The Sexist

“Why Would I Want to Touch Your Ass?”: When Groping Victims Talk Back

stackattack1

Last week, the Sexist highlighted a fairly common reaction of groping victims around the metro region—say nothing. A woman who got assaulted on a crowded dance floor, a woman who got rubbed on Metro, a girl who got her ass grabbed—they all kept it to themselves. What if they’d said something? What kind of reception would they get? Below, five groping victims who spoke up—and what happened next.


THE INSIDE VOICE.

Vee Meadows
’ job required her to stick her butt out a little bit. Meadows, a seasonal employee at a Dupont Circle bookstore, had bent over to fetch a bottom-shelved cookbook for a waiting customer, forcing her posterior to jut slightly into the aisle. “I suppose it was an irresistible temptation for a couple of guys walking by,” Meadows says. “So, one of them grabbed my ass.”

Meadows, 25, wasn’t expecting anybody to sexualize her cookbook duties. At that job, she had always felt like “less of a woman and more of a bookstore clerk.” And so Meadows assessed the situation like a bookstore clerk would. “I did feel like I had to act professionally in front of the customer,” she says. “I ended up having to be polite to my customer while I was inwardly fuming.” Post-grab, Meadows whipped around and administered a verbal response befitting her position: “As professionally as I could, I did say, ‘What the hell?’”

stackattack2

THE TIMID REPORT.

When Elizabeth, 28, felt a guy “shove his hand between my legs, all the way to the front” while waiting in line for her morning bus at PG Plaza—then caught the creep smiling at her—she didn’t say a thing. What she thought was, “Oh my God, I’m going to miss the bus.”

So she hurried on board and sat through the 15-minute ride to her museum job in College Park. When she arrived, she headed straight for the office bathroom and dry-heaved. Even though her body was attempting to puke the experience away, Elizabeth says she “played it down” when she informed her boss what happened. “I was agitated and livid, like, ‘Why are some men jerks like that, what is wrong with people?’…[But] I wasn’t calling it what I felt it was—and what I now know it was—which is a public sexual assault.”

When it came time to replay the scenario to her boss, “I felt ashamed—not of what happened to me, but of how I responded,” Elizabeth says. “I feel like I should have known better. I should have screamed.”

FLIPPING YOUR SHIT.

Emily was walking down U Street on a Friday night with a few girlfriends when a man walked up and helped himself to her scalp. “His hand went up to hold the back of my neck, then up my scalp, and down through my hair,” Emily says.

Emily, 22, has had her run-ins with gropers before. She’s endured an ass slap at a crowded bar a few times. But nothing like this. “It was such a violation. All I thought was: Wait. He’s groping my hair. What the hell is going on?” Emily says. Her response was too explicit to repeat: “I just started screaming at him: ‘What the bleep are you doing? What the bleep is wrong with you? Don’t bleeping touch me like that!’”

The man who reached out to caress Emily’s hair without her consent was not very open to considering Emily’s feelings. He fell back into a group of friends and joined them in “laughing at the 5'4" white girl
flipping her shit,” Emily says.

Emily’s friends begged her to stop yelling and resume their stroll to the bar. “My friends just kept saying, ‘Come on. Come on. It’s not worth it. You’re embarrassing us.’ When I finally left, I told them, ‘I’m sorry, guys. He was really close, and it creeped me out,’” she says. “I shouldn’t have apologized for myself. I hadn’t done anything wrong…I could still feel him in my hair.”

Dani
, a friend of Emily’s who witnessed the petting, says the crew wanted to err on the side of caution. “I definitely am in support of Emily reacting that way, because it can make people think,” she says. “On the other hand, it’s not the safest of neighborhoods. After it happened, we were just kind of like, ‘OK. Lets keep walking.’ We didn’t want to cause any more trouble.”

THE PUBLIC ACCUSATION.

Jessica Graves screamed, too. Graves was waiting in line for the bathroom in an Austin, Texas, coffee shop when a man walked by, dragged his hand under the hem of her skirt, and grazed her butt. “He got a pretty good swipe,” Graves recalls. She followed him out the door. “Did you just touch my ass?” she demanded. “Why would I want to touch your ass?” he replied.

Graves had refused to be a passive victim. Her groper got even more of a thrill out of that. “I could see the sick sense of satisfaction on his face,” she says. “His expression said, ‘Gotcha! I can deny this, and you can’t do shit about it,’” says Graves. “I was enraged for hours. I didn’t sleep,” she says. “It made me so angry that I wanted to hurt people, and I’m not a violent person. I was so pissed off that I just shook with rage.”

THE JOKE.

The hug was not Allyson Rudolph’s idea.

Rudolph had hailed a cab after a night of drinking with some co-workers. It was late, she was tipsy, and a secure cab ride from the West End bar to her home in Shaw sounded like a good idea. “The bartenders had started bringing us shots, which is usually about when I realize I need to go home,” she says. “I’m a very cheap date.”

On the ride, Rudolph struck up a conversation with the driver, and the discussion turned to cab-riding etiquette. Both concurred that it’s important to exchange pleasantries between cabbie and customer. “We
were in solid agreement that one should never ignore a person they happen to be sharing a car with,” she says.

That’s when the proposition came. “Can I have a hug?” the cabbie asked as the ride came to an end. Rudolph obliged. “I was drunk and we’d been chatting, plus I love hugs, so it seemed like a great idea,” she says. Rudolph and the cabbie both opened their doors and stepped out of the car. “Then he squeezed my boob and tried to kiss me.”

Rudolph, who says she was too tipsy to report the cabbie, settled for laughing at him. When Rudolph tells this story, she casts the cab driver as a pathetic buffoon, his unsolicited grab at her breast marking him as inept instead of threatening. “I make light of this a lot and tell it to friends as a funny story, but actually it really angers me,” says Rudolph. “It’s easy to see how the story could have had a much less funny ending.…It’s only when I start to put the story in the context of a major social issue that it stops being funny. It’s a really clear example of the way the world is just different for girls, and that is something that I don’t find entertaining at all.”

This column is the third in a series. Catch up with Part 1: Touch and Go: How Groping Happens. And Part 2: I Just Wanted Him to Finish And Leave": Why Some Groping Victims Stay Silent. (Illustration by Brooke Hatfield).

  • Banyan

    The whole victim blaming concept seems to be receiving a great deal of attention and really needs to be developed a little further. First, there is no contradiction between the premises that a) a man is fully responsible for being a perpetrator of a crime, and b) a woman is responsible for not preventing that crime from occuring. If anybody can spot the contradiction, let me know. I emphasize this point because some people on this forum think that somehow (b) diminishes the forcefulness of (a.) Take for example a thief in a store. He may be able to steal a candy bar because the clerk isn't looking, but that doesn't somehow make him any less of a thief.
    Now, in the this same case we have to ask ourselves whether the clerk is morally responsible for not catching the thief if he/she is drunk and talking on the phone. Well, if it was my store and my employee was drunk and talking on the phone, then I would fire him/her. In other words, if we're in a risky situation and we don't take the appropriate precautions, we are considered morally culpable for our neglect. We shouldn't however conclude that this makes us morally culpable for the other persons act.

    The logic of those who insist that rape victims are responsible for their rape, i.e. the actions of another person, is easily parodied. Suppose I am responsible for being raped because I wear tight jeans. So, because my tight jeans make the man want to rape me I am to blame. O.K., but what if my tight jeans cause the man to want to rape another woman. Things become a little tricky. What if my tight jeans make him want to rape, but then he has a change of heart and does great works. Should I take the credit? Seems silly.

