This is an incredibly direct and pointed statement but after reading a variety of articles on rape apologism, this is how I feel:
I don’t think you can be a rape apologist if you’ve been victimized by sexual assault. Once you are raped, you are fully aware of the undefinable grey and hazy lead-up to one of the most lasting and traumatizing experiences. Rape victims are the first to say how their experience has scarred them emotionally, physically, mentally….and yet rape apologism and rape-culture behaviours persist. Should we not listen to the millions of women who are abused each year and trust their experiential perspective on the issue? Rape is rape regardless of the grey area.
I don’t even want to name this person for the sake of his gratification for publicity; however, I will for the sake of citations. Alex Knepper, a student for the American University’s school paper wrote an article on rape apologism, and it published on March 28, 2010. Here’s an especially enraging excerpt:
“Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.”
So in case you didn’t follow, here are the rules about dating and sex according to Knepper: if you go back to his room, you will have sex. By walking into his room you’re not saying that you want to making-out, or explore a bit, or that you’re just looking for a place to fall asleep. No, by walking into his room you have stated that you want to have sex with him. Got it? Good. And don’t even think about crying about it afterwards if you didn’t know the rules.
Instead of tearing him to shreds with explicit words, I’m simply going to say that his statement is one of the most incredibly irrational and ignorant comments I’ve ever heard. I’m also going to point out that in the hypothetical situation in his disgusting guide to dating etiquette, what he failed to mention is that while the girl may be drunk, so isthe guy. Sex is not one-way decision. It does not go like this:
The woman is in charge of decision making in a sexual scenario, because the guy will always sleep with her.
How pathetic. Personally, I have many male friends who would find that statement offensive. They are in control of their sexuality, their urges and their behavaiours. Knepper is portraying an animalistic and prehistoric interpretation of male and female gender roles, in which men are unbearably lustful and testosterone-enraged, and women are submissive, emotional flip-floppers….
…and we all still eat fire-charred meat off the bone, and I spend my afternoon collecting greenery that my children won’t eat anyways. What century does this guy live in?
What Knepper failed to consider is that behind the bedroom door, he has no idea what went on. For instance, the guy’s intoxication level could be too high for him to properly gauge whether his guest is saying yes or no. Someone could have put something in her drink.
So once that door is closed, that’s it? It’s too late?
While I believe that you cannot be a rape survivor and be a rape apologist, I don’t believe that you have to be a survivor to stand up for victim’s rights. Educate yourselves and stand up for the women in your life that are abused every year.
Here’s Knepper’s article: http://bit.ly/alJhtX