Indian Rape Victim Was Driven To Suicide (Trigger Warnings For Rape, Religious WTF And General Rage Inducing Hatefulness)
Seriously world? What the ever loving fuck? There are days when American rape culture makes me want to scream or go on a taint kicking spree. Then I reading something like this and it makes me feel better about how far we’ve come here. Then I feel like shit because something like this should not make anyone feel better about anything!
Then I think about it for a little while longer and I realize that the differences I’m seeing are really just cosmetic.
I’ve been having a conversation with some friends on LSG about the Boyfriend Bear, which I thought was probably the creepiest non-spider related thing in the universe. This Witch grew up without the joys of organized Christianity, specifically the evangelical kind of Protestantism that seems to spawn these horrors. I really thought I’d reached the limit of crazy for this particular demographic. Then the LSGers told me about Purity Balls and I had to go wash my brain.
This shit? Is dangerous. Totally aside from the fact that the failure rate is massive which leads to pregnancy and STDs from lack of protection, the religious stigma and backlash cause real, lasting damage. Why? Because the farther right a religious group gets the more likely they are to blame the victim for their rape. Don’t believe me? Look At This Shit. Over and over again females in all cultures are given functionally the same messages. Why were you with him in the first place? Were you flirting with him? Did you tell him no? Did you mean it? Did you fight? He’s a good guy! He’s sorry! He didn’t realize! You’ll ruin his life! You brought it on yourself.
When I was a tween I had no fashion sense. I careened wildly from one tragic outfit to another. Thank Universe I have no pictures of myself to post. Suffice it to say, I dressed like an episode of 21 Jump Street only angrier and, you know not Caucasian.
Here’s the thing. I started developing at 11 and I dressed for attention. So I got it. Cause, effect. Guys made comments and by “guys” I mean males between the ages of tween and death. A lot of those comments were creepy as fuck and when I said something to pretty much anyone the response I got was “Well, look how you’re dressed.” In my mind that translated to “you brought it on yourself.” That makes sense because that’s pretty much what they were fucking telling me. Sadly, at that age, I did not have the vocabulary to respond.
But I do now.
You know what world? You’re right. I was dressing for attention. You know what else? Attention /= harassment. The fact that people want to look pretty or even attractive (which has an inherent element of drawing the attention of other humans) does not give anyone the right to touch or bother them. And that is really the problem because people plead ignorance or comedy or anything else that will let them avoid responsibility for the fact that they ignore these basic truths. This is especially problematic among males.
Hes, I know that females are not the only ones who are harassed or sexually assaulted. But can we not pretend that the victim statistics are anything close to equal? Women are overwhelmingly targeted in terms of sexual assault. That’s just a fact.
After we are targeted we are targeted some more in the forms listed above over and over again as the world tells us that we are at fault for our own suffering. Because when people say those things, what they are doing is telling the victim that not only is she to blame but that the person who hurt her has value while she does not.
Victim blaming is about enforcing the stigma that women who are no longer chaste have been devalued as well as the perception that women are the source of and responsible for all male expressions of aggression or sexuality, even though they aren’t supposed to have any of their own. So the woman is pressured. In India she’s pressured to take a pay off or the other thing that I can’t make myself type without throwing up in my mouth a little bit. In America the woman is pressured with slut shaming and blame and admonishments to think of the reputation of the poor guy who victimized her. It’s the same pressure. The difference is just a matter of degrees.
We must do better.