Friday, March 30, 2012

Sexual Assault Safety Tips Ignore the Real Issue

Forget Ultrarunning, forget politics, forget love for the natural world, forget the usual stuff I blog about here. 

I just ran across a great post that you really need to see, by Erica Andrist, about "safety tips" and avoiding sexual assault.  Go read the whole post, but this excerpt really nails it.  It's not about the victim of sexual assault doing things right or doing things wrong.  It's about the role of the perp, away from whom most public discourse over the years has somehow shifted responsibility:

This is why “safety tips” are a sham. Safety tips get trotted out as an example of how people who are assaulted deserved it or did it to themselves. Safety tips are used to justify sexual assault, as though the appropriate punishment for having too much to drink is getting raped. Safety tips get held up as a kind of rape life preserver when we want to believe it won’t happen to us. Every day of spring break, there will be people who do everything “wrong” and are still not assaulted. Every day of spring break, there will be people who do everything “right” and are still assaulted. Except when we rely on “safety tips” and are assaulted anyway, there is always something that we could have, should have, and should have not done to have prevented it.

When we rely on “safety tips,” it is impossible to do everything right. So, my spring break safety guide consists of this: Don’t fucking rape people. If you have sex with a chick who is too drunk to say no, you are not “scoring,” you are not “getting lucky”: you are a rapist. If you use alcohol in order to get people to do things you think they might not do if they were sober, you are not cool or slick or clever: You are a rapist. If you don’t bother to get consent, but you figure this person would “totally want it anyway” because you are hot or an athlete or in law school or whatever, then you’re a rapist. And you suck.


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