Girl Talk This is Rape Culture Julia Gazdag

In the wake of the Steubenville rape case and the appalling reaction to the guilty verdict, both on the part of the media, who sympathized with the perpetrators, and several of the victim’s school mates who have harassed and threatened her, this seems like a good time to stop for a moment and talk about what rape culture is. The endless tweets, blog comments, and divided public reaction to Steubenville is reflective of a serious problem with how rape, and both men and women’s role in it, are perceived in this country right now.

The term “rape culture” refers to a culture in which attitudes about rape are tolerant enough to be an enabling factor in anything ranging from sexual harassment to actual rape. When a girl complains about being catcalled on the street because it made her uncomfortable, and you tell her to just take a compliment, you’re perpetuating rape culture. When a girl has one too many drinks at a party and is taken advantage of, and your reaction is that it’s her fault for not being more careful, you’re perpetuating rape culture. When you say that someone was “asking for it” because their skirt was too short, you’re perpetuating rape culture. When you assume that men are never victims of sexual harassment or assault, yes, you’re still perpetuating rape culture (not only because desexualizing one gender sexualizes the other by proxy, but because classifying one form of harassment or assault as valid over another is contributing to the problem).

Until the 1970s, rape wasn’t really talked about, let alone publicly. The general assumption was that it didn’t happen very often, while marital rape was legal in all 50 states, the reasoning being that by entering into a marriage, a woman was consenting to sex anytime her husband felt like it, even if she herself didn’t. In other words, a woman’s job was to be sexed by a man, and marriage was just her way of giving a specific man her timecard. The process to outlaw spousal rape began in the 1970s, but did not extend to all 50 states until 1993 — even today, politicians like Todd Akin (of “ways to shut that whole thing down” fame) are still pushing to reverse legislation and make spousal rape legal again.

If you’re not sure whether rape culture exists, just look at last summer’s political campaigns. One after another, old white men tried to argue their stance on abortion by bringing rape into the conversation. They politicized violating a woman’s body for the sake of their campaign’s agenda. Recently NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, nervous about the effect the Newton shooting may have on his position, advocated for guns as the most effective defense against rape. Why does this have rape culture written all over it? I’m so glad you asked.

The burden of rape prevention is thought to fall on women: keep your eyes on your drink, don’t have too much, don’t dress provocatively, have a defense strategy for your walk home every night. The idea that the burden of rape prevention should fall on the perpetrator and not the victim is rarely the standard reaction to sexual assault. Recently, when Zerlina Maxwell appeared on Fox News’ Hannity and suggested that men be taught not to rape instead of giving women guns to defend themselves, she was met with confused outrage. Her ideas were called “bizarre” and she began receiving a large amount of hate mail, including rape threats. Because, apparently, it’s a woman’s responsibility to maim or murder her attacker and have to deal with that experience the rest of her life, and not his responsibility to just leave her the f*ck alone.

Where can we spot rape culture today? The Violence Against Women Act, which was recently passed again, is the only thing keeping judges from being able to rule in rape cases that the victim was “asking for it,” though 97% of rapists still never spend a day in jail. Rape culture is needing a law to prevent legal victim blaming. Rape culture is this guy, who thinks that “female privilege is getting to claim a headache to avoid sex” (and resisting rape culture is the brilliant response of, “female oppression is having to claim physical illness to avoid sex because men won’t take a simple fucking “no” for an answer. Female oppression is men being so entitled that they think being denied sex is oppressive.”)

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  1. I agree with 99% of what is said here, and you make amazingly insightful points about the way our culture has twisted something as vile and detestable as rape into something that can be used as ratings fodder for edgy TV dramas or as conversation pieces for news outlets. What I seem to be hung up on, though is your initial statement about gender equality (the sexualizing of one gender over another) and then an apparent dismissal of this idea in the closing statements. Why is it that a “slut” is a woman who is as in touch with her sexuality as a man? I am a single, straight man who is not sexually active, and I know many other men who, like me, do not actively seek out sex. Now I understand that, as far as mainstream culture is concerned, men are perceived as sexually aggressive, needy, and insatiable, but women can be, and frequently are, as sexually active as this idea of modern men. While culture shuns a woman more than a man for being this way, making this comparison decries your point. While you could’ve defined a “slut” simply as a woman who is in touch with her sexuality, you opted for the gender comparison, which I think is as unfair to men as it is undermining to the effort to allow women to be sexually independent from the male standard set by the rape culture you are defining.

    That being said, this is a great piece that really shines a light on how we, as a global community, are perpetuating the idea that there are levels of wrongness to any form of sexual assault and that the actions of any attacker can be less heinous than another because of the gender, age, or sexual identity of the victim OR the perpetrator.

  2. Rape is rape. Period. My brain is so over-stimulated by all I read here between the article and the comments. I felt there was a bit of truth to many different statements, even those that seemed to vary. What I got from all of it:
    “This is a Rape Culture”. Where to begin… well there is the rape of the Sabine women said to have taken place in 750 BC, there is the rape of Nanking which took place around 1937, and of course a famous poem entitled “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope published in 1712. For those unfamiliar, the poem is about a man’s attempt at stealing a lock of hair from a girl WITHOUT her permission. Though this poem may be humorous, the idea of giving consent is still prominent even in the 1700′s. Rape even as it is defined in 750 BC seems to portray a sense of unity, consent and permission given from both parties. Granted handing your children over to marry with the expectation of them procreating was probably the ideal then, history seems to relay the idea of a rape being men carrying women off without their.. what’s the key word here? Without their PERMISSION. So yes, this rape culture still exists and yes it’s come a long way, but as the intellectuals ideas grow and change so do the ideas in society about what is acceptable and what is taboo. Child molestation is taboo, but yet, there are still those mothers that parade their six year old daughters around in what some people would describe as “trampy” or “slutty” clothing even for an adult. And the general public still supports the toddler in tiara craze. The purpose of Julia Robert’s character in “Pretty Woman” walking the streets in a short skirt was not to obtain a college education. It was to obtain money from men wanting to get laid. I still remember seeing this film as a child on the floor of our apartment, my single mom shielding my eyes from the sex part. But what did I take away from that? Not that pretty women in short skirts attract desperate, lost or disturbed men as in “Monster” another film about prostitutes, though this one is actually based on a true story. I thought as a child I wanted to wear short skirts and skip about as to attract my own prince charming Richard Gere millionaire so that I could live happily ever after. So does wearing a short skirt mean I, (a young niave and sweet nine year old who loved kittens and wrote poems and drew picture of these beloved kittens) deserve to be raped because I thought I needed a short skirt to fall in love? No, I hope not. It means young girls want love and/or acceptance and yes, the media and society has contributed to this fixation to attempt to get that. Did this girl in Steubenville ask for rape? She may have been asking for attention, but I’m pretty sure if she was passed out she could NOT ask for anything. Do I think it’s a good idea for girls to wear provocative clothing and drink heavily? No. Will I educate my daughters on the dangers of doing so? Absolutely, positively. But I will also speak candidly and frankly with my boys about what is acceptable behavior regarding sex and treatment of women? And all individuals for that matter. But it will be up to them to use their own judgement and make their own choices. So is society is at fault? Parents? Is it up to the individual? I’m guessing some combination is the answer and I don’t happen to have it on hand today. Good article.

