Asking For It? As If!

Asking For It? As If!

Not Ever, a project of Rape Crisis Scotland, has launched an amazing new ad campaign.  A man in a bar glances over at a pretty girl and a short skirt and leers "She's asking for it."  

Cut to the woman shopping for skirts at a clothing store.  Unable to decide between two skirts, she explains to the clerk "I'm going out tonight, and I want to get raped.  I need a skirt that will encourage a guy to have sex with me against my will."  "Definitely the blue," the sales clerk responds.

We recently had a flurry of comments by an anti-feminist troll a few weeks ago.  One of the tactics he trotted out was to ask "wouldn't you blame the home-owner for having their house broken into, if they had left it unlocked?"  The problem is that the only thing these two scenarios have in common is that they are both crimes.  

Burglary is a property crime.  Rape is a violent crime, and has more in common with other violent crimes like murder.  Does anyone ever say a murder victim is asking for it?  Do the victims of serial killers get blamed for being so easily strangled?  Of course not, because we all know that's preposterous.

And yet for some reason when it comes to rape, many people feel that the victim shoulders some of the blame.  Your first clue that you've got the wrong end of the stick should be that you're putting forth the same excuses used by the rapist.  Is that the person you really want to defend?  

I always have to wonder what these people think about other forms of sexual assault.  What about when elderly women are raped?  What about the sexual abuse of children?  What's the difference between a pedophile saying "She was asking for it" about a six year old, versus a rapist saying "She was asking for it" about an eighteen year old?

What about men who get raped?  Were they asking for it?  A lot of people feel that rape is just another consequence of prison, like bad food, and boredom.  This is a revolting attitude, although a common one.  

But what about men who are not prisoners who are victims of rape?  Men who were just walking home from work?  Or out jogging on a Sunday morning?  

Men ARE the victims of violent sexual assault outside prison.  In fact, 1 out of every 10 rape victims is a man.  But it's almost never reported to the authorities.  Presumably because those men feel ashamed, and afraid of being blamed.  No surprise there - it's the same reasons that women under-report rape, too.

If a man passes out at a party and gets raped, who's to blame?  Should he have worn less suggestive clothing?  Was he asking for it?  

I doubt anyone would ask these questions of a male rape victim.  Why is it so clear in that case, or in the case of a child, but not when it comes to an adult female victim?