Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What in the damn it.

Many thanks to ethrosdemon for posting a link to this pile of stinking misogynist horseshit.

Summary: A woman writes to Ask Amy of the Chicago Tribune asking if being date raped, well, makes her a victim of rape. Ask Amy responds that the questioner is indeed a victim--of her own "awful judgment." She adds after that that, yes, "no matter what, no means no," but that doesn't change the fact that the first thing she had to say was the same stupid victim-blaming that makes coming forward about rape that much more of a miserable experience for the victim of the assault.

I suggest emailing Ask Amy rather than commenting on the article page. askamy@tribune.com if you're interested.

Have fun, kids. Here's what I sent.

"First of all, thank you. I hope your letter will be posted on college bulletin boards everywhere. Were you a victim? Yes. First, you were a victim of your own awful judgment. Getting drunk at a frat house is a hazardous choice for anyone to make because of the risk (some might say a likelihood) that you will engage in unwise or unwanted sexual contact."

Good news! This is indeed being posted everywhere. It's being reposted by women and men who are horrified that your response to a woman sharing a story of date rape is to tell her that she brought it on herself.

All you should have said was this:

"No matter what -- no means no. If you say no beforehand, then the sex shouldn't happen. If you say no while its happening, then the sex should stop."

That's good stuff, and that's the long and short of it. You had no call qualifying and diminishing this excellent statement by prefacing it with the same old endlessly-repeated line of crap about how it's the rape victim's job to prevent rape by not being a naughty immodest drunken slut. Women have heard enough of this, and I hope that next time a woman comes to you with such a question, all you'll say is, "You didn't want to have sex. Someone had sex with you. That's rape." Because that is all there is to it.

When doling out responsibility and dishing out the blame, whether her level of intoxication provided an opportunity doesn't matter at all compared to the blame owned by the man who TOOK THAT OPPORTUNITY AND RAPED HER. A little perspective, please. You said "no matter what, no means no." No matter what means NO MATTER WHAT. It means don't include that victim-blaming crap next time, please. The fact that you included that is basically taking a woman who has been violated and kicking her when she's down. I hope you can see the problem with that.

You owe "Victim? in Virginia" an apology, and it might be a good idea to throw in an apology to every other woman who has looked to an authority figure for help after an assault and been told that she had it coming because it was her job to prevent it, and she failed because she's a bad woman. They deserve an apology for the insult you just added to their injury.

-(my name).

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