The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

A New Kind Of Victim Blaming.

Let’s compare and contrast two paragraphs, shall we?

A generation ago, it was easier for men and women to understand what constituted rape because the social rules were clearer. Men were supposed to be the ones coming on to women, and women were said to be looking for relationships, not casual sex. But those boundaries and rules have been loosening up for decades, and now lots of women feel it’s perfectly okay to go out looking for a hookup or to be the aggressor, which may turn out fine for them — unless the signals get mixed or misread.


Later, she started working on a documentary about rape and, in the process of interviewing rape victims, discovered that a lot of them felt they had contributed somewhat to what happened. Because they thought they were (or should be) in control of their bodies and desires, says Shari, “they’d say things like ‘I should have done this’ or ‘I shouldn’t have been in that situation.’ But they’d also say, ‘If the guy had had respect for me, he would have backed off.’

Yeah, Cosmo, can you see why a rape victim might blame herself? Because not two sentences ago, YOU SAID IT WAS THEIR OWN FUCKING FAULT. No, really, that’s what you said.

There is no such thing as “Gray Rape”. There’s rape, and that’s it. Yes, there might be mitigating circumstances, but as soon as someone has sex with someone who hasn’t consented, it’s rape.

And look, we get a whole lot of the old kind of Victim Blaming too – What About Teh Menz! If she regrets it, she’ll say it was rape! Page Four: “This makes them more vulnerable to guys who are pushing for sex.”

Because don’t forget, as a woman, as part of the weaker sex – you’re vulnerable. You can’t expect those guys not  to rape you, because you’re such easy game.

“We all have vulnerabilities, and we all can be taken advantage of,” says Ludwig. “Though you’re successful at school, sports, whatever, you must see yourself — as a woman — as vulnerable. If you don’t, you’re at greater risk.”

And finally.

Under the law, a guy has to get a clear verbal or nonverbal yes from you to have sex. Just because you consent to one sexual activity (making out, even with few clothes on) does not mean you have given permission for any other. Also, silence doesn’t always equal consent, nor does being too drunk to know what you’re doing.

Yeah, it’s a shame every other word of this article gives lie to this statement. Fuck You, Cosmo. Seriously.

6 responses to “A New Kind Of Victim Blaming.

  1. Emma August 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    This is really weird. Because their basic premise seems to be, “If women are open about wanting sex, that makes it harder for men to tell if they want sex.” Which is… I need a bigger word than “bullshit”. The whole thing is just fucking _creepy_.

    • tallulahspankhead August 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      One of the really (minor) offensive things, is if you look at the URL, you can see it’s been filed under Sex/Tips and Tricks/Moves.

      Says a lot about what they think about the problem of rape over there at Cosmo.

    • Moz August 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Also, the whole “a generation ago it was easier to tell what constituted rape”… yeah, because we had defined rape so tightly that mere lack of consent was not enough. And defined “asking for it” so broadly that it’s almost surprising that any rapes were recorded at all. But wait, that’s what actually happened. Arrrgh!

  2. Good Gravey August 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Ah hang on – “silence doesn’t always equal consent”?? Try never. Just such utter shit.

    And I know it is Cosmo, but serious cis-gendered failure. “a guy has to get a clear verbal or nonverbal yes from you”.

    Moz – well said.

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