Women are told their entire lives how to survive as a female:
“Don’t wear that skirt, it’s too short it gives the wrong idea”
“Don’t walk on your own at night, it’s not safe”
“If you put your drink down on a night out, don’t go back to it: you don’t know what’s in it”
We have programmed that it is their responsibility to stay safe and to not get raped or assaulted. We have programmed women to believe that it is their fault if they are harmed because they didn’t follow one of the rules above.
Well, I’m sorry, I’m having none of that.
“Don’t wear that skirt, it’s too short it gives the wrong idea” – my response: “Oh I’m sorry what idea might that be? That it’s summer and therefore too hot outside to wear jeans or tights?!” or “I didn’t realise that my lower thigh and knee was so sexually arousing for you that you just had to rape me.” Do you see how ludicrous it sounds when we tell our daughters and women to wear longer skirts so not to entice rapists?!
“Don’t walk on your own at night, it’s not safe” – what if I have just moved to a new city and need to pop round to the corner shop for some milk and it’s dark outside, am I expected to eagerly wait until morning where it’s safe enough for me to buy essentials?! Am I supposed to call a taxi to drive me a ten-second journey for the fear I may be attacked? Do you see how ridiculous and impractical it is for people to constantly live their life with a “safety in numbers” attitude? It is utterly naive to think that this is actually possible in everyday life.
“If you put your drink down on a night out, don’t go back to it: you don’t know what’s in it” – Why on earth this has become such an important issue truly disgusts me. People (of all genders) are told to never abandon a drink and to never accept a drink unless you have physically watched the bartender prepare it or the bottle be opened for fear someone is using this opportunity to drug you. How anyone could be so sick or disturbed to feel it is in any way appropriate to do this to someone is beyond me, it really sickens me. When I’m out with my friends I have to be on guard in case someone slips something in my drink. Is that a fun night out? Doesn’t sound it to me.
We teach young girls that it is their responsibility to not get raped; it is their responsibility to survive. At my sixth form, they had a program that gave free rape alarms out to all the students. As much as I was grateful this service was provided, it shouldn’t have had to have been. We should be educating people from a young age that no means no and that sexual interactions between people needs to be consented by all parties involved. We should be educating people in that even if someone is lying naked on the bed in front of you and says they want to have sex, but then five seconds later says they don’t want to anymore, that is a NO. No-one should be persuaded into doing something they don’t want to do. No-one should be forced to do something they don’t want to do. Society needs to stop educating people on how to stop themselves from being assaulted and to start educating society on what assault is and why people shouldn’t do it!