Last week marks the one year anniversary of the original SlutWalk in Toronto. So how appropriate that my posts on Austin's local SlutWalk last summer received some heavy trolling this weekend. A commenter named "Peter" left me a ridiculously ignorant, rambling tirade about how he believes that female virginity is so wonderful and important.
Yawn. Eye roll. What an original thought. No one has EVER said that before.
After that "Peter" had to real quick add a second comment, just to make sure that his ignorance was abundantly clear: "That's like saying you do not risk death by blindly running across the freeway. Only the car hitting you causes death."
Dear lord. Seriously? Do we keep having to go round and round about this? Well I guess so. Here we go.
The critical flaw (of many) in this analogy, Peter, is that when people are driving down the highway they are doing what is reasonably expected will happen on a highway. Are you really suggesting that men raping women is just something men do? That it's a reasonable expectation of life? How utterly fucking sad. I've said it once and I'll say it a million times: Nothing a person does gets her/him raped. Here's the list I wrote about before, and it's the one I'm sticking with.
The following things DO NOT get you raped:
where you choose to walk and when
whether or not you've chosen to have sex in the past, how many times, and with who
how much you drink
whether or not you pay attention to your surroundings
anything else you do or say
The following things DO get you raped: A rapist. That's it.
The longer we put the responsibility for rape on victims is the longer we act as if rape is a normal, tolerable part of our society. It is rape culture, people, and it's sick and it helps literally no one except rapists. Like, honestly, think about it. Who benefits from blaming victims for rape? Rapists. Do we really want to create a society in which we're helping and catering to rapists?! For real?
Sadly, the answer appears that many people are just fine with the continuation of rape culture. So often the "Peters" of the world get their way. We tolerate rape jokes and analogies without any acknowledgement that the result is normalization of rape and acceptance of rape culture.
But this isn't ok with me. Assholes like Peter are why I will continue to write about these things and speak out when movies, celebrities, popular websites, and even people in my personal life act like rape jokes and analogies are no big deal. I do NOT want to act like this is acceptable. I want more for the world. I want more for our future and I expect better of humanity. So basically, trolls like Peter are exactly why I continue to care. I have to continue to care and speak out because I refuse to be complicit in rape culture. I refuse to pretend like I'm willing to deal with this. I refuse to let Peter's POV be the louder voice out there. And I certainly refuse to accept that rape is just a part of life.
It doesn't have to be. It shouldn't be.
While I'm talking about trolls, just reminder: I have a zero tolerance policy for trolling. You can spend a half our crafting a tirade like I'm sure Peter did, but I will never, ever publish those comments in full. Save your self the time, energy, and effort, and if you don't agree with me, just move along.