TW: sexual violence
Another woman has been attacked by someone she met on Tinder. The first response from police? Women shouldn’t meet Internet strangers if they don’t want to get raped.
@mizjwilliams has the right reaction:
Why is that controversial? Because well-meaning people think women should “keep themselves safe” by adopting “commonsense measures” like taking a friend with them on dates (really? Are these people not familiar with what a date is?). They say dressing modestly, drinking moderately, and keeping to well-lit areas are sensible precautions, like locking your car. You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked, would you? That would be just asking to have your possessions stolen. So a woman who doesn’t “keep herself safe” is just asking to be raped. Right?
No, numpty, of course that’s not right. A woman’s body is not an unlocked car. To equate assault on a human being with theft of property is, you know, dehumanising.
Why do we lock our cars? Because, as a society, we accept a certain level of petty theft as inevitable. Preventing theft entirely is expensive, both financially and in civil liberties; it would require more police, more surveillance cameras, more lighting. Also stronger deterrence – much harsher penalties for people caught stealing. And also eradication of poverty so that no one has an incentive to steal. Even then people might steal just for fun. We’d have to try to educate everyone that stealing is wrong. All to avoid the occasional theft of a trivial amount of property. It would be so costly that, on balance, we’d rather accept that theft is a part of society. We’d rather have to lock our cars.
Well-meaning people, do you accept that rape is a part of society? Is assault on a person so trivial that it isn’t worth the effort to prevent? Is it disproportionately expensive to make society safe for everyone? Is it just too hard to educate people that rape and assault are wrong?
You better answer those questions for yourself before the next sexual assault hits the media. Because, sure as daylight, you’re going to have another opportunity to ask why she was alone, why she was drunk, why she was meeting people on Tinder. Will you ask that again? Or will you ask why he was manipulative, why he was violent, why he thought that he had the right to treat a woman’s body like a piece of property?
Could it be that he thought that because he heard it from the police, the media, and all the well-meaning people who blamed the victim last time?