Don’t ban rape porn- ban rape apologism!

Our government wants porn filters. Some feminists want to ban porn, especially “rape porn”. But what’s the point of getting rid of pornography if we don’t get rid of the real issue: rape culture? Rape apologism and victim blaming is rife in the media. Mainstream horror novels like Stephen King’s Carrie suggest that rape victims enjoy the rape (without pointing out that this is merely a biological response) or incite it; popular cartoons like Family Guy celebrate rapists (the character Glenn Quagmire) and even feminists give ‘advice’ to women and tell women how not to get raped instead of blaming the rapist. Let’s not get started on song lyrics, parenting books and the way news stories of sexual attacks are reported. Slut shaming is taught to children and young people by films, women’s magazines and so-called ‘progressive’ teen shows like Glee.

Rape culture is more dangerous than porn. It corrupts young people into thinking that rape is acceptable, that the victim wants it and that everybody does it. It teaches victims and survivors to feel shame and guilt, to blame themselves. The stereotypes may also make children and young people feel that if they aren’t completely shattered and traumatised by a sexual attack, they must have wanted it or it wasn’t rape.

This is especially damaging to young people and children who are confused and who aren’t receiving a good standard of sex education. Sure, some rapists are evil serial offenders who can’t change their spots and know exactly what they’re doing. But preteen and teen offenders may be simply confused. The heteronormativity, cisnormativity and vanilla-priveleging sex education in schools can mean that queer or kinky pupils aren’t aware that consent applies to their activities, too- or even that what they’re doing is sexual.

So imagine that a preteen or teen who has committed a sexual assault is reading a feminist column that blames victims for drinking or wearing revealing clothing. Even if s/he’s starting to feel guilty about the attack and wonder if s/he’s done something wrong, the article will reassure him or her that no, the victim was asking for it. What rape apologism tells rapists is that they shouldn’t regret their actions. It wasn’t your fault, she was drunk. Okay, you raped her- so what? She’s a slut anyway! Don’t feel bad, look at what she was wearing; she was totally asking for it. She was out late at night, what did she expect would happen? She agreed to be alone with you- she wanted it. She knew what she was doing. She’s an idiot. She’s been around the block, what difference does it make? She’s easy. She’s a slut. A whore…

Rape apologism encourages young, confused and misguided rapists to go on raping by providing excuses for them and misleading them to think that it’s acceptable. It provides a safe world for older, evil rapists to do anything they want while authorities and communities blame the victims. It stops victims of all genders from speaking up or reporting assaults because they think it’s their fault.It leads to people not believing sexual assault victims when they do report attacks. And it leads to tragic, sometimes fatal bullying of sexual assault victims of all genders. Rape culture tends to focus on blaming female victims of male attackers, but it’s likely that victim blaming affects male and genderqueer victims too, and trivialises sexual assaults perpetrated by people of all genders.

So don’t focus on the dangers of porn. Let’s ban rape apologism. It’s even more insidious when it’s feminists who are making the world safe for rapists. Feminists are meant to fight rape culture and stand with all women, stand up for all women. Worryingly, when men see that feminists are blaming victims too, it might encourage them to blame victims; after all it must be okay for men to victim blame if feminists are doing it! These are high profile feminists with platforms the rest of us can only dream of, and they use their priveleges to blame other women and bolster the patriarchy. These women aren’t feminists. They’re the real handmaidens of patriarchy. It’s not porn that corrupts our children, it’s people teaching them that it’s okay to commit rape, that they can’t help it because of their gender. It’s people telling them that it’s their fault they were raped and that they could’ve prevented it from happening any more than you can prevent being beaten up. It’s time to ban this sick filth.

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