Allison Pearson & Rape Culture

I storified my responses to Allison Pearson’s suggestion that feminists weren’t in the least bit interested in the sexual exploitation of young girls in Rotherham here.

The Met Has A Truly Original New Anti-Rape Campaign

Yep, they have a tots new campaign that has never, ever, ever been done before. One in which the Sapphire Unit, noted for its support of victims of rape and having no history of incompetence or malicious disregard for rape victims,* has come up with a brand, spanking new anti-rape campaign that has never been done before. Apparently, they are going to use licensing laws to close pubs and clubs where “high levels of rape and sexual assaults take place as part of a radical attempt to create a hostile environment for rapists.” Now, I’m sure this is a lovely new policy but 1) why haven’t they been doing this already? Surely that’s one of the reasons we have licensing laws? and 2) How will they define “high levels” considering the fact that the vast majority of rapes are never reported to the police because of their institutional disregard for the safety of women and their general policy on blaming women for being raped?**

But, this isn’t the best and original bit of the new anti-rape campaign. Nope, the big exciting bit is that it “will challenge male behaviour while attempting to speak to women about reducing their vulnerability to rape.” Because, obviously, there has never been a single rape campaign ever that has told women to stop getting raped. Possibly, the lovely Boys in Blue should have spent slightly more time looking at the new Scottish anti-rape campaign called We Can Stop It because it targets rapists. It doesn’t blame women for being raped. It blames rapists.

Women don’t need to reduce their vulnerability. The only thing that makes women vulnerable to rape is being in the presence of a rapist.

The “professionals” in the Sapphire Unit might want to visit these campaigns by Rape Crisis Scotland: This is not an invitation to rape me and Not Ever. And, stop perpetrating rape myths since this is precisely why reports of rape are down in London. It’s because women don’t trust them. 

Targeting pubs and clubs is a good idea. Targeting men and making other men responsible for policing the behaviour of their friends is a good idea. Telling women what to do to avoid rape is just the same old victim-blaming behaviour and it just shows how little the Sapphire unit has learned from the sheer number of deliberate and malicious “mistakes” their members have made over the years which resulted in an untold number of women being raped by men who should have been in jail.

*You know, if you don’t count the monumental fuck-ups of the John Worboys case or the dude who got sacked for deliberately screwing up. The Met seems to be glossing over these minor hiccups so probably we should too. Or, something.

** Obviously, I am being facetious here but I thought I’d just double check because according to Rape Crisis Scotland a not-very-large number of people didn’t get that this was ironic.