Space Ramblings

The Women Should Accept Responsibility for being Raped Meme

Revisiting one of my old posts, I can’t help but wonder at the persistence of this particular meme, which shifts the responsibility for the rape on the woman. I’ve written about this one more than once, such as over here, Are Women to Blame for Rape, but the meme never really seems to go away.

Maybe it’s because rape is one of the unique crimes where there is a societal incentive to blame the victim, the way gay bashing way a few decades ago or racial attacks. To conservatives, the modern liberated woman is getting “what she asked for” in demanding feminism, equal rights and dressing in less than a burka. To some of the creepier feminist men, equality means equal responsibility for getting raped.

Few mugging victims are ever held to account in the way that rape victims are. Few robbery victims get put on the stand and asked what they did to encourage the robbery. The premise behind the idea that women bear responsibility for being raped though, is that a woman inherently attracts men who want to have sex with her and it’s her duty to keep herself chaste. There’s a story just now about an Iranian man who murdered his 17 year old daughter to protect her honor

My cousin at Sultan Knish likes to deny the fact that this same sort of attitude is prevalent in the West, but it is. It’s no unique Muslim idea that women carry the blame for being raped. It’s a masculine patriarchal idea and it’s hard to get rid of, no matter how seemingly progressive the culture might seem. Underneath it is the basic idea that women are property and that rape is what happens to loose women who deserve it and brought it on by being female.

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