I feel the need to have a good long talk with you all about a subject that is very difficult to talk about, but is REALLY important that people understand very clearly.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
That subject is rape. I know, it's not a pleasant subject to have to blog about, but I think it is needed. I think not only do I need to speak up, but if you are reading this, and you agree with me, you need to blog/talk about it too, so that we can make this as clear as possible to as many people as possible.
Now let me begin, this is NOT about the current case around Matthew Johns, though that case has been the catalyst for much discussion, debate and even argument. And that discussion, debate and argument is the catalyst for me writing this blog post tonight. Also, you need to know that despite my very vehement statements on this matter, I am not angry or irate. I am simply making it very, very clear as to where the line in the sand is on this matter, and it's not something that I believe falls into "grey".
Let me make something crystal clear for everyone.
Sex, without consent, is RAPE.
It doesn't matter who the victim is, be they male, female, straight, gay, young, old, virgin, promiscuous, married, single and no matter what their relationship to the perpetrator is. Yes, a husband can rape a wife. A client can rape a prostitute. A person who has had consensual sex with someone in the past can be raped by that person.
It's a very simple concept to grasp. I'll say it again. Sex, without consent, is RAPE.
The discussion that I've seen (and been part of) on Twitter is around the fact that it seems that some people, and sadly some of those are women, seem to discount an accusation of rape if the victim is promiscuous. Or to paraphrase one woman, who calls herself a "community activist", "In my day she'd just be called a skanky slut." So by this woman (and several of her supporters), the fact that the alleged victim is promiscuous negates her claim of sexual assault.
Again, this is not about the individual allegation of that case, it's about the attitude that a woman who is promiscuous or who has consented to having sex with others, must not really be a victim of rape.
I was absolutely stunned to hear a supposedly educated woman have this attitude. What year are we living in? Do people still believe the "she asked for it" line? Are there people out there that still believe that women are merely the objects of sexual gratification for men, mere vessels for semen? I thought we cleared that up in the bloody 80's for God's sake.
As I posted to Twitter earlier this evening, let me make this clear. If a woman is in a room with ten men, and she consents to sex with nine of those men, but refuses the tenth, and is forced to have sex with him anyway, that is RAPE.
It's time for people to get over that archaic attitude that there are any grey areas around rape. This is why so many women (and men) do not report rape. Or why so many back out during the investigations, because they are put under such scrutiny. It's why so many women in particular do not realise that the sexual abuse they have suffered is actually rape. They blame themselves, or make excuses. They say "I didn't put up enough of a fight." or "I slept with him before, so it doesn't matter if I didn't want to this time."
So long as these attitudes are perpetuated, perpetrators will be getting away with rape. They will make excuses why it is ok. They will say "What happens on the footy trip, stays on the footy trip." They will say "Oh she's just a skanky slut, I can do whatever I like to her."
I want you to think about this. What if it were you? What if someone didn't believe you if you said you were raped, because they said you were a slut? What if it were your daughter, your sister, your wife, girlfriend, mother, aunt, your friend? NOBODY deserves rape. Ever, even if they're a collossal bitch who sleeps with whole football teams. Nobody deserves to be violated, to be forced sexually. NOBODY.
Say it again people. Please.
Sex, without consent, is RAPE.
Update: A Twitter friend shared this excellent article with me. The Epidemic of Not Rape.