Feminism

Rape and Sexual Assault

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rape stats1 out of every 6 women and 1 in 33 men in America has been a victim of completed or attempted sexual assault. 44% will be under the age of 18, and 80% will be under 30. Only 32% of rapes are reported to the police, and 98% of rapists will never be convicted for their crimes. Less than every two minutes, someone in America will be sexually assaulted. Despite these statistics, most people still refuse to address rape and other sexual crimes as a serious problem.

Even though rape happens more often to women, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen to men. Males who are raped by females often face double standards in court and receive even less sympathy than female rape victims. In some case, they are even accused as the rapist because of the stigmatism that only males can be a rapist (LeTrent).

Not only in court do male rape victims face, but also from the rest of the world. For example, Molly Shattuck, a former NFL cheerleader, has been convicted for third degree rape of a fifteen year old boy. These are some comments made from men on Facebook: “He is lucky…I wish it was me. Where were these type of women when I was 15? When you 15 and gettin’ an NFL cheerleader to take you to pound town its not rape, its called getting a hook up” (Keneally). It is men who say things like this that get such a bad rap from feminists.

Another issue that our society commits is victim blaming, believing that it was the victim’s fault for being raped, not the actual rapist. One example of this is from Nirbhaya Delhi Gang Rape. Going home after watching a movie at her friends house, “Jyoti Singh was assaulted and gang raped on the bus…and was subsequently thrown from the bus. She received emergency treatment, including several surgeries, but died because of the serious nature of her injuries that she attained in the assault” (India’s). Later, after her rapists were arrested and in prison, one said this about Singh: “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy, a decent girl would not roam around at nine o’clock at night…doing wrong things, wearing wrong things” (India’s). But what’s the worst part about victim blaming is that it had invaded all groups. From court attorneys, to high school freshmen, to actual rapists themselves.

One major factor with victim blaming is about what the victim was wearing, the previous sexual relations they had with the rapist, and that they didn’t flat out say no. They say that if a woman is out and about wearing revealing clothes, then she is just asking to be raped. After being raped, they’ll often say, “What was she expecting, wearing something like that?” Maybe she was just expecting to have a fun night out with her friends. Another problem is that most people don’t understand that no means no. I recently went through a self defence class at my school, and one of guest speakers was telling us about a tie she was talking to group of boys about sexual consent. She asked them this question: How many times does a girl say no before she really means it? She hoped that they would know that the obvious answer is only once, and that as soon as someone says no, they should know that they should stop. But sadly, this was not the case. The boys agreed on general consensus that after the third time a girl says no, they should stop. They decided that the first she doesn’t really mean it, and at the next she might be having second thoughts, and only at the third time does she really not want to do this. The only time anyone should engage in sexual activity is when both parties say an overwhelming yes.

Our society is teaching girls that it is their responsibility to make sure they are not raped, by making the right decisions and not doing or wearing anything that could give someone “the wrong idea.” Women have to be careful about what they drink at parties, who they talk to, not to invite too much attention to themselves, not to walk home alone, or else they were basically asking to be raped. But let me ask you, did the 1/33 boys who are raped have their cleavage showing, were 28% of US children wearing shorts too short (Child)? Rape is not about sexual desire – rape is about power and humiliation. Instead of teaching women what to do to avoid getting raped, we need to be teaching everyone not to rape.


Works Cited

“Child Sexual Abuse Statistics.”  Victims of Crime. National Center for Victims of Crime, n.d. Web. 30 Apr 2015.

India’s Daughter. Dir. Leslee Undwin. Perf. Badri Singh, Mukesh Singh. BBC,  9 Mar 2015. Web. 28 Apr 2015.

Keneally, Meghan. “Former Ravens Cheerleader, Molly Shattuck, Charged With Rape of Teen.” ABC News. ABC, 5 Nov 2014. Web. 28 Apr 2015.

LeTrent, Sarah. “Against His Will: Female-On-Male Rape.” CNN. CNN, 10 Oct 2013. Web. 28 Apr 2015.

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