with author Charlie Capen
whose fault is rape?
The pundits are busily mincing Steubenville’s rape case into semi-digestible morsels and stirring the conversation caldron into a bubbling mess. Rather than take this case head-on and add to the scrum, I want to say my peace as someone who is not unfamiliar to the land of abuse and inappropriate conduct. We all are. Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. So, if you thought you were just a bystander, think again.
Through all the talk and debate and argument, I keep trying to answer this question for myself in a way that leaves me satisfied with myself. There’s something missing.
Whose fault is rape?
I think I’ve finally settled on an answer that, at the very least, gives me a solution. Something I can do.
I’ve decided it is my duty to watch out for those who could be victimized -- and those who would victimize. Something must be done, and it starts with me, as a man, demonstrating to other men that I will not tolerate behavior that ill-befits one.
There is so much more to be done about the pain and suffering of people who’ve been forced to confront this cruel, silent darkness. But we have to plug the holes in our humanity. The first step to feeling like I’m doing something constructive is in widening the surface area of my responsibility, standing by the victims and saying enough is enough.
We should, as men, be obligated to act and self-correct. Imagine if a man made sure women made it home safely instead of letting them fall prey? Imagine if a man, sensing someone else was in trouble, acted without request. Imagine if men empowered women to be strong, confident and in control. Imagine if men, and by that I mean the myopic arbiters society, gave women the legal and financial power to control their destinies as never before.
Men guilty of rape are responsible for rape. It’s that simple. But it goes further. Men are also responsible for their conduct and the culture, in and amongst men, which would allow or condone rape to be acceptable or possible.
Whose fault is rape? The rapist and anyone who acts as an accessory to rape by doing nothing. That’s who.
Resourceful Mommy: This Is About Violence