If you did not want to be falsely accused of rape, then maybe you shouldn’t have been dressed like a rapist

I hate talking about rape, but unfortunately it must be done. No matter how much is said, there is still so much left unsaid. It is tiring to say the same things over and over again, frustrating that these things even have to be said, infuriating that some people will never get it, no matter how many times these things are said.

Where do I start from? There is one commonly accepted idea of what rape is: a violent act in which a stranger attacks an promiscuous indecently dressed girl at an ungodly hour. In this definition, the victim is already being judged. Now God forbid a woman is raped by someone she knows But that is her husband, how can he rape her? in his house which she went to voluntarily Why was she at his house at that time? and she went through the motions If she was raped, why didn’t she scream? Incidents of these kind are not even viewed as rape by some. There are two prevailing options: she either deserved the rape, or what happened to her was not rape at all.

With all the focus on the woman’s actions and reputation, one would think “good women” who get raped will be assured justice. Ha! Listen, good women never get raped you know. A burqa clad virgin who gets raped at 2:30pm while she is knitting in her windowless room will be transformed into a scarlet woman just so she can share part of the blame.

Some people will literally go out of their way to avoid blaming the rapist. Everyone else will be blamed, the victim, her mother, her great aunts, her teacher, her pastor, her pet lizard, her breakfast, everyone but the rapist. It is maddening.

The real reason I am writing this post is to talk about false rape allegations. It should go without saying that falsely accusing an innocent person of rape is despicable, and should definitely be punishable. To cast such aspersions, which are sometimes irreversible, on a person’s character is contemptible in more ways than one.

It was already hard for rape victims to be taken seriously and to get justice, but throw in a couple of false accusations and their chances have plummeted even further. A society which was already uncaring towards those who have been raped was only too happy to add another weapon to its arsenal. Now when a woman comes out to say she has been raped, in addition to criticising her attire, they can say “You are probably lying. Women lie about rape all the time.” It seems to me that society places the right of the few people who have been falsely accused of rape over the multitude who have actually been raped.

I can understand the reluctance to disparage a person’s character based on one person’s unverified accusations. However, a lot of these “let’s hear both sides of the story” sound like they are just determined to undermine the victim in anyway possible. People hear a woman has been raped and immediately start looking for proof that she is either lying or that she deserved the rape.

Yes, people do get falsely accused of rape. Yes this can ruin lives. Trust me, waaay more people actually get raped. Way more rape cases go unpunished and way more rape cases go unreported. Is your fixation on the minority borne out of a desire for justice, or a desire to silence the women?

cu_f467wiaacwlg

When a woman says she has been raped, I believe her. Yes there is a chance she is lying, there is even a bigger chance she is not. If the woman is Nigerian in Nigeria, I have even less reason to doubt her. In a society where rape victims are ostracised and seen as tainted, there is less motivation to lie about rape. Can’t we offer love and support to the victim while trying to ascertain all the facts? If it turns out she did lie, then she should be punished. But to dismiss her allegations with callous indifference, because of the slight possibility that it could be untrue is just evil.

Rather than tell a rape victim that she cannot be believed because some women lie about rape, imagine if we told the innocent men accused of rape that they have to deal with being falsely accused because, well some men do rape? Imagine if they were treated like the rape victims and had to answer to ridiculous questions.

  • What were you doing out so late if you were not planning on raping someone?
  • Why were you at her house at that time of the night if you did not want to rape her?
  • Well if you did not want to be falsely accused of rape, then you should have dressed more appropriately. Wear a suit and tie henceforth.
  • You have slept with too many women, you deserve to be falsely accused of rape.
  • You must have consented to be falsely accused of rape.
  • That is your girlfriend. How can she falsely accuse you of rape?
  • Good boys who do not want to be accused of rape do not go out clubbing and drinking. Stay in your house next time.
  • Look at your haircut, only rapists cut their hair in this style.
  • Well if men did not rape women, you would not have ben falsely accused of rape.

Sounds ridiculous right? Rape survivors have to suffer such questions, asked by people who don’t give a damn about the rape and its resulting trauma, but are just seeking a way to absolve the rapist.

The issue of rape is a long tortuous road with many bumps and detours. There are so many sub topics: sexual purity, patriachy, male rape and the men who believe there is no such thing, non violent rape, grooming, stockholm syndrome, the list goes on.

It is a mad world we are bringing children into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “If you did not want to be falsely accused of rape, then maybe you shouldn’t have been dressed like a rapist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s