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can't believe this attitude re: rape and from women!

(34 Posts)
Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 13:14:15

I was at my art group this week and somehow we got talking about rape? Then the talk got to men's opinons on 'she's asking for it' etc.. and also what the victim wears etc. enticing rape hmm

I said you'd be amazed how many women have been raped and haven't even reported it. I can count on 2 hands women I know who have. One friend twice the second time gang raped. One of the women said 'but fancy putting yourself in that situation?' and also said 'how do these women come across such men?' shock She's a nurse and usually seems very educated. The other women weren't much help either. I was incensed. I said if I walk into a room naked and there's 20 men there they have no right whatsover to touch my body. Obviously will fall on deaf ears but I was so angry and sad too. I'll still go to the group but will try to ignore any stupid debates. If my own mother were there she'd have gone off it bless her grin

Uppity Thu 06-Oct-11 13:20:13

TBH I'm not surprised.

We live in a culture which blames women for rape and so it's not surprising that women, as well as men, blame rape victims. Even rape victims often blame themselves.

You have to really think about it, to challenge your own views on rape and most people, male or female, don't really want to think about it because it's too tough.

Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 13:30:36

Well I was almost kidnapped in Spain and goodness knows what would've happened if I hadn't had a friend help me? Maybe if they'd experienced anything close to rape they'd have more sympathy?

vigglewiggle Thu 06-Oct-11 13:35:47

To look at it another way - perhaps the women were scared by your revelation. Perhaps they needed to blame the woman in their own minds in order to convince themselves that it could never happen to them.

I'd like to think this was the truth.

Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 13:36:49

Could be? Even so I found it rather insensitive as they were talking about dear friends of mine.

Uppity Thu 06-Oct-11 13:51:22

Oh but stupid people who are desperate to blame women for rape (because it makes them feel safer from it) aren't exactly known for their sensitivity CM.

Not just stupid, very crass as well.

Tianc Thu 06-Oct-11 13:54:14

Yep, Just World Syndrome in all it's ugliness.

Rape happens to other people because they do something to cause it. I won't do anything to cause it, so it won't happen to me.

Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 14:19:43

Certainly seems that way. I just got such a shock though as the worst accuser was a long standing nurse sad

sunshineandbooks Thu 06-Oct-11 14:23:34

The idea behind this is similar to the apology issued by Bristol for its part in the British Slave Trade. It's not about making an apology to the victims (who are all long gone) but about acknowledging that what went on in the past was wrong because the victims are equal to their 'masters' and should have had the same human rights.

By openly stating this it helps to build bridges between descendants on both sides and reduce the likelihood of future people from that group (whether they be women or black people) being future victims of other forms of discrimination.

That's my take on it, anyway.

sunshineandbooks Thu 06-Oct-11 14:24:01

Oops - wrong thread. blush

Tianc Thu 06-Oct-11 14:29:45

Interested now. Not sure what if anything it would prove, but do you get any hint about the nurse's attitude to her patients?

Does she quietly blame them for being ill/injured? See herself as definitely on one side of the fence and them as "other"?

Or does is she more, "There but for the grace of god..." ?

Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 14:32:55

She's a retired nurse and haven't really talked about her work much tbh. Another of the ladies is an ex nurse too but she wasn't siding with her.

sunshineandbooks Thu 06-Oct-11 14:33:58

Anyway, as I've now muscled in on this thread I agree with lots of other posters. It's all about unwillingness to confront the truth - that women have no control over whether they are raped. Actually, I don't know if it's unwillingness as much as it's just lack of thought generally. Most people just don't think about rape at all, let alone consider theoretical arguments about it. It's still a hidden crime that many assume happens only to other people. Those unlucky enough to have experienced it often end up feeling ashamed, like they're the only ones, and therefore keep it quiet. There is still a culture of silence surrounding rape in this country. sad

I suppose it's really hard to get your head around the fact that the blame lies only with the rapist. We want to look for victim-blaming explanations for the reason other posters have given. Ultimately, you could make yourself as vulnerable as possible to a man (e.g. walk round half naked in a deserted street in the middle of the night, preferably drunk) and you STILL would NOT get raped unless any man you happened to meet was a rapist anyway. It's no different from any woman finding a drunk person in the street. Would she steal his wallet and blame it on being drunk? Only if she was a thief anyway. Most women would call a friend/the police/ambulance/guide the person home; just as a non-rapist would do for a vulnerable young woman he met.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Oct-11 14:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fimblethimble Thu 06-Oct-11 14:39:19

i think it's also about part of the human need to 'understand' and intellectualise behaviour.

the whole concept of rape is abhorrent, it must be difficult to accept that people do this to innocent others, that some people are capable of such an evil act.

it's perhaps 'easier' to think someone brought it upon themselves rather than to blame the real reason? ie rapists are 'there' - they are your brothers/sons/partners.

and i have been raped.