    • Sorry I mis-wrote/spoke in my typing.. “Consentual sex” (not rape) “seems to portray a sense of unity..etc..”

      my basic idea here was that rape is NOT okay in any form. Not even taking hair w/o the permission. I may have missed the beat.

  3. I agree a lot with what you say here. Except the part were you said “Female oppression is men being so entitled that they think being denied sex is oppressive”. It’s not oppressive it’s rejection. I hate when I am in the mood for sex but by boyfriend is too exhausted from getting up to work at 5am then working until 2:30 doing manual labor to coach a bunch of high school kids and then deal with there parents.

    Some men may be jerks about it but rejection is rejection no matter the gender

  4. Thank you so much Julia for this wonderful article. It makes me sick to my stomach in anger just thinking about that poor Steubenville girl. I wish more people with such genuine journalistic talents as you would stand up for this cause.

  5. I’m sorry how the hell does someone get “tricked” or “coursed” into having sex? Take responsibility for your own stupid actions, how are people of this kind living?

    • Same way people are tricked or coerced into scams and cons. One sided uni-dimensional comments like yours are only true until their is somethone to blame. Undue influence is a real punishable crime. Harsh words such as ‘take responsibility’ don’t prevent or cure a person’s real pain.

    • I agree–we need to take more responsibility.

  6. Thank you Julia for laying out the issues so well, and with humor!

    I wanted to add something that I feel is lost in much of this discussion. What these teens live in is a culture of entitlement. All boys grow up in this culture, because the majority of boys are taught at a young age to suppress emotions (boys and girls are born with the same capacity to express emotion after all) and are also taught that they should do whatever they can so as not to be seen as girls. Being called a girl/woman is the worst thing you can call a boy/guy/man. Is it any surprise that boys grow up thinking they are better than half the population? (and there is even support for this in same sex education, pedagogy for which advises teachers that boys over estimate their abilities – whereas girls underestimate theirs)

    This is a huge factor in why boys grow into teens and then into adults feeling that they are entitled to women’s bodies – coupled with all the sexual imagery they are barraged with of women’s bodies (whereas women do not see similar depictions of men’s bodies – this is the reason so many men are more visual than women., that isnt innate but learned).

    I engage in online debate on a variety of states and I have come to conclude that the things society most dislikes about men’s actions (seeking multiple sex partners, more prone to visual stimulation than mental, etc) are things that A LOT of men believe are innate even though they conflate evolutionary psych with evolutionary biology. None of that stuff is innate but so many men are wont to believe it for fear of having to engage in self introspection and realize none of that is really true. This, in my eyes, is a huge problem with men’s sexuality and dating/relating between hetero men and women.

    For example, a lot of men do whatever they can so as to not wear condoms because they learn from a young age that women control teh sex. When the contraception and abortion debate arises we learn this is true, because men are hardly ever discussed as being responsible agents in having sex, the discussion is always directed at women. When we discuss rape, the discussion is also always directed at women. Men think, Ive never raped, this is not about me, but virtually all men have known someone who assaulted, raped or coerced a woman into having sex when she did not want to.

    It is the culture of silence (for fear of violating some nebulous bro code) that guys do not speak out against other guys. Unfortunately, the culture of entitlement is so pervasive, that some guys simply wont risk being derided for speaking up about something they know deep down is wrong. The culture of silence perpetuates rape culture.

    Lastly, the culture of protection, which the entire town of Steubenville engaged in, also perpetuates rape culture by subscribing to the erroneous belief that rape is something that happens in other communities, not ours, but the fact is rape happens everywhere and due to the culture of silence and protection, it is woefully underreported.

    The decrease in rape (and IPV) has nothing to do with men who have stopped raping/hitting, but due to the increased agency by women enabling them to leave their abusers.

    Until men are willing to address their false concept of masculinity (and thus learned entitlement) we will continue to have rape culture. It is depressing to think about.

  7. I think that kids these days are trying to grow up too fast. Every kid at some point just wants to get it over with so that they can feel independent. Our culture as a whole promotes sexuality and perceived beauty because there are so many products to buy in pursuit of such ‘standards’ (Condoms, lubricants, birth control, Plan B, tanning products, make up, hair products, salon styling, mani/pedi’s, waxing, clothes, shoes, accessorizes, etc.). It’s over-commercialization to maximize profit to perpetuate a culture bent on going over the top. Many people have this idea that they have to do better than their peers. While some competition is good and is good motivation to better yourself. However, to what extent are people willing to go?

    It does well to be in a good shape and healthy lifestyle, but is it necessary to look like Arnold back in his day? If it makes you happy, then more power to you for pursing your dreams, but you have to take so many products to achieve such things as this.

    It’s good to take on some grooming procedures. Showers, some shaving may be nice, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.; these are good, but is it really necessary to always look polished, to be ‘cutting edge’? Most men actually prefer someone who wears less make up and takes less time getting ready.

    There are so many products for so many things, and they usually are just so trivial. One example is a lotion warmer you plug in for the sole purpose of having heated lotion when you apply it. I’m not a big fan of cold lotion, I hardly use it anyways, but it’s just so unnecessary it’s ridiculous. Tans can be nice, to some level it suggests we get out and are active instead of sitting inside all day far away from the sun and physical activity, but it’s not necessary to look like burnt toast. And yes, I actually knew a woman whose skin was very, very unnaturally brown.

