Not long after “legitimate rape” Todd Akin (as Sarah referred to him in an earlier piece), we are again experiencing rape culture and victim blaming. This time, Rep. Roger Rivard supported rape culture and victim blaming by saying that “some girls rape easy.”
According to the Journal Sentinel, Rivard stated that consensual sex can easily turn into rape after the fact – for instance, if the girl changes her mind after becoming pregnant. He said that this was advice given to him by his father when he was young.
Rivard later said he was misquoted and offered this explanation:
“Sexual assault is a crime that unfortunately is misunderstood and my comments have the potential to be misunderstood as well. Rape is a horrible act of violence. Sexual assault unfortunately often goes unreported to police. I have four daughters and three granddaughters and I understand the importance of making sure that awareness of this crime is taken very seriously.”
Well, this makes things so much better. Sexual assault is misunderstood. What does that mean? How is it misunderstood? A misunderstanding can be defined as wrongly understanding something, or not giving sympathetic understanding to an issue. Is that what Rivard actually believes in regards to sexual assault?
It is horrible that Rivard’s daddy taught him that girls lie and change their mind after sex, and it really says a whole lot about what young boys are being taught about sex and women. Also, men who think this way should reflect about why they are being accused of rape. If you behave in a way that is nonconsensual (for example, by using force or aggression), you have a problem. No person is entitled to sex if the other person does not agree. Just because you are in a relationship with someone, have casual sex with a person, or go home with another person, does not mean that you are entitled to have sex with that person. If you behave as if sex is your right, rather than a privilege shared with you by another person, then you have a problem.
Lately we have been hearing a lot about rape culture — from Akin to Daniel Tosh — and how we are “making a big deal” about comments that were not meant to sound like they did. We could not disagree more. Anytime a comment is made that blames the victim or minimizes the act of rape, we are in the midst of a rape culture.
Photo of banner that reads “Smash Rape Culture” shared by Flickr user JamesReaFotos under a creative commons license.