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Letter to the Editor

April 12, 2013

Response to the April 5 ‘Meat is murder’ editorial

Let’s say, as a car owner, I park my car on a public street. I then get out of the car with my key still in the ignition and leave the doors open. An individual is walking by and notices my key still in the ignition. This person wasn’t inclined to steal the car, but, begins thinking about my lack of responsibility. That is when they see the doors are not locked either. They think to themselves, ‘Well, this isn’t stealing since they left the door open and the key in the ignition.’ The individual jumps in the car, turns the key and goes for a joy ride with my car.

Is this a crime? You better believe it; it is still stealing, but my insurance will not cover damages because of my negligence. Your body is the most important personal property you have. So, when we begin to talk about the issue of rape, there are very real issues that need to be addressed. However, these issues become clouded when assertions are added which only work theoretically in a bubble. Instead of raising awareness and making it easier for victims to report rape, some on this campus want to engage in a women’s liberation bra burning party. Should women be able to wear whatever they want, flirt as much as they want, drink as much as they want or have sexual relations with whomever they want? Sure, but just like everything in life, there are consequences to your actions, intended or not intended.

I want to make it clear this does not mean that anyone “begs, asks or wants” to be raped or more important should be raped. It does mean though that an individual through their actions can enable a perpetrator to have easier access to commit crime. If you choose to get drunk out of your mind, in mixed company (or not for homosexuals), dress provocatively and have been flirtatious, then the probability of something bad happening to you increases. This is because we don’t live in the individual bubble but in the midst of a social setting. To use the earlier illustration, in a bubble or in the little town I lived in growing up, the action of leaving a car unsecured presented no real threat. However, in a more populous area or in an area known for crime, that danger significantly increases.

To make statements like “It is not his or her fault they got that drunk,” are simply foolish, unless, of course, someone was holding them down making them drink. There is only one person out there who provides the best form of protection for an individual in this situation. That individual is his or her self. By being conscious of situations which compromise one’s personal security, one can minimalize the risk to their own self.

This applies to all people regardless of gender and in more situations than just rape. While it is not the victim’s fault that he or she was attacked, they can either enhance or minimalize the possibility of being attacked through their actions. It would be my hope that everyone both men and women on this campus would learn moderation in all things. Also, any person who is assaulted by someone else—regardless of circumstances—would quickly find help and go to the police. As I stated earlier, rape or anything of the like is still a crime and those who are guilty of it should be accountable.

Elisha French
Contributing Writer

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4 Responses to Letter to the Editor

  1. Bev Krueger

    April 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

    You fail to remember that there are women who are being raped day in and day out who are not putting themselves into any of these “bad situations” that you are discussing above. Most women who are victims of sexual assault are raped by people they know. In addition to that clothing is not even an issue. There are women who were burkas (the traditional Islamic garb) that are raped everyday, is that to say that burkas are provocative when there is absolutely no skin showing? And finally there are many women who are raped who do not have a drop of alcohol in their bodies are the time While yes, actions do have consequences, these actions do not necessarily put women at a higher chance of being raped the evidence is located in crime reports and statistics

  2. Katie Struck

    April 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Let’s say this together: “The only person to blame for rape is the rapist.” I marched in the Slut Walk carrying a poster that, “Blame Rapists Not Victims. End Rape Culture!” I carried this poster because I know that people do not do things that bring rape on them. Rapists rape people, and they are the ones to blame for these actions. It does not matter what people wear, drink, or how much they flirt, no one brings rape upon themselves. Also, to compare being raped after drinking to someone’s car being broken into and being taken for a joy ride is insulting on so many levels. My body is not a car. It’s not property for anyone to use. My body deserves and demands respect no matter what what I am wearing or drinking. Instead of teaching people to take protective measures against rape, we need people to be taught not to rape. Even if you do not drink, you dress modestly, and you never flirt with anyone, rape is still possible. Let’s address the real issue and educate people on how not to rape rather than furthering rape culture.

  3. Dana Pfeiff

    April 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I don’t think that it’s fair to categorize rape and stealing a car in the same group. However, I am a rape survivor. I think that it is easily forgotten that not all rape is provoked by the way someone dresses or alcohol intake. For example, when I was assaulted I was exercising with someone who was supposed to be my friend, like we did every Monday and Thursday. I was wearing my usual sweatpants and work out shirt, nothing flattering. No alcohol involved, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m highly against alcohol in the first place. I am a lesbian. So I guess my point is, did my actions and the way I dressed lead to my own rape? Did I “leave my car doors open and the key in the ignition”? Did I deserve my consequences for working out with my so called “friend”? I don’t believe so. No one asks for rape. Not if they dress a certain way, or drink to much, or even flirt to much. No one deserves rape. My mom was sexually harassed from 3 years old till she was 18. Did she as you say “leave the car open”? Did my mom and I have “negligence”? No, because rape is never the victims fault.

  4. Elisha French

    April 20, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I am going to quickly answer what I can as I finally saw these comments a week later.
    Bev, I was specifically addressing the “grey” rape scenario poised in the “Meat is Murder” op-ed. Obviously, there is rape that doesn’t fit into that so the alcohol consumption, compromising situation, etc. doesn’t at all factor into preventing it.
    Katie, there is no blame towards the victim which I repeatedly said in the column. The point is prevention not assigning blame once the crime has occurred. Once it has occurred the rapist is guilty and them alone. When talking in terms of prevention at that point there is no victim or perpetrator because there has been no crime committed so, there can’t be blame for something that hasn’t happened.
    Dana, I just want to say that I am sorry that someone violated you and your trust. I wasn’t at all dealing with this kind of rape, only the “grey” rape as stipulated in the “Meat is Murder” editorial. Also, the beginning part of the letter was more of a parable than a direct comparison or even a metaphor. It’s simple point was that there are things we can do to enable or hinder a criminal. In your case this doesn’t apply. So, to answer your question, no there is nothing you did, or your mother did, or my sister did, or my mother in law did which gave the criminals any right to do what they did.