It’s over. Everyone, it is OVER. We are done having the conversation about how we can prevent our daughters from getting raped. The new conversation we will now be having is how we can stop our boys from raping. I do realize that on rare occasions there are women rapists, but statistically, the facts are that more men commit rapes then women commit rapes. So we won’t be having the discussion about how to keep our daughters from becoming rapists. I will be happy to have this discussion when groups of six women and girls brutally rape a man with a steel pipe. All we (and I mean “we” collectively) ever discuss is how we can keep our girls, ourselves, women, safe from rapists. I know I have discussed before how we need to teach our sons not to rape, but this “new” conversation is one we need to be having constantly. And I will say this until my mouth is sore and my fingers fall off: We need to teach our boys how not to rape.
I don’t want to hear any more vaguely worded rape-shaming about how a girl could have minimized her chances of being raped. I do not care, and please, this is important, so please read carefully: I do not care how drunk a woman or girl was. She does not deserve to be raped. I do not care what a woman or girl was wearing. I do not care if Juicy Couture or Victoria’s Secret comes out with a new line of sweatpants with the words “Rape Me” emblazoned on the ass and a female person buys and wears these, she does not deserve to be raped. I do not care if a girl or woman has consensual sex with a man, changes her mind mid-coitus and says no, she does not deserve to be raped. I do not care how many dark alleys she walks down, how many bad parts of town she frequents, how sexually active she is, how much makeup she wears, the length of her hemline, she does not deserve to be raped. There is never an excuse, or reason, or justification for rape. Ever.
Responsible parents can speak to their daughters about how to minimize their chances of being raped. But the greater conversation we need to have is how to stop men and boys from raping. We have had years, and years, and years of rape prevention seminars for women, of safety tips and classes, of helpful hints so you don’t end up beaten and left in an alley somewhere after being sexually assaulted. We need the same sort of seminars, and pamphlets, and websites dedicated to teaching boys how not to rape. We need male politicians, and celebrities and athletes to do PSAs about how not to rape. We need fathers to talk to their sons about not raping. Women? We do this. We talk about rape, we are vocal about rape, we write about rape and protest rape and donate money to anti-rape organizations and write letters to get stricter rape laws passed. But we need more men to be as vocal as we are.
Lauren Wolfe wrote for CNN about how the time is now to end the culture of rape in 2013.
This is born out everywhere that rape occurs but especially in war zones like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Dr. Denis Mukwege, the medical director of Panzi Hospital, told me men use objects as a means to mark a woman — to indicate that she now carries the message of violence impressed on her body. She becomes an emblem of terror meant to warn the world that nobody is safe. And while rape in war zones carries its own particular kind of horror, there is no escaping the cult of masculinity geographically. The culture of rape imbues whatever space we inhabit.
For women, “peacetime” does not exist.
Let’s declare 2013 The Year to End Rape. If this is a problem that men have created, this is a problem that men can help solve.
The time is now.
There are men in the world who are vocal about rape and who care about rape and who do their part to put an end to rape culture. We just need a lot more of them. I’m with Lauren and her declaration to end rape culture in 2013. And as I recently said: If 2012 was The Year Of The War On Women can 2013 be the year that Women Go To War against all the patriarchal bullshit? We need to do this for our daughters, or friends, our sisters and our mothers. We need to do this for the world.