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So, I'm taking a Persuasive Speech class, and it's only the second day and it's going to kick my BUTT. Because in this second day of class, we have to present a two to three minute long speech on some current event. So, because I actually finally DID the damn thing (at 11pm the night before, go me), and because I'm clocking in at about 2:30 (right on schedule, cause I'm AMAZING like that), and because it's SLIGHTLY more interesting than Maths, I present it to you.

Um... may be slightly triggering? It's about Blaming The Victim in cases of rape and harassment. And how it demeans everyone to buy into that mentality (hey! There's that word I was looking for earlier! Now that it's not important to the speech, of course).

In 2002 a 16 year old British girl was raped, and then asked to hold up her underwear in court. This was to prove that some how, by wearing “sexy” underwear, that she was asking for it. While this may be an excuse, it is never actually the reason for an attack, and by buying into it, it demeans everyone. Most people know that blaming the (typically female) victim is terrible, but it neglects the fact that by blaming the victim, they are in fact saying that the person who attacked them could not help themselves.

Let's start with the obvious, that this is demeaning to women. We've all heard about how people and courts can “blame the victim”, especially in cases of harassment and rape. It's still makes the news occasionally, and each time it's presented as a shock- SHOCK – that such a thing still happens “in this day and age”. It's usually presented as a woman's clothes were too short or too tight or too something, saying basically that a woman should not only be ashamed of her body, but that she has no right to wear what she wants, when she wants. It makes her into nothing more than her body, that it doesn't matter if she says no or fights, if she dressed a certain way, it makes her free game. Because, basically, she's attractive, and someone said so. We typically get why this is demeaning to women, but no one seems to get that it's not quite the same but still demeaning towards men.

By saying that it's the victim's fault, you're somehow saying that the person that attacked them, usually male and female respectively in these cases, was too weak to help himself. Basically that they had no will power or strength to keep themselves in check. At that time, this normally sane and upstanding citizen was somehow overtaken by a bizarre animal lust that overpowered his typical intelligence... all brought on by a short skirt, a tight shirt, or a glimpse of thong. But if that's the case, then why isn't every man a rapist? How do literally billions of men make it through each day without forcing themselves on someone who doesn't want them?

On Sunday, there will be a SlutWalk in Toronto, in which women are expected to show up dressed... however they want to. Because the person that might attack them might use their attire as an excuse, but it's never actually the reason. And saying so just demeans everyone.

This was inspired by ONTD_Political, and this article. It felt very weird to be going through ONTD (and _P) and FARK, looking for inspiration for school. Very, very weird.


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