  • Banyan

    The whole victim blaming concept seems to be receiving a great deal of attention and really needs to be developed a little further. First, there is no contradiction between the premises that a) a man is fully responsible for being a perpetrator of a crime, and b) a woman is responsible for not preventing that crime from occuring. If anybody can spot the contradiction, let me know. I emphasize this point because some people on this forum think that somehow (b) diminishes the forcefulness of (a.) Take for example a thief in a store. He may be able to steal a candy bar because the clerk isn't looking, but that doesn't somehow make him any less of a thief.
    Now, in the this same case we have to ask ourselves whether the clerk is morally responsible for not catching the thief if he/she is drunk and talking on the phone. Well, if it was my store and my employee was drunk and talking on the phone, then I would fire him/her. In other words, if we're in a risky situation and we don't take the appropriate precautions, we are considered morally culpable for our neglect. We shouldn't however conclude that this makes us morally culpable for the other persons act.

    The logic of those who insist that rape victims are responsible for their rape, i.e. the actions of another person, is easily parodied. Suppose I am responsible for being raped because I wear tight jeans. So, because my tight jeans make the man want to rape me I am to blame. O.K., but what if my tight jeans cause the man to want to rape another woman. Things become a little tricky. What if my tight jeans make him want to rape, but then he has a change of heart and does great works. Should I take the credit? This also seems silly.
    Finally, and I believe most importantly, sexual assault causes trauma. Trauma is a psychological condition involving excess feelings of guilt. Those who castigate people who are in a state of trauma are being cruel and counterproductive. Name one study or credible therapist who would recommend blaming a women for her rape after she has been raped!
    We must remain cognizant of the fact that philosophical arguments about culpability don't give us the "medical," insight necessary to understand how to deal with trauma victims. It's kind of puzzling, but just because you conceptually recognize that a woman has been neglectful, it doesn't thereby follow that you should inform her of that. Time and place.

  • Dorothy

    "In other words, if we’re in a risky situation and we don’t take the appropriate precautions, we are considered morally culpable for our neglect."

    Morally culpable for our neglect in the story of a woman getting raped means exactly what? That she's trusted the wrong man? That she drinks on a night out with friends? That she left the house?

    Because we can agree on the drunk clerk doing something he shouldn't do. In most contracts it's specified you shouldn't drink while working. I don't think there should be a "woman contract" that specifies I shouldn't drink while being a woman.

  • Banyan

    @Dorothy

    Take another analogy. A man gets drunk at a bar where people have frequently had fights. A guy beats him up. I believe the man who went to the bar is behaving irresponsibly and the man who beat him up is clearly a thug.
    You're correct there is no "contract," but there is common sense. If the man went to a bar that wasn't really dangerous yet still had all the risks associated with a bar, I wouldn't call him irresponsible. Similarly, women behave irresponsibly in very few instances in which they are raped. But those instances do in fact exist. Once again the fact that the woman has behaved irresponsibly doesn't negate the fact that the man may have raped her anyways or that he was a creep.
    I know we have a good rapport as of yet, but lest we start calling me a rape apologist, I must remind you that if this is true, I'm also much more. I'm a crime apologist, a shark attack apologist, a getting ripped off at the pawn shop apologist, getting ripped of by an infomercial apologist, being disinformed by Glenn Beck apologist...

  • Dorothy

    @Banyan: I don't say you're a rape apologist. I think I understand what you try to say. But I think you are ... a bit clueless. (I don't want to insult you here, please, don't take it as such.)

    See, your analogies for men have additional "dangerous" conditions:
    "A man gets drunk at a bar where people have frequently had fights. A guy beats him up."
    The aproppriate analogy to the victim-blaming would be: "A man gets drunk at a bar. A guy beats him up."

    What we feminists think is that it is unfair to lay the blame at the door of "being women". We dream of a society where women can go whereever they want and do whatever they want without being raped (and then being told: "See, you're a woman! You can't do the things men can do, because you'll get raped and then it's your fault.").

