The Harbinger Online

No Means No

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“She was asking for it!” “He spent a lot of money on the date, so it’s ok,” “She was passed out so it doesn’t really count…right?” “Because she has a promiscuous sexual past, she must have been fine with it.”

All of the comment made are absolutely ridiculous statements about women who were raped. I would like to say that these are the views of adults, but these  are a few misconceptions from a poll taken by 11-14-year-olds here in the U.S. collected by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

These kids’ minds are still young and impressionable, just like most high schoolers, and it’s not too late to change rape culture, which is the concept that links rape and violence to regular culture in society.

According to a 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped.

One of the biggest issues being faced in society, is men not getting blamed with the inexcusable crime of rape, just because of what the female was wearing. The fact that there are no laws against this still baffles me.

Men and women are beautiful, and should be able to dress in what makes them happiest. Women shouldn’t be having to sacrifice what makes them happy clothing wise, just to take precaution of male violators.

A third of Brits believe women are to blame for rape if they are acting flirtatiously according to Mail Online, a British news website. Also, more than a quarter believe she is to blame if her clothing is revealing.

You can say all you want, that if a girl goes out with her bottom hanging out and breasts escaping her top, that she is wanting the wrong type of attention. I’m sure there are cases where someone may want to be hit on, but does that mean that because of her clothing it means she was “Asking for it?”

Anyone and everyone, not only women, should be able to wear whatever they want, from a maxi skirt, to one that shows half your butt, and not have to worry about someone violating them because of it. As human beings we should be able to celebrate the beautiful bodies we are given, celebrate our sexuality and do so no matter how much skin we show.

One of my cousins lived with me for three years. I saw her break down crying countless times over the span of those years, because the man who raped her was not put in jail due to the fact she passed out drunk and couldn’t protest to her violators actions.

Not being able to give consent does not mean someone has the right to take advantage of a person. There are countless cases, such as the Daisy Coleman, Maryville rape court case.   In her case the prosecutor dropped felony charges against two 17-year-old Maryville High School students in March 2012, two months after the mother found her daughter passed out on the family’s front porch in below-freezing temperatures. Coleman’s, rapist was let off because she was passed out drunk. That poor 14-year-old girl didn’t even have the option to fight back.

Changing the rape culture that a society has created will not happen overnight. It will happen from you, on a personal level, being an advocate for a new day.

A person’s voice is one of the most powerful tools one can utilize, along with one’s actions. Just by speaking out against harmful behavior and rape culture can make a difference. We must  have the power to make a change for our posterity.

When you are older and see the man persistently asking a girl to go home with him, be the one to step in. When a girl is drunk at the bar, call her a cab instead of letting her go home with the man who’s been giving her the eye from across the room all night.

Stepping in to do what’s right makes all the difference. After all no means no, not to keep asking. Somewhere along in the world men thought they were given the right to dominate women’s bodies, and don’t  keep their thoughts in mind. Often a rapist feels very power hungry, and that can be a root to his crime. After all rape is never the victim’s fault.

It is astounding to me that in 2014 people say rape is inevitable, that men can’t help themselves. Letting boys grow up thinking they have entitlement to a girl’s body is completely wrong. It’s attitudes such as this that lead to harmful acts in the future.

Our generation can be the ones to know better than to take advantage of others’ bodies. Be the ones to raise our children teaching them that they are equal and don’t have the right to ever sexually assault someone.

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