Firepower For Rape Survivors: 4 Ways To Shut Down Victim Blaming
When asked what they fear most about women, most men answered that they fear rejection. When asked what they fear most about men, women answered that they are afraid they will be assaulted or killed. What more obvious illustration of normalized sexism could there be than this?
If you are speaking to someone who blames a victim of rape for somehow inviting or allowing the crime to happen to them, remind the victim-blamer of their ignorance by blasting them with these points:
When They Say: "Look at what she was wearing! She was asking for it."
Ask them if wearing a nice suit to a bar means that they deserve to have their wallet stolen. After all, flaunting an expensive watch like that out in public with all those people around is just asking for it, right? Why would he be wearing such flashy attire if he wasn't trying to attract attention to his wealth? And when you get too much attention, someone might steal what they want and leave. He must know that, so he must have wanted to be robbed, right? No matter what you are wearing, you are not at fault if someone takes something from you that you did not give them. Choice of clothing is not an invitation. It is clothing.
When They Say: "Well, she shouldn't have gotten so drunk."
Ask them how many times they have gotten so drunk that they had to have help getting home. Ask them how many of those times they would have deserved to be left on the side of the street because they shouldn't have gotten so drunk. Ask them who's fault it would be if a sober friend took advantage of their drunk friend's state instead of taking them home to safety. Getting drunk is not an invitation. It is getting drunk.
When They Say: "She just wants attention."
Ask them if they would go to the police if they had been robbed or assaulted. Ask them if having something taken from by force is a reason to be upset and seek help. Going to the authorities to report a crime is not seeking attention. It is reporting a crime.
When They Say: "Guys take drunk girls home all the time. It's not a big deal."
Ask them if they would feel safe in a stranger's apartment while they were in an impaired state of mind. Ask them why it's not a big deal that men actively seek to put women in a state where they cannot defend themselves or assert their true intentions. Ask them why there is such a culture around hunting down women in the bars that are less likely to say no. Taking a highly intoxicated person to your home and taking advantage of the fact that this person can't coherently consent is not a normal way to behave. It is rape.
Women who are taken advantage of, forced upon, or heavily corrected while under the influence are just as much victims as the women who are jumped on in dark alleyways. Dressing sexy and drinking vodka cranberries does not mean you deserve to get raped at the end of the night. It means you were trying to have a night out.
Stop blaming the victim. Help them heal instead.