I’ve known so many good men, and I still do. Men who would not think to touch a woman against her wishes, men who would not stand by while another was doing such either. Yet I’ve heard things over the years, excuses made for bad behavior and assumptions about what some things must be. Date rape not being rape because there’s that “date” word involved rather than the situation it occurred in. Rape on a college campus in a frat not being rape because, well the girl was drunk and many people say she should have know better, we call that victim blaming.
Let’s be clear. Rape is any time a man has sex with an unwilling woman. Unwilling means that she does not want sex. Unwilling does not mean that she doesn’t cooperate if cooperation means she gets to keep living. Unwilling may mean cooperation because she’s in an abusive relationship and her abuser might beat her. Unwilling might mean she’s not conscious or fully aware because of drugs or alcohol taken knowingly or unknowingly.
Sexual assault is about the same but because are laws are pretty heterosexually oriented means that there was no penetration. Frankly it’s all a little vague in my opinion.
None of it is ok.
Sexual crimes happen in lots of locales and mostly by people the victims know to some extent.
To all my honorable male friends. Please go and reconsider what it means to admit that you’ve been a victim of sexual violence. Consider the scrutiny that you are placed under. If you’ve waited awhile (like the victims of Bill the serial rapist or Carrot top the wanna be leader) you’re criticized for that, even if it did take ten years of therapy to get to where you could confront your demon.
As yourself what these women really have to gain. Every single one either has been or will be dragged through the mud and pilloried. In normal cases women often don’t come forward because everyone from cops to prosecutors stack the deck, especially on cases involving college kids and god help you if it’s some important athlete: “Honey, you don’t want to ruin his entire career, do you?”
Instead of focusing on the criminal, the focus is on what she wore, how much makeup she had on, whether she might have “led” him on, not the part where she said, stop following me I’m going home or what do you think you’re doing as he forced himself on her.
As a last aside. I spent plenty of time in locker rooms with other men when I was one. What did I notice? It was very quiet and we all carefully avoided looking at anyone who was naked. I don’t recall any sexual talk at all. Not to say that boys and men don’t do that, just not my experience over the 54 years I lived in their midst recording their greeting sounds and watching their rituals 🙂