The Performance of Conformance: The Man’s Inclination to Rape
How women’s societal expectation is to act proper in order to assist men in NOT raping them… lol okay Society
Women are taught from a young age to sit properly and dress modestly. We are told this to make other people, men in particular, feel more comfortable. Unfortunately this did not save me from unwanted male attention; it did not really save any of us women. I grew up around mostly boys, I had three brothers, my dad, and all of their male friends. When I was about 10 years old my mom told me I could no longer wear tank tops or shorts anymore because they were too revealing and men did not know the difference whether or not I was grown, they just saw a developed body. I hated being told that I could not wear something, and honestly started having a bad view about my own body. If my body is putting me in so much danger because of the way it looks then it is ugly to me, and I don’t want it. I hated my breasts, my butt, my hips, all of me because it limited me and made me feel like I had no identity and my body was all I was and ever would be. However, I understand now that I am older that it was necessary to dress how my mother told me to because she was trying to protect me from unwanted male attention. But I also understand that just because it makes sense now why my mother told me what she did, it does not make it okay. Why are women forced to defend themselves constantly from men because they can’t control themselves? Our society is completely structured around making men feel comfortable, but women are not going to stand for it anymore.
I commend the women today who are fighting against the norms placed on our gender. Through different forms of protest women are trying to eliminate objectification, and empower women everywhere, which they are doing through the use of their bodies in their protests. It is common to hear people say that victims of sexual abuse were “asking for it” because they either looked/dressed a certain way, or were already sexually active. This is a view held by both men and women, and even women who have been sexually abused because, at least in my own experience, they feel that they are the reason that another person hurt them because they internalize their pain and and start to blame themselves as if they somehow provoked it. Unfortunately, because this has been such a common view of rape men have gotten away with horrendous crimes against us. The rape and molestation forced upon us by men have now resulted in women protesting such crimes by marching nearly nude with picket signs reading “I am still not asking for it”, among many other sayings. It is a statement that says it does not matter how I dress- consent is consent and if I have a low cut shirt that does not mean I am open for business. Unfortunately sexual abuse is an issue around the world, and for many places it is imminent with no chance of escape.
An example of the above stated imminent sexual assault are the 20 women in Aleppo, who, instead of living with the impending doom, committed suicide in order to avoid rape during war time. These women know, as many women can imagine, that during war time women are particularly susceptible to sexual assault due to the precarious state of their environment, where after being conquered women are seen as spoils of war. This is common in America particularly where there is a power system and dependents to these systems, such as law enforcement. When my mother was unjustly arrested and processed she was stripped and left naked while all the male guards were called in to look at her, which is not supposed to happen when women inmates are searched because a female guard is always supposed to be present. This abuse can be classified as a demonstration of power over women in both the Aleppo case and my mother’s case where men know they have the upper hand and take advantage of it. As if it was not already bad enough for some men to view us as “conquests”, we also have men that just treat us as even more objectifiable property with no voice. Personally I would rather be made a fool by choosing to have sex with a fuckboy, than become a victim of rape.
It is time for men to get uncomfortable and come to terms with their behaviors and the cop outs society has provided for them. They need to control their own bodies, and their crude views of the female body. It is our turn to feel beautiful physically, emotionally, and mentally, and not have to constantly protect ourselves from male advances.