Though it’s a new year, I haven’t stopped ranting and raving about things I passionately care about on Twitter.
Yesterday, I saw a picture floating around my timeline featuring a girl who was well developed, and looked older than her age. The caption on the picture said “She hops into your bed and tells you that she’s 14, what do you do?”
I watched young men basically say that they would still go ahead and have sex with her, so I proceeded to tweet:
Those tweets led me into getting an argument with an actual friend of mine. For privacy purposes, I blocked out his @ name.
Basically, I got infuriated because I felt like the friend of mine was unknowingly victim blaming, because of his male privilege.
As a male, he benefits from this patriarchal society that treats woman like we are inhumane. I don’t expect every man to be a feminist, but I do need men to realize how much violence happens to women GLOBALLY, by MEN, simply because we are women…
To say things like “well it’s just as bad if you don’t say something” totally negates the fact that women are usually shamed into being silent about their sexual abuse. It’s placing unrealistic expectations on a woman being violated in the worst way.
To also say “Sex takes two” is absurd, because RAPE (whether it’s statutory or not) is N O T sex. Sex is an enjoyable act between two mutually consenting people.
And let me be the first to tell you, there is nothing enjoyable about getting raped.
The point is, there are levels to victim blaming, and I need my friend and other people to understand this. Should victims of sexual assault speak up more? Yes, if we were actually respected and taken seriously when doing so. But at the same time, no amount of speaking up takes away the feeling of feeling dirty, worthless, and endlessly tormented when such violence happens….
But that’s another story.
My friend said that “Older guys know better when it comes to having sex with younger girls”
I’m pretty sure they do.
But yet so many older men are having sex with younger girls anyway.
But as I said, it’s male privilege that has my friend and so many others like him thinking that way. When you are a male, it’s likely that you are not on the receiving end of sexual. It’s deeper than saying “Either you can tell or be silent.” It’s more than “both parties knowing that it’s wrong.”
It’s deeper than saying “underage girls have the right to say no.”
Of course they do. But what the fuck does saying no mean to a person who’s seeking power and control through a non mutual physical act?
Of course under-aged girls have the right to say no… But then why are 44% of rape victims under the age of 18?
Also, please remember that assenting– that is, conforming or giving in to a sexual act by force or bribe is consensual either.
So when it comes to rape.. it’s impossible to “look at it from both sides.”
To conclude, I will say this… To you individuals who benefit from male privilege, instead of trying to look at violence against women “from both sides” why don’t you use your privilege to advocate for women’s rights? Maybe aid in campaigns to end sexual violence?
Do anything except participate in the different levels of victim blaming.
It’s the least you can do.