  • Banyan

    But what if the woman attends a frat party where one of her friends had been raped by a brother. Is she then irresponsible? It's important to remember that just because we can construct instances in which a woman is irresponsible, it doesn't at all follow that most or even a sizable amount of rapes occur with an irresponsible woman, or that it was her fault. She is never at fault for rape, because the rapist behaved voluntarily and is therefore fully responsible for the rape. You can't be responsible for other people's voluntary behavior. It only takes one rapist to tango.

  • Dorothy

    What if a man goes to the same bar a friend of him had been beaten up? What if he uses the same street to go home after their night out, where his other friend had been robbed?

    Men are allowed to go to frat parties and bars and get drunk. Men do that all the time. And yet, our culture doesn't see a problem with banning women from doing the same. In the name of their safety.

  • Banyan

    You couldn't imagine a person blaming a man for getting beat up while frequenting a rowdy bar and then discouraging him from attending again? Now I don't blame him for reasons aforementioned, but I do insists that he behaved irresponsibly.

  • Dorothy

    I don't know any rowdy bars, so maybe that's why I can't imagine a man being beaten up. I just know that a few men got beaten up at night in the subway and a woman got raped. I never heard anybody say 'He's a man! At night at the subway!', but I heard a lot of 'A woman! At night at the subway!'
    And that's not okay, because it restricts women's behaviour in a way it doesn't restrict men's.

  • Dorothy

    ... and that of course should have meant "maybe that's why I can't imagine a beaten up man being blamed."

  • Shinobi

    Banyan, your comment at #53 is spot on:

    She is never at fault for rape, because the rapist behaved voluntarily and is therefore fully responsible for the rape. You can’t be responsible for other people’s voluntary behavior. It only takes one rapist to tango.

    Unfortunately a lot of people don't see this, because we are constantly berating women to avoid getting raped, when women are raped there is a tendency to blame the woman for not taking every precaution ever. (Even though if she had engaged in the same behavior and there had been no rapist around, it wouldn't have mattered.) Which is why it is often so important to avoid talking about what the victim could have done to prevent the assault, because most people and the media tend to blame the victim, and every conversation that reinforces this concept pulls us away from the real problem, The rapist.

    I would argue, that the time to discuss rape prevention and avoidance is not after someone has been raped. This is just not a conversation that should happen in conjunction with talking about an actual rape. If we're going to talk about an actual rape, we should talk about the actual rapist, and why they perpetrated that crime.

    (I also think that there is a ridiculous balancing act women are constantly forced to do between avoiding rape, and trying to have real relationships with men. "Nice guys" and non rapist men get angry when women talk about assuming all men are rapists. But if we DON"T assume all men are rapists, and end up alone with a guy who also happens to be a rapist and get raped it is suddenly our fault for not assuming all men are rapists. (or having some magical rapist-dar, do you think we could get all the potential rapists to get tatoos on their forehads or something so women can have relationships with non rapist men without fearing being raped?) Ultimately you can see ho this is an impossible position for women to be in.)

  • Banyan

    Right, and you can make the argument like this. A woman has been raped. She is therefore in a state of trauma. Trauma is a medical condition. Therefore, we must consult medical professionals. Medical professionals insist that blaming the victim for their "arguably," poor choices is counterproductive and cruel. Therefore no rational and kind human being would ever blame a rape victim who is in a state of trauma. Seems pretty solid.

  • jf1

    Arguably you can say that she is in a state of trauma, and certainly it's a medical condition, but that doesn't mean that "medical professionals" are correct in their opinion of what should be done and what is what, from that point on.

    You keep assigning genius to professionals. They're just doofs with a degree. It's one thing to consult them, quite another to think that everything they say is correct.

  • jf1

    re #56: nonsense, you're burdening the issue with your opinion simply because you haven't heard of anyone saying that these men were at fault (in any way) for getting mugged or beaten up in the subway. You then extrapolate from your conclusion based on that lack of information to assigning a erroneous status to the entire issue at large.

    Basically, compound logical fallacies.

  • LeftSidePositive

    @Banyan:

    "It only takes one rapist to tango."