    A lot of people struggle on a daily basis with financial woes. No one wants to feel like everything they own is crap and practically worthless. But some aren’t willing to put the work in that is essential in gaining these things, and therefore have no appreciation for what they do have. They would rather have it handed to them instead of lifting a hand in doing it themselves. I understand it’s really nice to receive gifts, but if you don’t do anything for yourself how are you supposed to truly enjoy what you have? Rewards are great motivators, and in receiving them, you get a sort of satisfaction.

    Back to rapeculture. Our society perpetuates this idea of one-upping everyone. Wear the nicest shoes, buy the nicest shirts, eat the nicest food, look the best, be the best at sports, have the bigger muscles, be the thinnest, etc. etc. All of these things require many products to keep up in this fast paced ideology. The trigger for these things is over sexing the media that suggests that the thinner you are, the nicer your hair looks, the more extravagant you look, the prettier your nails are, then bigger you muscles are, the more you wax, the more you put into your self image, the more attractive you are. Humans are hardwired to work together, to play together, and to be intimate with each other. So of course, to the majority of people who were never taught better, this would be considered good. The motivator and the reward. Motivation to be ‘better’ at really everything or most of what you do, and the reward is that someone will want to be with you.

    The problem is that we all have our shortcomings and none of us can be truly ‘perfected’. This creates self doubt and in some desperateness. Everyone wants to be loved, everyone wants to be ‘perfected’. However for 99% of us, it just isn’t realistic. And that’s the problem. We can’t be perfect in a culture that puts the smallest percentage on a pedestal so high that we could never compare on their standards. So, girls will put themselves out their on a limb because they want to be wanted. Even if it means that it’s a one night stand. It might not be love, but at least someone found them attractive enough to have sex with them. That’s what’s wrong with our society. Big business making dime on our sensitivity and self doubt.

    With people putting themselves out there like that, it becomes a norm. What used to be taboo and shaming is becoming somewhat expected. People over stressed from being overworked and underpaid for a culture that expects the most for the least, and going out to ‘forget their worries’ even if for a night. They subconsciously feel the need to be loved and affectionate, and/or just want the high of the climax, go out looking for a little something that doesn’t require commitment. Commitment requires hard work, and our society hasn’t really prized that as an ideology as a whole. We want what we can get with the least amount of effort (like dollar menus).

    In this over sexed society, we have girls believing that they need to be the prettiest and the best dressed to be desirable, and men who believe that their manliness/worth is tied how “desirable” they are (aka how many girls they can sleep with). So you have an entire culture that is based on sex and whether or not you can get any. I believe this is why many men feel entitled. They see girls in little bitty skirts and low cut shirts that will sleep with anyone on TV and the ideology is put in bold on tabloid covers and online news forums. A certain celebrity’s butt looked great at this one place. Look at another celebrity’s boobs here in this picture, she might have gotten surgery. This celebrity over here had a wardrobe malfunction, everyone saw her down stairs, etc.

    Many men have this idea that the majority of women who like getting out and about have sex with many people. They might feel like if they don’t have sex with them, then it’s an insult to all of the hard work they’ve put into their appearance. This especially when it seems as though they might sleep with anyone. I believe this was the beginning of “rapeculture”.

  8. “Ladie’s Night”…. Talk about rape culture.

  9. I can see where Guy Farce is coming from with the idea of addressing rape starting in prisons. However, coming with a background of studying rape cases throughout my college years and the most effective way to stop the “rape culture” that we are living in now, is to start with schools. Children are the most willing to learn ideas and often most likely to look at both sides of an issue, along with those that have higher education. And the stat “the number of forcible rapes per year has gone down 25,000 since 20 years ago despite that the population increased 55 million” is so hard to prove for so many reason, nobody actually knows this. One reason is that rape within marriage did not become “real rape” until the 1970′s, rape is one of the most UNREPORTED crimes (except within the Native American culture), and yes we can see that population has risen, but again the estimated amount for rape cases that go unreported are about at 82% (most coming from those that are dating/married to the rapist, and college students). Another thing to take into account is the amount of roofies being used at college bars, which are easy to use/get and are very effective for the rapist to use.

  10. Thanks you for writing this.

  11. I understand the term rapeculture. I agree with you.
    -
    I just don´t think that there is an awareness among rapists that rape is rape.
    Look up and read about the Stockholm syndrome. I belive this applies to the pornindustry aswell.

    Thankyou!!

  12. We could debate all day and never reach a conclusion that everybody is happy with, but the undeniable fact is that short skirts and alcohol don’t rape women, men do, so it’s them that need to change their behaviour.

  13. Reading some of these comments, I have to say that the responses are as chock full of propagandized confusion that the media and social networking sites are utilizing to increase their quarterly profit margin. I really wish people would form a full opinion of a situation, as the Author did for an opinion, before they spoke. Muddying the water won’t make anything more clear for anyone.

  14. This whole debate seems to come down to two sides.

    Side 1 argues that a woman should be able to get completely inebriated without fear of rape.

    Side 2 argues that yes, a woman should be able to get completely inebriated without fear of rape, but that we don’t live in an ideal world, so a woman should at the very least mitigate that risk.

    Side 1 responds that Side 2 is suggesting that a woman who does not mitigate this risk bears some responsibility in said rape.

    Side 1 seems to be the same type of sheeple whose entire lives are spent in artistic or academic endeavors, and as such, tend to frame their world view and actions around this “ideal world” which exists free of predators and where everyone is nice to each other. Why buy a gun? Guns are bad. Only cops should have guns. If somebody breaks into your home go hide in the closet and hope they don’t find you.

    Side 2 seems to be the type of people who understand that there are bad people who will do bad things and that while not necessarily wrong, it isn’t prudent to make decisions which will enable these bad people to do bad things to them.

    To sum it up, there are predators of all types. Yes, I should be able to leave my door unlocked when I go to the grocery store because people should know not to come in and take all of my furniture. I shouldn’t have to lock my car or keep my keys with me when I park in public. And I should be able to walk down a dark alley without fear of mugging. And women should be able to “have a few too many” without fear of being sexually assaulted. But we live in the real world. That’s why I lock my house, I lock my car, and I would not advise any close female friends or family to get completely shitfaced drunk without at first taking precautions.

    None of these precautions are admissions of partial responsibility by any potential victims in the case of wrong doing. They are simply prudent behaviors by people who would rather not be victimized.

