No, seriously, I’m all done with having this argument.

Some of you may have seen me frothing away on Twitter earlier today about the rape-culture/victim-blaming dynamic. And I’m not feeling any more forgiving on this topic. This is basically how the discussion goes every time (content note for victim-blaming):

Female+ writer: *publishes account of rape victimization*

Feminist readers: *start talking about men’s ++ harmful views of women*

Apologists: “Not victim-blaming, BUT…”

Feminists: “…and here we go.”

Apologists: “Why didn’t she JUST do This-or-That-Thing?”

Feminists: “It’s never enough, whatever we do.”

Apologists: *scold victim’s choices some more*

Feminists: *talk about efforts we make to protect ourselves all the time*

Apologists: “You can’t go around treating all men like potential rapists!”

Feminists: “How many times have we been over this?”

Apologists: “It’s not FAAAAAAAIR! Why does it have to be so haaaaaard for us to get laid?!”

Feminists: “You judge us for not doing enough to protect ourselves, and then you judge us for protecting ourselves too well.”

Apologists: *start talking about false accusations, evidence, ruining men’s lives, why didn’t she go to the police*

 

Apologists: *deny existence of rape culture*

Apologists: *claim man-hating is the real problem*

Feminists: *note constant derailing tactics*

Apologists: “Why does NO ONE ever tell women they NEED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES? Looks like we’ll have to say what no one else has ever said!”

Feminists: “Do you assholes even hear yourselves?”


 

Time after time. Over and over again, year after year. We’re never doing enough to keep ourselves safe, up until the point where we’re doing too much, and anyway, women are lying bitches until proven otherwise. Same thing happens again and again, and they act like we’re just hearing their side of the issue for the first time. How much more progress would we make on the discussion of rape culture if we just stopped humoring anyone coming in with the “Not victim-blaming, BUT” gambit? How much more productive would this conversation be if we stopped trying to educate these people, and basically just said to them: “Shhhh! Grown-ups are talking!”? One chance to straighten up, and then you’re blocked. How much more could we achieve if we stopped letting these assholes set the terms of the discussion?

+If anything, it’s even MORE difficult to make any headway in talking about sexual violence with male victims and/or female assailants. There are even more barriers to justice with instances of violence outside the male assailant/female victim model. In MOST instances of this conversation, however, we’re dealing with cases of female victims and male assailants.

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