    Great quote!!

  • jf1

    "What we feminists think is that it is unfair to lay the blame at the door of “being women”. We dream of a society where women can go whereever they want and do whatever they want without being raped (and then being told: “See, you’re a woman! You can’t do the things men can do, because you’ll get raped and then it’s your fault.”)."

    That's almost spot on. Too many women think that the world is exactly the way that they think that it is, and then they get upset when they find out that it's not. It never was, it never is, it never can be exactly "the way that you think that it is". They then compound the mistake by assuming that it is NOW the way that they think that it is NOW. Regardless of whatever nonsensical reasoning they used to get from stage A to stage B.

    The ongoing mistake is to think that you know how things work, how things should be and how things are. You don't. You have to deal with people as they are and deal with what they do and save your opinions with regards to what they ought to be like, what they ought to do, for your own decision-making and stop living in a fucking fantasyland of your own imagination. Don't go around putting words and thoughts into the heads of others. You're bound to be let down when you find out that they just don't think and act like you do much less like you think that they ought to. Now you can come up with all kinds of reasons for that but the bottom line is that that is how it is.

    Stop trying to dictate the world around you and deal with it as it really is.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Hear that, Ladies? Just give up on your civil rights. jf1 doesn't think it's going to happen.

  • Banyan

    @jf1 So, the medical professionals can determine that she has a disorder, but they can't determine what will aggravate that disorder?

  • jf1

    "(I also think that there is a ridiculous balancing act women are constantly forced to do between avoiding rape, and trying to have real relationships with men. “Nice guys” and non rapist men get angry when women talk about assuming all men are rapists. But if we DON”T assume all men are rapists, and end up alone with a guy who also happens to be a rapist and get raped it is suddenly our fault for not assuming all men are rapists."

    no, no no no no.

    no no no no no no no

    continuing on with the delusion will get you nowhere.

    It simply does not make sense to assume that all men are rapists especially when they have not raped anyone. That's patently unfair prejudicial behavior.

    You don't understand what I mean, go look up prejudice in the dictionary.

    Good fucking grief. So you "end up alone with a rapist and get raped" and that justifies assuming that all men are rapists. I hardly even know where to start with this.

    Wellok let's take it one step at a time.

    A) no man is a rapist until he has raped someone.

    b) it's hardly unexpected that a woman will end up with a man who has raped someone.

    c) the issue going forward is whether or not a woman is raped, not what the man has done in the past (unless you want to predict his future behavior based on past behavior).

    d) if you want to treat all men as rapists based on your fear of being raped, that's fine. Just remember that you are having a dishonest relationship with all men unless you tell them this.

    Beyond this point, I doubt that this is worthy of further comment.

    Now, in terms of your comments of a "ridiculous balancing act", sorry but that's life. You have a choice. Stay with men who you are sure will not rape you, or go out and date new men and take that chance with them. Oh by the way, any of the men that you already know *could* rape you.

    That's not the same thing as assuming that they ARE rapists. You want to say that they are "potential rapists", be my guest. That might hurt someones' feelings but in the abstract it's entirely true. Of course you may change your opinion about that (and I'm sure that some men will argue that they would never rape a woman under any conditions) but realistically that's true.

    But then by the same token, all women are "potential rapists" as well. The only people who can't rape you are those lying in a box 6 feet under the ground. If you really want to be technical about it.

    So somewhere between now and whenever you begin to have healthy relationships with men, you will figure out how to deal with the risk of rape without labeling every man that you meet as a potential rapist, much less assuming that they *are* rapists. Have a good time with that. You're clearly not there right now.

  • jf1

    #65

    They can generalize, sure. They may even be right in specific cases. Doesn't mean that everything that comes out of their bleeding mouths is going to be correct.

  • LeftSidePositive

    jf1, why is it that you cannot understand an "if, then" statement? That passage DID NOT say all men are rapists. It said, IF we don't act like that, THEN people will say it's our fault.

