The man who thought it was okay to grope a woman he didn’t know at the bar, simply because he felt he had the right. He bought that drink for her. He should get something for it. Right?
The teenage boy who untied the cute girls’ bikini top at the neighborhood pool. Come on, it was just for fun. No one saw anything. Well…at least that is what he told her as his friends sneaked pictures of her naked breasts as she hurriedly tried to cover herself, ashamed.
The father who, while in front of his sons and daughters, made comments about how women who dress a certain way might deserve harassment. They drew attention to themselves with that outfit. Maybe next time they will think twice. That what happened to them is their fault.
The guy who takes advantage of an intoxicated woman. Sure, she is drunk. Yeah, her inhibitions are lowered. Does that mean she wants you to touch her breasts? Does that mean you have her permission to put your hands down her panties? Did she say yes? Did she say no? She’s too drunk to talk? She isn’t saying anything at all? Hrmmm…that’s quite a dilemma, that is.
SHAME. ON. YOU.
Shame on you. In a day and age where everyone is so up in arms about consent, everyone is so damned PC that even SOUTHPARK has been joking about it with the PC Principal and his “pussy-crushing” frat boys who administer social justice everywhere-ironically whether there is consent or not. Shame on you, offenders, for perpetuating what is known as #rapeculture.
Buying someone a drink, and them accepting it, does NOT automatically give anyone consent to put their hands on someone simply because they bought the drink. And just because that kid was a teenage boy, still a minor, still a juvenile, does not excuse his behavior at the pool. “Boys will be boys” and “they were just having fun” is a way for society to remove culpability from who is actually at fault: THE BOYS WHO WERE OFFENSIVE. This is a terrible way to raise our children. Do you shrug your shoulders at a dog who randomly attacks people at will, with the excuse of “dogs will be dogs” and “they were just having fun”? Of course not! If a dog attacks, there are always consequences! And hey there, judgmental dad of sons AND daughters out there. Do you want your daughters to grow up with the knowledge that, even if it isn’t their fault, YOU still believe they deserved it because they wore a skirt? Or high heeled shoes? Or a bathing suit? Or even, oh, I dunno, CLOTHES? Because what you are doing is so damaging. You are teaching your daughters that if they wear something that even ONE PERSON believes is provocative, then they MUST be at fault because if they dressed properly, this never would have happened. You are teaching your son’s that it is okay to objectify, slut shame, and harass women who wear clothes. Yep, I said clothes. Because no matter the length of the skirt or the tightness of the pants, NO ONE deserves to be sexually harassed or assaulted at all, least of all based on their clothing choices. That is such a jacked up way to teach your daughter about her self worth and a jacked up way to teach your son about how to treat others. Period. And hey dude at the party/bar/social function with alcohol: IF SHE CAN’T SAY YES IT AUTOMATICALLY MEANS NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t stress this enough. If she (or he) can’t say yes, keep doing this or yes, please touch me, or yes, I WANT THIS, PLEASE PUT YOUR (insert noun of choice here) IN MY(insert noun of choice) then DO NOT ATTEMPT SEXUAL ANYTHING WITH HER/HIM!!!
SILENCE DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT!!!
Why is that so hard?? Why is it so hard to NOT violate someone? Why is it so hard to treat strangers and loved ones and friends with the respect and dignity they deserve??? Why is it so hard?
The case in Stanford is what prompted this, yes. Today, I read the statement the victim read to her attacker. I refuse to read the letter the father of the accused wrote, although I have seen blurbs and I believe the “20 minutes of action” phrase needs to be changed to “the 20 minutes my son took to violate the unconscious woman’s body without her consent”. But, the world isn’t perfect. And what really scares me is I have a teenage son. He is 4 years younger than the kid who did this. 4 years isn’t a lot of time. I am afraid that I don’t have enough time to continue to instill in my son that his fellow human beings are precious, that they are to be treated with respect no matter what, that it is never okay to hurt someone, that it is never okay to force himself or his actions upon another person. Is 4 years enough time to make sure he understands that he needs to be responsible with his decisions? With his actions? That one wrong decision can ruin the rest of his life and that of others as well? I wonder these things because through all the news reports, all of the media coverage, not once did I see where the father took a little responsibility for his son’s wrong choice. Instead, he worried about the damage to his son’s life, career, education… even his ability to eat. I’m sorry, sir, but did you ever stop to think about the irreparable harm your son caused to another living human being? HE RAPED AN UNCONSCIOUS WOMAN. Do you even care about that? About how SHE will live now? Everything that I have read points to the word, “NO.” I’m sorry, but in the world I grew up in, if you made a bad choice you had to live with the consequences of your choice, regardless of how much you didn’t think you deserved them. In my mind, the father is no better than the son.
No…this woman did not deserve this. She didn’t deserve to be victimized, violated, shamed. No one deserves to be victimized, violated, and then shamed. No one deserves to have their assault used as a weapon to further victimize them. No one deserves to have their consent taken from them. No one.
I am sorry to all the people out there that have been violated. I am sorry to all of the families who have had to help pick up the pieces when their family member’s life was shattered like that. I am sorry to the teenage girls having to endure the harassment and judgment and torment brought on by those who don’t understand respect for their fellow human being. I am sorry to the teenage boys who are groped by older women or men. I am sorry to the drunk girl/guy having to fend off unwanted advances because their date doesn’t understand no means no! I am sorry there is a lack of respect for humanity. I am sorry that we live in a world where these apologies have to even be made.
So where is the lesson in all of this? I don’t know. I don’t know how to teach someone to NOT rape, not violate another persons consent like that. I don’t know how to make the point any more than I already have. But the lesson I have taken away from the Stanford ruling is that the judge believed this guy’s future was more important than what he did and how it will continue to affect his victims future. The judge taught me that he placed more value on this guy’s life than that of the victim. And that is a hard, and scary, lesson to learn.