The word “rape” has forever held a bone chilling factor that can raise even the most stubborn hair on one’s neck, making this disgusting transition from a devastating occurrence to a “it happens” scenario that much more gut-wrenching.
As women, we have been told that our shorts, our tight tops, and even our slightest visibility of cleavage is profoundly asking for not only attention, but to be attacked by any individual that deems this apparel “a turn on”. Nobody asks to be raped. No woman merely enters her closet or browses through her wardrobe and thinks “Hmmm… This will get me raped! Perfect!” If you cannot look at me, or any other woman, wearing a dress or revealing clothing and be able to refrain from sexually assaulting me, then you either relocate or learn to run because I’ll have a bullet with your name on it.
Rape is not always an aggressive or violent crime, although many tend to imagine it so. While rape can, without a doubt, be incredibly brutal and an utterly a bloody brawl, rape is also prominent amongst those we trust. You don’t need life threatening injuries and abrasions to validate a rape. It could just as easily been done by someone you know on a late night when your slightly drunken self fell asleep fully trusting that the individual nearby wanted you safe and sound. Rule of thumb, you never sleep with a drunk woman, because what may have been sounded like an “yes” may have very well been a definite “no” while sober. If you wouldn’t let someone drive drunk, you sure as hell don’t try to sleep with them in that same state. A firm “no” should not be bribed or guilt tripped into any sexual act and no woman or man should feel violated and dead inside because someone was unable to control themselves.
Yet, people still often wonder and scratch their heads at the gruesome truth that most individuals aren’t willing to come forward after an attack. Perhaps we should look beyond these victims and identify the judgement that they are set to endure by those asking “Why didn’t you fight back?” or even an “Are you sure about this?”
Men are victims, too, as well as children. However, if a man or child is raped, the crime becomes absolutely unspeakable. No one should rape a child or a man, right? Men are supposed to have dominance and children are ridden with innocence, correct? Then explain to me as to why women are blamed for their assault. Was a child asking to be raped? Did a man wear his v-neck a little too low? Of course not. Yet, women are continuously blamed and questioned for their attack; so much so that they have refused to come forward and rather forget the moment they were robbed of their dignity and self-respect.
As a woman, one who hopes to be a mother one day, I will never tell my daughter her clothes are provoking a man to touch her. I will never allow anyone to persuade her into doing something she had previously refused because she is not comfortable. These should be guidelines for all women, regardless of age, ethnicity, or choices in clothing. You did nothing wrong.
Perhaps the most sickening aspect, those charged with sexual assault are often given lenient sentences in light of their lack of killing of their victim. “She didn’t die, so we can’t charge the offender with something as heavy as murder”. But, inside, she did die. She is forced to live the rest of her life with shame and guilt for a vial attack that she was a victim in. No amount of showers, tears, or prayers can ever return her to the woman she once was, deeming this offense, in my opinion, worse than murder. You robbed her.
I will continue to wear the clothing I so choose, averting from adjusting my lifestyle to make yours easier. And if my apparel or look provokes you, I welcome you to come over and give it a shot, because I have enough strength to take you down, in addition to a large friend group of men that would be more than happy to help a sister out and get some blood on their hands. This goes for ALL women.