  • Banyan

    So under what conditions would a woman who is in a state of trauma be assisted by the reminder that she behaved recklessly by attending a frat party wherein her friend had been raped? (The frat party example is my proof that there are at least some circumstances in which a woman had behaved irresponsibly.)

  • jf1

    "Medical professionals insist that blaming the victim for their “arguably,” poor choices is counterproductive and cruel."

    They can say that all they want, it's still just their opinion.

    Reality sucks that way sometimes, and certainly if anything was "cruel" in this situation, it was the rape itself. I don't think that it's a great idea to automatically and uniformly group honest opinions about the situation with the rape itself. Fostering the delusions of rape victims isn't exactly "productive" in my opinion.

    The problem is that "victimization" is often in the eyes of the so-called "victim" herself. The last thing that we need is to empower people to determine that they themselves are victims, not to mention on top of just picking people to blame as the responsible party for their "victimhood". Now, all this hue and cry will be raised because someone says that they have been raped. You don't want to forget that that's just their claim, until it's actually proven.

    And it can be proven on more than one basis.

    But it is easy for someone to point fingers at someone else and say that that person raped them. I think that most people have learned to not take these claims at face value, so certainly one problem for the claimant is that their claim will be dismissed for lack of supporting evidence.

    Obviously that possibility would be traumatic to the "victim" if they are quite sure, in their own heads, that they have been raped and indeed have made such a claim. So are we to not tell them this for fear of "traumatizing" them? What about the whole process of trial by jury? At what point do rape "victims" get "traumatized" by that, not to mention that their accuser may not even be arrested, may not be convicted, may indeed be vindicated in court?

    None of these "real world" issues would ever be placed in front of them if we were to put the "traumatization" of the "victim" first and foremost. And frankly if the whole "rape" was just a delusion they need to snap out of it.

    Claims of rape, accusations of rape, these are not things to be taken lightly, no more than rape itself or the possibility of being raped. At some point we have to get down to brass tacks and people have to deal with the reality of the situation. There's no room for mollycoddling bullshit-artists at this point.

  • Shinobi

    JF1,
    I think you are missing the point I was trying to make. It IS ridiculous for women to assume that all men are rapists. That is unreasonable and gets in the way of having real relationships with non rapists. (I also fail to see how potential rapist and actual rapist are any different. Either one assumes that if the individual chose to they would take advantage of you against your will)

    Unfortunately, It is also impossible for women to tell what men might be rapists.

    And yet, if a woman gets raped she is often greeted with scorn and told she should have known better.

    You don't think this is ridiculous? You don't think this is an unfair position for anyone to be in, to have to police ones own behavior and simultaneously predict who might or might not be a violent criminal?

    You immediately jump to my relationship problems (which I don't have, btw). I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about women in general who are supposed to simultaneously protect themselves, while also protecting the delicate fee fees of men who don't want to be treated like potential rapists.

    I am saying it is unfair for the onus to protect onesself from rape to continue to be on the victims (male or female.)

    The problem is the rapists, and that's what we should be focusing on, not how victims can do a better job not being victims.

  • Banyan

    O.K. but if we're quite certain that she is in a state of trauma and she has in fact been raped, then we should avoid criticizing her for the poor decisions she made that occurred on the night of the rape.

  • Shinobi

    Banyan,
    I'm pretty sure she has already internalized enough "it is your fault if you get raped" messages that she wont need someone elses help to blame herself. We've already told women in this society that if they get raped it is their fault. As a woman, I would immediately blame myself if I got raped. External assistance is not required.

  • Shinobi

    Jf1,
    I sincerely hope the next time something bad happens to you, everyone around you takes time out of their day to tell you it is your fault because you are a giant fuck up.

    I'm sure you will find this a helpful part of dealing with your bad shit.

    Except I somehow doubt that you ever listen to anything anyone else says ever, so why would it matter, right? You are clearly the most correct person to ever exist, how could you ever possibly make a mistake, eveyrone else is just stupid if they think what you did was wrong.

