Sexual assault is not a women’s issue
Sexual assault is an issue for men, because men commit 93% of reported rape crimes. Rape is not about sex. Rape is not about lust. Rape is about control and domination. Rape is about taking something from another person to exert control over them. Rape is about men taking what they want. Rape is about men.
Why am I writing this on a feminist blog if sexual assault is not a women’s issue? Because schools will not talk about it. Because workplaces do not talk about it. Because our government does not like to talk about it. Because some judges, the people elected to sanction the rapists who harm us, our daughters, our sons, our sisters, our brothers, and our friends still blame the victim for his or her actions. Because people cover it up or discount rape to a he-said-she said issue as if rape is not factual. I refuse to be apart of the plethora of people who refuse to talk about rape in places other than rape crisis centers. Rape happens everywhere so I will talk about rape everywhere.
I will not judge you.
We should be talking about rape with men everywhere because rape knows no boundaries. I say rape knows no boundaries because men know no boundaries as they rape all kinds of men and women in all kinds of places. Rich women, poor men, women with disabilities, men with kids, women with spouses, gay men, straight men, young women, elderly women. These people do not get raped. A survivor of rape does not trip and fall on a penis infected with rape. She did not stumble into rape because she was looking down at her phone.
When we use that passive voice to say ‘he was raped’ we put the focus on the victim and what happened to her, not the person committing the action, which is the issue with preventing rape. We treat rape as if the woman can effect getting raped. When we are talking about men raping women we need to include the rapists in the sentence just like we need to include them in the discussion on preventing rape. I will not say ‘she was raped’. I will say ‘he raped her’ or ‘he raped him’ because something did not just happen to her or him. Something was done to him or her by another human being.
This is not f%&*ing possible.
That human being is likely a father, a brother, a friend, a boyfriend, a husband even. Rapists are not only unsavory looking people. Rapists are handsome and well-dressed. Rapists look like your grandpa or your dad. Rapists look like that hot guy in the gym. Rapists hold your door open. Rapists give money to charity. Rapists will say you are beautiful. Rapists are students. Rapists hold Olympic swim times. Rapists are doctors. A rapist is a real person, not just some sketchy man hiding in a dark alley at night. Rapists are all kinds of men. This is why sexual assault is an issue for men.
I am here for you.
As a society we need to direct our issues with rape to men. When it is time to talk legislation, we should find out the sanction harsh enough to deter a man from raping a person. We need to ask what was done to her, not what she did to warrant this behavior. When it is time to talk about rape culture, we need to talk to men until they realize their conversation, social media posts and jokes are harmful.
No matter how high of a turtleneck sweater she wears, or how long her dress is, or how many drinks she had, or how long you have been in a relationship with her, or how long she has been flirting with you, if she does not expressly state she would like your penis to enter her body and you have sex with her without her consent, it is called rape, and you are called a rapist. That is how it works.
I will believe you.
I will believe them when they say they were raped. Contrary to what pop culture may have you believe, unfounded rape does not happen because someone realized she was after your money. Unfounded reports of rape range from about 2-10% of all reported rapes, and those happen when the legal definition does not encompass what happened to her. So, I repeat: UNFOUNDED RAPE DOES NOT MEAN SOMEONE CAUGHT HER IN A LIE BECAUSE SHE WAS TRYING TO GET YOUR MONEY OR JAM YOU UP.
I do not care if the rapist is her husband, her brother, her friend, someone she smiled at in Walgreen’s while she was picking up birth control, a year’s supply of Magnum condoms, and a gallon of KY jelly, I will believe her if she says she was raped. I will believe her and I will know you are a rapist. No matter what the police say, you are a rapist.
Sexual assault is not a women’s issue. Men commit 93% of all reported rape. Men need to be addressed when we talk about rape. Men need to reform their behavior. Men need to address their issues with assaulting women. Men need to read this.
If you ever need to talk about something that happened to you, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org