Rape Culture is Yours and Mine

“Prudence and Preventative Measures”

Macdonald believes that women need to be told not to “drink [themselves] blatto and get in bed with a guy and take their clothes off.” She wonders why women aren’t being cautioned to modify their behaviour if sexual assault is such a prevalent threat. Macdonald repeatedly says that if sexual assault were a problem on college campuses, there would be precautions in place, that is, if parents would even send their girls out into the world for an education anymore.

But the message has seemingly always been to women to drink less or stop altogether, avoid walking alone at night, and to stop wearing immodest clothing, among other sage advice. Even Translink buses urge students to use Safewalk as an escort to their destinations”. That there is a safe travel alternative on campus doesn’t prove rape culture at large, though it does acknowledge statistics that Macdonald won’t.

What it does prove, however, is that we are already putting the onus on women to keep safe. It shouldn’t have to be this way. Why would it be outrageous for buses to deliver the message that “sexual assault of any kind will not be tolerated on this campus,” or, “no one can legally consent to sexual activity when intoxicated”?