As a thirty-something European woman, I have grown up to take it for granted that I have the right to autonomy over my body. I don’t think women are prey and men are predators by some natural law because men are just as evolved as women, and they aren’t governed by primeval impulses when they see a scantily dressed, drunk woman. I don’t accept victim blaming. The perpetrator is the one to blame, whether it’s about bullying, muggings or rape.
That’s why I was shocked when I read the post about Schrödinger’s Rapist.
Even though I take it for granted that I have the right to go where I please, dressed how I please, I still immediately recognise the Schrödinger’s Rapist mentality. When I’m out by myself at night, taking an evening walk in the forest or walking home from a pub, I continually assess the level of threat the men in the vicinity pose to me. If I’m on an isolated street and there’s a man walking behind me, I start planning escape routes. If it’s late at night and there’s a gang of hooded young men hanging out in the underpass, I begin to wonder if I had better take the longer route home to avoid getting too close to the hoodies.
That’s sad. Of course, taking such safety measures is a sign of good sense and a healthy instinct for self-preservation, but as long as women feel the need to take special precautions against getting raped, we have a problem. The solution to that problem is not blaming women and suggesting they should take even more precautions, because the victims are not the problem here. Rapists are.
- Guest Blogger Starling: Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced (yourinfolinc.wordpress.com)