The Fault with Blaming The Victim

July 11, 2011 by Safa Allen  
Published in Women

A quick look at why blaming rape victims can never be right.

With the recent slut walks there’s been renewed interest in women’s rights, especially with regards to rape. I want to concentrate on one area of rape that this movement has brought to light once more: that blaming rape on what the victim wore, or “victim bashing”.

The idea that someone deserves or is asking for sex/rape through what they wear is a strange thing because I can’t think of anywhere else this happens. There are countless t-shirts with pictures of targets and yet it would be ridiculous to suggest that this was an acceptable reason to shoot someone. People may argue that sex is a basic urge in anyone whereas killing isn’t, though we have to remember that hunting for sport has been popular for many centuries and so the two can’t be separated so easily. This argument also ignores an important point that rape isn’t actually about the attacker simply wanting sex and being unable to control himself, psychologist now understand that there are deeper motives dealing with power behind such attacks.

To me, the important point is that this argument excuses the attacker. By repeating this message that women should be careful about what we wear the message is do not be raped not don’t rape. This is the key issue and until we accept this, we will not get very far in fighting rape.  

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