Sunday, May 15, 2011

Slutwalk Melbourne

Boys will be boys.
She was asking for it.
She knew what she was doing.
She went back to his room for more than just milo.
What was she thinking wearing that?

We live in a rape culture. A society that blames the victim and makes excuses for the perpetrator. The law is pretty cut and dry on the subject of rape. If a woman does not consent to sex and the man has sex with her anyway it's rape. It doesn't matter if she's drunk, scantily clad and up in his apartment at 2am, unless she consents to sex, it's rape. It's rape if she's unconscious and he has sex with her anyway.

Plying her with alcohol and dropping something in her drink so she passes out and can't say no is rape. If she can't say no, she can't say yes and you are a scumbag who should be in prison where no doubt you'll get a graphic illustration of the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex.

If I don't pay a prostitue is it rape or shoplifting? If I hit you in the face with a shovel for telling this "joke" is it assault or a public service?

Not so long ago a couple of high profile football players were accused of sexually assaulting a woman who went back to their hotel room. They were all drunk, it's alleged that there were illicit drugs involved. A friend of mine stated that she should never have gone back to the hotel room, what was she thinking? I took a deep breath and then launched into a rebuttal.

I don't care if she was naked with a mattress strapped to her back, she has the right to say no. I don't care if she went up to that hotel room with the intension of having sex with one or all of them, she has the right to change her mind and say no. I don't care if they are half way through doing it, she has the right to say stop, I don't want to do this anymore.

Seriously, are we as a society saying that men do not possess the ability to control themselves? Is it our contention that men are incapable of keeping their member in their pants? That they do not possess a basic level of comprehension to recognise a yes from a no? That a man who has sex with a woman who did not consent is not responsible because he's a man and boys will be boys but that she is responsible because she was wearing a low cut top and had a drink?

Fuck me. (no, that wasn't an invitation)

By saying boys will be boys we are saying to men that it's ok to have sex with a woman when she has not consented. We are saying it's all just a bit of fun and shouldn't be taken to seriously. That, 50% of society, is not to be taken seriously. That women are less than men.

By blaming the victim, we are taking the focus off the perpetrator. Any focus on her dress or how much she had to drink or where she was walking at what time is attention that is not on the sexual offender and it's the sexual offender and ONLY the sexual offender who needs to explain his behaviour. I wonder how many sexual offenders target a particular type of woman knowing that they wont get charged or they'll probably get off because the focus will be on her behaviour and not on his? I wonder how many sexual offenders actually think her behaviour excuses his?

The fact of the matter is a man ALWAYS has the ability to keep his penis in his pants. He just choses not to and as a society we choose to make excuses for him. It's fucked and we need to stop.

What has all this got to do with Crohn's Disease? Nothing. I just thought it needed to be said.

Melbourne Slutwalk: May 28, 1pm, State Library.

1 comment:

  1. Could not agree more. I've read with horror at the efforts afoot here in the U.S. and abroad in the U.K. recently to revise legislation pertaining to sexual assault. It seemed not so long ago we were on the cusp of real progress, that women's rights were finally going to be fully recognized and respected.

    One thing I would add to your remarks: Speaking as a guy, I am personally offended by the "boys will be boys" doctrine. It sends the dual messages 1) we're all latent rapists waiting for the right combination of means and opportunity and 2) that we consider all women "fair game" as potential rape victims.

    I certainly do not consider my wife, cousin, niece, friends, neighbors or anyone else "fair game." I cannot fathom how anyone could not start by feeling similarly protective of their loved ones, and then working backward from there realize that sexual violence must be stringently opposed.