A 13-year old boy apparently has a better grasp of rape culture than many adults in this country, including adults working in the justice system. A screen capture that’s been making the rounds of social media boils rape culture and victim-blaming down to such simple terms that it’s a wonder we have so many people who still don’t get that a rape victim is not at fault for her own rape.
So what did he say?
If girls are asking to be raped because their clothes don’t completely cover all of their bodies, then boys are asking to be kicked in the balls just because they don’t wear cups everywhere.
The image appears to have come from Pinterest, and has been traveling around Facebook lately, but we’ve been unable to find its source. However, even if a young, teenage boy didn’t say this, it brings up a good question: How is it that judges, police officers, and so many in the general public, including other women, don’t understand this? When it comes to rape, victim-blaming is rampant, as these examples show:
- A judge in Arizona telling a woman groped by a drunk police officer in a bar that she shouldn’t go to bars alone because things like that might happen;
- An author who said that “we can aggravate crime, and we can curb it by playing it safe,” when talking about whether clothing plays a role in rape, and comparing it to leaving a laptop in a car;
- Laura Ingraham, who said that teaching girls to dress modestly will reduce misogyny, objectification and even date rape;
- A Catholic preacher, who said that women who dress sexy are really dressing for sex, and causing men to have warped views of women as sex objects, which makes them want to harass, grope, or rape women;
- A judge in England telling a ten-year old girl that she was responsible for her double rape because she was wearing a frilly bra and thong, and she regularly liked to wear revealing tops and jeans;
- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol saying that women who don’t want police officers to rape them should just obey the law;
- A police officer in Toronto who said that women shouldn’t dress like sluts if they don’t want to be victimized;
- Floyd Mayweather, who said that how a woman dresses is her advertisement (and the author of the post on Right Punditry who agrees with him).
And on, and on, and on. It’s absolutely incredible that, in this day and age, rape victims still find themselves on the wrong side of a rape case because of what they were wearing, or where they were hanging out, or any number of other factors.
None of this touches on the plight of male rape victims, who suffer horribly when their stories become known. This is especially true if their attacker was a woman; we, as a society, tend to think that women cannot rape men. We make a huge joke about it, when it’s something that, tragically, actually happens (so does male-on-male rape).
So this 13-year old boy understands that a girl is not to blame for her rape because of her clothing any more than he himself is to blame for a kick in the balls because he’s not wearing a cup. An awful lot of our society should sit up and take note.
Featured image via Pinterest