Why Victim Blaming Hurts Men Too

Another day, another article about rape. Just can’t get enough of it over here at Belle Jar, can we? And again, inspired by the age old victim blaming myth of ‘if she wasn’t dressed so sluttily, it wouldn’t have happened’. People, please. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the only people this all too persistent myth serves to benefit is rapists. For obvious reasons it doesn’t benefit women, but decent, law abiding, non-rapey men are tarred by it too. The idea that their gender amounts to little more than some kind of collective of uncontrollable, savage animals should piss men off. That without women complying to the necessary rules, they will be able to behave with no base of civility or control. The idea that women have to dress modestly/not drink/not walk alone at night so that you maybe, just maybe,when you see a human woman you will be able to control your carnal NEED to do a spot of raping – this line of thought should offend men beyond belief. It should fucking outrage men.

Things like this are why I don’t understand why the concept of feminism is still considered something of a fringe ideology, even amongst supposedly liberal people. To me, it is about as radical as not being racist. If you think black people have a right to walk down the street without being scared of being persecuted for being black, why would you not think the same for women? It’s just equality – nothing more, nothing less. The fact that the concept of equality could be conceived as radical in any way shows how far we still have to go. Feminism recognises that men are so much more than the few awful human beings who spend their time harrassing and attacking women, unfortunately often safe behind the pysche the victims involved must have ‘asked for it’ or on some level be enjoying the attention. A patriarchy that insists that men’s base instincts are so insatiable, so animalistic and so fundamental to their being suggests that the natural state of man is that of violent attacker. It paints walking around town in a short skirt with the same brush as walking into a bear pit covered in bacon. Men, feminism knows you are so much more than bears – and women so much more than bacon.

-Louisa Ackermann

3 thoughts on “Why Victim Blaming Hurts Men Too

  1. My children know, because I taught them, that rape is not about sex: it’s about power, control, fear and humiliation. My 21 year old son attempted to educate a teenage girl who told her friend “she’d get raped if she went out dressed like that”. It doesn’t matter how you dress, some men, a tiny minority, are rapists.

    What my son also recognises, because his dad (me) taught him, is the importance of feminism, that what feminism is is not putting women above men but putting us all, male and female, on an equal footing. Only when men and women are treated equally can we begin to build a fair society.

  2. “Things like this are why I don’t understand why the concept of feminism is still considered something of a fringe ideology”

    When you ask people if they agree with statements like “do you believe both sexes are equal”, but don’t explicitly use the word feminism. Most people agree.

    So does that mean that people simply don’t understand what feminism is; or do they consider feminism to be a bit more complicated that simply agreeing with equality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_movements_and_ideologies).

  3. Pingback: WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE MEN? | Conversations with GayatriG

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