One in four women will be raped. Now that statistic is not only shocking, but also repulsive. The problem is that in our day in age, rape has been twisted and manipulated in its meaning, which leads to confusion in what rape really is.
A common definition of rape is sexual intercourse with a woman, by a man, without her consent and chiefly by force or deception. Now I understand that some men would argue that this definition is sexist, as it implies that only women are raped by men, and not vice versa. However, a man cannot be raped by a woman because biologically speaking, you can’t have sex with a wet noodle. A man can rape another man, but outside of prison, most of the rapes occur with women as the victim.
The question then is not what we can do after a rape has been committed, but how we can prevent it. Women hold a lot of power and control that can prevent some types of rape from occurring in the first place, but they must first recognize the types of situations they put themselves in that inevitably lead to “offering it up.”
During the college years, when our main focus is on the best forms of debauchery and the best flavor vodka, it is easy to get caught up in the party scene and experiment with drugs, alcohol, new positions, you name it. Sex is by far the most sought after and underrated pursuit, especially in college when everyone is still physically appealing and our hormones are short-circuiting.
Women often use sex to attract men’s attention. The problem with this method is that they are attracting the wrong kind of attention. A male friend of mine once told me that if I dressed up a little sexier and wore some heels, I could have any guy I wanted. Many times, the females who use sex appeal to get attention are found canoodling with men at various parties.
Fraternity parties appear to be the most popular type by far on campuses, as they often promise a plethora of booze, some good MySpace picture opportunities, perhaps costumes, and of course girls. I have met some very good, and some not very good, guys in fraternities. The argument that fraternity members “seduce” and “manipulate” women into coming to their parties seems a little insulting. Women could not possibly be that naive. If you get dressed up, go to a party, and behave like a human being, then you will probably have no problems with the men trying anything on you. You will also avoid a seemingly bad situation. If you come to the party in a tube top and mini skirt ensemble, drink eight shots of vodka, make out with another girl while people take pictures of you, then meet a guy and invite him to the laundry room, you might encounter a problem.
Now I am not at all justifying rape; it is just a fact that women who exploit themselves and sell out to get some sleaze bag’s attention are putting themselves in a dangerous state of affairs that could be avoided with a little self-respect.
In the rapes that are actually reported normally, a woman is forced to engage in a sexual act even after saying “no.” The rapes that are not reported, but are discussed during post-party aftermath, can too often be the same story, where the girl looks back on the night and thinks, “I might have been raped last night, but I was so drunk I don’t remember.”
One of my past professors believed that this argument of “women need to be more responsible for their actions and watch how they present themselves” was ambiguous and unnecessary. She argued that if she wanted to walk around naked at a party and advertise her body, she should be able to do so without the threat of a man trying to pull one over on her. Why would you want to do that if you know what could happen though? People can only believe what they see, and if a woman is openly engaging in self-belittling activities, then she should expect someone to take her for what she is or how she’s behaving. If you are wearing a shirt that says “stick it here,” you might encounter a guy walking up and suggesting to do so.
I hate to sound clich’eacute;, but the truth is if you want to be respected, then you have to respect yourself and stand by your principles. The men who do the raping target the women who look as though they don’t care about themselves or who are unaware of their surroundings. These men have studied us, and know what types of girls will “put out,” and what types of girls have a can of pepper spray in their purse. If in all honesty you have no other valuable traits to offer a person, then you can fall back on superficial bull like deprecating yourself to get a second glance.
Nevertheless, women are never responsible for their own rape, ever. Even if a woman is dancing on a table, drunk as a skunk, and licking jello shots off the kitchen floor, it is on the man to control his behavior and use his morals when deciding if a woman is in the right state of mind to engage in sexual liaisons. In a generation where the majority of women are on the pill, we find ourselves in a free love era, but sex is not free at all, there is always a price. And the price is in no way cheap, whether it be regret, herpes, or an emotional landslide. Knowing this, we need to be on the defensive and show up to the playing field prepared. It’s not fair, and it’s not right, but it exists. Some women feel like it is their duty to fulfill some sort of predestined sexual obligation, but this “just say yes” brainwashing leads women to making poor decisions.
Control your liquor intake, never leave your drink where someone could spike it, behave like someone who cares about herself, and always have a friend available to drive you home so you don’t end up getting a ride from a guy you met during beer pong. Most importantly, have some self-worth and present yourself in a respectable way, so that the next time someone tries to control you into doing something you don’t want to do, you can say “no,” and recognize that there are times to be polite and times to kick some ass.