Eight percent of college men have either attempted or successfully raped. Thirty percent say they would rape if they could get away with it. When the wording was changed to “force a woman to have sex,” the number jumped to 58%. Worse still, 83.5% argue that “some women look like they are just asking to be raped.
Margo Maine, “Body Wars”
There was a time that, as a person of the male persuasion, seeing this quote made me really mad. It made me mad that women would assume that I was a rapist; it made me mad that rape was becoming ‘my problem’; it made me mad because, frankly, I didn’t think it was true. I think that this is a really common male attitude when confronted with rape statistics- or, at least, it has been in my purely anecdotal experience.
But now, I know there is no excuse for that. Men need to take responsibility and look at these numbers for what they really are, and what they really, truly represent. Men, don’t be mad at the woman who is justifiably wary that more than half of the men she knows could be her potential rapist. Don’t be mad at that there’s someone trying to rain on your fun, privileged parade where rape is something that only happens on Law & Order. Don’t be mad that you can’t accept that rape is way more common than you think. Most of all, don’t be mad at the woman who was raped and is seeking justice and help for her assault just because you thinks she looks like she was ‘asking for it.’
Be mad at the man who waits in the park to prey on the women who have a right to feel safe in their own communities. Be mad at the man who takes advantage of his drunk girlfriend. Be mad at the man who pushes the issue when his wife isn’t in the mood. Be mad at the man who catcalls, who makes unwelcome advances, who cops a feel.
Don’t be angry at the woman who doesn’t entirely trust you. Be angry at the men who have made her feel that way. Don’t be a part of a problem.
Be a part of the solution.
To my fellow white bio-males: be mad that there are so many men out there who don’t give a shit about consent. DON’T be mad that someone has harshed your mellow with facts; you do not have a right to go through life unchallenged.
A message for every asshole out there who has told me that my wariness—and sometimes outright fear—of men, especially of the straight cis variety, is stupid and unfair to men.
This needs to be on every page of every website on the internet in every language.