Men use self-control as defense for rape

Halen Doughty

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A pretty girl staggers down a dark street. Her troubled face, ripped dress, matted hair and black mascara rivers are a far cry from “that girl” at the bar last night.

She was the “drunk slut” who graciously accepted a ride home from “that nice guy” who bought all her drinks.

As the sun peeks over the horizon, last night is a blur – the stranger on top of her, her slurred pleas of “no” and “stop,” the paralyzing fear, pain and confusion.

In a dark unfamiliar room on a typical Saturday night, she was raped. But who would believe her?

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network reports one in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape sometime in her life.

Tragically, 98 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail.

Why? Because 68 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, that number is even higher, 80 percent, for college females.

It’s clear women don’t report their assaults because society blames female victims for being raped.

A recent post on Tumblr promoting sexual assault awareness featured a topless woman with the words “Still Not Asking for It” painted on her torso.

One user commented that a woman dressing provocatively is like “putting a meat suit on and telling a shark not to eat you.”

Men are not sharks!

That ignorant statement implies that men are impulsive animals incapable of controlling themselves.

In reality, men insult themselves when they make such claims. Then, when it is convenient, suddenly they are “just being guys.”

Men should be able to maintain themselves like the rational modern-day adults they are.

Thank goodness someone on Tumblr with some sense replied, saying that seeing a banker count money does not mean you are entitled to free money.

It should be obvious that just because you can see something, does not make it yours.

State Representative Roger Rivard once said, “If you go down that road, some girls, they rape so easy.”

So, Mr. Rivard, is it acceptable to kidnap a child just because it’s easy? Rape is defined as unlawful sexual activity carried out forcibly or under threat against someone’s will.

It is a crime.

Rapists are predators and criminals, and they should be treated as such.

This stigma and complete disregard for the victims has gone too far. No matter what the circumstances, it is never the victim’s fault.

People say things like “her skirt was too short, her top was too low, she was drunk or she was asking for it.”

Yet, a man wearing his pants around his knees isn’t “asking” for the same.

Girls are even blamed for being a “slut.” To imply that a woman’s promiscuity automatically gives anyone the right to have her is revolting.

This mentality only suggests that women are free for the taking.

A girl could sleep with 50 guys if she wants and still not be open to the entire male population.

It is, and always will be, her choice.

I think this sexist mind-set comes in part from the male ego, as in “How could she not want me?”

But to a man, sleeping with many women is considered a compliment. An accomplishment. It’s a clear double standard.

In this day and age, women must be aware of the dangers around them. Sexual assault is not limited to “Law and Order: SVU” reruns. It is not some guy in a van or dark alley.

Sexual assault can happen anywhere, usually where you least expect it.

It can be your best friend’s brother, your boyfriend’s roommate, or your friend one drunken night.

Approximately two-thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, according to RAINN.

It is time to take action against sexual assault.

Men need to stop treating women like property; it’s not 1915 anymore. It is 2015, and we are all equals.

Rape claims must always be taken seriously, and rapists need to be punished.

Society must end the stigma around sexual assault so victims can confidently come forward and receive help.

And giving men a free pass because it’s “in their nature” to claim a woman simply because she is attractive or dressed a certain way has got to stop.

Most importantly, we need to stop blaming victims.

Let’s be clear: unless she specifically asked for it, she wasn’t asking for it.

Religion can be spoken about freely, yet we tread softly when publically mentioning it.

But, the hardest idea to grasp is that having the right to spread religious awareness is certainly not the same as pushing beliefs on others.

While people reserve the right to practice religious freedom and to speak without restraint about any faith they choose, forcing others to listen isn’t freedom of speech; it’s harassment.

There are over 127 major religions and seven billion people on earth with seven billion different views of God. Some love Him, some fear Him, some question His existence and some are still searching for Him.

Some will decide that God plays no role in the trials and tribulations of life, while others will find faith the moment they see their newborn child take the first breath of being.

Whether we discover where we spiritually belong in a pew on Sunday morning or on a lonely drive with no destination, the journey to finding or forgetting God is what determines our views. We can’t be told what and who to believe in, or to even believe in anything at all.

What we learn, who we meet and the challenges we face are what we remember when we stand before Him, not the church members that knock on our front doors, or the people that stand in the quad condemning us all to hell.

And if the church goer at your front door changes your perspective, let them. Be baptized in one church, change your mind, and be baptized in another. Let what you learned in biology class make you question evolution and the powers above.

Learning from life experiences and questioning God’s ways isn’t sin; it’s human. It’s human to change emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when physical surroundings change. It’s human to simply be curious and indecisive.

Faith only exists because there are people that believe strongly enough in it to make it a reality and a way of life. Without doubters and differences, the strength of religion would never have anything to be measured against.

Because of that, religion without true belief is weak.

Never practice out of habit, don’t follow just because your parents or friends do, and don’t ever think one religion is superior to another. In a time that seems to have the explanation for everything in a test tube or on a database, people believing in any God at all is a miracle in itself.