Yesterday I saw someone quoting the phrase “Instead of teaching girls how not to be raped, we should teach boys not to rape.” It’s a popular theme in the #yesallwomen Twitterfest that’s been going on.
One of the comments (never, ever the read the comments) made an analogy I can’t stop thinking about. To paraphrase, since the thread has since been deleted: ‘Women just have to use common sense. Don’t park your car in the projects if you don’t want it stolen.’ I won’t get into the connotations of “projects” but let’s test out the rest of this comparison.
Where do cars frequently get stolen? Public places with poor lighting, no surveillance, and low police response rates. (Is this true? It’s our assumption.)
Where do people frequently get raped? Public places with poor lighting, no surveillance, and low police response rates. Also private places, including the victim’s own home and friends’ homes. Schools and college campuses. There really aren’t a lot of safe places to ‘park’ your female body-car. Including, and my sarcasm demands making a joke here: parking garages. If the only answer to lowering rape occurences was locking women up, alone, in their houses, then…well, this girl who happens to like seeing the light of day from time to time is glad that’s bullshit. Yes, there are steps we can all take to protect ourselves from sexual assault, but there also needs to be a cultural shift where we stop accepting rape as a given and talk about real crime prevention, not just lowering your personal odds of being victimized.
And, for fun, here’s another side-by-side.
What happens after a car is stolen? It gets reported, it gets investigated, and usually either the car gets found or your insurance pays for it. You figure out how to get around until you can replace the car, and people give you sympathy about it.
What happens after someone gets raped?It might get reported but probably not, it might get investigated but probably not, and rarely is the rapist either found or punished. You get a lifetime to figure out how to deal with your new life/sense of body since you’re stuck with it, and people may give you sympathy about it if you can tell them.
“In addition to teaching girls how not to be raped, we should teach boys not to rape.”
In my humble opinion.
This series is great.