On rape: Don’t be that guy

This image popped up in my Facebook feed the other day.

I had to read it twice because after the first read I thought, “There’s no way I read that correctly.”

It is long past time for us to stop shaming women who are raped. We should be appalled that this is even a discussion but somehow, it still is. In fact, according to this image and the website link, it is a growing discussion.

“Don’t be THAT girl!”

How about, “Don’t be THAT guy!”

Instead of educating men about “those” kind of women who manufacture rape claims because they have regrets, as this group so obviously believes, let’s educate men that when a woman says NO, she means exactly that, NO! If you proceed, it is rape.

If a woman wears something you view as seductive, she is not asking for it. She is exercising her free will to dress however she likes.

If a woman walks in a poorly lit part of campus or town, she is not hoping someone will jump out of the shadows. It is probably the shortest or most direct route home, to her car, or to work. Also, you can bet she’s nervous the entire walk and probably holding her keys between her knuckles, just in case.

If a woman is jogging at night or very early in the morning, she isn’t making herself a target. She probably works, has a family, and that is the only time she can make for herself to get some exercise.

If a woman has had too much to drink and is almost or completely unconscious, she isn’t hoping someone will take advantage of her. You’ve probably been there yourself, had that extra drink when you should have said no. Who knows what stress she may be relieving, what pressure she may be under and this may be her way to unwind. It’s not your place to judge. If anything, help her. By the way, just in case you’re unclear on this part, helping someone who has had too much to drink does not include having sex with them, it means making sure they get home safely and do not drive.

The way to end rape isn’t by “slut” shaming. It isn’t telling someone to wear a longer skirt, to only walk where there are street lights, to only run during the day, not to drink so much, or the long list of other scenarios that seem to encourage the “she was asking for it” excuse. No, my solution is far simpler and far more obvious. Don’t rape. Period. End of story.

And to the people who created this website and the images they are blasting on social media. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Shame on you.

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