It’s 2018 and we still haven’t progressed from the idea that rape has something to do with a woman’s clothing. We’re still teaching girls and women that they won’t get raped IF they go by some unwritten and unspoken “street rules”.
Recently, a “how to prevent rape” material from Angono police drew flak for promoting rape culture and victim-blaming. It lists down 10 reminders on how people (women in particular) can prevent and avoid rape. This include: Do not text or meet someone you don’t know well, Don’t wear short clothing, Don’t drink alcohol when going on a date or leave your drinks unattended, and preventive measures such as learning self-defense, bringing tear gas or pepper spray, screaming for help, and seeking the help of the police.
Of course, this didn’t sit well with a lot of people—women in particular, because ya’know, majority or rape and sexual harassment victims are women. This outdated mindset has become so ridiculous that the “Dekada ’70” and “Bata, Bata, Paano ka Ginawa?” author provided her own version of Angono police’s reminders.
This has to stop now. And the thing is, it’s not so hard to prevent rape. In fact, we’ve listed 10 easy ways we can end rape.
1. Do not rape.
Yes, it’s as simple as that. No one would get raped if no one will rape.
2. Don’t be a rapist.
Rape exists because there are rapists. There are victims because there are perpetrators. It’s a crime because it’s a form of sexual assault that goes against someone’s will. With that said, being a rapist makes you a criminal. As a criminal, you deserve some jail time—a lifetime of it, actually.
Now, if you’re wondering “how do I not become a rapist”, with your face looking like that thinking/wondering emoji , just go back to item number one.
Let’s keep it simple, sex without consent is rape. Sexually forcing yourself onto someone is rape. Using your authority, physical force, or coercion to have sex with someone, is rape. Doing it against the will of someone who is incapable of giving consent like those who are unconscious, intoxicated, mentally or intellectually unfit, and those who are not of legal age, is rape. Sex without explicit consent will ALWAYS be rape.
Learn how to keep your “thing” inside your pants when nobody is clearly asking for it and please, see the first item on this list.
4. Don’t ever think that a woman’s “provocative” clothing is an invitation for sex.
Rape existed long before short skirts and plunging necklines were invented. Stop thinking that a woman’s cleavage is telling you to “go for it!” or their bare legs “asked for it anyway”. A woman’s bare body is not a meat for you to devour because you see it available in front of you—making you want to take a piece of. They wear short skirts not because they want you to crave for them and get your uninvited touch. They wear it because they should be able wear whatever the hell they want and have the rights to be respected with whatever clothing they put on.
Little girls were raised to conform to society’s standards of how a woman should be: prim and proper, feminine, and dressed “appropriately”. Daughters were prohibited to do things sons were openly allowed to like staying late outside or even sitting with their legs wide apart.
Growing up, girls were taught that nothing bad will happen to them only if they were careful enough and would go by the rules laid out for them their whole lives. “Hindi ka mababastos, kung hindi ka magpapabastos.” It’s as if the bad things that happen to women are caused by their choices and actions instead of those who did it to them.
“Kasi babae ka,” (because you’re a woman) they would always say. Generation after generation, we were made to accept that that’s just how it is.
Imagine what would happen if instead of teaching girls to be careful, parents would just simply teach boys to respect women at all times. That whatever they’re wearing, they don’t have the license to harass or rape women. Instead of celebrating “boys will be boys,” teach them that boys will be held accountable for their actions.
Raise a man, not a future rapist. If you want to help end rape, go back to number one and tell that to your kids.
6. Don’t use alcohol (or intoxication) as an excuse for rape.
If you can’t handle your booze, then just take a snooze. If you know that alcohol (or drugs) bring out the demon a.k.a the rapist in you, then don’t do it. You can’t be a rapist if you have no intentions of doing it, period. Stop blaming alcohol or using it as an excuse and start taking responsibility for your actions.
People won’t need to learn self-defense and carry these preventive measures if they don’t have someone to use it to. Instead of requiring women to always be on guard, teach men not to be a creep and help eradicate the need for women to protect themselves by not harassing or raping women. There won’t be any rape or assault victims if there are no rapists and assaulters.
Remember, people won’t have to be this cautious if everyone knows the first thing listed on this article by heart.
8. Let people walk safely alone.
Our parents and families would tell us stories of what happens when a woman walks alone at night so we grew up knowing that we always have to protect ourselves—for our own good. Victims were often blamed for what happened to them because people think that it’s because “they weren’t careful enough”.
But the truth is: sexual assault, harassment, and rape can happen anywhere, anytime. It happens in the middle of the night or even in broad daylight. It can happen in dark streets, or sometimes, even at home.
To end or prevent rape, provide safe spaces for people to walk freely and don’t rape, harass, or assault anyone. Be the better person and heed the first advice in this article.
9. Don’t ever date someone with the intention of raping them.
A meet-up does not always equate to a hook up. Sure, things can spice up a little bit during dates. But if someone says “No,” it means NO. Forcing yourself onto someone while you’re on a date or even when you’re in some sort of romantic relationship with someone is called a “date rape”. Going down to your place doesn’t always mean going down on you or agreeing to have sex with you.
Again, sex without explicit consent will always be rape. If you need a reminder on how not end up as a rapist after your date, check out the first number.
10. Do not, under any circumstances, try to rape someone.
According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, two women are reportedly harassed every day in Manila alone. Yearly, we see a number of alarming statistics and this doesn’t even include the unreported cases—those who remained silent or were silenced by their abusers.
Rape and other sexual crimes are never something anyone “asks for”. No one ever goes out thinking “it’s a good day get raped!” Nobody ever dresses up thinking that it’s a rape-worthy fashion. None of the victims were ever too careless and too unaware to protect themselves.
Rape never happens because of what you’re wearing. It happens even if you’re careful or not. It happens even if you listened to your parents or not. It happens because there are rapists. It happens because some people continue to treat it as an option when someone tells them “No.”
Nothing will ever justify or rationalize rape. It will only end if people won’t rape other people. There would be no rape, no rapists, no victims.
And for the love of god, if this isn’t clear as a freaking day to you yet, GO BACK TO NUMBER ONE.