Blaming a woman on national television for being raped is “victim-blaming” at its finest. The worst part is that the one who blamed her is a senator of the country, someone who we look up to. Now, stop covering your ears like it’s the medieval period and say this issue is nonsense. Rape culture and victim-blaming is real folks—it’s real!
According to Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), rape culture is a term used by feminists in the United States since the 1970s. It was designed to show the ways how the society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalizing male sexual violence. Victim-blaming, on the other hand, is labeling or accusing victims that they are at fault for being harassed.
There was this one time when I was riding a pedicab, and the driver started talking. At first, he was asking for my personal information, but I didn’t want to be rude so I answered politely thinking he was just being friendly. The next thing I remembered, he was touching my upper knee. Immediately, I asked the driver to stop in the corner. He didn’t stop at first, but I acted like I was calling my dad; so he got scared and dropped me off.
I told my friends about this experience. One of them said, “curvy man gud ka nya pina-sexy pa jod imong mga outfit.”
“Why and how is my figure and my choice of fashion connected to being harassed?”
This kind of mindset is an infection of rape culture, and is prevalent in the society.
There are other instances where rape culture is endorsed. When people say promiscuous women get raped, promiscuous men are more acceptable in the society which is totally unfair. Worst case scenario is when we teach women how not to be raped. It is like telling a daughter to hide herself in a cabinet forever instead of teaching a son how to respect a girl.
Now my point is how do we combat rape culture? First, do not use sexist language that objectify and degrade women (such as “bitch”). Second, never let survivors think that it is their fault because it is not. Most importantly, do not let stereotypes shape your actions. If you haven’t offended anyone, then do your thing and be the best in it.
Wearing short skirts is not the problem; the problem is the wrong mindset. So let us stop acting like Tito Sotto and say, “she asked for it,” because NO SHE DID NOT ASK FOR IT.