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Rape Apology: The Stigma Explained

Rape apology is an umbrella term used to describe any argument that rape is overreported, misreported, not that big of a deal, infrequent, excusable, or the victim’s fault. When talking about rape apology, the word “apology” does not mean regret but rather defence, in fact rape apology is the opposite of expressing regret or remorse for the crime committed. The stigma(s) surrounding rape are all insensitive, hopelessly flawed, and lack any sympathy whatsoever for the victim.

   When proposing legislation or condemning rape rape apologist frequently only refer to “forcible” rape,this entirely excludes statutory rape, which is the entire reason that the the term “forcible” rape even exists. To rape apologists, if it was marital,committed with date-rape drugs, or nonviolent, it is somehow less important or not even considered rape at all. UK  Former Parliament Member George Galloway added his opinion on rape by saying “This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion”, when referencing Julian Assange’s sexual assault charges. According to Galloway’s statement, if the other person is asleep, it is not rape.

 Apparently when someone is dressing “provocatively” it is an invitation to be raped.This stigma/way of thinking is extremely ignorant and according to judges in Montana, Men’s Rights Activists, and lawyers in Texas if it is a young girl, she is a manipulating Lolita who dresses and acts older than her actual age.

  Unlike some of the other stigmas that surround rape, the “no means “yes” argument is less often backed by political figures, but nonetheless the idea that when a women says no she is actually saying yes is an extremely common argument used among rape apologists. This argument states that when someone is being standoffish and rejecting one’s sexual advances that they are just “playing hard to get” , and that even if they are saying no, they are just being timid or flirtatious.  The “no means yes” trope is often backed up or defended by pickup artist culture, which encourages guys to be as persistent as possible and not take no for an answer, no matter what. However softened, the “don’t take no for an answer” attitude is widely used in media, such as romantic comedy movies, to show that men are almost always the initiator of a relationship and that women are attracted to persistence and ultimately give in to his harassment-like behavior. This argument is very similar to the “If he really loves you, nothing can keep him away from you” that is commonly portrayed in fictional action movies where no matter what, upfront charisma overcomes all resistance.

  Those who oppose reproductive rights and marriage rights often overlap with rape apologists in the argument involving rape inside marriage or marital rape.The argument that by marrying someone you simultaneously consent to having sex at the demand of the other person is ridiculous. Just because two people choose to spend the rest of their lives together does not mean that they consent to whatever the other person demands or desires.

  This stigmatization of rape is one of the reasons that many victims of the crime don’t come forward with their stories. There are many other controversies and stigmas surrounding rape and it is worth noting that all of them are extremely harmful and effective in silencing rape victims. Rape is never the victim’s fault, regardless of their circumstances, what they were wearing, their relationship status or any other possible reason.

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