Rape Culture is Yours and Mine

The Perfect Rape Narrative

In the same breath that she condemns women for putting themselves in danger, she worries for the wellbeing of men who carry out sexual violence while under the influence of alcohol. She seems to believe that most sexual assaults are because men have been implicated in what she would call “ambiguous situations”.

When referring to these so-called ambiguous situations she actually says, “the issue should not be about who is at fault.”

Macdonald is clear about this: when it comes to prosecuting someone who has perpetrated a sexual assault, there is nuance to consider; when we are discussing a woman’s role as the victim of a crime, unless she was attacked by a stranger in an alley at 3:00pm, she is an accomplice.

She goes further to cite the fact that many sexual assault victims eventually engage in sexual activity with their aggressor again as evidence that the initial rape could never have been a rape. But the facts are difficult truths to swallow: 70% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knew, almost half occur while on a date, and 80% take place in the victim’s home.

There, too, was a time when it was believed that a husband could not rape a wife simply by virtue of being a husband.