    Nothing is new under the sun, and intelligent behavior is intelligent behavior. Regardless of the fancy degrees or how organic you eat or your cool, trendy Weezer glasses or the fact that you subscribe to The Nation. Don’t let yourself be the victim, because no amount of pleading for education or cultural change will change the fact that sociopaths exist, and they want to hurt you.

    • The problem with your argument is that it is sociopaths who are raping us. It isn’t. It is our co workers, our class mates, our friends. It is a family friend. It is our mom’s boyfriend. It is the neighbor down the street. Rapists are not sociopaths. They are men who don’t see women as human beings but as objects for self gratification. You are more likely to be mugged than to be raped by a stranger. If you actually did research to understand this issue you would know more than 80% of rapes occur in cases where the attacker and victim know each other, whether they have interacted only once or twice or known each other for years. Rapists are ordinary men, they are not what goes bump in the night. You work with them, you have dinner and drinks with them, you admire them. It could be your brother or father. It could be your cousin or uncle. It could even be your grandfather. During my research for the last paper I wrote about this I came across a study that is gaining more publicity now. I worked out the math based on their findings. For every 20 men you encounter at least 3 of them have raped or attempted to rape a woman. So the next time you are at work, count each male there and then let it sink in that at least 3 of them have sexually assaulted a woman. You have no idea which ones they are.

    • You’re comparing leaving your house unlocked when you go to the grocery store and getting drunk at a party full of your own classmates…..? lol. *eye roll*

      Where do you draw the line in “avoiding being victimized”? What about bartenders who go home late at night? They should probably find different jobs, huh? Or hire a bodyguard! YES, that’s it. That’s the solution. Because I know that if I got laid off from my corporate job, there’s a good chance I’d have to babysit late at night, or work in the service industry, and take public transit to get home. My boyfriend works at a bank and so he wouldn’t be able to walk me home every night and my friends are great but I don’t think they’d change around their lives in order to help me. I wonder how much bodyguards run these days. Do you see any solutions to this conundrum? No, me neither. Yes, there will always be rapists, and there will always be rape, as there will always be women who are raped. You know what doesn’t have to always be? Rapists being sympathized with and women being BLAMED for their own rapes. Literally 97% of rapists are never convicted. Why? Because women are afraid of being blamed for their own rape, and so they don’t report, or when they do, they’re often not given the justice they deserve. THAT’S the problem.

      • I literally do not sympathize one ounce with the guilty, in fact, I’d be glad to pull the trigger myself. I suppose that’s a difference between all the hand wringing weakling males here and me. I’d be willing to kill a rapist. Myself.

        Still. Don’t get fucked up and go to parties where you don’t have a buddy watching your back. Don’t walk down dark alleys with bloods and crips who want to take your stuff. Common sense.

        Thank you.

        • Also as far as the Steubenville case that girl was there with other girls. They testified in court. Instead of taking her away from the situation they let her attackers carry her off. Regardless of that situation alcohol is not the problem. While I don’t know the exact percent I do know that less than half of sexual assaults involve alcohol on either persons part. You just don’t seem to get that rapists are the people we love and trust. Usually someone who is supposed to take care of us or look out for us. Your commentary is narrow minded. If you want to participate in this issue you need to understand the basics. Read books, talk to the women in your life and see if they are comfortable sharing their experiences with you, once you have a well rounded view of what rape is and who rapists are then you can provide insightful commentary.

        • I have to agree.

          Rapists and abusers should be punished to the highest degree of severity allowed. They take away a woman or man’s right to consent or choose something for themselves. I will never, ever defend an attacker or sympathize with them on any level. They deserve swift justice and a full denial of any possible parole. As a murderer takes a life, so does a rapist, though our society doesn’t seem to think so sometimes.

          I also am disgusted by the amount of people who think that rape is “legitimate or illegitimate”, that a woman was “asking for it” or a “Slut”, that consent was implied because the woman or man didn’t say “no”. However, I understand that we do live in a real world and not a Utopian society. If a rapist tried to attack me, I would willingly, without a second thought, arm myself and pull that trigger. The idea that we should put the blame on the victim is ridiculous, but to say that the only thing we ought to do in the interim period is teach boys not to rape, to say that women shouldn’t need weapons to defend themselves because it puts the blame on them, is foolish and outright laughable.

          I really do hope for a day when boys and girls have been taught about the horrors of rape, abuse and assault and disdain it in any setting or form, but until that day, I’ll carry something on my person whenever I feel unsafe to protect against the vile creatures that would take away my right to consent.

          • Even with common sense being used, even at an event where the woman may know 90% of the people she can still be sexually assaulted and even raped. Your argument is too simple. While it doesn’t exactly blame the victim it shows an enormous lack of understanding. Do you assume that all facing this type of situation has a fight or flight response? Or that they have physical means of defending themselves? Or that they are even old enough to understand what is even happening to them? It is easy to say don’t let yourself be the victim I just wish it was as easy as that.

  15. If you were serious about addressing a rape culture (not just using it as a buzzword), you would have started with prisons, which people joke about while tacitly validating the idea that rape is part of what should happen to you if you’re imprisoned.

    The fact is you can’t point to one politician saying stupid things or one rape case and say we have a rape culture any more than you can point to a murder and say look, our country is in a civil war. In reality, the number of forcible rapes per year has gone down 25,000 since 20 years ago despite that the population increased 55 million.

  16. For the one’s coming up with the “It’s an inividual responsabily not to get yourself at risk, can’t blame the sociaty”

    According to that thinking, racism is an individual thing, and blacks from de 1950′s who’d get their ass kicked on the street simply for being black, should have knowed it was a “white only” neighborhood, and so have their responsability in this violent abuse.. To recognize there was a “racism culture” going on in the States at that time, opened some minds, and slowly changed that culture so racism could stop,..and thank god, it did, not totaly, but enough…. to have,…50 or so years later, a black president. Or just, not get your ass kicked just for waking on the wrong sidewalk. But hey ” They were playing hopssctoch on the highway!” To separate individual behavior with the culture they grew up in, is idotic at is best. Guess what society is made of? Individuals. It’s by educating individuals that you change society. And in the society she’s talking about, there is without a fuckin doubt a BIGGG way to go and to grow, about our position on rape and abuse. But for some narrow selfcenred it make them feel guilty right? You make that nice math of ” Hey, she makes society gulty. Im in society so…She making ME feel guilty! Fuck her! She’s responsable for HER body and safety! Not ME!”, That’s what she’s saying, of curse. ( Sarcasm here )

    • Let me correct a few of your misconceptions.

