Jessica points to an article by Comment is Free blogger David Cox called Feminism's Rape Fallacy that will, possibly, drive you batshit insane—unless you're a rape apologist, natch. (The comments certainly will, so consider yourselves warned.) You know you're in trouble when you see "Might a supposed victim's behaviour indeed have seemed to imply consent?" asked as a serious question (imply consent?!), and it only gets worse from there, as Cox invokes the old "you've got to protect your cunt like we menfolk protect our property" chestnut, and then erects a strawfeminist who "perpetuat[es] the idea that women have no part to play in securing their own safety" only to knock her down.
I have a couple responses to this article.
1. I just adore how Cox puts forth his idea that women should be more responsible as if no one's ever fucking said that before, as if no one has ever suggested that the burden of rape prevention should be on women. (And as if women aren't socialized from birth to be inimately familiar with rape prevention, from their behavior to their clothing choices to their attitude, etc. etc. etc.) Hardly a week goes by that I don't read an article saying the same goddamned thing, whether women are being admonished to "learn common sense" or "be more responsible" or "be aware of barroom risks" or "avoid these places" or "don't dress this way" or whatfuckingever. If Cox wants to make a serious contribution to a conversation about rape prevention, he could try writing something that answers this question: Why is it always more important to lecture women on what they should be doing to avoid rape than to talk to men about the fact that they do not have the right to women's bodies without express consent?
2. The whole rape-burglary comparison ("We keep our valuables out of sight") needs to die a swift and preferably painful death. As I've said before, as charming as it is to see the wanton and unwanted abuse of my body compared to property theft, I honestly can't even begin to convey how much you don't get it if you can construe a woman just existing with "keeping valuables in plain sight." That defenders of the "rape aversion advice rooted in women's behavior restriction" inevitably rely on the "getting robbed" comparison tells us two things. One: It shows how deeply ingrained the notion of women's bodies as property is. Comparing a woman's genitals to "unhidden valuables" is laughable in both practical and intrinsic ways, and yet such associations are routinely cited with not a hint of awareness at their patent absurdity. Two: It illustrates how far removed men are from the real threat of rape. Invoking property theft is evidently the closest thing many men can imagine to being forcibly subjected to an assault on one's sex organs, which has got to be a lovely world in which to live.
3. Cox, and all the other victim-blaming rape apologists hiding behind this "feminists aren't helping rape victims" bullshit, can talk to me about what "feminists" should or shouldn't be doing on behalf of rape victims when they've spent as much time as "feminists" have talking about women who are raped on the job and denied captivity benefit for union members for not being held hostage long enough, who are threatened with jail for not wanting to watch the video of her rape, who are threatened with jail because her case didn't result in a conviction, whose rape cases are dropped for lack of a translator, when they've spent as much time as "feminists" have talking about laws that say women can't withdraw consent after sex begins, about judges who blame children for their own rapes, about cops who are rapists, about ministers who blame their underage victims, about women's magazines that engage in preemptive victim-blaming, about the media refusing to call rapists what they are, when they've spent as much time as "feminists" talking about rape being treated as a compliment, about how women are forced to submit to all manner of absolutely hilarious rape jokes, about every last unmitigatingly infuriating detail of the rape culture in which women must walk and talk and live and breathe every fucking day and the perpetuation of which is often integral to male-exclusive bonding.
4. Other than that, I'll just repeat the same shit I always say, like a damn broken record, until it penetrates the heads that still haven't yet managed to wrap their minds around the concept: Left to my own devices, I never would have been raped. The rapist was really the key component to the whole thing. I was sober; hardly scantily clad (another phrase appearing once in the article), I was wearing sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt; I was at home; my sexual history was, literally, nonexistent—I was a virgin; I struggled; I said no. There have been times since when I have been walking home, alone, after a few drinks, wearing something that might have shown a bit of leg or cleavage, and I wasn't raped. The difference was not in what I was doing. The difference was the presence of a rapist.
More recommended reading for Mr. Cox:
Auguste: Consent: Possibly the Easiest Concept in the History of the World
Jill: The Rape of Mr. Smith