Here's a tip: if you find yourself on the side of rapists, it may be time to rethink your position.
These rape apologists are almost always men. But occasionally you see a woman arguing the point. These women often turn out to be members of extremely conservative religions. Perhaps the less said about that, the better.
One common argument is that "if someone leaves the front door unlocked, it's their fault if their house gets broken into." (In other words, the house was asking for it.)
This argument is preposterous on the face of it. How many houses get burgled just because they were left unlocked? Almost none, I would argue. This line of reasoning presumes the existence of burglars who walk calmly and methodically through neighborhoods, trying doorknobs.
Door's locked? Oh well - on to the next!
Furthermore, burglary is a non-violent property crime. Rape is a violent assault. These two things are not the same.
The second argument is all too tired and common. "it's her fault." She was dressing provocatively, she was walking after dark, she was alone, she had been drinking, she should have known better.
This argument hinges on the theory that women have control over whether or not they are raped. And that in some circumstances, they voluntarily relinquish this control. This belief says more about the person who holds the belief than it does about anything else.
Interestingly, this argument also presumes (or is targeted against) good-looking women between the ages of, oh let's say 18 to 40. In other words, women that are considered sexually desirable. In other words… no, it's getting too creepy. I'll just leave the rest of the line of reasoning as an exercise for the reader.
Understand this, though: most rapists are not caught. They aren't slavering beasts with claws and a tortured expression. They look and act and go about their lives just like regular people. Remember that, the next time you read a rape apology on a blog or a forum somewhere. It could well have been written by a rapist.
I'm not trying to freak you out. I'm just saying.
"She was asking for it" also forfeits all control of the rape to the victim. The man in this scenario is practically a hapless, unwitting participant. Men can't help it, goes the theory. Men are animals, unable to control their urges.
Consider the self-loathing embodied by those phrases. Note that it's not feminists who are saying these things; it's the rape apologists. Who's the real man-hater?
Thankfully, or perhaps oddly, these vile comments are not leveled against children. Or the elderly. Or men (9% of rape victims are male). Or wives (28% of rapes are committed by a partner or husband). Or the grossly overweight. Or the very ugly. All of these populations are victims of rape, but that's never where the rape apologist's mind goes to, is it?
No, the rape apologist's thoughts always seem to turn to the pretty girl in the short skirt walking alone after dark. Which is statistically unlikely (only 26% of rapes are committed by a stranger, and only 3.6% are committed outdoors).
But hey, rape apologists of the world: don't let facts stop ya.
Photo credit: Flickr/Nesster