      1) You are accusing society of evils that are properly ascribed to individuals.
      Therefore, 2) I don’t feel “guilty” because I have nothing to feel guilty about, but your accusation, aimed at society, necessarily includes me, and I don’t appreciate being painted with that broad brush.
      3) If you were black in the 50′s and were walking around in a predominantly white, racist neighborhood, you should expect to not get a welcoming reception. If the point was to draw attention to the issue, you might decide it’s worth it, but nobody put a gun to your head and made you go put yourself in harm’s way! You should therefore take responsibility for making the decision to go there. Worth it to further to cause? That’s your call.
      4) Educating individuals by calling them participants in a “rape culture” is the kind of rhetoric that pushes AWAY moderates like myself. I am strongly in favor of individual rights and human dignity, but calling me part of a “rape culture” because of the actions of certain individuals that I do not condone makes me not want to take you seriously, and misreading my words of caution as endorsements of these selfsame actions makes you look stupid. Blaming “society” is intellectually lazy and serves only to polarize the issue.

      • James, I’m a lady and I agree with you. ;)

      • Is it stupid to “blame” society for the fact that you speak english? IT’s not a blame, it’s a fact. Why? Cause you grew in an environment where people spoke english. you understand the influence of an environment right? Racisn was part of the environment, when that environment started to change, when individuales started to change, the racism change. In some culture, relegion, a rape victim will get beat down with rocks. Dont’t you agree, that there is in that group, in that society a wrong way to treat rape? It does not mean that men in that culture who dont agree with that practice, should feel guilty, it simply means, that in the group, they’re is a strong need to grow out of that mentality. Now, you can choose, to try to open some minds, elevate the collective consciousness, or play it “individual” I’m a guy, and this article did not make me feel guilty at all, did not make me feel like I was responsable on the same level of a rapist. Just like in the 50″s every white men did not have to feel guilty every time a white red neck would beat down a black man. But, even if some white men were not “racist”, maybe they’ll say “niger” a few times, and close their eyes everytime a black man would get asked to go sit at the back of the bus. Just like some guys call some times a girl “slut” , and close their eyes when a female co worker gets a “friendly” ass slap. It’s part of the culture, so why bother? That’s the point of this article, to make a stop and maybe, bother.

    • “For the one’s coming up with the “It’s an inividual responsabily not to get yourself at risk, can’t blame the sociaty”

      According to that thinking, racism is an individual thing, and blacks from de 1950′s who’d get their ass kicked on the street simply for being black, should have knowed it was a “white only” neighborhood, and so have their responsability in this violent abuse.”

      Except rape, like all types of violence, will likely always be a part of our society, whereas the institutionalized oppression of minorities varies based on societal context, therefore, it does not promote “rape culture” to suggest that a woman abstain from behavior which might or might not put her at a higher degree of vulnerability to such actions.

      And to be clear, I only speak of drugs or alcohol in this context. I am not referring to sexual proclivities, how one chooses to dress, ostentatious behavior, whatever. I am simply suggesting that getting shit faced, passed out on the couch drunk at a party where you don’t really know anyone or have anyone watching your back, is not smart.

      • Sirously, you ever went to a party where you did not know anybody? I mean, you always know at least, one or two person who invited you to the party, and you trust them to not being friends with potential rapist. And plus, like is potential rapist where all walking around with big glasses a a creepy mustache. ” Look there’s a rapist at the party, let’s not drink too much” The two footballs player, did not look at all like potential rapist, and I’m pretty sure even them before it happened, did not know they had that potential. Do you fuckin realise, what you are making the victim feel? Realy. You’ll have that girl in your face right now and you’d tell her. “Well, I know it’s wrong what they did to you, and sure they deserve to go to jell…but…how much did you drink…and…did you ask entering the party…”Is there any potential rapist in here??” Yeah you look in her eyes and tell that humilated, selfestime destroyed girl, she “had it coming”

        • Okay, nevermind, you’re right.

          Being 16 and getting blitzed and passing out on a couch at a party where you don’t know anyone is a great idea. You’re right.

          Sorry for not seeing the logic in it.

          • And yes, like others have said, she was at a party full of her own classmates. She knew them all. Read the text messages and tweets exchanged by the boys involved, one of them was her ex-boyfriend and they all refer to her by name. That 16 year old girl got drunk and passed out at a party where she knew EVERYONE. I know I did that at least once in high school, namely after prom. It didn’t strike me for one second that some boy I saw in the halls everyday might rape me while I blissfully slept away the booze on the couch! I trusted those people and she should’ve been able to trust her classmates.

            So basically, all of your arguments are irrelevant and you’re a part of rape culture. You need to wise up, especially if that’s your son in your photo. Teach him not to rape, PLEASE!

          • 1. Part of being a teenager is experimenting. Not knowing how alcohol will effect you and drinking too much (which, for the victim in Steubenville, might not have even been very much at all) is common and, frankly, not abnormal, albeit risky and not ‘healthy’. It is the way that a teenager’s brain is wired, chemically and biologically, to take risks and to push the limits of the world around them as their bodies explode with hormones and they grow and evolve. To say that a teenager should just “not get drunk” is like saying that teenagers should just “not have sex”, and we all know how stupid abstinence-only sex education is.

            2. Getting black-out drunk has the possibility of various consequences, just like abusing any substance or taking any risk does. You could get robbed, you could get arrested, you could get fined for under-age drinking, you could get in your car and get a DUI, you could get alcohol poisoning, whatever. But explaining away a fellow teenager PENETRATING a blacked-out girl’s body, literally putting his fingers into her vagina, as a consequence of drinking that SHE has to accept is going way too fucking far. If you can’t see the difference, then you are a part of rape culture.

          • You do realize in the Stubenville case she knew the boys who raped her? And a gross majority of women/girls know their rapist. It’s not always a stranger in a dark alley.

            Also, put this perspective on your own shoulders: as a man have you EVER been afraid to walk home alone at night or been catcalled when passing a construction zone? Do you ever even think about rape? We are raised in a culture and a society where that fear is pushed into us from a young age. We’re aware of it, of the risks, of the possibility of being sexually assaulted is one in 5 (not taking into account unreported statistics). Unfortunately, all of my close female friends and mentors have, at some point or another, been sexually assaulted. So if you’re asking me, trust me, we are aware, we are on alert and we are conscious of our “choices.”

