If someone threatens to physically harm another man most people accept that the statement has crossed the line from bad communication to being a terroristic threat. Threatening to do an act is a warning sign that the person issuing the threat is capable of justifying real physical violence.
If a student posts a hit list, that is now being taken as a serious warning sign and that person gets investigated. So why do so many threats of rape get treated as if they are nothing and why do those who threaten rape not get investigated and treated with the same seriousness as those who make other violent threats?
Instead it seems that when someone gets these types of threats, they are silenced right along with those who threaten to rape them. That sends the message that there is no significant difference between the two groups. It also rewards those who threaten to rape girls and women who say things they don't want to hear.
Rewarding those who use rape threats is never a good thing.
Telling girls and women not to make men mad enough to threaten rape unfairly shifts the responsibility from the perpetrator of a threat to the victims. It also reinforces the idea that some girls and women deserve to be raped.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism