I’m a bit late on posting on this, but it’s been circulating around the feminist blogosphere. A recent survey done in the UK shows that one in seven people find it acceptable in some circumstances for a man to hit his wife or girlfriend if she is wearing “sexy or revealing clothes in public.” 14% of people surveyed also found it acceptable for a man to hit his wife or girlfriend for “nagging or constantly moaning at him”.
Furthermore, when asked about whether certain behaviors should hold women responsible for being raped, 25% of people surveyed believe that a woman is partially to blame for being raped if she is drunk, 20% believe that a woman is partially to blame if she is wearing “sexy or revealing clothing”, 39% believe that a woman is partially to blame if she doesn’t clearly say NO to the man, 33% believe that a woman is partially to blame if she flirts heavily with the man before.
While these kinds of results don’t necessarily shock or surprise me (we do live in a victim-blaming, misogynist rape culture after all), it always saddens and angers me to hear of the incredible prevalence of victim-blaming ideology. We can reiterate over and over that being raped is never a survivor’s fault, but sometimes it still doesn’t get through to people. Misogyny abounds and it upsets me that some people dedicate so much of their time and energy to perpetuating rape myths that further discredit rape survivors (like the bullshit False Rape Society blog).
This just goes to show how rape culture is so pervasive and how we still have to fight the good fight. Over on Shakesville, Melissa writes:
Sometimes it really feels like there aren’t enough teaspoons in the world for this shit.
But there are. We’ve just got to get people to pick ‘em up.
She’s absolutely right. It is easy to get discouraged and just overwhelmed with depressing news like this. But we can change minds, and eventually we will. It’s an ongoing battle but we’ve been persevering thus far and we will continue to persevere. I want more people on this campus to ask what we at Tufts are doing (or failing to do) as a community, as an educational institution for “responsible/active citizenship” about sexual violence on campus? Because the truth is, we aren’t doing much to prevent sexual violence, to educate about sexual violence, to support survivors and provide them with resources they need, to counter rape culture, and more needs to be done.