Curiousmama Thu 06-Oct-11 14:53:18

sorry to hear that Fimble.

I did a long reply then internet went off. Thanks for all your responses it's good to talk about this. I won't be getting into such convos in the group again, will keep it light hearted. I'm too passionate for my own good sometimes but I can't change.

Fimblethimble Thu 06-Oct-11 14:56:12

it was a long time ago Curious, and part of a life i can cut myself off from.

we need to keep talking about rape and other emotive issues though, NOT discussing them lets people 'off' with skewed thinking and apologism (if that's even a word confused)

RogerMelly Thu 06-Oct-11 15:01:26

I completely agree with you curiousmama. I think some women are like stewie says though, in complete denial that anything could happen to them. I was sexually assaulted, it only stopped short of rape, by someone I knew and he had planned what he was going to do and I never reported it either. I hadn't done anything to enitce his behaviour. I got into a car with someone I trusted whilst wearing normal clothes. I think people are just naive about it all sad

KRITIQ Thu 06-Oct-11 15:17:45

So many excellent contributions on this thread! I do think that fear of something bad happening to us or someone we care about can lead us to "distance ourselves" from those bad things. We scrabble for evidence that that person and that situation are so very different from our experience that it couldn't possibly happen to us. It's a false sense of security and yes, in the flurry to protect ourselves from potential pain, we can be very insensitive and unsympathetic to the real pain of others.

As for the person doing the victim-blaming being a nurse, I'm not actually surprised. I was a nurse back in the mists of time and found that many of my colleagues both had very conservative social values but also did alot of this same distancing, I think to protect themselves. Some were very contemptuous of women having abortions, yet I knew they practised unsafe sex. Some were critical of patients with alcohol, drug or smoking related illnesses, but were heavy drinkers, took drugs and/or smoked themselves.

Perhaps they were in denial of their own risky behaviours and certainly didn't want to draw the attention of others to these - so what better way than to diss other people doing whatever that risky thing was.

Maybe it's some of the same thing here.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Oct-11 15:29:26

This is one situation where I really think that replacing 'woman' with 'man' works.

If you say that the man was asking to be raped because he was wearing tight jeans/innapropriate clothing/wandering around late at night alone/got drunk then people suddenly think you're being ridiculous.

WishIwereAtTheWiesnProst Thu 06-Oct-11 17:54:19

People who don't eat their five a day get cancer.

Only gays get AIDS.

Only drug addicts and scroungers ed up homeless.

Only women who "ask for it" get raped.

I think the little lies people tell themselves help them get through their day secure nothing bad will happen in their world.

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Thu 06-Oct-11 18:03:48

WishIWere, I actually think that's it. People like to believe that nothing that bad will happen to them. So they need to find a stereotype to apply to the people it does happen to. It's the karma effect.

Milchardo Thu 06-Oct-11 20:25:24

I'm upset (and feel a little guilty) about having to post this about my own mum, especially as she's normally so thoughtful and kind, but I need to get this off my chest.

I've been raped twice in my life. Once in my late teens and once in my mid-20s. Both times by someone I knew and trusted. When I told her about the first time, she tried to make out I'd imagined it... hmm At the time (20 years ago) I put this down to her not wanting to believe it. It's not really been spoken about since (and I didn't bother telling her about the second time) until very recently. To my horror she still doesn't belive it happened.

Then, the other day, we were discussing Roman Polanski and the young girl he anally raped. I thought, as someone who has always been pro-feminism, she would be disgusted at his behaviour, and that of his Hollywood supporters, but instead she said words to the effect of "Well, that girl was at a Hollywood party and I remember reading somewhere she wanted to be a star"...

I was so shocked and horrified by her attitude (and subsequent defence of it) that I couldn't effectively get my point across. I guess I'm still gutted that she doesn't believe I was 'truly' raped...

At the age of 41, I'm learning things about my own mother that I really don't want to know. sad

Uppity Thu 06-Oct-11 20:28:33

Oh Milchardo that is awful.

sad

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Oct-11 20:45:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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