  • Grumpy

    Wow...

    I am all for an icepick to the groin for the gropers. They get no mercy...

  • jen

    it's important to point out, only because some people STILL don't get it, that it's not just attractive women who get groped/assaulted - it happens to both sexes and all ages. sexual assault is about power - that's why it sucks so much even if the assault is comparatively less involved. the feeling that one can't protect oneself, whether that's in a club, a crowded bus, a bad neighborhood, a job, yr home, or a court of law - that's why these acts are extra potent. read "A Woman Scorned" by Peggy Reeves Sanday. we have an entire system, legal on down, that thwarts and abuses even the bravest people who try to speak up.

  • Ophelia

    I would like make a few points here:
    First--It's kind of a fine line between groping/sexual assualt and a romantic caress
    Example: A thirteen-year-old girl (me) and a thirteen-year-old boy (my boyfriend, with whom I was wildly in love at the time) are together at the girl's house. She sits down on the bed, he sits next to her, and one thing leads to another and they're both lying down, he kisses her, and even though she didn't really want him to kiss her she kisses him back, because she loves him and doesn't want to hurt his feelings. His hands are everywhere on her, breasts, thighs...crotch and buttocks are avoided, but little else, but she enjoys it immensely, because she loves him. She was kind of scared, though, and uncomfortable with how far the situation veered out of her control. Has she then been sexually assualted? Should her boyfriend then be labeled a groper because she didn't tell him she was uncomfortable with what his hands were doing, even though she liked it? My answer is no. In that instance, it was her fault, she could easily have told him that she wasn't comfortable with such intimacy and he would have left her alone--she even did say that a few minutes later, and he left her alone. The only reason she was frightened is because her limits happened to be more stringent than his, and she did enjoy his touches, she kissed him back and enjoyed it, etc. My opinion is that it was entirely the girl's fault. However, this may be because of course I was part of the situation, and it's easy enough to say that the victim should never blame themselves and they've got some kind of masochistic matyr complex if they do blame themselves, but when you're the victim it's very different. Even though I was barely even the victim of sexual harrassment, I think my experience can be applied to full-on rape. What if a girl and her boyfriend are embracing, kissing, etc., and he wants to have sex with her, and she really doesn't want to have sex with him but she loves him and doesn't want to hurt his feelings, and would really enjoy sex with him? And they have sex anyway? Is it her fault or his? Has she really been raped? What if she told him no and then kissed him? Would that have negated her denial? It's hard to say. But my second point, which may seem to contradict what I've already said, is this: the victim of a rape is never at fault. Perhaps she could have avoided the rape, perhaps she made a decision which led to the rape, but if there was not a rapist in the situation she would not have been raped. You can't argue with that, not even you, jf1. She may blame herself, because we live in a culture where victims are *taught* to blame themselves, that absolutely does not mean anyone else can blame her, and it absolutely does not mean that she is at fault, or he, whichever, male or female the attacker, not the victim, is to blame.

  • snobographer

    Once when I was walking home from work, I was assaulted and harassed by a guy on a bicycle. He kept circling around to smack my ass and yell disgusting things at me. I tried to kick his front wheel in, yank out his brake line, etc. He kept messing with me. When I got home, I called the police. The cop that showed up literally told me that it sounded like the guy was just having a little fun. He was also visibly disgusted with my filthy, unladylike mouth when I repeated some of the things my harasser said to me, upon his request.
    So all the guys in here telling women how empowering it is to fight back and call the police can suck it.
    Also, this other time a guy grabbed my butt and I whirled around and punched him in the chest. He had the nerve to be surprised. Dumbass.

  • friday jones

    "Cathy Lanier has breasts and hips"

    She also has a gun and a police band walkie-talkie and mace and handcuffs and a billy club and a badge. I don't, and most of that stuff is illegal to carry in DC unless you're a cop.

...