"Be vigilant of your surroundings and stay with a group and just be aware. Sometimes if you're out drinking and having fun for some people it can reduce their ability to be vigilant. We just want to make sure folks are safe," said Staff-Sgt. John McGetrick."
Thanks Johnny! Nice of you to tell all the ladies how to avoid trouble! What's that? You say you were talking to everyone, not just women? Now come on, we both know that's bullshit. And of course, nowhere does he mention "Oh, and gents, maybe you should not sexually assault women you invite into your cars. Actually, maybe you should just not sexually assault anyone, anywhere, anytime." Now, I know we've all seen this before, but it never gets any less infuriating. Victim blaming. All the time, everywhere. It has to stop. There are no circumstances where rape is acceptable. No one ever "asks" to get raped. That defies the very definition of the word. There is no piece of clothing, or lack thereof, signal or sign, or lack thereof, word, phrase, gesture, glance (or lack thereof), that makes it okay to ignore a womans' right to choose at anytime, anywhere, anyhow. The women that this particular man assaulted are not being blamed (to my knowledge), but the (female) public at large is being asked to, once again, watch their own backs. Dudes? Well, whatever. You don't get raped, so keep on truckin', right? Wrong. Rape is 100% wrong, and 100% the fault of the rapist. Remember that. If you're really not part of the problem, then be part of the solution. Don't tolerate rape jokes or slang, don't tolerate rape apologia. Let everyone know you are anti-rape and under no circumstances is it ever the victims' fault. Otherwise, you get assholes like this in positions of power.
Connected to this line of thought are the Slutwalks that are popping up these days. I don't feel as though I have a right to analyze the movement too much, but I did see an interesting debate about it on The Agenda with Steve Paikin. It was the first time I ever got to hear Gail Dines speak, so that in and of itself made it worth the watch. I came away from the debate unsure of my stance, but lacking the emotional experience that only a woman could have on this issue, I know that however I may end up feeling on the choice to "reclaim" that word, my opinion really doesn't matter in the long run. I sincerely hope the movement garnishes positive results.
I sometimes feel awkward making posts about misogyny. I know that the scope of my experiences and fact that I was raised a member of the patriarchy prevent me from understanding things as women do. But, I see these things now. And they anger me terribly. As stated before, if anything I've said has offended anyone, please bring it to my attention, and I will do my best to rectify the situation. Unless you're offended by feminism. In which case, piss off.