The other day I witnessed a “twar” (that’s a twitter war for my more mature friends) that reminded me of this one British anti-rape campaign. The “This Is Not An Invitation to Rape Me” is/was (not sure if it’s still running) a campaign run by Rape Crisis Scotland, to change the attitude that women are to blame for rape.
Basically one gentleman on twitter had suggested that women take precaution against being raped. Needless to say, twitter went berserk on the poor guy. Soon as I saw his tweet I thought “rest in peace sir” ‘cause it was pretty obvious what was about to take place. In fact, it wasn’t so much a “twar” as a “tw-murder”…I clearly haven’t mastered this twitter wordplay thing.
Anyway, at the risk of being “tw-murdered” myself, I felt compelled to today declare that I get what he was trying to say. Allow me a minute to analogise my explanation:
There’s a gorgeous park near where I stay. It’s a great short cut for a lot of people. Only problem is, there’s no lighting whatsoever. As would be expected, some people using the park as a shortcut at night have unfortunately been victims of crime.
Now, I think the city council should invest in lighting that park. Hell, even us residents could chip in if need be. Whatever needs to be done should be done to light up that park and reduce crime taking place there, BUT I see nothing wrong with asking people to NOT cut through that park at night. And such a request doesn’t mean you are necessarily blaming the victim of the crime and not the perpetrators.
So why doesn’t this apply to rape? Well, rape is a very sensitive crime. Much like paedophilia, it angers us. So anytime anyone so much as hints at the victim taking precautions, society gets on the defensive. We scream and shout and, sadly, miss the point; a very valid and important point at that. And I think this is counterproductive.
For instance, if there is a taxi rank where scantily dressed women have been victims of rape, I am going to tell my daughter to take precautions against going there scantily dressed. If women are being raped after nights out by dodgy taxi drivers, I’m going to tell my sister to take precautions against taking dodgy taxis at night whilst drunk. Does that mean I’m blaming them should they be raped? No, not at all. The rapist is ALWAYS to blame. HE IS 100% IN THE WRONG.
So what am I saying? I’m saying there are numerous things that need to be done to cure our society as we become more and more desensitised to crimes of all nature. For example, in the case of rape, men need to be educated from a very early age. Mutual respect between genders needs to be cultivated from the word go. Police need more training to improve rape convictions. The list is almost endless. However, in all this, telling women to take precautions isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t an act of passing blame onto them. It is a reality that needs to be communicated.
The problem is so many people on social networks are just waiting to fight…after all it’s an easy way to gain followers. *just scribbling my thoughts*