Real Men Don’t Rape

It has recently been brought to my attention that this exists:

Seriously. Yes.

This is a protest against rape culture and victim-blaming. And I am behind it 100%. It started in Toronto in 2011, where a cop publicly said that women should avoid ‘dressing like sluts’ so that they wouldn’t get raped. Naturally, this caused an uproar, and thus, SlutWalk was born. Heather Jarvis of Toronto started the movement in order to reclaim the word ‘slut’ and show the world that women (and men) should be able to dress however they want without fear of being raped.

I’ve never really been one to get involved in stuff like this. I read a lot about protests and causes, and while the causes may be good I find a lot of protests and events like this come across the wrong way. This one, however, is extremely eloquent, and to the point. Also the name SlutWalk has caused such a stir and has gotten so many people talking about it, it’s the perfect setup. Since 2011, SlutWalks have been held all over the world, from 40 cities in Brazil, to India, even Jerusalem.
Her banner says “My dress code is none of your business”

Since I’ve joined the SlutWalk Guelph group on facebook, I’ve learned about so many cases involving rape where the victims get blamed and the rapists don’t get a single day of jail time. The most famous at the moment is the Steubenville case, or closer to home, the Reteah Parsons case, in which a girl was gang raped and then harassed so much by the entire town that she killed herself. What the fuck kind of culture are we that we not only ignore the fact that a young girl was assaulted, but harass her so much that she couldn’t even bear to live anymore? Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a human being.

Really, really ashamed to be the same species as this guy.
I followed both of these cases in the news, but didn’t realize how many more there are just like it. I’ve done some digging in the past few days, and come up with tons of horrible events. Men and women, of any age, race, religious stature, being assaulted and then shamed for it. What’s worse, there’s always the ever present “she was asking for it” because of what she was wearing/drinking/looking at/doing/standing/bending. What the fuck ever. Our society is so bent on teaching women how to avoid being raped. Don’t leave your drink unattended, don’t wear revealing clothes, don’t walk home alone in the dark. These things have become so engrained in our heads that we do it without even thinking, you know, safety first. But it’s sad that we have to do those things. It’s sad that women are taught how to try to protect themselves, and men aren’t taught not to rape us.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that all men are rapists. There are men behind this cause that have either been assaulted, or are just as offended by rape culture as women. They’re pissed off because society is claiming that men ‘just can’t help themselves’ if a woman dresses or acts a certain way. Seriously? You have absolutely no control over your dick? I know many men in my life that can keep themselves from raping nearby women they’re attracted to. It’s called self control, common sense, and not being a fucking sociopath. Another theory is that men still view women solely as pleasure objects. If you want an object to stick your dock in, get a fucking fleshlight.

The main point here is that we, as women, should be able to wear and act however we want, and not get raped for it. Lawyers love to bring up victims’ sexual history in rape cases, and it always counts against them. “Well, she was a slut, she wanted it.” In my experience, sluts are women that enjoy lots of sex with many partners. This sex, however, is consensual. Just like guys go to the bar to pick up a girl, I don’t see why girls aren’t allowed to go out and pick up a guy. A guy that they say ‘yes’ to. Women should be able to enjoy sex too. And just because we enjoy sex doesn’t mean we want to get raped. It’s acceptable for men to like sex, so does that mean they should like being violated sexually? Doesn’t make any sense, does it?

A huge phrase to fight rape culture for the past many years is ‘no means no’. I disagree with this, because in so many cases, the woman is unconscious or too drugged to say no, and then the rapist’s response is ‘well, she didn’t say no’. This should be changed to ‘yes means yes’. If you proposition a woman, or touch her, or hit on her, and you don’t hear a yes, don’t have sex with her. Very simple. This is what these cases need, instead of wondering whether or not the victim is a slut, what she was doing, and whether or not she said no, the only question should be “Did she say yes?”.
Needless to say, I’m going to the Guelph SlutWalk on Sunday. It’s at 1pm downtown Guelph, and I urge anyone that can make it to go. This is an excellent cause, and it’s raising awareness in an extremely effective way. Whether woman or man, slut or not, assault victim or a supporter of human rights, everyone is welcome. If you don’t have a ride, talk to me, and I can help you figure something out. And if you’re not near Guelph, check out this website to find out where there are SlutWalks in your area. Pass it around, promote it, and help raise awareness.
The more people like us, with common sense, that understand that people are people and not toys, need to speak up and unite. If only one person takes a step back and rethinks their casual attitude towards rape, then this protest is worth it.


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