Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Rape Myth #7 – How to Spot a Rapist.

Ok, so we’ve talked about victim-blaming, yes? And we’ve talked about how you can’t tell by looking at someone if they are are a rapist.

So, why the fuck are women’s magazines FULL of articles on how to “Protect Yourself by Spotting Unsafe Guys?” Not only do they promise something they can’t deliver, but it also puts the onus of not being raped on victims, as opposed to placing the onus of not raping people on rapists.

I repeat again, you can NOT tell if someone is a rapist by looking at them. Hell, sometimes you can’t tell even if you’re good friends and spend loads of time together. Frequently you can’t tell until it’s too late. Then, because society has spent all this time telling you that you SHOULD have been able to tell he was a rapist or you SHOULD have done more to protect yourself, you’ll blame yourself for what happened to you, or try to rationalize it away, or blow it off as a one time thing and he’d never do that again…

Now, some of the survival tips offered in these magazine articles are not bad ideas, as much as it annoys me that they’re necessary. Don’t leave drinks unattended, if someone buys you a drink go up with them and take it directly from the bartender’s hand, order it yourself so you know what you’re getting, don’t go off with someone you don’t know, let someone know where you are, have a check-in agreement, etc… All shit that puts the onus on the would-be victim, and it really grinds my pepper that these things are necessary because there are people out there who cannot grasp the concept that they do not have the right to access another human being’s body without their permission and enthusiastic participation.

But the fact remains that you can do all of these things and more, and still be raped. By someone you know. Remember, in 3/4 of reported sexual assaults, the victim knew her rapist.

Recently there was a case in the Midwest where a guy who was a rape crisis counselor, helped a friend back to her room when she was drunk, and sexually assaulted her, taking explicit pictures of her with his camera phone. It’s too depressing to contemplate, because if you can’t trust someone who is speaking up for rape victims, who the fuck can you trust?*

I mean, this guy was a self-identified male Feminist, he was a rape crisis counselor for fuck’s sake.

You just can’t tell.

*http://thecurvature.com/2008/08/02/update-on-kyle-payne/
He plea bargained down to lesser charges, so that the word assault does not appear in his conviction, but… yeah…

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9 comments on “Rape Myth #7 – How to Spot a Rapist.

  1. nihil_duce
    October 14, 2008

    Recently there was a case in the Midwest where a guy who was a rape crisis counselor, helped a friend back to her room when she was drunk, and sexually assaulted her, taking explicit pictures of her with his camera phone.
    That’s grounds for slow death by woodchipper. Feet first.

    Like

    • Anonymous
      June 14, 2009

      I’m all for rapists and child molestors having their peckers cut off.If it’s a woman rapist,having her sexual organs removed,causing instant menopause.

      Like

  2. rae_beta
    October 14, 2008

    *nod*
    The only universal demographic characteristic of assailants? They’re alive. You can generalize further than that, but not by much.
    I have mixed feelings about the “how to prevent rape” articles in general, because they often veer quickly into victim blaming. It’s a short step from “here are some ways you can increase your chances of staying safe, luck willing” to “if you had done these things, you could have prevented what was done to you” to “what was done to you was your fault / responsibility.”

    Like

  3. madarab
    October 14, 2008

    Any protection these articles might give would only apply to stranger rape. They don’t do anything to protect you from acquaintances like your friend’s boyfriend or the guy who you study history with. The only sure way to drastically reduce your chances of rape are to make sure that you are never alone with anyone, but that’s a rough and inconvenient way to live.

    Like

  4. vanitas
    October 15, 2008

    One of my Aunt’s bits of advice was always to carry a can opener in your pocket. The ones that you use to punch holes in big cans of juice. It fits into your pocket discreetly and into your hand comfortably and with a quick lift of the hand that most likely won’t be deflected because it looks like you are just flailing it gives a formidable weapon that will hurt them enough to possibly get away. If done with proficiency you can gut them like a fish. Granted this was a suggestion prior to mace and tazers but I still think it holds some merit.

    Like

    • polimicks
      October 15, 2008

      Which, unfortunately, does you know good if you’ve been drugged or are already unconscious.

      Like

      • vanitas
        October 15, 2008

        I will totally agree with you on that point. But in cases where you are concious can be a little bit of help. Having witnessed someone at a bar collapse with two men trying to carry her out I am very aware of the tactics that can be employed, fortunately as soon as it started and my friend and I alerted the bartender they called 911 for an ambulance, would have liked to see them request the police as well but at least she didn’t end up in their care.

        Like

  5. melloncollieclo
    October 16, 2008

    Newbie here,m found you via feministing.
    I HATE all those ‘saftey tips’, especially when 99.999999999% of the time they are aimed at women (are men’s magazibnes full of ‘how not get mugged’ articles?) and there is this underlying assumption that if we don’t do something or more often, if we actually have a life and go out of the house on our own once in a while. I take the last train home alone often, I walk down my street at night alone; I resent being made to feel I am doing something utterly wreckless, stupid and putting myself in danger when I am just living my life. Yes something horrid could happen , but something could happen in the middle of the day, or with someone I trust.

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2008 by in Uncategorized.

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