By Eunice Ikem
With this recent epidemy of sexual assault and openness of victims, the topic of rape and molestation has been circulating heavily throughout social media and the non-digital world and going through comments, views, and opinions of individuals and groups at large. With this comes a lot of views from people who are trying to sympathize with the abused and those who want to be objective. However, a rape apologist is also not so far from this crowd.
The word rape is very sensitive and rape apologists always find a way to come up with arguments suggesting that rape is infrequent, misreported, over-reported, not that big a deal, or excusable in some circumstances, such as marital rape, corrective rape or if the victim was “provocatively dressed.” They are not uncommon and are often used to slut-shame and/or shift the blame off of the attackers.
But the truth of the matter is, many of us, whether it was in the past or even currently, have probably done some sort of rape apologist behavior. So, if you’re curious about whether or not you are a rape apologist or at least have some characteristics of one that you wish to fix, here’s how to know
One of the most talked-about forms of rape apologist behavior is that of victim-blaming. People, especially women, have been targeted by others after they’ve been assaulted if they wore something too “revealing” or are sexually expressive. While in the real sense, there are virtually no ties between what a victim is wearing and why they were assaulted. Perpetrators attack due to their sense of “entitlement” and power. Anyone can be wearing anything at any time and be assaulted. It’s not about clothes, it’s about domination), many people have gotten away with sexually assaulting people on the grounds of “They were asking for it!”
It was “mutual agreement’
What one must understand is that when a person is a minor and the person they have sexual relations with is an adult, that is still sexual assault. With a minor, there is no such thing as a mutual agreement. The adult in the matter is more than likely being manipulative, using messages that induce language from the minor that would be perceived as “consent.” “They said they wanted to!” is not an excuse to sexually manipulate a minor.
Also, its time we start understanding that consent can be withdrawn. A yes today doesn’t mean yes tomorrow. Many will also use this excuse when a victim is under the influence and responded positively to having a sexual encounter with someone else, but had they been sober, the answer probably would’ve been “no.” Manipulators will use the excuse of it being “mutual agreement” because a “yes” or similar sentiment was heard,
They’re married, so it’s not rape
Many people still believe it’s one’s betrothed duty to always please their partner sexually despite any opposition. Rape is rape, regardless of the circumstance. If one party does not consent and the other takes advantage anyway, it’s assault.
Marriage doesn’t cancle out the need for consent. Effective communuication is key and each individual and their decision should be respecrted.
He or she was sending “mixed signals.”
A mixed signal should motivate you to get a verbal consent. The moment you can’t tell if somone wants the same thing you want; it is the time to ask. Clarity is important when getting mixed signals. The “traffic light” method has been used as a metaphor during the teachings of consent. Green means it’s okay to go (it is okay to have sexual relations if both parties are sober and clearly state what they want), red means to stop (if one or both parties say “no” or any variations of that sentiment, that means it is not okay to go further), and yellow, which in theory, should mean to “slow down” and yet people think this means to “speed up,” both on the road and during sexual relations.
Rape apologists are almost as dangerous as the rapists themselves because together, they protect the violence and even assist in perpetuating the assaults further. Victims have already suffered through their experiences, so they don’t need society telling them that in some way, it was their fault.