As the Harvey Weinstein scandal comes to a head, the topic of rape and sexual assault has become a focus on social media and in the news.
Liberal groups like “FCKH8” use exaggerated rape and sexual assault statistics to cite the danger women face while also advocating for regulations that would make it more difficult for those same women to defend themselves from dangerous situations.
It is interesting that one can argue men should be allowed to use the same bathroom as women while also believing that one in five women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their life-time. If women are 20% likely to be raped by a man wouldn’t the public want them separated in the place where women are most vulnerable, a bathroom?
While I am willing to concede that the “boys will be boys” approach to sexual assault is wrong, I don’t see that as a prevailing opinion in this day and age. Teaching children about consent is something that is commonly done in many middle and high school sex ed classes. However, liberals take it a step further, saying we should teach young men not to rape or sexually assault women. But how would we go about that in a way other than what is already being taught?
Would we make signs that depict a woman being inappropriately touched with a big red X through it (like they’re currently doing in Germany)? Would we simply sit down with young men and say “forcing yourself on another person is wrong”? And how to do we teach those who have been convicted of rape and sexual assault? Do we tell them “that was wrong you shouldn’t have done that” and magically their desire to do it again will disappear? is having laws against such behavior not a clear enough sign that it’s unacceptable? Is assuming someone is incapable of knowing that rape is immoral a realistic thing to assume of a person?
No, is the simple answer. It’s demeaning, and abhorrent. If we’re teaching our children not to rape people (thus assuming they would if otherwise not taught), we ought to teach them not to kick puppies or throw cats in fires also. But these actions aren’t caused by bad upbringing, there is no excuse for raping or assaulting someone.
My desire and expectation that every random person I meet isn’t a rapist doesn’t prevent one of them from possibly being a rapist. 42% of Americans will be the victim of a violent crime within their lifetime. There is no way of willing people into not being one of them, but there is something people can do to prevent themselves from being in certain situations. they can be aware of their surroundings, carry protection, and always keep an eye on their drink, and no matter what gender, drinking excessively in public is never a good idea.
It’s not demeaning to women to teach them how to protect themselves. Complaining that a tactic women can use to help prevent rape “enforces rape culture” is like saying security systems enforce burglary culture.
My solution is simple: it is not necessary to teach a child to not rape or harm others, but rather we should be teaching our children to put others first, and to help however they can whenever they can.. If people want to teach their daughter(s) tactics on how to be safe be sure to include their son(s) in the conversation as well. Females are not the exclusive victims of rape and sexual assault. As a society, we should make it a priority to teach both sexes decency, and common sense tactics to keep themselves safe. It is unwise to expect anything from anyone, but it is good to be optimistic in our outlook on the world, while also being realistic. Having optimism in people doesn’t change who they are or what they’re capable of, but one’s ability to protect oneself can change the outcome of a bad situation.