Cosmo Reminds the Ladies It's Their Job to Avoid Being Raped

Do you think the sixth place is one of the 4 Things All Guys Keep Private?

The Rotund has a great post today in which she notes that women's magazines "have never been about empowering women," which could only be more accurate if she added "and have been about empowering the patriarchy." Giving women a list of places sexual predators allegedly look for their prey and labeling it "How to Stay Safe" is about the most woman-hating, preemptive victim-blaming bullshit I can imagine.

For a start, it's reinforcing the notion that women are the gatekeepers of prevention against sexual assault, despite the overwhelming majority of sexual assaults being committed by men—and if you don't grok the scorching illogic of that consternatingly intractable mismatch of cultural responsibilities, you're reading the wrong blog.

Beyond that, I can't put it any more simply than I've now put it (literally) dozens of times before, starting here: 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.

It really doesn't get any simpler. Women can be cautioned to avoid Cosmo's list of 5 places, and women can be admonished for drinking (too much) alcohol, and women can be told to cover up this body part or that, and women can be told dark fairy tales of girls who were warned, girls who were sluts, girls who deserved it, and the women who hear those morality plays can abide all the rules laid out for them about "How to Stay Safe," and the only thing that matters in the end is whether they cross paths with a man who decides to rape them.

A man who's probably never picked up a lad's mag in his life to see an article explaining to him "How You Can Make the World Safer for Women."

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus