I have stated many times that although I believe that women can and should take steps to decrease the risk of sexual assault; that no woman regardless of whether she has taken such steps is asking for or deserves to be raped. While she is responsible for her own safety, whatever her actions may be, she is not to be blamed for what someone else does to her. Her actions in no way mitigate the responsibility of her rapist, nor should her actions be considered in determining guilt or sentencing of her attacker.
There are those who believe that the responsibility for stopping rape rests solely with men. Not just the men who rape, but all men. They believe that certain words are demeaning to women and that using them promotes rape. They believe that allowing other men to tell jokes about women promotes rape. They believe that supporting survivors of rape somehow decreases rape. They believe that men talking to other men about being viewed as potential rapists will somehow reduce rape. What this might do is make some men a bit more sensitive towards the problem. But it isn’t likely to stop a single rapist from raping. However, it might also get someone killed.
Can you imagine sitting in a bar and overhearing a guy tell a sexist joke? You get up and walk over to the guy and as politely and sensitively as possible, inform him that his joke is demeaning to women and promotes a culture of rape and ask him to stop telling such jokes. I can imagine the guy taking offense. I can imagine his friends taking offense. I can also imagine running like I was Carl Lewis being chased by a hungry jaguar.
It simply isn’t going to work. But there is one thing that will and that one thing is something that only rape victims can do.
It is often said that 90% or more rapes go unreported to law enforcement and that only about 5-6% of rapists ever get convicted. It is said that 1 in 5 of all college women will be the victim of a rape/attempt while in college. If this last statistic is correct, it means that several hundred (close to 1000 on larger campuses) rapes occur on every college campus every single year. It can be shown that for most major universities the number of rapes/attempts reported to campus authorities every year is in the single digits. This indicates that only about 1% or less of all college rapes are reported each year. Is it any wonder that rape is the single most common crime taking place on campus? That is of course, if rape is as prevalent as the sexual grievance industry would have us believe. Getting away with it is virtually guaranteed and the people making that guarantee are the victims themselves.
That’s right, rape victims who fail to report their rapes are the ones to blame for the current rape epidemic because those victims virtually guarantee to the perpetrators that they will get away with their crime. It is almost as though they have provided consent after the fact.
I can only imagine what the response would be if every campus across the country were to receive several hundred reports of rape/attempts every year. They’d call out the National Guard and men would likely be banned from campus at every university across the nation. College men, if there were any left, would be terrified of dating college women. They would likely not look at them. They would likely not speak to them. They’d see a woman coming and turn and run the other way. Rape would cease to exist in all but a handful of cases of those men who are so psychotic that they simply cannot control themselves and would rape anyways.
So while I still believe that no woman asks to be raped, no woman deserves to be raped, and that rapists should be held responsible for the crimes they commit, I am also placing the blame for the rape epidemic squarely upon the shoulders of all those rape victims who failed to report the crime committed against them. Every woman who has ever failed to report a sexual assault committed against her is to blame for every subsequent woman who has fallen victim to this heinous act. It’s time to speak up or shut up. While men may address the issue, only women can stop rape.