It’s infuriating when we hear it:
“Can you blame him? Men have natural urges.”
“Did you say no? Did you even try to fight him off?”
“What were you expecting to happen?”
“You were giving a lot of mixed signals.”
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) states that for every 6 American women, 1 has been the victim of rape or attempted rape. Few of those rapes ever get reported. Why? Because even fewer reports result in charges and only 6 rapists out of 1,000 will be incarcerated.
And a major issue with how we treat sexual assault and rape victims is society’s tendency to blame them for the crimes committed against them. You know rather than support them through their trauma, and help them seek justice.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s It’s On Us organization strives to engage everyone — students, companies, communities, parents, everyone — in the conversation and fight to end sexual assault, and it recently partnered with 101-North Marketing to release PSAs showing how illogical victim blaming really is.
One video shows a man working in a hardware store next to a display of toilets. A woman who clearly has some business to take care of scurries over and looks *ahem* relieved as she sits on the toilet while the man’s back is turned. When he notices her popping a squat and scrolling on her phone behind him, he’s rightfully horrified, and when he asks her what she’s doing, she starts ranting about “biological urges” and how he is flaunting everything he has out in the open. She finally storms off, but not before yelling at him about getting his “signals straight.”
I’d say to stop me if you’ve heard this one, but this would be a weird place to just stop an article.
The other two videos in the series feature more stereotypical victim blaming in settings that perfectly showcase how stupid and awful the practice is. One involves two women getting handsy with a sculpture in a museum while giggling at a security guard who is telling them no when they know he means yes. The other has a woman digging into a wedding cake while admonishing the baker for making the cake look so good if he didn’t want her to eat it. All three examples shouldn’t need to even exist, yet here we are.
Each video closes out with the message “This is the logic used to excuse sexual assault. Not very logical, is it?”
No. It isn’t.