|"Just because I’m a woman. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I shouldn’t walk home alone or that I should carry pepper spray or a rape whistle because I’m a women and all dem scury menz are gonna try to rape me." You do realize it's better to be safe than sorry, right? Would you light a fire in the woods and let the ashes burn down slowly because there's now wind and most likely nothing will happen?|
Ughh… I haven’t replied yet because I haven’t had the time or energy but I’m pretty wired now so here we GO!
I’m in college. I live on a college campus in a small-ish city. There’s not much crime here. It’s a pretty safe place. Being assaulted by a stranger on the streets is not likely to happen. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve said this before or not but I think stranger-rape is basically a myth made to scare women. Given the image of being attacked by a stranger hiding in the shadows, it makes sense to be afraid. That’s a pretty horrifying thing. However, statistically that is highly unlikely. It’s like saying you’re afraid to fly because you heard about a terrible plane crash on the news, yet have no issue with driving even though car crashes are way more common and many more people die from car accidents than plane accidents.
The much more incredibly common way that people get raped, rather than by strangers in the dark, is by people they know. Friends, acquaintances, dates, romantic partners, etc… How this usually happens is someone is pressured into some sort of sexual behavior that they don’t want to do, but they feel that by resisting they could make the situation worse. Maybe they are worried about the situation becoming violent, or they feel obligated because the person is their partner, or they’re too inebriated, or for any number of reasons. Most people don’t even realize that this is rape, and that’s what makes it even more of a problem.
Our media glorifies stuff like this. Think Blurred Lines for a moment. It’s a song all about a guy trying to convince a girl to sleep with him because “He know’s she wants it.” OR how about Twilight? I’m ashamed to admit I read them all in middle school, but that story really isn’t modeling a healthy relationship. Edward is incredibly controlling. He controls what she wears, who she’s spends time with, what car she drives, etc… She basically doesn’t get a say in anything about their relationship. All because she’s so tempting and so fragile and he “Doesn’t trust his own self control.” I think the whole thing is incredibly degrading to women because it portrays women as weak and fragile. I also hate how it portrays men as having this uncontrollable raging inferno of desire. I could talk for days about this… Twilight is just an all around bad model of a relationship. These certainly aren’t the only examples either, there’s problems like this in so much of our media. Just take a critical look at some of your favorite shows, even some that we obsess over here on Tumblr. They aren’t all innocent. The problem with that is that they serve to perpetuate this cycle that we call rape-culture, which is this term that we use to encompass all the fucked up shit in our society which contributes to sexual violence. Including, but not limited to: double-standards about sexual activity, violent language we use to describe sex, blaming the victim of a sexual assault, glamorizing unhealthy relationships in fiction, jokes about rape, rigid gender roles, etc…
My way of fighting rape culture is refusing to buy into the fear. This may be upsetting to hear, but I think if you feel the need to carry a weapon or some such in order to feel safe, then you are living in a state of fear. That’s not how I’m choosing to live.
Thanks for the ask. Please don’t try to tell me what I should be afraid of. And, if you don’t understand something I said, let me know and I’ll happily clarify :)