prevent rape. Men should have to be more responsible for themselves and not rape women. When will this end?

I was raped by the host father at my homestay in Ecuador. I was vulnerable and alone in a foreign country and he took advantage of me. I am forever scarred by this experience and when I finally told the woman who ran the program, she said she didn’t want to hear any more about him. It took a lot for me to tell her, yet in their culture rape is brushed under the rug and a man’s machismo is accepted as a good reason for allowing them to rape women. We are no different in the United States though. We allow white males to take advantage of women all the time with no recourse. We haven’t come very far in this respect and it makes me very sad.

Women in Africa and the Middle East are blamed for being raped and disowned by their families. They are sometimes even punished by being stoned to death. Why do we have such a disrespect for women in our lives. You were all born to mothers. A woman gave birth to you, yet you can’t respect her. Would you wish this upon your own mother? I bet not. So why is it okay for men to just take what they want with no regard for a woman’s safety and wishes? When will women be treated, not as objects of your desire, but as human beings?

For the longest time, I felt disgusted with myself. I blamed myself for being raped. I told myself if I hadn’t of done this or that, it wouldn’t have happened. That isn’t true though. It wasn’t my fault. I said “No!” but he did it anyway. I was unable to fight back. Afterwards I had no resolve. I let men treat me however they wanted. I didn’t love myself. It was a very long journey for me to get back to myself and loving myself again. I feel this woman’s pain and all the women’s pain that have experienced sexual assault. You are not alone. We need to teach the children of this world what it means to respect others, especially women. Men are not entitled to women or sex. Women are entitled to feel safe, to wear what they want, to walk where they want, to be respected without men harassing them. We deserve better for having given birth to you, being your mothers, your sisters, your aunts, your daughters. Please treat us how you want to be treated.

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