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Miss Misanthropist

Writing With Myself

Responsibility VS Victim Blaming

Anti-Feminism, RapeMonica Edwards1 Comment

There is a difference between asking someone to take responsibility for a situation and blaming an actual victim of a crime. I believe I've brought this up before, but since no one is listening I'll do it again. This is especially important for feminists who seem to want women never to be held responsible for their actions no matter how stupid they may be. 

You hear about it all the time. Girl gets drunk was raped. More often than not these days it's the girl regretting that she had sex with someone and accusing them of rape, however cases of actual rape do happen when girls get drunk. Or should I say people. It's just that girls are the more publicized narrative that gets attention, but I digress. In any case, lets look at a few examples here so I can explain my point. 

Example A:

Jill leaves her car running with the keys in the ignition while she goes into the store to buy a few things. Car gets stolen. Police show up and ask her why she was dumb enough to think no one would steal her car. So would most people. That was a stupid thing for Jill to do. Though ultimately everyone would agree it's not okay for someone to steal her car, and Jill is the victim of a crime, the role Jill played in this is important. She could have shut her car off and locked it and gone into the store. Jill is an idiot for not doing this and people on a whole will pretty much always agree with that. 

Example B:

Jill parks her car in her driveway at night. Locks it and sets the alarm. In the middle of the night the car is broken into and stolen. Jill calls the police. In this situation Jill is 100% the victim of a crime. Why? Jill acted responsibly. She locked her car and set the alarm. She also had it on her property. She took responsible measures to attempt to prevent her car from being stolen. This situation sucks and it happens. There isn't any real blame on Jill because she did the right things. 

Now with this simple analogy here we can see exactly what the difference is. In the first example, Jill was an irresponsible moron. Part of what she did led to the opportunity for the criminal to steal her car. Did she deserve her car to be stolen? Not at all. Will the police still try to find the guy and prosecute him if he's caught? Yes they will. However, it's okay to point out that Jill was stupid to do this. In the second example, if you say Jill was stupid for leaving her car locked with the alarm set then you are a huge dick. About 99% of people would agree with all of this logic. Now lets take the case of rape and how society looks at this. 

Example A:

Jill goes to a party. She drinks a lot of alcohol. A ton. She's with her friends and decides it'll be super fun to get trashed. She meets a guy. Goes home with him. Has sex. The next morning she sees the guy, decides for whatever reason she doesn't like him and says that she can't consent to sex while drunk. Claims she was raped. Police charge the man with rape even though most likely he was also drunk and couldn't consent. People completely agree this is rape for some reason but only of Jill. The man was completely able to control his inhibitions while drunk. 

Example B:

Jill goes to a party. She drinks a lot of alcohol. By her own choice. Buys her own drinks. Keeps asking for more and more. Doesn't get cut off. No one stops her. She walks outside to have a smoke and passes out. A man happens upon her and rapes her while she is black out drunk. Man gets caught and arrested for rape. 

Example C

Jill is the designated driver. She has no drinks other than soda or water. She watches her friends to make sure nothing happens to them while they drink. While waiting for her friends outside of the bar, to go home, someone comes up and hits head over the head. Rapes her. Takes off. 

So here are three scenarios. Not unlikely. All of them have happened. Some seem to happen more often than others. However, what is the public reaction to all of them? It's never the woman's fault. In none of these situations does Jill have any blame for any reasons even despite her own choices in the matter. Right? Except...does she? Is Jill really blameless in two of these situations?

As in the first example with the car. Jill left her car running and went in a store. This is a choice Jill made. It was a stupid choice. If you point that out no one is going to call you a victim blamer or car thief apologist. Yet, if you point out in the rape scenario that Jill willingly got drunk at a party to a point of intoxication (or even blacking out) she's still not to blame. Why? With the car thief scenario the choices the victim made are up for discussion. In the rape scenario they never are. Even as a woman who is a victim of sexual assault (well has been) if I point this out I get called all sorts of horrible things. Lets think logically about this though. In example C of the rape scenarios, Jill didn't do anything. She made a choice not to drink, she stayed sober, and she was the victim of a completely random attack. That is a case where Jill is 100% the victim. Hands down. 

In the other two? Jill made choices. She made the choice to drink. In the first scenario she made the choice to go home with a man. Trust me, I've been drunk and wasted on other drugs and it didn't prevent me from saying no to sex if I didn't like the person. Being drunk may lower your inhibitions, it does not erase your ability to say no. If you regret having drunk sex you weren't raped. Lets put an end to that.

In example B, where Jill passes out, did she not also make that choice? She kept drinking. Jill is an adult at that point she cannot be unaware that excess drinking will lead to intoxication and passing out. Possibly even death if she drinks so much she gets poisoned. This is still a choice she is making. To guzzle alcohol until she blacks out. Does she deserve to be raped? Absolutely not, but is she to blame? Yes. There is some blame. She could have just as easily stopped at a few drinks or had nothing to drink at all. Which would have entirely prevented a situation where she passed out and gave the criminal the opportunity to rape her. Just like choosing to take her car keys out of her car when she went in the store would have prevented the thief from easily being able to take her car.

No one is saying in any situation that Jill isn't a victim. What they ARE saying is that Jill made poor choices that led up to consequences and those poor choices deserve examination. Yet now, if you even imply slightly that Jill did ANYTHING wrong (but ONLY in the rape scenario) you are a victim blamer and a rape apologist. Why? This needs to stop. This is not only making women look bad, it is also demonizing the entirety of men. Any time you hear about these situations it's always about men raping women. Yet there are many instances of women taking advantage of men when they are drunk. These are all ignored because apparently men can completely consent while drunk? This also gives men way too much power and at the same time gives women too much power. The power of never having to take responsibility for their shitty behavior. Or learn why what they did led up to what happened. To tell a girl who willingly got drunk (and by the way alcohol willingly consumed is still the highest cause of rape according to she did NOTHING wrong, absolutely nothing, is misleading. You tell someone like that she is 100% not to blame she learns nothing. 

It is really time to stop acting like rape never has any blame to it. In some situations obviously there are 100% victims. Just like any other crime. Other times, there is a reason a crime is committed. Rape, just like most crimes, is a crime of opportunity. If you make choices that lead up to giving the criminal a better opportunity to commit crime (no matter what that crime is) you are partly to blame. Women are not absolved of their own behavior because rape is on the table. We need to examine all of what went wrong. Not just what the man may or may not have done.