Are women ever “asking” to be raped?

I recently ran across a poll on Facebook which posed the question, “Is a woman ever “asking” for rape?”

This question intrigued me so I thought about it and came up with the following in reply:

This is a misleading question meant to elicit an emotional response as opposed to a rational one. A woman is not guilty for rape, which is wholly the fault of the rapist, but her poor choices and irresponsibility can certainly put her in greater danger she wouldn’t have otherwise have faced.

Here is a study which shows that the assertion that rapes are under-reported is not only not true, but is categorically false. The truth is that they are not under-reported but over-reported primarily because many women do not want to face the responsibility of their actions. Studies also show that drug-facilitated rape is also largely a myth as most of these incidents are, again, women refusing to face the consequences of their own inebriated and wholly consensual decisions.

Sorry, but while I do believe there are legitimate cases of random acts of evil (rape), I do not think we pay enough attention to the individual responsibility of people not to place themselves in positions where they are at greater risk.

I liken this to a person who eats at McDonalds every day and doesn’t work out. The heart attack they will likely have eventually is not less tragic but is even more so precisely because it is easily preventable.

The same concept stands for most of these cases of “rape” like with the stripper who tried to claim she was raped by the Duke lacross team.

At this point, a friend of mine brought up the topic of suggestive clothing and whether we could really make a judgement on whether anyone’s clothing was really suggestive or whether it’s all in the viewer’s mind (leaving the woman blameless regardless of her clothing).

“Suggestive” implies intent. So if a woman wears clothing with the express intention of arousing sexual desire (something that’s admittedly not hard to do with most men) then yes, she is at fault for intentionally putting herself in harms way.

Especially if you couple that with intoxication and other reckless lifestyle and relational choices such as yielding responsibility for yourself to a stranger who is either just as inebriated as you are or, worse, has nefarious intentions.

Sorry, but this is one of the reasons we teach our daughter that she needs to have shorts on under her dress. Not because we think she is intentionally trying to invite abuse but because we know that it discourages others and is more responsible than dressing her up like a slut and “tempting fate” so to speak.

And it’s not just rape that reckless living invites. Reckless lifestyles and choices invite a whole host of problems that could otherwise be mitigated or avoided altogether.

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4 Responses to Are women ever “asking” to be raped?

  1. So in a nutshell, you're saying that indeed some women are asking for it by drinking, or wearing suggestive clothing, or being a stripper? What a sick and twisted view.

    • It's sick and twisted to say that actions have consequences and that it is our responsibility to mitigate those consequences as much as possible by paying attention to what wisdom teaches, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the way of righteousness?

      I think you may want to go back and read Proverbs because what I said above is wholly in line with the way the Bible views responsibility and the consequences of foolish choices (of which intentionally dressing in a suggestive manner are certainly one).

  2. Of course it is foolish to be inebriated and dress slutty, but that is far from the point. If a woman takes a dark alley shortcut late at night, she's acting foolishly, but she's are not asking to get mugged. The situation you described is no different other than the fact that there are moral implications for sluttiness and intoxication. Sure they are sin, and they are unwise, but this does not lessen the rape.

    The last thing that a raped woman needs to hear about are the ways that she can be held partially responsible. She needs professional attention and pastoral care.

    Furthermore, in the event that a woman actually was falsely reporting a rape, there is something deeper to it that still needs to be addressed pastorally, especially considering that she could be responsible for costing the innocently accused a decade in jail.

    • I never claimed that the mugger or rapist's deplorable deeds or culpability were lessened at all by the actions of their victim. What I am stating quite simply is that the woman (or man)'s choice to act in a foolish manner invites a beating in much the same way as the fool mentioned in Proverbs 18:6.

      I'm also not sure what you mean by "pastoral care". Is it any different than the love and care we are all supposed to show one another or are you talking about a special gift that some members of the body, who aren't necessarily "pastors" posses? At any rate, I don't see how the addition of "preventive counseling" designed to make one wiser and less likely to fall prey to the general sin and degredation we find in our fallen world could not be included in the list of things that need to be addressed.

      With this question of "are women ever asking to be raped?" I want you and others to know that the people I think most about are my wife and daughter. I encourage them both to be wise, not to walk down a street at night without good reason or protection (which means a gun and proper training). I also encourage them to not dress in an intentionally provocative manner (though my wife can't help but dress provocatively for one particular man).

      Will these measures ensure their safety with a 100% certainty? Absolutely not! But they WILL ensure that the risk they place themselves in will be lessened.

      Would I love them less or care for them less or treat them like horrible sinners if they ignore my encouragement and act foolishly? Absolutely not! However it would grieve my heart (as I'm sure our actions grieve God's heart) if they ignore my wise counsel (gleaned, by the way, from God's Word) and walk into easily avoidable traps.

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