            Do you have any idea what it is like to live with that burden? Like minded people to yourself focus so strongly on the woman’s role in these situation and what SHE needed to do to prevent it. At the end of the day there is NOTHING any of us could have done to prevent it.

            Perpetuating these stale ideals that a woman can “protect” herself from being raped or prevent it just by dressing conservatively and staying in at night and being “good” provokes the assumption that someone who is raped was being “bad” or “asking for it.” That is rape culture.

            Also, no one I know was raped was in a dark alley by a stranger. Many were molested by family members, several were assaulted on dates, some were raped by acquaintances. The list goes on. All of these women were “being good” in seemingly safe environments with men they knew and trusted. Explain to me how you put the burden back on the woman for this situation? All of these women should have known better? They were being dumb, hanging out with their boss or uncle or boyfriend?

            Your bleak and pale misunderstanding of what rape culture is versus what individual responsibility is, unfortunately, just one example of many distorted and unfortunate schools of thought on rape.

            • No.

              I literally don’t care how a woman dresses or acts or how many people she sleeps with.

              It is just not intelligent to take part in an act which alters your consciousness to the point where you are either a)so drunk that you can’t say no because you think EVERYTHING is a good idea or b)so drunk that you’re passed out so you can’t say no.

              You’re given a requisite level of consciousness when you’re sober. As in, you’re sober. Everything else is a liberty. You take liberties, you take risks. You don’t accept blame when you accept risk. But if you can take steps to avoid it, take steps to avoid it.

              • Rape is rape. Period. My brain is so over-stimulated by all I read here between the article and the comments. I felt there was a bit of truth to many different statements, even those that seemed to vary. What I got from all of it:
                “This is a Rape Culture”. Where to begin… well there is the rape of the Sabine women said to have taken place in 750 BC, there is the rape of Nanking which took place around 1937, and of course a famous poem entitled “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope published in 1712. For those unfamiliar, the poem is about a man’s attempt at stealing a lock of hair from a girl WITHOUT her permission. Though this poem may be humorous, the idea of giving consent is still prominent even in the 1700′s. Rape even as it is defined in 750 BC seems to portray a sense of unity, consent and permission given from both parties. Granted handing your children over to marry with the expectation of them procreating was probably the ideal then, history seems to relay the idea of a rape being men carrying women off without their.. what’s the key word here? Without their PERMISSION. So yes, this rape culture still exists and yes it’s come a long way, but as the intellectuals ideas grow and change so do the ideas in society about what is acceptable and what is taboo. Child molestation is taboo, but yet, there are still those mothers that parade their six year old daughters around in what some people would describe as “trampy” or “slutty” clothing even for an adult. And the general public still supports the toddler in tiara craze. The purpose of Julia Robert’s character in “Pretty Woman” walking the streets in a short skirt was not to obtain a college education. It was to obtain money from men wanting to get laid. I still remember seeing this film as a child on the floor of our apartment, my single mom shielding my eyes from the sex part. But what did I take away from that? Not that pretty women in short skirts attract desperate, lost or disturbed men as in “Monster” another film about prostitutes, though this one is actually based on a true story. I thought as a child I wanted to wear short skirts and skip about as to attract my own prince charming Richard Gere millionaire so that I could live happily ever after. So does wearing a short skirt mean I, (a young niave and sweet nine year old who loved kittens and wrote poems and drew picture of these beloved kittens) deserve to be raped because I thought I needed a short skirt to fall in love? No, I hope not. It means young girls want love and/or acceptance and yes, the media and society has contributed to this fixation to attempt to get that. Did this girl in Steubenville ask for rape? She may have been asking for attention, but I’m pretty sure if she was passed out she could ask for anything. Do I think it’s a good idea for girls to wear provocative clothing and drink heavily? No. Will I educate my daughters on the dangers of doing so? Absolutely, positively. But I will also speak candidly and frankly with my boys about what is acceptable behavior regarding sex and treatment of women? And all individuals for that matter. But it will be up to them to use their own judgement and make their own choices after that point. So is society is at fault? Parents? Is it up to the individual? I’m guessing some combination is the answer and I don’t happen to have it on hand today.

              • Well now you’re just opening the door to all kinds of “victim blaming.” The idea that anyone who ever takes a risk or puts themselves in a situation that won’t necessarily have a 100% positive outcome deserves any possible negative repercussions because they took the risk. This goes for anyone who has been raped to anyone who has ever been in a car accident. “Well they deserved it, they were driving on the interstate after all.”

                This is ridiculous. Sometimes you just have to suck in your nuts and admit you are wrong. And you’re wrong about this. Completely.

                Regardless of the situation, there is no excuse for rape. There is NO blame on her part. A woman, a man, a boy– whomever– should be able to get black out wasted drunk and run around naked and not be taken advantage of or raped. Yes, this is an extreme analogy, but roll with me for a minute.

                The message presented here is not that she wasn’t doing something stupid or questionable, it’s that it DOESN’T MATTER. Regardless of the choices we make for ourselves or situations we put ourselves in, no one should EVER be taken advantage of, assaulted, raped etc. That is not an acceptable response. As human beings, we need to evolve beyond this reaction and evolve to understand that it is never the victims fault. The victim was never asking for it.

                The idea that we need to perpetuate stems from the root cause of mentality in the men and women who are predators. Albeit this is usually a one-sided gender issue when discussed, there are plenty of women out there who take advantage of men (particular examples are the high school teachers getting it on with teenage boys).

                Regardless of who the predator is, we need to start changing the perception in our society as a whole. The response we seem to float to is this exacerbated theory on what the victim did wrong or what could of changed on their end. In reality, nothing would have stopped them from being raped except for their rapist to have NOT raped them. The choice was not in their hands, but in their predator’s.

                So how do we stop people from becoming predators? Lets open up that discussion.

