#BookishSpinsters | “Is it ever a woman’s fault…”

Today I am here with my incredibly belated first post for Bookish Spinsters! Bookish Spinsters was created by Joanne at OnceUponABookCase where every week a different feminist topic is chosen to be discussed! The posts actually go up on Fridays but as this is my first one I really wanted to get this one right.

For more info on Bookish Spinsters you can find it HERE!

I should note, that my post today talks about rape and sexual assault. I hope I’ve done a somewhat ok job being respectful but if you feel you may be triggered then don’t read this post!

“Is it ever a woman’s fault if she is raped?”

The fact that this was an actual poll on actual lunchtime TV says enough. And with questions, answers follow. A roundtable of middle aged women thinking they have the ultimate cure for younger women to prevent them from being raped. You know, like tights, trousers and non-alcoholic drinks.

How about instead of victim blaming, people start blaming the person that did the actual raping?

I recently read Louise O’Neill’s ‘Asking For It’* where a major part of the narrative is how quick rape cases can spread from a small town to major news outlets through use of social media. Therefore, everyone feels they are entitled to have an opinion on how much someone has to drink or what they choose to wear. The novel follows Emma before and after the event and it broke my heart. Okay fair enough, Emma wasn’t a particularly nice person but it doesn’t mean she deserved to be taken advantage of. Especially in a scenario like this with photographic proof and yet people still have the nerve to say she was “Asking For It.”

The whole consent talk is one that is very much needed and should start in schools. Sex education was simply telling kids how to avoid getting pregnant and how to put a condom on a banana. Apparently it’s not common sense that sex is one thing and rape is another. There’s no such thing as “consensual sex” and “non-consensual sex”. There is no grey area.

I recently overheard a relative discussing how a woman fought off an attacker by spraying deodorant spray in their attacker’s eyes. After recounting the story, my relative then turned to me and said “you should keep one on you, just in case.” At this point my face must have formed into the shape it does when I’m armed with a million words and ready for battle. Because just before I opened my mouth they then responded with “oh no, I’m not being horrible but…”

There is no but.

I am a human being, not an object. It’s really not right that when I walk down the street I feel I have to keep looking round to make sure I’m not being followed. And it’s downright awful that victims of rape to have their lives ruined because someone refused to listen to the word “no.”



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