How to avoid being raped (video)




The world needs a lot more 'how not to be a rapist' videos.


I once worked on a series of PSAs for a coalition of organizations working to fight sexual abuse. By far, the biggest challenge was coming up with an actual call to action. "Hey everybody, don't rape!" didn't seem especially likely to work.


The victim(s) are "asking for it" - by simply existing. They should know better than to walk down a street or sleep in their own bed, for example ! Or be between the ages of 0 - 110 years of age.

Then the victims are blamed for not having prevented it. Or not having fought back the right way.

Then the victims are labeled "crazy" for whatever they did to fight back, and "crazy" because they were traumatized, then disbelieved and scrutinized by the authorities and their peers when they report the rape. The victim will be quizzed about their sexual history - but the "accused"(rolls eyes) rapist won't be. No one ever asks the rapist why they chose to wear "provocative" underwear the day they raped somebody.

Oddly - no one ever labels the rapist crazy. There are never any "Did you know you might be a rapist ? Take this quiz to find out" stories in men's magazines. Or stories about discovering a buddy is a raging misogynist, and how to effectively call him out about this.

It's like there is some sort of...double standard operating here ?


That would be kind of a strange article:

"I discovered a couple of years ago that I'm a rapist. I mean I have never raped anybody, but in my mind I'm totally a rapist."

And really, that sort of thing might get them labeled crazy and locked up. It's really no wonder why you don't see them.


There's one thing I'd change about this video: I'd like to see the sources for the specific pieces of "advice". I'm going to assume, although I'm not sure why, that "don't give a guy blue balls" didn't come from a university or Cosmopolitan, but if it did attention needs to be drawn to the fact.

Needless to say I'd prefer to change our culture in general, but that's a lot more difficult.


There's this anti-rape underwear being offered for sale right now that bugs the heck out of me. It sounds like a great way to get the shit kicked out of a woman. Frustrated rapists (such as those unable to get an erection) have a tendency to take it out on the victim. And even if someone can't get in your actual orifices, what do people think is going to happen when the rapist encounters this impenetrable barrier? "Well, that stumps me. Have a nice night, miss!"
It strikes me as being security theater at best, and a way for parents to literally lock up their daughters' chastity at worst.


That's because many perpetrators do not even recognize that what they are doing is sexual assault. For example - their victim avoided them all night at a party, physically turned their back to avoid speaking to them, screamed and hit them when they were touched, screamed specific things like "NO !" ,"Stop!", "Don't touch me !" fought back HARD - and the perpetrator has a completely different account of the events - and tells his pals "She totally wanted it" and was a "total slut".

Most men get all indignant if you ask them point blank "Are you a rapist ?" - and deny this as an absurd statement. However - when a questionaire was given where sexual assault was never named, but there were a scale of behaviours describing incidents of sexual coercion, violations of consent, violations of boundaries and power, and questions about a sense of entitlement - then a completely different picture emerged.


And a totally stupid "innovation", too. Sexual assault can take many forms beside vaginal or anal penetration.


And for all you "citation needed" types here is a link that links to that study:


It can be done in fiction or comedy, but it's still awkward as hell.

I saw a sitcom pilot a couple years ago where a bunch of married dudes are palling around, talking dude talk, complaining about their wives. One starts saying stuff about how he's always physically forcing his wife to have sex, and the others actually call it out as rape. It's intended to play as comedy (think Sarah Silverman), but is actually thought-provoking in a weird way.


I work on a college campus where, recently, I've seen several posters that say "Sex without consent is sexual assault." These are advertising informational sessions about sexual assault and rape, in an attempt to deal with the problem.

I'm glad there's an educational effort going on, but I can't help feeling a little stunned that college students need to be told that sex without consent is sexual assault. I'm also not sure why they don't simply call it rape.


This is a good companion item - "There is no greater threat to women than men" - Louis CK



Calling all sexual assault rape can be problematic, as it allows the possibility of denial of the harm caused, since it wasn't PIV or PIA sex - as though this is the only "legitimate"rape people should be concerned about. Sexual assault survivors describe a very wide spectrum of assaults that were intensely violating and terrorizing. It also becomes very heteronormative.

While there are fewer incidences of sexual assault/violence that are not male perpetrator/female victim, there are other configurations of perpetrator/victim or types of sexual assault that do not involve penetration using a penis, which should be as seriously considered as "rapeRAPE".


There have been a couple of ad campaigns in Scotland that I thought were pretty good.

One tackled the victim blaming with images of women doing perfectly reasonable things (like wearing a tight top) with the caption "This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me."

The other focused on the idea of consent, showing men (e.g. a rugby player) saying things like "I'm the kind of guy who doesn't have sex with a girl when she's too drunk. Do you?"

[I missed the fact SatinSam had already posted a good Scottish ad.]


The legal term -- what one would be arrested for -- is sexual assault (or sexual abuse: no penetration anywhere), not least in the districts I know.


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