A quick story for you all. A woman and a man meet up on Facebook/at a party/on an online dating site, and they feel a potential spark. So they agree to go out on a date. They meet for happy hour at a bar somewhere near both their homes. They expect only to hang out for a couple of hours, but they find they have so much to talk about and they're having a good time. They agree to go back to one of their places for a little more privacy, maybe have another drink and talk some more. Sexual tension hangs in the air as they retreat inside, full of smiles and good time vibes.
Where are they a year and a half later? A couple of potential options:
A) He's sitting at the defense stand hearing the jury read a verdict of not guilty. His family cheers while her family closes in around her protectively. Afterwards, jurors who are interviewed say, "Well, she should have known that could happen if she just went home with a man, after all that flirting with him. He's no saint, but she had it coming."
B) She and he are sitting beaming at the table listening to their family members take turns toasting them. Their wedding is tomorrow, and they couldn't be more excited. "Good thing," a slightly tipsy toaster says to the bride, "That you agreed to go on that date with him. We thought you'd never get married!"
If you're intellectually honest, you know both of these results are likely, and the latter is not only as likely but probably more likely than the former one. There's a bit of polite fiction about premarital sex---not that it doesn't happen, but we don't discuss it in detail around relatives---but all in all, women dating, flirting, and sleeping with men is considered a normal, healthy way to meet people, fall in love, and yes, even find someone to marry, if you're into that sort of thing. We know that the most common thing that happens is that you date someone, sleep with them, and it doesn't work out. But sometimes it does, so we keep plugging. But sometimes someone rapes someone else, and then all of a sudden people start acting like going out with men and allowing yourself to be alone with them---and god forbid, floating the possibility of having sex with them!---is outrageous behavior and anyone who engages in it should expect nothing short of being raped and possibly beaten severely.
I bring this up, because the BBC released a survey recording how many people, women especially, slide into "she was asking for it" territory. I posted on this at XX Factor, trying to point out that it's statistically impossible for women who blame rape victims to have not done the exact same thing. 71% of British women surveyed said you bear "some" responsibility for getting raped if you got in bed with a guy without checking to see if he was a rapist first. Have 71% of British women refrained from not only getting alone with a man, but getting in bed with him? Have 1/3 never been alone with a man on a date, the number who said that behavior makes it your fault? Not at all. Many of the people surveyed admitted to doing the very things they think make you eligible for rape. But I doubt very many of them would think they bear even some responsibility should it happen. Like I said, we all make exceptions for ourselves. That's why I've always joked that a slut is a woman who has sex with two more people than you.
Naturally, this brought out the trolls at XX Factor.
Yet, a woman gets INTO BED with a guy and is raped and should accept zero responsibility? I am sorry, we don't live in the fifties anymore and while the dirtbag should absolutely be punished, it's laughable to believe that a woman can act like a slut and then at the last second say "no" and believe that every guy is going to put his dick back into his pants and be a gentlemen.
Women do not best protect ourselves by pretending that rape is like a lightning strike out of a clear blue sky: Especially where simple rape ('acquaintance rape') is concerned, this is not normally an unpredictable or unpreventable event.
Referring to the above story, then, be forewarned, ladies: If you want to date, fall in love, and probably marry one day, it's your fault if someone rapes you. You can't say you weren't warned. If you go to bed with a guy expecting missionary position, and instead he holds you down and anally rapes you while you scream, well, you signed up for that, too, it seems.
Of course, people don't connect the dots, which is why they engage in blatant misogyny without realizing that's what they are in fact doing. There's just enough shaming of female sexuality out there that it's easy to back-rationalize after the rape that the choice to try to get some privacy and make out with someone was stupid. But then again, it's easy to say it was the smartest thing you've ever done, if it leads to true love. (And there's the third, most common option, which is that it doesn't matter much in the long run one way or another.) We're told you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. But if we find a rapist doing that, then it's our faults for looking.
And that's not even touching the fact that women are told to treat all men like rapists, and then are called man-hating bitches if we take that advice and shove men off, refuse to speak to them, and carefully make sure never to be alone with them.