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When Fired Upon, Return Fire

February 17, 2011
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We all say it: don’t read the comments.  I followed Jaclyn’s link to a story in the York University school paper about a Toronto cop who said that women who don’t want to be raped shouldn’t dress slutty.  Anyone who has read much of anything here knows everything that’s wrong with that so I won’t reiterate.  And of course the first comment is this shit:

I happen to agree with him. You dress like a slut you will get treated like one. And why should you blame the officer? It’s your society which turns women into chattel by making a half naked woman sell a pepsi or sprite bottle. That’s your progress, your business, your freedoms that the evil terrorists hate. Also, girls today dress like sluts so the whole lot of them take offense when someone tells it how it is. Kudos to you Officer.

Of course the men are responsible who perpetrate this, but seriously, when they chose their victim I’m sure that they searched for someone who was eyecandy to them. They wouldn’t say—choose a hindu or sikh or muslim woman who was covered in their traditional clothing.

But I said yesterday about the Lara Logan reporting that the pushback against the victim blaming was a good sign. On this much smaller stage, the same thing happened. The next 44 consecutive comments flay the apologist.

I think it’s important that these people not be able to hold the floor, that they not be seen to scare away or silence opposition. It’s important that people who see that first comment then see that everyone else thinks he’s an ass. That people see that opponents of rape culture are willing to hold a position and fight. I think that’s important.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sally Rymer permalink
    February 17, 2011 9:35 pm

    I think the fact that he says Hindu women wear clothing which is particularly un-reveling further proves his ignorance. Hindu women in most of the world wear either saris, western clothes, or a salwar kameez, which is like a long shirt and pants. None of those options mean that they are covered head to toe like in a Muslim burqa.

    Also, to insinuate that Muslim, Hindu, and Shik women do not experience sexual assault is utter nonsense. Until we have total ownership over our own bodies, including the right to dress them as we please, we will always live in a rape apologist culture. Empowering yourself through your own clothes is a step away from this culture, not towards it.

  2. Virginia permalink
    February 18, 2011 3:11 pm

    I’m pleasantly surprised that people are becoming proactively intolerant about rape apologists (and cultural ignorance). That sort of rape-excusing belief demands more than an admonishment and public apology, especially when a law enforcer proclaims it.

  3. LoriA permalink
    February 19, 2011 1:38 pm

    I do think that those who have enough teaspoons should read the comments and, even if they don’t respond, at least click the ‘dislike’ or ‘thumbs down’ button. Small steps.

  4. Kristina permalink
    February 20, 2011 4:38 am

    Thank you so much for posting about this! I’m a student at York, and this really pissed me off. I just wish this kind of backlash against the first comment would exist in the larger, mainstream community as well.

    • February 22, 2011 7:37 pm

      It will spread to the wider world but people have to brave about challenging rape myths. It’s one thing (a good thing) to anonymously stand up fro the truth; it’s another entirely to start challenging your friends and co-workers.

      People are so afraid of being accused of not being able to ‘have a laugh’ that they don’t say anything when someone makes yet another male rape or paedophile joke.

      But standing up for the truth and for victims gets easier each time you do it. Use the internet as your springboard of activism🙂

  5. Coolred38 permalink
    February 21, 2011 1:20 pm

    Having lived in a Muslim country and previously married to a Muslim (I use the term extremely loosely) I can give personal and general experience that Muslim women get raped all the time…and they are, for the most part, covered from head to toe.

    If a man wants to rape he will rape. Period.

  6. Alex permalink
    February 24, 2011 8:46 pm

    Ugh, what a disgusting thing to say! As if women who cover up don’t get raped. Fuck, I was chased two weeks ago by some guy and I was dressed head to toe because it was the middle of winter. I swear the only thing that even identified me as female was my purse.

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