          • Being 16……ok, so being 25 would change the reasonning here? At what age does a woman becomes able te defend herself while in a shitfaced passed out state? They’re will always be racist, but the collective consciousness about racism can grow. It did. Sex “Predators” , which the two footballs player are not. They did not broke into a house to rape a sleeping girl. They were a buch of guys who took advantage of a drunk girl. This article is not talking about cleaning the planet off sex predators and live in a world of peace, love and cookies.. It simply ask the question ” What kinda of influence these guys got to make them do this? And how to we treat them, the situation and, the victim? What part does the culture, the environment plays? Because, the environment DOES play a role in some Individual behavior. And how we treat those behavior once the action as been done. In that matter, a rape. She’s simply asking if their is more to this story. More than just, individuals, who are responsable for their action and should live with the consequences. Why do we see, and treat rape, sex, and women differently than other contries, culture, and religions? Because there is different ways to look at rape, sex, women, life, and our way, right now, might not be PERFECT, and can grow some more before we call a” Ok, we are done, it will not get any better, so be carefull, and deal with the consequences. Because that’s the word we live in” I get your point, lock your doors, and dont get too drunk in a party where you dont know anybody. I get it. But this article does not talk about sociopath predators, it talks about everyday life, how we see and treat women, sex, rape, victims. How we can fuckin think for 2 seconds on what we can do to eleminate to “casual oops sorry” rapist. Forget the sociopaths.. I dont beleive the two boys are sociopaths, I dont beleive they are thinking on their next victims. But I fermly think a victim is a victim, eitheir the rape was from a sociopath or two star football players. I just hope the same amount of time, energy, and money will be put on the victim to recover, than on the two guys on their reabilitation. And the last thing this girl need, is to be told” Well girl… being 16 and getting too drunk at party…..not realy smart. ” That’s what the article is also about, giving the girl a fucking brake.

  17. Oh my word it bothers me when people keep citing “the ruined potential” of the boys. I daresay the woman who was raped isn’t going to go skipping away from this. WHAT ABOUT HER??????? She was brave! It took guts to stand up and be heard. Not to mention have your personal life and anatomy online for all to see forever.
    “they didn’t know any better” yet another cop out in my opinion. What they did was ASSAULT. If someone had gotten out a KNIFE and started CUTTING her, would someone have stood up and stopped it?!?!??! If someone had started beating her while she was unconsious, would someone have stopped it?
    BECAUSE THAT’S ASSAULT! Granted, one is assault with a deadly weapon, but you get my point.

    • “If someone had gotten out a KNIFE and started CUTTING her, would someone have stood up and stopped it?!?!??! If someone had started beating her while she was unconsious, would someone have stopped it?
      BECAUSE THAT’S ASSAULT! Granted, one is assault with a deadly weapon, but you get my point.”

      OMG Laura that is an awesome way to put it! It is SO TRUE!

      Every day we stand up for people who are vulnerable and have horrible crimes committed against them. Children, seniors, people who have mental illnesses, etc etc. Taking advantage of these types of people is completely sick and heinous, ESPECIALLY because they are so vulnerable. In fact, when crimes are committed against these groups the first question is usually “Well who was there that could have stopped it and didn’t?” No blame is usually ever assigned to these types of victims. So why is it any different here? Vulnerability is vulnerability NO MATTER THE REASON! And we as a society have an obligation to protect these people and to protect EACH OTHER! And we obviously have to first address this rape culture issue because people don’t seem to understand that assault is assault regardless of the type!

      I was raped at age 20 while studying in Italy on my way home from a bar. I took the case to court and was called every name imaginable by Italian authorities. In court I was asked if I was a virgin and how many sexual partners I’ve had, if I’ve ever cheated on my boyfriend, and if I had flirted with my attacker previously at the bar. AS IF ANY OF THAT WOULD CHANGE THE FACT THAT HE HELD ME DOWN AND RAPED ME! My own translater even told me that it was partly my fault because I had gotten drunk. My rapist told the court that I was only screaming “no” because I was orgasming so hard. I had bruises all over my body and ligature marks on my lower arms from where he held me down.

      Guess what? I didn’t win my trial and neither do most of these women. I remember thinking that it may have been different had I been raped in America instead of Italy, that maybe I would have won here, but I’m not so sure.

      My heart goes out to this victim because I know how many years of psychological and emotional trauma she is going to face. And no, she will never be the same and neither will I.

      What sucks is that even talking about being raped is so taboo. People don’t know what to say to you, or how to react. It’s just plain humiliating. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE! Victims should NEVER feel ashamed – not to report it, not to tell their story, not to confide in others. VICTIMS SHOULD NEVER FEL ASHAMED ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED UP TO THEIR ASSAULT. Rape is CRIME just like any other, and no rape victim should have to feel judged. The after effects of having someone violate you in that deeply personal way is BAD ENOUGH without other people persecuting you for what THEY think you should have done differently. As if any of that changes the fact that something deeply and horribly wrong has happened.

      I’m glad these conversations are happening. It’s about damn time. It’s just a shame that this innocent CHILD is going to be pulled through the mud as result. My deepest sympathies go to her.

  18. So listen, I get that women should not have to be on their guard at all times, and it should not fall on them to be constantly defensive against would be attackers. But to suggest that the idea that women should arm themselves as a precaution against an attack is promoting rape culture is idiotic. Arming my home against an intruder is a precautionary measure. Men arm themselves in public against muggers or other would be predators. It is only because people accept that bad people will do bad things and often the only thing preventing them from carrying out their evil intentions is for the victim to decide to not allow themselves to become a victim. Being proactive about not becoming a victim is not a declaration that the onus falls on the victim to prevent rape, rather, it is simply an acceptance of the grim realities of life and an unwillingness to go down without a fight.

    I would, however, blame the inaction of the bystanders at Stuebenville more on the cowardice of group-think more than any sort of complicity in “rape culture.” In the minds of many, being one of a group allows them to justify their moral cowardice with the rationale that “somebody else will say something about it, so it doesn’t have to be me.” This is the same sort of thinking that allows the elderly to be mugged in broad daylight while not a person lifts a finger, and that also allowed the holocaust to happen despite the generally accepted notion that mass genocide is not morally permissible.

    Everyone knows, even rapists, with the exception of the remorseless sociopath, that rape is wrong. That includes all of the various acts that fall under the penumbra of sex, even if she’s unconscious and not explicitly saying “no.” Most people know the difference between right and wrong, and any sort of complicity when others choose to break these rules on the part of witnesses or bystanders is the fault of moral cowardice.

    My suggestion for combating sexual violence? It is the same suggestion I have for all criminals who choose to prey on those weaker then them. Make a violent example out of them in a public arena. To me, it takes a special kind of criminal to rape, to prey on the elderly, to hurt children.

  19. Since nobody reacted on it, I’d like to comment on what James Rogers say in his comment and especially on “In that sense, and ONLY to the degree that the victim’s behavior made the rape possible, the victims ARE responsible for putting themselves in harm’s way, and to deny this is patently idiotic.”

