How Are We Still So Stupid About Rape?

How Are We Still So Stupid About Rape?

Adrienne BoettingerThursday,21 April 2016

At The Snap Download we generally try not to underestimate people’s stupidity. As soon as we think, “people have been just about as stupid as they can be”, we’ll find some overachievers to prove us wrong. Unfortunately, this is definitely the case when it comes to sexual assault.

Sexual assault is the one crime where we consistently blame the victim. When it comes to a robbery, you don’t hear people saying the victim was asking for it by having money or showing their possessions in front of other people. But rather than talk about or deal with rapists, people from police chiefs to presidential candidates like Governor John Kasich, want to school the victims. If the victims were just a little more careful, a little less drunk, a little more buttoned up, a little more prepared to defend themselves, they wouldn’t be so tempting for their assailants.

We guess we should just be glad that none of the U.S. Presidential candidates are the same caliber of scum as candidate for the Philippine presidency, Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte recently joked that a victim who had been gang raped was so beautiful that the real crime was that he didn’t get a piece of the action.

Despite the fact that testing rape kits have proven to help settle cold cases and identify serial rapists, we throw them away before they are tested. Probably just as well because some police departments have determined based on stellar police work that most victims are making it up anyway. Maybe these police would have more sympathy for the Ohio teenager facing charges for live-streaming another teenager’s rape on Periscope; maybe those police would believe the crime was being committed if they saw it with their own eyes. Or would they still find a way to believe the victim was to blame?

And then, for some of the latest stupidity when it comes to rape we bring you Harvard University. One of the oldest secret societies at Harvard, the Porcellian, maintains the group should remain all-male because if they were forced to allow women, the risks might increase that rape would take place. We tried to parse this out for a while to make sense of it but maybe our brains are just too small to comprehend the outstanding logic favored at Harvard. We guess the club thinks that 1) only women are victims of rape and 2) women, by their mere presence, would turn formerly upstanding members of the Porcellian into instant rapists.

Finally, though not directly tied to the idiots at the Porcellian, Harvard is also the site of an extremely dark campaign warning incoming students that odds are, they will be raped when they attend school and their university will not believe or support them. Sure, the statistics back them up (20-25% of women are sexually assaulted during their time at university) but holy shit this ad campaign is horrifying! Hopefully the campaign will get students and parents talking but it really would be nice if one day the focus could not just be on terrifying potential victims but doing something to identify assailants and end rape culture.

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Image Credit: Richard Potts on Flickr

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