Canadians, Men’s Rights and our Problems with Rape
Canadians are horrible people, apparently.
A recent Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Canadian Women’s Foundation discovered some rather disturbing views of a greater-than-negligible percentage of the population. Asked if a woman can provoke or encourage sexual assault when she is drunk, invites a man to her home, flirts with a man, wears a short skirt or walks home alone, too many Canadians answered yes.
The rate of victim-blaming ranged from 9% (for walking home alone) to 19% (for being drunk).
You might think this is just your father’s misogyny, but it’s not. Of the respondents who thought being drunk could provoke or encourage sexual assault, 23% were between the ages of 18 and 34.
It should be obvious that – short of a woman saying, “I encourage you to sexually assault me” – no one ever provokes or encourages sexual assault. “She shouldn’t have dressed that way” or “she shouldn’t have walked home on a public street” are never excuses for rape.
Sure, it’s possible the methodology was flawed – it was commissioned by an advocacy group, after all – but I find it hard to believe that one fifth of thoughtful people could be “tricked” into saying rape’s okay if she has that last cocktail. There’s something more to this than just lies, damned lies and…
Had this been Canada’s only foray into rape apologia this week, it would have been bad enough. Sadly, some posters started popping up around the University of Edmonton (pictured above). It seems there are some out there who don’t want women to be “that girl”.
The posters have such insightful phrases as:
Just because you regret a one night stand doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual.
This wretched Don’t Be That Girl campaign is an ugly spin off of a successful anti-rape campaign, Don’t Be That Guy. The posters slanders rape victims by purporting to explain why it wasn’t actually rape. And yes, they attack the woman who has that last cocktail.
Women who drink are not responsible for their actions especially when sex is involved.
A “Men’s” “Rights” group, Men’s Rights Edmonton, has claimed “responsibility” for the campaign.
“Nobody wants to see sexual assault happen, nobody wants to see rape happen, but…”
(A word of advice, if you essentially start a sentence with “Rape is bad, but…” something has gone horribly wrong with your life.)
“…we have to stop thinking of this as a gender problem,” says a member, who would only identify himself as Raz.
“What posters like ‘Don’t be that guy’ do is they essentially insert that if men are told not to rape, they rape, which is completely false.”
I don’t even know how to parse “…if men are told not to rape, they rape, which is completely false.” It’s rather clear to us outside of the Men’s Rights haze that campaigns like Don’t Be That Guy are not trying to say that if men are told not to rape, they rape. If ‘twere so, I imagine they’d never launch such a self-immolating campaign.
But such is the fiction of the Men’s Rights movement. Allegations of rape are primarily the tool of jilted women. Never mind that Canada has a wretched rate of sexual assault convictions, or that the false-rape-allegation trope is more fantasy than fiction, or that no one is claiming that men who are walking home alone are asking for it; the real victims here are men. Men who just want to go out, prey on drunk women, fuck them – whether they like it or not – and then begin the routine anew next weekend.
Some may call it rape, but isn’t it just Saturday night?