Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion. Attention, Space Cadets: Do Not Proposition Women in the Elevator (via petitefeministe)
That totally blew my mind. If you’re a man, not for the reason you think. You see, all men look like rapists to women. All of you, all the damn time. If you go out in public and you are a man, a woman has looked at you as a potential rapist. What blew my mind was the idea that men aren’t aware of this. Really, I thought you would be.
Here’s the thing, all women are always aware of the risk of rape. We all know how prevalent rape is. We’re all aware rape can happen to any woman at virtually any time and that no woman is entirely safe anywhere. Men may pass right over an account of a rape, but women do not. So we’ve heard stories of rapes in church bathrooms during services, in stairwells, elevators and parking garages, in changing rooms at department stores, in movie theaters, in cars, in planes, in parks, in airports, in buses, in our homes. We know that old women are raped, toddlers are raped, nuns are raped, pregnant women are raped, everyone is raped.
So, everywhere we go, we can’t help but think This is a place where rape happens. I am not unusually afraid of rape, by the way. This is a normal level of fear for a woman who has not been raped. Forever in Hell (via)
Rape Culture 101
Rape Culture 101:
After I was date-raped, I had to explain to the authorities:
-what outfit I wore
-what I drank
-what I ate
-what I said
-if I crossed my legs
-how I laughed
-if I laughed
-the makeup I wore
-what underwear I wore
-who I talked to
-what bar I went to
-who my friends are
-what type of car I drive
-what type of shoes I wore
-if I wore tights
-how many sexual partners I have had
-my sexual orientation
-the age I lost my virginity
-if I was wearing perfume
-the color of my hair
-if I said “no”
-when I said “no”
-how I said “no”
-how many times I said “no”
-why it was in my bed
-why I had no bruises
-why his number was programmed in my phone
-why we were friends on facebook
-why I said yes to a date
-why I let him pay
-why I went to class the next day
-if I showered
-why I didn’t stop him
After he raped me, he had to explain:
nothing. because they never asked him.
“Rape culture” is living a society where rape is defined by the circumstances rather than the action.