Saturday, 4 January 2014

Victim Blaming

I've just been reading some stories on the website of my local newspaper. I encountered a story about a woman who was sexually assaulted by a male friend of hers. They were both drunk. She fell asleep and awoke to find his hand down her pants. He's been spared a jail sentence.

That alone worries me, but what worries me even more is the attitude towards sexual assaults and rape. Here is a screenshot of the only comment that was beneath the article:

What worries me EVEN more is that I 'red arrowed' this comment, only for somebody else to clearly like what this numpty has said, knocking it back to a neutral zero. ('Numpty' is a far tamer word than several that are going around in my head right now...)

I agree that whilst drunk you are less responsible for your own actions, and that, is dangerous. But why should women live in fear of getting drunk just in case they're subjected to a horrific sexual assault? You should be able to live your life the way you want without fear of being violated so atrociously. Regardless of the fact that the perpetrator is sorry, he still did it.

How progressive does society have to be before we can eradicate or at least significantly reduce the numbers of crimes like this? Women are not sex objects. We are not there as playthings. We have rights and feelings and the same freedoms as men, so why are so many people blaming victims of rape for their own misfortune? Why not blame the disgusting creatures that commit these crimes? 

Women should be allowed to dress how they like, drink as much as they like, be friends with whoever they like, do whatever they like (within reason... Obviously...) and live their lives with the same freedom that men do. Just because we're different to men doesn't mean to say that we have to be treated as lesser members of society.

Put yourself in the shoes of a rape victim. Imagine how on earth that must feel. To be a victim of such a horrific crime that essentially ruins, or significantly changes your life. Then imagine what it must be like to receive little or no sympathy from others and to be blamed for your own sexual assault... And THEN vilified for a myriad of trivial matters that seemingly caused the perpetrator to single you out for their disgusting act.

From personal experience, I know what it's like to be overpowered by a man. Thankfully, things never went that far, but wires were well and truly crossed and things nearly got out of hand. I was left shaken and fearing any intimacy afterwards. It has had a huge impact on me, yet the man involved probably doesn't even remember it or regard it to be a serious matter. To have a man try and force himself on you is suffocating, it's scary and it's sickening that they see you in that way; as a object to copulate with. Nothing more, nothing less. 

I am aware that this comment is from somebody entirely insignificant with views that I disagree with on a news website. I am also aware that I am an idiot for letting it get to me and writing this blog post in the first place. But I've had enough of misogyny, victim blaming and oppression. 

Why can't we all just get along?

Daily Mail - Women 'To Blame' For Being Raped

The Guardian Says It Far Better Than I Ever Could...

...As Does The Independent 

N.B. Upon checking the aforementioned article again, the comment has now received 12 likes. Ridiculous. 
Who are these people with vile views and why are they allowed to comment on news sites, encouraging other impressionable people to agree with their horrid opinions... Thus causing society to regress to a misogynistic wasteland?