    I think such statement is one of the most stupid argument I read in my life. If we extrapolate from rapes to any other kind of crimes, it means that the victim of a crime can be responsible for the violence perpetrated on him/her because he/she put himself/herself in danger. In other words : he/she had it coming. Clearly there is something wrong about thinking that someone must adapt his behavior in order not to hurt the sensibility of a deviant individual. Should we also blame the victim of a robbery for not protecting his belongings well enought? This is not how society is suppose to work and seing people using such kind of arguments is deeply disturbing to say the least. In this particular case it’s nothing but a tricky way for justifying a sexist behavior and a point of view in which a woman does not appear as equal as a man. The other paragraph in which this guy explain that a man’s rape is unlikely due to the fact that he is stronger and therefore cannot be forced is again wrong and it carries on a stereotype about rapes. A rape does not always imply a physically violent behavior but a coercitive behavior through which the victim is forced to do a sexual act he does not want to do. It means that coercion can also be a psychological abuse in which case strenght and “bone density” have no importance whatsoever.

    Julia’s essay is quite good (although I’m not sure about not using rape as the element of a story in entertainement. In my opinion I think anything can be use in art. What matters is the author’s point of view and what he does with such narrative elements.) but I think before talking about rape culture we should start talking about what rape is since a lot of people, as we can see, have a wrong definition of it.

    • “Clearly there is something wrong about thinking that someone must adapt his behavior in order not to hurt the sensibility of a deviant individual. Should we also blame the victim of a robbery for not protecting his belongings well enought? This is not how society is suppose to work and seing people using such kind of arguments is deeply disturbing to say the least.”

      Clearly the fact that this is such a sensitive subject (as it should be), causes passions to run high and people to misinterpret what others are saying.

      I am only saying this in capital letters so nobody can accuse me of suggesting otherwise, but CLEARLY NO ONE IS SUGGESTING THAT A WOMAN IS SOMEHOW RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING RAPED IF HER ACTIONS INCREASED HER VULNERABILITY.

      The argument, although very poorly worded I will admit, is that people should never make themselves a target. This is not to avoid “hurting the sensibilities of deviant individuals,” (nice strawman, by the way), this is because we know there are deviant individuals out there and in many cases it’s better to blend in than stand out.

      It is not wrong of a woman to get passed out drunk at a party with a crowd she’s unfamiliar with anymore than it is wrong to get passed out drunk at a family reunion where the chances of getting assaulted are virtually zero. It is simply not smart. I would not suggest any woman do this for the same reason I would not walk through the most dangerous part of the city flashing expensive jewelry with a fist full of 100 dollar bills. It’s just not smart.

      With that being said, rape is rape, and these precautions should only serve to prevent rape, not justify it should they failed to be put in place.

      • “The argument, although very poorly worded I will admit, is that people should never make themselves a target. This is not to avoid “hurting the sensibilities of deviant individuals,” (nice strawman, by the way), this is because we know there are deviant individuals out there and in many cases it’s better to blend in than stand out.”

        It’s questionable and I don’t think “walking through the most dangerous part of the city flashing expensive jewelry with a fist full of 100 dollar bills.” can be compared to getting drunk at a party with strangers. A party by definition is supposed to be a safe environment and comparing an individual flashing expensive jewelry and 100 dollar bill (which is quite an extreme and unrealistic situation compared to the other one) with a drunken girl implies that being drunk for a girl is a provocative behavior in itself. Yes it’s important to be careful no matter who you are or where you are, but a woman cannot live in a permanent state of fear and alertness, refusing to do things that a man could do in a normal context (getting drunk at a party for instance) simply because it’s risky. Carefulness is ok as long as it doesn’t hinder equality between men and women and that includes the right to do equally stupid things at a party (like getting drunk).

        Anyway, I think the problem I have with the “people should never make themselves a target” argument is that such argument is always mentioned when we talk about rape but it’s rarely used when we talk about other kind of crimes. By making unintentionally a difference between rapes and other kind of crime and by giving such a special status to rape, I think we support, still in an unintentional way, the idea of the rape culture the author talked about.

    • If you had actually reacted to what I actually said, instead of what you apparently THINK I said, you wouldn’t have had any reason to post anything at all. OBVIOUSLY the rapist/mugger/burglar/etc is responsible for his/her own actions. At the same time, the victim is responsible for his/her actions, including actions which increased his/her risk, such as drinking in excess/not locking doors/playing in traffic/etc., and to say that this isn’t true is to deny the victim’s responsibility for their actions while proclaiming the attacker’s.

      Also, I take offense at the accusation that I am trying to “[justify] sexist behavior and a point of view in which a woman does not appear as equal as a man”. I said multiple times that I was not trying to make excuses for bad behavior, but just pointing out the reality of the situation- that victims often make poor decisions, for which they and they alone are responsible, placing them in harm’s way.

      I am not a researcher of rape statistics, so I cannot say with authority that the greater physical strength/stature of men is a prevalent factor in the majority of man-on-woman rape; however, such an assumption is obvious and reasonable. In any case, I was using the physical differences to point out that no amount of screaming “EQUALITY” will change the physical reality of the world. I am 100% in favor of equal treatment for all adults under the law, be they male, female, black, brown, white, gay, straight, christian, muslim, hindu, etc., but writing a law saying “men are not stronger than women” won’t make it so, and therefore women must exercise caution when deciding to place themselves in risky situations.

      I don’t think there’s much disagreement on what “rape” is, but the demonizing of realists such as myself doesn’t contribute much to the discussion.

  20. I can kind of tell you why it’s “ok” for guys to get drunk at parties, and not women… And by “ok” I mean, “not having fear of consequences on the scale of rape and/or murder”. Because guys aren’t the “prey” of rapists. A guy who gets mugged simply gets mugged because muggers are probably more prone to be heterosexual than homosexual. A woman who gets mugged may have the crime expanded by the mugger’s sexuality, and whether or not he feels that he can get away with sexual assault or rape at the time. Does that mean a woman should have to worry about getting too drunk at a party more than a guy does? Well… Yes, because there are more predators at a party for women than there are for guys… Does that mean it is solely the woman’s job to not get too drunk or hide her sexuality or prepare to defend herself? No. The people who prey on women need to be weened off, either through education or removal from society.

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