Our culture spends a lot of time reinforcing the message that women are always vulnerable to sexual assault and should be on constant guard to prevent themselves from becoming the victim of sexual violence. Many of these safety tips are certainly good safety tips to practice for everyone (not just women), but we should really be teaching men not to rape, rather than expecting women to take extreme precautions to not be raped. This mentality leads survivors of sexual assault to ask questions like, “What could I have done to prevent this?” or “What did I do to cause this to happen to me?” and fuels the victim blaming mentality that often accompanies sexual violence. So here are some better tips that I found that will help you to prevent sexual assault in your community:
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident”you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
Inga Muscio, Cunt
Katie, we often talk about reclaiming derogatory words as a component of the third wave feminist movement. I am still not decided as to how I feel about this notion, but tonight in my training for RCASA, this was presented on a slide about the issue.
There is a country where the leading cause of death of pregnant women is murder by a partner. In this same country, more than a million women were raped in 2008 and women are much more likely to live in poverty than men. Local laws don’t protect their right to bodily freedom and integrity; some rape laws even state that once a woman initially consents to sex, she doesn’t have the right to change her mind.
You may have caught on by now — yes, I’m talking about the United States.