Stop it. Just stop it.

Right. I have a message for you, brought to you by several asshats on the internet.

Stop policing women’s sexual choices. No. No exceptions, no ifs, buts or maybes. Just stop it.

No. My decision to have sex does not constitute ‘risky behaviour’. Dancing on train tracks constitutes risky behaviour.

Rape is not caused by my decision to have sex. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.

Rape is not caused by my skirt, my t-shirt, my halter-top, my lycra jumpsuit, my boots, my grandfather’s hand-me-down cardigan, or my goddamn see-through bra with the plastic goldfish inside. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.

Rape is not caused by my presence at a party, on a street, at a nightclub, in my car, in my home, in a park, or in a hotel room full of football players. It is caused by the decision of a rapist, or multiple rapists, to rape me.

Rape is not caused by any of my previous decisions to have sex. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.

Rape is not caused by my decision to have sex with more than one person at a time. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.

Future acts of rape are not caused by my choice to report or not report my rape. They are caused by the decision of a rapist to continue raping.

Stop trying to draw a causal link between what a woman can control, and the decision of a rapist to rape. There isn’t one. There has never been one. There will never be one.

Rape happens because rapists decide it will happen. Policing women’s sexual choices is bullshit, and a misdirection of your energy. Stop doing it.

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28 responses to “Stop it. Just stop it.

  1. Perfect!
    “Stop trying to draw a causal link between what a woman can control, and the decision of a rapist to rape”.

    Exactly, but it does give people a false sense of security, to believe that rape is due to factors that a woman can control.

    • A false sense of security, and a damaging and impossible-to-avoid belief that therefore, your rape was your own fault.

      I mean. I understand why it’s attractive to think that you are as safe as you can make yourself, but it’s ultimately so counterproductive. Responsibility must lie with the criminal.

      Not ranting at you, rayedish, just ranting in general.

      • I didn’t take it personally, this situation is so awful and people (IRL) are saying the most horrendous things, that I so understand the need to rant.

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  3. Aileen Wuornos

    This x1000

  4. Damn straight.

  5. Exactly! I’m upset that the conversation has turned into ‘do we think people should have group sex?’ The thing is, people *should* be able to have group sex if all involved want to. There’s not a problem with that. Equating non-heteronormative sex with (the risk of) rape is so problematic, and it means that what’s actually at stake – sexual ethics – winds up not being discussed, yet again. Apparently people seem to be taking this opportunity to tell women, again, what kinds of behaviours they ought to be involved in… and as I keep saying to my students that I can’t believe that people think that setting the consent bar at ‘Please! Fuck me!’ is a problem. What kinds of sexual attitudes do we maintain when we do otherwise?

    • The question of group sex has about as much to do with this conversation as Gowards’ asshole remark about white weddings.

      This conversation is about understood and unspoken power dynamics between our cultural demigods and ordinary citizens, between cultural demigods and women, and between women and men in general. And, as a result of imbalanced power dynamics, the different between consent, coercion and active desire.

      I’m glad your students have you to tell them that.

    • Aileen Wuornos

      People like you are a glimmering shimmer of hope for humanity. Kudos.

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  7. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  8. No exceptions? Not even women like Myra Hindley?

    • Laura, if you cannot make a distinction between women’s sexual choices and Myra Hindley’s choice to murder and sexually abuse – those are criminal choices, by the way – then I’m not sure what to say to you.

      Yes. No exceptions.

  9. Thank you for this. I see that attitude all too often. A woman never asks for it, and has the right to have complete control over her body at all times. Our whole societal attitude to rape is something that seems to be well and truly stuck in the dark ages.

  10. Thank you – this is brilliant. What I wouldn’t give to see this in all major publications. Have you thought of sending it into the newspapers?

    I despair at the attitudes out there regarding this whole sorry situation.

  11. fuckpoliteness

    Myra Hindley? Why would you respond to such an important post with that?

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  13. It’s a sad commentary on our society that you even need to say this.

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  15. Excellent blog thank you.

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  17. I dance on train tracks…
    Yeah. I appreciate what you’re saying… I found your blog on the blogroll of another blog that I found when googling stuff about bell hooks’ ideas about parenting. One awesome thing leads to another. :)

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  19. totally agree with every bit of this

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