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.