Wednesday 6 November 2013

How could this happen? - T/W

T/W - Discusses rape, victim blaming, and the Roast Busters case.
How could this happen?

I’ve heard so many people in the last week ask “how could this happen?” “How could this go on for so long?”, “why don’t the girls come forward?” when talking about the news about the repulsive predatory behaviour of a group of young men.
Tragically, they usually answer the question themselves, and in a bitter aftertaste, most don’t even recognise that they are the answer.

The next step in the lunch room conversation is to speculate about the victims of sexual crime, and “young people today”. What women are wearing, where they are going, who they are choosing to hang out with.
Why is the next logical step in breaking down the cause of a crime to look at the victim? Why not the assailant?
Why not our culture, which allows young men to feel so entitled to sex that there is a socially acceptable term for a friendship with a WOMAN WHO WONT HAVE SEX WITH YOU. (Friend zone). Like having a friend is some kind of hardship.

What is wrong with us?

I sort of understand. If we can find some “otherness” about victims, then we can fib to ourselves, and be reassured that if we are not like them, we will not be hurt.
If we jump over cracks, and turn the light switch on and off, cover our knees, and do not wear high heels we will somehow be immune to the Bad Man, who is some mythical boogie monster.

We need to turn 180 degrees, stop investigating the victims like there is some kind of magic thing that makes them a good target, and start looking at why we have young men with repeat predatory behaviour by the time they hit their teens.
Why do men rape is an incredibly complex question, but why do they CONTINUE?

Because they can.
Because the victims are put on trial too.
Because being unable to say no is STILL being treated like the equivalent of yes.
Because people still truly believe that rapists are the bad man in the darkest corner of our public parks or night club.
Because when someone is attacked, we avert our eyes from the normal looking rapist, and speculate on what makes a victim.
Because the victim’s reputation is under attack in the media and their community as much as the perpetrator.

 We are asking the wrong questions. We should be asking what makes a rapist.

If your response to these stories was any question about the nature of the victims YOU are part of what makes attackers stronger, more confident, and more likely to re-offend.

That's how this can happen.


Kathryn said...


Anonymous said...

Great post, on a horrendous subject.