I was having a conversation with a boy about rape. He told me a horrible story about a girl he knows who was drugged at a bar and then dragged off with a broken limb so that some asswipe could rape her.
This lead to the "rape prevention" conversation (note that dude is not an asshole, he's just a victim of the patriarchy, but he's trying so I try to be gentle).
Here's the thing- women CANNOT prevent rape.
Say it again.
Women CANNOT prevent rape.
Women are not raped because they are in the wrong place, or wearing the wrong clothes, or behaving badly. Rape is not a punishment for societal infractions. Rape is a crime committed by a rapist. The only difference between a drunk naked girl passed out at a frat party and a rape victim is the presence of a rapist. Rapists do not spring forth magically from a mixture of beer foam and female pheromones and vulnerability.
Dude and I started talking about how we can stop rape. I am of the adamant opinion that women have done everything they can in that regard. Women cannot prevent rape. Women cannot stop rape from happening. We have spent the last 100,000 years or so trying to prevent it, and yet it still happens.
Because in the end, rape has very little to do with women. We are victims of it. And being raped feels incredibly personal, but it has little to do with us. It is about men and power and we are the objects they destroy to reinforce their place in the universe.
And when we are objects, we have no power to change our status. A toaster or a broom cannot complain when someone uses it against its will.
The only people who can stop rape are men because men are the rapists.
Dude thinks that everyone needs to work to change it, that women need to work just as much as men do to stop rape.
Except, we aren't the rapists. And we have been working on preventing rape since forever. And I for one am tired of tailoring my behavior out of fear that some rapist will see me coming like a bright shiny beacon of potential cum dumpster status.
Dude thinks, however, that women need to quit with the slut shaming (agreed) and victim blaming (doubly agreed. And that is where we come to the chicken or the egg question. Does ending slut shaming/ victim blaming actually end rape?
I think not. I think that ending rape ends rape. If there is no rape, there is no victim blaming. Period.