Ironically, one of the most ignorant posts I’ve read in recent weeks appeared on a blog that goes by the name of “Very Smart Brothas.”
In an astoundingly insensitive article, aptly titled “Rape Responsibility — And The Fine Line Between Victim-Blaming and Common Sense”, The Champ, a blogger on the site, decided to tackle the subject of rape and why women, in fact, do hold some responsibility for sexual assaults against their person.
He found his inspiration from a post written by writer Zerlina Maxwell for Ebony.com titled, “Stop Telling Women How to Not Get Raped.”
In Maxwell’s article, she brilliantly states why society’s misdirected venom towards “unladylike” women is endangering potential victims:
“Our community, much like society-at-large, needs a paradigm shift as it relates to our sexual assault prevention efforts. For so long all of our energy has been directed at women, teaching them to be more “ladylike” and to not be “promiscuous” to not drink too much or to not wear a skirt. Newsflash: men don’t decide to become rapists because they spot a woman dressed like a video vixen or because a girl has been sexually assertive.”
Even though The Champ agrees that statistics revealing that 1 in 5 women will become victims of a completed or attempted rape in their lifetime are horrific, he draws the line at agreeing that men, and men alone, are responsible for women being violated, stating that women should employ a modicum of common sense when dealing with their baser male counterparts:
“Why can’t both genders be educated on how to act responsibility around each other? What’s stopping us from steadfastly instilling “No always means no!” in the minds of all men and boys and educating women how not to put themselves in certain situations? Of course men shouldn’t attempt to have sex with a woman who’s too drunk to say no, but what’s wrong with reminding women that if you’re 5’1 and 110 pounds, it’s probably not the best idea to take eight shots of Patron while on the first, second, or thirteenth date? Yes, sober women definitely get raped too, but being sober and aware does decrease the likelihood that harm may come your way, and that’s true for each gender.
“It seems as if the considerable push back again victim-blaming has pushed all the way past prudence and levelheadedness, making anyone who suggests that “women can actually be taught how to behave too” insensitive or a “rape enabler.” And, while the sentiment in Maxwell’s article suggests that victim-blaming is dangerous, I think it’s even more dangerous to neglect to remind young women that, while it’s never their fault if they happen to get sexually assaulted, they shouldn’t thumb their noses to common sense either.”
And this is where the waters get treacherous.