why I didn’t tell

Today I learned, and not just from one source, that if you’re a woman and you’re naked, you’re asking to be raped.

Many years ago I learned that if you wear provocative clothing, you’re asking to be raped.

If you get drunk at a party, you’re asking to be raped.

If you ever, for one second, put yourself in a vulnerable position, you’re asking to be raped.

I didn’t realize my clothing choice gave other people the opportunity to hurt me. I didn’t realize that when and if they did, it would be my fault.

If someone goes to a gas station and they get robbed, do we blame them for being at the gas station? “Oh, you shouldn’t have been pumping gas, that’s your fault.”

We don’t.

If someone comes in and robs a bank that has been left unlocked, do we not prosecute that person? Or do we give them a free pass because it was unlocked?

If you leave your car unlocked and your loose change is stolen, are you not mad? Do you not feel violated that someone was in your space? If you got their identity, would you try and press charges or be like “well, that was my fault because I left my door unlocked.”

What’s wrong with all these analogies?

Well, for one thing, women are not “things” yet in all these situations, we’re more concerned with pressing charges against someone for stealing some stupid change that we are for them raping and potentially ruining the life of someone else – of a HUMAN BEING.

I learned something else today. Someone wrote “women are not consumable things” and I had never thought of it from that perspective. Why? Because I never considered a woman a thing, but in fact when we are complacent and do nothing when women tell their story, we’re telling men that women in fact are consumable things. We tell men that they’re not culpable for their actions because the girl was asking for it. This is the only avenue that we actively blame the victim when it comes to court proceedings. We don’t believe you. It is your fault. You read from a piece of paper so obviously it is because you’re lying and not because you’re speaking in a public forum and want to articulate your point effectively.

I don’t hear people expressing the same kind of outrage about the men that came forward saying priests molested them 30 years ago. In fact, I hear people up in arms that it ever happened to these men. What a tragedy. Those poor men. So sad.

Should they be up in arms? ABSOLUTELY! Absolutely they should. But we believed them. We believed them because they’re men. Because we’ve heard this narrative before. Because men have some sort of credibility that women apparently lack and I can’t for the faintest reason figure out why that might be. Why is that being actively looked into but there was such an uproar about looking into the Kavanaugh situation.

You can sit behind the guise that this is a conspiracy from the liberals to avoid getting another Republican in SCOTUS, but you’re wrong. You can say the timing is fishy, and that’s exactly what Kavanaugh supporters want you to believe, but I invite you to look into it further. I invite you to think about the fact a SCOTUS position is for life. It is one of the most powerful positions in all the land. If you didn’t ever come forward and then you found out your attacker was going to be one of the most powerful people in the world, that seems like a good reason to bring these things to light. This is a lifetime position. He’s not going to jail. He’s not being prosecuted, though he certainly could be tried because MD does not have a statute of limitations for these things.

What does this woman have to gain? Her whole life is being ripped apart. She was an accomplished individual and now her family is receiving death threats, her safety is in question and she is gaining absolutely nothing. But we’re concerned about Kavanaugh and his whole life that will be ruined and it won’t. It won’t even be touched or tarnished because that’s how it goes. Even if he doesn’t get the SCOTUS position (which he sadly likely will), he still has a job. He’s not going to jail. He gets to go home to his family the same as he has the last 30 years. What changes for him? Nothing. His life is hardly ruined. Hardly. Far from it. Hers though? Her life was affected 30 years ago and now we’re condemning her for finally coming forward about it. And yet we sit here and wonder why people don’t come forward.

Because if you’re naked it is your fault.

If you’re drunk it is your fault.

If you’re out for a run alone it is your fault.

If you’re walking down the street, it is your fault.

It is always your fault. Not his. Yours. You have a vagina so you’re asking for it.

Supportive, right? I’d totally come forward too knowing these were the grenades people were going throw at me. This shouldn’t have to happen to your own daughter for you to change your mind on this. It shouldn’t happen to anyone. We should be teaching men that someone being in a vulnerable position doesn’t mean their rights are lost. It doesn’t mean they’re asking for it. It doesn’t mean you have the right to encroach on them and do as you please. It means you need to go about your business and step back. It means you need to be a decent human being.

Change the dynamic. Look into these allegations. Believe the woman. A man is innocent until proven guilty, sure. That hasn’t changed. But failing to look into something – failing to give it the time of day, that’s disturbing. It is why people don’t come forward. Because when they do, nobody cares.  And I guarantee you if you’re out there supporting Kavanaugh and calling Dr. Ford a liar, somewhere out there you’re losing people like me who sit in the shadows, not telling their story for fear of retribution. For fear of shame. For fear of doubt. Somewhere out there your friends are losing faith in you and honestly, they have every right to do so. I know I am.

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