Following is a primer for men who are interested in learning more about how to be an effective ally in rape prevention. Most of the information in this piece is, as always, generally applicable, but this has been addressed to men in keeping with the objective of the series.
[Trigger warning for rape culture.]
Anyone, anywhere, of any age, any gender, has the absolute right to do anything, be anyplace, with anyone, walk down any street, any time of day or night, in any style of dress or state of undress, in any capacity, and not be raped.
If you feel inclined to protest or qualify that statement, you're engaging in rape apology.
Everyone has the absolute right to not be raped, irrespective of the circumstances. Even if they're doing something dangerous. Even if they're doing something illegal. Even if they've hurt another person themselves. Even if rape was a known possible consequence of their actions.
If you can't agree that everyone, and anyone, has the absolute right not to be raped, without qualifying it, without comparing a woman's exposed flesh to unprotected valuables, without wondering about the details of specific rapes, without auditing victims' choices, without asking if a victim was "looking to get laid," without insisting that you worry agreement with such a universal statement will make women careless (as if only women get raped; as if women's vigilance is effective rape prevention), without proposing hypotheticals, without playing devil's advocate, without feeling obliged to try to find some exception to that rule, you can't be an effective ally in the fight against sexual violence.
Everyone has the absolute right to not be raped.
To suggest otherwise is to suggest that a rape survivor, or some rape survivors, have some direct and personal* responsibility for their own trauma.
The direct and personal* responsibility for rape lies exclusively with rapists.
If you feel obliged to try to find some exception to that rule, you can't be an effective ally.
At least not to survivors.
* As opposed to the role we all have the capacity to play, and necessarily will if we don't examine our socialization, in perpetuating the rape culture.