Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Rape Myths (Originally posted on Livejournal, and CANOW in May 2009)

Sorry for the radio silence all week.  I appear to have contracted the plague (not swine flu, I did go to the doctor), and have had difficulty stringing together any sentences more complex than, “Juice, now!” or “Get these hot cats off me!”  Apparently illness brings out the nursemaid in my cats, which is just what you’re looking for when you have a fever on an eighty degree day, 30lbs of hot, vibrating fur parked on your chest.

If you ever hear any of these coming out of your mouth, just stop.

If you ever hear any of these coming out of your mouth, just stop.

I did this series of posts in my Polimicks blog about six months to a year ago about Rape Myths.  You know, the things everybody “knows” about rape, which are almost completely and utterly wrong.

Some of these may well be triggering.  I know that I spent a good chunk of the time I was writing them shaking.  But I think it is incredibly important to debunk these societally constructed myths surrounding rape if we are going to have even the faintest of faint hopes of actually reaching justice for the victims, or of lowering the obscenely high rape rate in our society.

Rape Myth #1:  Women Make False Accusations About Rape All The Time.  No, actually we don’t.

Rape Myth #2:  “She owed me.”  If there is one thing I wish I could pound through people’s heads, this is it.  Ok, one of many.

Rape Myth #3:  All Women Have Rape Fantasies, And Therefore Secretly Want to Be Raped.  Actually my husband and I had a long talk about this in the car driving back from his folks’ place this weekend.  About the fact that further studies have shown that most men also have rape fantasies, and that there is a vast difference between a fantasy, and a brutal reality.

Rape Myth #4:  Men Can’t Be Raped.  This one’s pretty self explanatory.

Rape Myth #5:  “I Don’t Need to Rape Anyone.”  No one needs to rape.

Rape Myth #6:  Stranger Rape.   73% of all reported rapes are committed by someone the victim knew, so why do we persist in considering stranger rape the “gold standard” of rape?

Rape Myth #7:  “He Doesn’t Look Like a Rapist,” or “He’s My Friend, He Can’t Be a Rapist, I’d Know.”  This one bugs me a lot.  You can’t tell if someone  is or isn’t a rapist by how they look.  It doesn’t work that way.  And I know no one wants to believe someone they know and trust would do that, but sometimes, they do.

Rape Myth #8:  How To Spot a Rapist.  Yes, I know, it’s labeled 7 once you get there.   Apparently, I missed that day in Kindergarten, and keep screwing up the numbering.  One of these days I’ll go back and fix it.  This one focuses on how most rape prevention puts the responsibility for preventing rape on the victims, not the rapists.

Rape Myth #9:  You Can’t Rape a Sex Worker.  Yes, actually, you can.  And if we would quit being so puritannical about sex and prostitution in this country, just maybe more sex workers would feel safe reporting sexual assaults.

Rape Myth #10:  You Have to Forgive to Heal/The Sainted Survivor.  This one really frosts my cookies.  This insistence that you forgive the person who raped you.  At various times in my recovery, it felt like being victimized all over again, because I did NOT want to forgive him, and I didn’t think I should have to.

Rape Myth #11:  She Doesn’t Act Like a Rape Victim.  What does a rape victim act like?  There are as many responses as their are rape victims.  There is no template.

Ok, that’s all the Rape Myth posts to date.  I’m sure there will be more forthcoming, as society insists on trying to give me aneurysm with the vast amounts of stupid it fosters.

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2013 by in Featured Articles, Feminism, Misogyny, Posted at CANOW.org, Rape, Sexism.

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