Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 21, September 6, 1976.
Myths About Rape
Myths About Rape
|1.||It is impossible to rape a woman - statistics and our experiences as women teach us differently. Any woman can be forced into a sexual encounter with a man any time.|
|2.||Women enjoy being raped - women are severely damaged emotionally and often physically for a long time after - often unable to relate sexually and emotionally for a long while (or forever).|
|3.||Men can't help themselves - they reach a point of sexual excitement from which they can't return - most rapes are deliberately planned beforehand.|
|4.||Rapists are psychopaths - every rapist is someone's father, brother, son, husband Every man is a potential rapist just as every woman is a potential rape victim.|
|5.||Women ask for it by the way they dress and act - this indicates that women do not have the right to dress and act as free human beings because they might excite a man sexually who then feels that he has the right to rape them. It also ignores the fact that it is men who issue these decress of fashion to be kept up with.|
|6.||Rapists are strangers - most rapists are known to their victim as an acquaintance, relative or a close friend.|
|7.||Having intercourse with your wife or girl-friend when she doesn't want to isn't rape - It is Rape. Rape is sexual intercourse without consent. This is domestic rape. Wife raping is sanctioned by the law.|
|8.||Some women are safe - men only rape young attractive women - No Woman escapes the threat of attack regardless of age, marital status, life style. Rapists attack children, wives, grandmothers women.|
|9.||Submission is consent - if you're not bashed you haven't resisted - submission is not consent. Sometimes resistance equals certain death. Sometimes the shock is too great. Sometimes resistance is useless.|
Recently, Harper's Weekly carried an item from the American Bar Association Journal declaring that few rapists are punished for their crime: only one in five rapes is reported and only one out of eight reported rapes ends in conviction. In a dialogue to demonstrate why most rape victims prefer not to press charges, the article asks us to imagine a robery victim undergoing the same sort of cross-examination that a rape victim does:
Mr Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of First and Main?"
Did you struggle with the robber?
He was armed.
Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than resist?
Did you scream? Cry out?
No. I was afraid.
I see. Have you ever been held up before?
Have you ever given money away?
Yes, of course.
And you did so willingly?
What are you getting at?
Well, let's put it like this, Mr Smith. You've given money away in the past. In fact you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure you weren't contriving to have your money taken by force?
Listen, if I wanted -
Never mind. What time did this holdup take place?
You were out on the street at 11 pm? Doing what?
Just walking? You 'now that it's dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren't you aware that you could have been held up?
I hadn't thought about it.
What were you wearing?
Let's see - a suit. Yes, a suit.
An expensive suit?
Well - yes. I'm a successful lawyer, you know.
In other words, Mr Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn't that so? I mean, if we didn't know better, Mr Smith, we might even think that you were asking for this to happen, mightn't we?