If people watch this video and don't accept that the situation in the film is rape, then their attitudes contribute to the pervasiveness of rape. Some will call what's shown a simple misunderstanding, others will say that the film cuts away too soon to make a determination about whether the sex was consensual (maybe she caved in), still others will say the boy/man shown didn't intend harm so it can't be real rape.
To snuff out rape, we all must adopt a no-tolerance policy toward sexually exploitive behavior or any interaction where anyone involved could view the interaction as unwanted, exploitive or abusive.
To put all responsibility for stopping rape on victims or potential victims is to give unidentified perpetrators permission to think only of themselves and what they want. It tells them that setting limits on their behavior isn't their responsibility.
It sets up otherwise law abiding people, mostly boys and men, for a rude awakening when they are confronted by the authorities.
Those who reject the possibility of rape increase the danger of rape in three ways.
- Because they could commit rape due to their unwillingness to understand how the interection feels to the other person.
- Because they will deny the reality of rape from the victim's perspective.
- Because they will help keep rape-friendly habits alive and unwell by excusing harmful behavior.
For those who think the male student's behavior in the video isn't something worth making a fuss over and shouldn't result in disciplinary action or criminal charges, then it shouldn't be a big deal for people like him to stop behaving like that.
They should just say no to committing acts that have the potential to traumatize others.
Rape prevention that puts all responsibility on potential victims only deflects or defers rape since the behavior that leads to rape will be repeated at another time and on other potential rape victims.
Rape is caused by the rapist so the best prevention focuses on changing the behavior which leads someone to rape.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism