Thursday, May 09, 2013

Don't complain, I could have raped you instead.

How would I feel about my son or my husband if they spent parts of the day putting their hands up women's skirts or fondling their breasts - uninvited and unwelcomed? Would I think 'oh well, it's just what men are like' or 'the women probably dressed in a way that meant he couldn't help himself'. If I had a daughter would I want them to have to walk around in streets where it is just accepted that unwanted violation of their bodies is normal behaviour and that most likely they have brought it on themselves because of the way they are dressed? Would anyone? If I raise my son to have respect for other people's personal space does that mean I am on a moral crusade? Has the world actually gone mad?

People talk about the actions of men in the 60s and 70s and say 'it was just the norm back then' and expect everyone to be forgiving and understanding about the fact that women and girls were regularly molested, as if no one ever minded or cared back then. Well the women and the girls did mind, they just weren't taken seriously. They were expected to take it as some kind of joke, a bit of horse-play, just a bit of fun. Women back then knew that no one would take them seriously, infact the Jimmy Savile case has shown that no one took them seriously at all.   This isn't about rape being more serious than groping - that's just a red herring used by rape apologists to allow men the freedom to keep on sexually assaulting women. This is about unwanted violation of a person's body. It is about men (because this is what we are talking about here - men fondling breasts) thinking that they have a right to touch, hold, grab, jiggle about any body part attached to any female if they damn well please. It's about teaching women that they don't have any right to their own personal space, that they are just a piece of meat that can be poked and prodded and touched and that complaining will fall on deaf ears. No one is going to help you or understand you or support you or believe you because you are not worth it. This is about telling women that the way they present themselves is going to determine if they are violated and that they should put up and shut up because there are far worse things. In other words don't complain about a bit of fondling when I could have raped you instead. Women are supposed to be grateful that they haven't been raped, they have only been sexually assaulted. 

 It's also a massive insult to men. It tells women that men have no self-control, they don't need to have any respect for other people, they can take what they want when they want it and anyone who complains is just being a shrieking PC lunatic who is making a mountain out of a mole-hill. It tells women that they have no right to their own personal space, that any man who chooses can touch them and not expect to be reprimanded in any way. None of the men I know think it is acceptable to violate another person, none of the women I know think they should just accept that they will be touched by strangers if they go outside.

I have a son, I want him to grow up knowing that making another person feel uncomfortable or violated by touching them inappropriately is not the a good way to behave. I don't want my niece to grow up having to accept that whenever she walks out of the house (or even when she stays inside) she will have to sweetly put up with men touching her because they feel they are entitled to. I don't know anyone who would go on national Radio and suggest that it's OK to fondle 9 year old girls, that it's just a bit of fun and those children should just accept it as such. That's what 'comedian' Kate Copstick said today on The Jeremy Vine show. Presumably she is just a rent-a-mouth who is more concerned about increasing her media profile than talking sense but i am shocked that someone would say such a thing.

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