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Monday, November 21, 2005

Public opinion: Women are to blame

A report published today (Guardian/BBC) by Amnesty International reiterates the skewed public opinion surrounding rape and the blame culture that works towards keeping victims silent.
One in three people believe that women who behave flirtatiously are at least partially responsible if they are raped.
I wonder how can this possibly have happened? How is it even possible for women to be responsible for being attacked? Do these idiots think men are completely unable to control themselves? Do they think that men faced with the slightest hint that they might get some action can't then stop themselves from committing a crime if they don't get a shag?

Do they actually think rape is about sex?
Men are marginally more likely to blame the victim than women, although in the case of drunkenness 5% of women thought a woman would be totally responsible if she were raped, compared to 3% of men.
The figures are totally appauling. And depressing. And insane.

The conviction rate for rape is 5.6% - the lowest ever recorded, with 741 cases resulting in conviction last year.

It's no bloody wonder why when a third of the people in the country think that the woman bears some of the blame. Do people who have their cars stolen of get mugged or beaten get blamed for actions of violence that take place against them? Would the same view be taken for male-male rape, or even female-male rape (as opposed to male-female)?

I doubt it. Women are sex objects, they're around to appeal to men, entice men, flirt with men, shag men. When they don't act as they should and submit, their a cock tease. People seem to have a lot of difficulty in seeing male-female rape as anything other than sex. Male-male of female-male rape is different because it doesn't start from an assumption that women are for men to have sex with.

Thankfully this report has got the publicity it deserves. However it's not going to do a damn bit of good if no one explains why these assumptions are so wrong. Hopefully some long overdue education is to follow.

A recent group of posts by Nick about her own experieinces (starting with this one, look particularly at the comments) on Alas, a blog show just how intrenched this blame culture is across the Western world, and pretty much everywhere else it would seem.

Amp also comments on the Amnesty report.


terrette said...

Good points, all of them. To unravel this conundrum, I think one would have to go all the way back to the origins of the idea that women are property first and human beings only marginally or when they do not exceed or disrespect their status as property; which is to say, one would have to critique patriarchy itself in all its historical and modern, still robust forms.

yclepta said...

bloody well said!

Andrea said...

It's the mighty power of the phallus, obviously. Invoke it at your peril, for once roused it must be sated.

Joel said...

As I see it, a woman may remove all her clothes in front of me, use a dildo, and perform a lap dance but that doesn't give me any right to have congress with her (much less touch her) unless she says Yes.

Glad to see that Amnesty came out for rape as a human right. I ran into a Latin American feminist who felt that talking about date rape and the like "trivialized" the whole question. We who have been the targets of physical and emotional abuse know better.

Joel said...

is my recent, pre-AI, commentary on the subject of Rape and Human Rights.

Oh God. I just reread a sentence of my last bit and cringed:

>Glad to see that Amnesty came out for rape as a human right.

That should be:

Glad to see that Amnesty came out for security from rape as a human right.

terrette said...

Glad that you amended your first formulation, joel. I was scratching my head for a second there...

Winter said...

It's very depressing, but I'm glad it's getting so much media attention and is generally being viewed as worrying.

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