A few nights ago as I was scrolling through the wonderful blog The Messy Heads, I found Emma’s post about consent. I lay there on my bed listening to the beautiful voices of Haley, Emma and Issi. Listening to the girls open up in such a raw and human way really touched me. I mean, it is scary telling even your closest friends and family about things like this that happen to you let alone sharing that with the whole world. So first I would like to thank those beautiful young women for being so open. I know that so many of their readers will have gone through a similar experience and so that podcast would have helped them so so so much. Here is the link to the post if you would like to go and have a read and a listen – warning it may be triggering – https://themessyheads.com/?s=a+candid+convo+about+consent&submit=Search
About 5 minutes ago a girl on Facebook shared a link to this article http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/clementine-ford-this-is-what-a-rapist-really-looks-like-20160605-gpc8p6.html , titled Clementine Ford: This is what a rapist really looks like
It is about a young man recently sentenced for several accusations of rape. The article is immensely harrowing – forming a mixture of anger, sadness and empathy amongst the readers.
*First of all, I want to make a disclaimer that I am not going to discuss his sentence or really anything about the boy – this was more of a stimulus which got me thinking. The politics of that will maybe be talked about in a later post because ugh it makes me so angry but for now I am talking about rape culture, and using THIS ARTICLE as an example, not him. *
The thing that really got me thinking was that title – This is what a rapist really looks like.
In the introduction the journalist Clementine Ford, paints a picture, introduces a sort of anecdote to get you thinking. Asking you to image a rapist, then describing a traditionally stereotypical image. I actually used this technique in a school speech once but the topic was on terrorism and the prejudice around that stereotype. So naturally I was already thinking on the same level as Ford and appreciated the bluntness.
You see, this boy who was sentenced is a university student with a photo depicting a promising, blonde haired, blue eyed, happy young man.
The reality of rape is that there is no one particular person or group that commits it. And the worst part is that a significant amount of rape victims are raped by young men at parties or in the club. Date rape is such a huge issue that needs so much more addressing.
Listening to Haley, Emma and Issi in the podcast you hear these extremely young girls – i believe they are 18/19 – talk about boys they have dated, or were friends with in high school or met at a party who just abused them both sexually and mentally.
And it happens all the time ! So much so that some people think it is normal. Girls will make up excuses for the boys and the boys will make up excuses for themselves.
“I led him on”
“My mates pressured me to”
“I was too flirty”
“If I didn’t get any then they would call me a pussy”
“I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable”
“I’m sick of being a virgin”
I am not one to think the worst in people, I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. I know that not all boys are bad – but most of these rapists are boys/male. The thing is these boys are growing up in a society where they do feel this immense pressure. I am NOT excusing those who have raped for what they have done. I am just saying that society and culture has definitely played a huge role in this sexual brainwashing.
We are taught to only appreciate girls for their bodies. I am not one who will tell you to not love your body, by all means embrace that shit because the female body is amazing ! Who cares if you wear short shorts or no bra. But let us also appreciate females for our minds and how fucking awesome we are.
Boys learn from porn, movies, books, advertisements etc. that they are not manly and they are not respected unless they “get some”. They are pushed to become pushy, to be aggressive.
We have to CHANGE this mind set and start a revolution. Because I am scared for the future of human civilisation if this mindset and culture continues to grow and accumulate in our society.