I recently came across an article about the infamous “‘VJ-Day Kiss’ in Times Square, and the facts behind it, and it got me thinking about the ever present “rape culture” that we are now being faced with.
“Rape Culture” doesn’t just mean accepting of the act of rape itself, but any non wanted action towards a person’s body.
Now, as a woman, I cannot even fathom the thought that anyone would think if I was attacked it would be my fault. As the mother to a son, it makes my stomach crawl to think that he could ever feel violating a woman in any way was acceptable for any reason. In my home it’s taught that he does not even have to hug or show affection to another person if he is not comfortable with doing so, or simply doesn’t feel like it at the time.
I never want my child to feel that he has to offer his body for the wants and affections of someone else if he is uncomfortable with it. I also never want him to think he can ever force another human being to do the same.
Yet, the acceptance and victim blaming does happen at alarming rates. The most disturbing study I’ve seen was done at a Rape Crisis Center Awareness program, in 1988 about when it is “ok” for a man to force himself on a woman or a woman feeling she needs to oblige his advances.
That’s when it hit me. That survey was done to my generation when we where kids. It’s MY generation that is perpetuating this.
Why though? Why is my generation thinking that women need to be completely willing and able to satisfy any physical need of a man, and why are men of my generation thinking it’s ok to be entitled to that want, even if by force?
Even more appalling, why and how has it become ok to blame the victim?
Every generation wants to make it easier and less hard for the future generations. We don’t want them to feel hurt, or pain, or rejection. So, in a lot of cases, we shelter the next generation.
Well that’s taken one hell of an ugly turn.
Trying to comfort our sons and protect them from hurt has turned into protection from consequences. Many times now, I’ve seen parents pass the buck. “My child would never. It has to do with the situation/other person. My child is perfect and needs to be sheltered”.
That is the core of the rape culture. It wasn’t THEIR son, it was the woman/alcohol/environment, whatever.
That has only taught this generation that no matter what you do, you can pass off the blame and misery to someone else and you come out unscathed. There is no compassion, nor is there empathy. You cannot feel an emotion you haven’t wanted for yourself. No parent wants to ever think they did anything wrong in rearing their children, when in reality we need to face the fact that we fuck up every day, it’s just the level of how fucked up we are that needs to be controlled.
We also yearn for a time when things where simpler, and when life seemed easier. In our nostalgia, we’ve forgotten the bad that’s come with that. Women were oppressed, and expected to have dinner on the table, a spotless house, children that were seen and not heard and expected to pull it off in a timeless dress and heels. They had no voice, and where expected to bow to their man’s every whim and need. Marital rape wasn’t even a crime, let alone an abomination. It was an expected duty.
Well, here’s your smack of reality.
Teach your fucking kids to be HUMAN, not some gender stereotype. Men do not need to be these stoic power hungry characters, solely defined and excused by their hormones, and women never need to be complacent and abused.
A woman is not defined by her clothes, how many men she’s slept with, how much she’s had to drink, and her worth damn sure isn’t determined by the bill for dinner, nor is she owed a tab for said bill.
Stop placing blame elsewhere for your kids’ actions! You know what’s going to happen to poor little Johnny and Jane when the blame for their shit is put on them? They learn. And not just to not do it again, but how to feel want for compassion and understanding.
We do not need to go back to the 1950s when women where nothing but a maid and fuck service and men wielded all the power, both in the board room and at home. We need to go back to the sense of camaraderie and communication, but not at the expense of oppression and abuse.
Why is it that here, in America, a woman can be assaulted or raped, and blame put on her clothing? Yet in tribal nations, women can walk around completely nude and not only be respected, but ADMIRED and not lusted after? Because they’re taught that 1-there is nothing wrong or shameful about the human body and 2-it’s something to be regarded as a vessel of life and beauty, not your personal toy.
Start taking responsibility for your children and your parenting. It’s ok to say “shit, I fucked up, how can I fix this before it changes my child’s core being?”m Minus the small percentage that have actual issues dealing with empathy and compassion, YOU have the power to control whether your child becomes a decent human being with love and respect, or a monster who’s been taught they can take advantage of everything they’re entitled to without repercussions.
Women, think about this, it was someone’s SON who may harm you. Men, its someone’s SON who may blame your daughter for her clothes, friends, perceived reputation, or the fact she accepted a date and ordered something a little more pricey on the menu.
Would you turn around and tell yourself or your daughter that yes, it was their fault?
And if you think rape culture doesn’t exist, turn on any popular show, music video or shit, even watch the news. You’d be shocked at just how prevalent it is when you’re aware its happening.