Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Are you having a good day? Feeling pretty good about the world? If so don't read Amnesty's report on British attitudes towards rape (or my post about it), because it is, as you would expect, really, really depressing.

Amnesty asked 1,000 people about what level of responsibility they believed a woman had for being raped when the woman was in a number of different situations. Here are the results:
8% of people believed that women are wholly responsible for being raped if they are known to have many sexual partners. A full third believed women are at least partially responsible for being raped if they flirt. 17% of women and 22% of men believed women are partially responsible for being raped if they wear sexy or revealing clothing. More than a fifth of people believed that a woman is partially or wholly responsible for being raped if she walks in a dangerous area.

This all makes me feel sick, and unsafe. I find the idea of anyone, but particularly a man, thinks that women are ever even a tiny bit responsible for being raped absolutely terrifying.

But the bit that made me most sad was that if a woman doesn't say no clearly enough 37% of people believed that she was in some way responsible for being raped. Those are the options, you say no, or you don't say no.

Why don't women get to say yes? Why don't men wait until they hear yes? Why would you want to have sex with someone when they didn't actively want to have sex with you?

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