A viral post by Alice Brine points out why victim blaming is never okay
When someone gets sexually assaulted, too often we ask all the wrong questions: Were you drinking? What were you wearing? Did you yell for help? It’s called victim blaming, and it’s a way of painting survivors as “asking for” their own attacks. It’s also a whole bunch of bullshit, and that’s why one comedian just posted this brilliant, viral takedown of all the ways we try to blame people for their own sexual assaults.
“I’m gunna [sic] start going home with random, very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit,” comedian Alice Brine wrote as a clap-back to people who who say victims who drink are asking to be assaulted. “Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better.”
Pointing to the abysmal rate of conviction in sexual assault cases — an analysis by RAINN shows 97 out of 100 rapists receive no punishment — she continued, “I’ll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I’ll argue that I wasn’t sure if he meant it when he said ‘no don’t steal my Audi.’ I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. I said ‘Can I please steal your Gucci watch?’ He said ‘no’ but I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. He was drunk. He brought this on himself.”
Brine then switched gears and skewered the problem of people blaming rape on what a victim was wearing. “You should have seen how he was dressed at the club, expensive shirts and shoes. What kind of message is he sending with that!? I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit. He was asking for it,” she wrote.
Finally, she obliterated the argument that there’s any kind of ambiguity when it comes to a lack of consent. “When he said ‘no’ to me taking everything he owned I just didn’t know if he meant it,” she said. “‘No’ isn’t objective enough, it could mean anything.”
Since her post went up, it’s been shared more than 65,000 times and has over 146,000 likes. The vast majority of the comments are full of praise and support but, of course, there are still some idiots who just don’t get it, even with Brine’s masterful analogies. “We’re all adults,” wrote one commenter. “If they had bad judgement about you and they got too drunk with a stranger, fuck yes it’s their fault if their shit gets stolen. Everyone is responsible for themselves, everyone makes decisions.”
But, here’s the thing: when you take that view of sexual assault, you are not holding the attackers responsible for their own actions. You are placing blame on the victim — what they said, did, or wore — rather than the person who made the decision to attack them. It shouldn’t need to be said, but sexual assault is always the perpetrator’s fault. Always. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s not up to the rest of the world to keep someone from being a rapist, and maybe if we’d realize that, we could finally stop blaming victims and start treating rapists like the criminals they are.
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