Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's still bothering me...

And by "it" I mean the previously mentioned article about the sexual assaulting cop. And, well... here's the thing...

Situation 1) Susie Creamcheese meets a guy at a bar, and flirts with him while wearing a diamond necklace, and later that night the man rips the jewelry off of her and runs off.

Situation 2) Susie is unconscious and some teenage boys film themselves stealing her diamond necklace, and later their parents describe the incident as "Oh well! Boys will be boys!"

Situation 3) Susie makes her living selling diamond necklaces, and then someone steals one of them

Situation 4) Susie has given away hundreds of diamond necklaces, and then someone takes one without her permission

Situation 5) Susie walks down the street late at night swathed in diamond jewelery and is mugged.

Situation 6) Susie has given a man one of her diamond necklaces once before, and he takes another, even though she said he couldn't have it.

Situation 7) Susie has fallen asleep in a man's hotel room while wearing a diamond necklace and he steals it

Situation 8) Susie is pulled over by a cop while wearing a diamond necklace and he steals it

Now, in any of these situations, is it justifiable for the person to steal Susie's necklace (which, by the way, has stopped looking like a word to me after typing it so many times)? No, of course not. Regardless of Susie's actions, or how she may or may not have "tempted" the thief, when taken to court, the case would be cut and dry- because of course, no one has the right to steal someone else's property.

And yet, these are all excuses used to justify rape and sexual assault. Are we then to assume that Susie's body is less her own property than a diamond necklace is? Apparently so. Because sex crimes are the only crimes where the victim is ever accused of being responsible for the crime. It seems these days that every rape or sexual assault reported in the media has been tinged with this whole "Jean Val Jean stealing a loaf of bread" vibe.

Why? Because in this society, a woman's sexuality is considered a brandished weapon- an attractive woman is a bombshell, a knock-out, a femme fatale. We allow men to see sexual assault and rape as self defense, as though a woman were thrusting a knife at their throat as opposed to simply wearing a short skirt, or being "overtly sexual." We allow the attackers to see themselves as victims rather than violent criminals. Like I said in the previous post, a tease is just a woman you think should fuck you but she disagrees.

Men often see women as being able to sleep with whomever they choose, while they are not. Seeing as how they are raised in a system of male privilege, this is a bitter pill to swallow. I cannot count the times I have had men in bars flip the fuck out at me because I was not interested in them, or "appropriately grateful" for their attention. In fact, just last week my roommate was viciously verbally assaulted by this creepy Superfans looking dude because she declined his repeated offers to sit on his lap.

While no one could be accused of inciting someone to steal one of their material posessions, regardless of what they do for a living, what they are wearing, or how attractive they are- victims of rape and sexual assault almost always are- and are also almost always assumed to be lying about their attack. Which is why these crimes go unreported the majority of the time. Sex crimes need to be treated the exact same way as other crimes are. Because no one is ever "asking for it."

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