Pierce Pioneer

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It is not the girl’s fault

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Girls are taught from a young age that what they wear, how they walk, where they go, and what they do can make them a victim, and that boys are little more than rabid wolves on the prowl. Boys are taught that they can do as they please. After all, boys will be boys, right? Eventually both philosophies will collide.

Rape is more than just being forced to endure non-consensual sex. It is theft of innocence, theft of a person’s soul and security, and theft of one’s mental wellbeing.

The disconnect between the two philosophies creates different accountability. If a girl is assaulted sexually, she must have acted a certain way to invite the attack. If the boy did it, all he did was act naturally.

Another point of view centers around attitude. A comment made in an online discussion highlights how some people view the subject: “If you women would stop crying so much about it (rape) happening and maybe learning to enjoy it, the world would be a better place.”

But are the people who are making these comments also individuals who have experienced sexual assault, or known someone who has? Or are they just the same people that make it a point to say, “Well, what was she wearing? What did her makeup look like? What was she doing to provoke her attacker?”

These comments are, and always have been, rampant in almost any sexual assault case. This is something that parents teach their children, and those children teach their friends.

Because these children have grown up this way, girls – from young to old – are terrified for their safety. Where a man can walk down a dark street and feel confident in making it home safely, a woman fears for her life. Part of this lies in the hesitancy of saying, “No.” In every case of sexual assault, someone’s consent, or lack thereof, is disregarded.

And, of course, not every victim is a woman. There’s a problem in assault against men, as well, simply from saying things like, “He got lucky,” to, “Sex is all men want.” These victims are also incredibly important – but it cannot be denied that women’s lives are heavily affected by the culture surrounding rape.

When it comes down to it, sexual assault is a choice. A person chooses to harm another. They choose to ruin a life. It’s not a boy’s natural behavior, and it is not anyone’s fault but the attacker.

Rape will never be funny. To learn this, we all need to take a step towards the support of sexual assault victims and make a difference in the ideas of the attackers, potential or otherwise.

Carl Carallas/Contributing Illustration

 

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