Thursday, August 28, 2014

So nail polish to help stop rape is a thing now. Great, right?! Now us women can go out, enjoy ourselves (while not dressing too revealing), and protect ourselves from our own rape. It's a great day to be alive in 2014, kids.

Okay, look, I know these college kids were (probably... hopefully!) trying to be helpful and develop something to help protect women from violence. And I'm about that, usually... but let's not forget the real issue here: rape culture.
"Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, and even condone rape."  (definition here)

Sounds like today, right? Sounds like a culture in which we would have something like rape prevention nail polish. This isn't okay, guys. There IS a reason women are getting so upset about this... because you're putting responsibility to make sure you aren't raped ON THE POTENTIAL VICTIM. Idea: Instead of coming up with technology to help decrease the chances of sexual assault... maybe we could spend more time on overcoming the mindset our culture has these days, thus actually helping to eliminate the chance of sexual assault and not just coping with the eventuality, which is what these things do, make it a very possible eventuality. Let's get informed about consent, discuss rape and how it is NEVER justified, and stop the sexism about men being only predators who can't help but get their needs met any way possible. (Ew, right? They deserve more credit than that, and young boys need to know they're responsible for their own actions.)

Consent, consent, consent! In short, it is an explicit YES to whatever sexual contact is happening between adults who are able to give consent. For more on when someone cannot give consent (YES, THAT IS POSSIBLE), what consent is - and isn't -, why it is needed, and more, check out this video from the lovely Laci Green.

It's sure to follow when someone was not able to give consent, changed their mind, and/or did not say "no" or fell silent. The slough of (ignorant/asshole) comments you may hear/say/think after someone has gone through a sexual assault? Here we go:
"She was wearing hardly anything."
"They were flirting all night, I doubt he really forced himself on her."
"She loves sex."
"She is a tease and should have known better than to lead him on like that."
"She said yes, THEN she said no. You can't do that!"
"She was all over me. Drunk? Sure! But she totally wanted it."
"She took it this far, then flipped when it went that far."
"She got nervous then called rape."
And a million other combinations of these things and more.

Look, rape is never okay, justifiable, reasonable, an option of any kind, etc. Somehow we've made it an open topic for interpretation and debate... but truthfully, it is not. Until we start tackling it head on in schools, the work place, and our own homes this culture of "paint your nails to make sure you don't get an unwanted penis in you" won't end. Rapists need to be responsible for the crimes they commit, survivors need continued lifetime support in many situations, and we need to stop handing down this mind set of "men can't control themselves and women are too seductive for their own good" through the generations.

For more information check out these videos on slut shaming, Steubenville, and consent.


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