There Is No Asking For It

no-means-No“She was asking for it.”

I thought we were over this idiocy, America. I thought we’d moved on from the old thinking that if a girl acts “slutty” or “wild,” then whatever happens to her from thereon out—whatever horror may befall her or evil may prey upon her—is her own fault. If the coverage of the Steubenville rape trial is anything to go by, however, I was wrong. This is still a conversation we need to have. FINE.

Let’s do this.

You know who doesn’t deserve to be raped? A drunk girl. Just because a woman decides to let loose and drink alcohol, doesn’t mean she should expect sexual assault. The Steubenville case isn’t a cautionary tale of partying, it’s a cautionary tale against assaulting an unconscious or delirious woman. Women shouldn’t have to be warned against going to bars alone or leaving their drinks unattended. Sorority girls shouldn’t need buddy systems at fraternity parties. Women should be able to indulge in the same behavior as their male peers, without fear that one of those peers will take advantage of them, if they’ve had “too many.” Alcohol impairment is not an excuse for sexual assault, period.

You know who doesn’t deserve to be raped? A girl wearing skimpy clothes. A woman’s clothes never, not ever, intimate that she’s asking for it. A short dress does not mean you get to pinch her ass. A bikini doesn’t give permission to grope her breasts. Riding down the street bare ass naked on a bicycle doesn’t mean jack. If it’s “confusing” for you to see women scantily dressed, then that’s your problem to sort out. If I could make a suggestion, how about not judging a woman’s sexual opinions on her skirt length?  No means no, even if her shorts are short.

You know who doesn’t deserve to be raped? A girl who is flirting with you. She’s a tease, is that it? You thought she was super interested in you, but then she cooled off and wouldn’t give you the time of day. That totally sucks. I get it. You thought you’d found a potential partner, only to be shut down without so much as an explanation. Get the fuck over it. Rejection happens and people are mean. A woman could be a super evil person, who gets her jollies by toying with male hearts, and she still wouldn’t deserve sexual assault. Honestly, though? That’s not what happened. She’s probably just not interested, not purposefully torturing you. Maybe instead of assaulting her, to show her who’s boss and what such behavior brings, you could just move on like a normal person.

You know who doesn’t deserve to be raped? A girl who is fooling around with you. The date went really well, things are getting super hot and heavy, and she’s naked on your bed. All of the sudden, she puts on the brakes. Well, shit! She really did want it, right? Surely, if she’s already giving you a hand job, it’s not a big deal for you to fuck her. People can’t expect a man to just not finish, right? Everyone knows blue balls are a total thing! Oh wait: No, they’re not. I don’t care if you’re so close to completion that you just need a minute of sex, once someone says no or stop, it’s over. You’re not an animal, you’re a person. People sometimes have to be satisfied with not reaching orgasm. Deal with it.

There is nothing, not a single reason under the sun, that gives you leave to sexually abuse someone against their knowledge or will. Not clothes, not attitude, not sexual experience. Not being a prostitute. Not being your wife. Not being your husband.

You know who deserves to be raped? No one. Ever.

– Grace

81 thoughts on “There Is No Asking For It

    • True, so many years of civilization and we still have to fight on for our existence. Not only that but also put up with being shamed for doing so.

  1. PREACH. IT. I love this blog! So many women “feel bad” about stopping things mid-situation even if they aren’t feeling it.. why do guys feel so entitled? If a guy wanted to stop he would never fear that the woman would continue against his will. As a 22 year old, I’m not having it!

    • Amen, Hannah Jane! I will never understand the assertion that men are entitled to sex. We are not animals! The belief that men are ruled by their penises has been hurting us all for way, way too long.

    • I really, really wish you didn’t have to worry about such things, Don. We all need to yell at the top of our lungs about this, until change actually happens.

      • Sadly, this sort of thing probably happens every single weekend at some college or high school party somewhere in the country. Good for you and some of the other bloggers I follow for writing about it.

  2. This trial has sickened me and the fact that so many of her peers looked on and did nothing….It makes me question society and wonder if we are doing enough to educate young men? Why are we glorifying athletic heroes? There is just so much that needs to change. And it has to start with us the parents we need to talk and educate our kids to grow to respect one another not break another spirits with such horrific acts of crime.

  3. Reblogged this on thisbloggingbitch and commented:
    My blog is typically written with levity. It takes a lot to get me to write about serious items because, really, the world is a serious enough place as it is and it’s nice to find the light where you can. Unfortunately, there are stories all too frequently of sexual assualt, mostly to women, not always, but mostly, and with each story I think of a million things I’d like to say about this but usually end up not being able to find all the right words. As a victim of sexual assault in my own past, I find that the words and ideas usually become too much for paper (or blog) and I can just never get it right.
    Well, thankfully, one of my favorite blogs got it right for me. So read this and know that NO ONE is ever asking for it. NO ONE ever deserves this. Read this and know that our future generations need to learn that respecting a woman’s (and man’s) body and rights is of the utmost importance if we ever wish to put an end to these atrocities.

    • Thank you again, Thalia! It was one of those things I couldn’t not write. People need to keep talking about it, until the sexual assault crisis is actually solved.

  4. I don’t think i’ve ever read anything that puts rape into this perspective. There’s nothing at all in here that i don’t disagree with. I really don’t understand how it’s always the woman’s fault that she got raped, it’s just wrong.

  5. YES. Thank you for writing this – especially the last one. As soon as either partner says “no” or “stop”, that’s it.

    • Exactly! That’s the one that people, even normally sensitive ones, have the most problems with. It doesn’t matter when the no happened, just that it did!

  6. Reblogged this on cheratomo and commented:
    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. No one “owes” you sex. Ever. Period. No matter what your relationship is to them. If they say no it means no. It means either you stop what you are doing immediately or you are raping someone and committing a crime, man or woman. The end.

  7. I agree with absolutely every word you said here Grace. And I abhore the fact it still needs to be said. When will attitudes and perceptions change? Is it the fault of the media or defense lawyers using any excuse to raise enough ‘resonable doubt’ ?

    • I do, increasingly, believe that a lot of the fault lies with the media. If they were more proactive about never, not ever, victim shaming (or doubting), there is cause to believe that would trickle down. But when most coverage of a crime focuses on how drunk/etc. the victim was, the cycle just continues.

  8. Grace, would you mind if I sent this to a friend of mine who is hosting a huge campaign against violence against women in South Africa?

    Thank you for being a voice to those who so often, tragically, end up victims of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

  9. Soooo true! It makes me want to cry out loud whenever I hear or read someone saying that ¨the woman asked for it¨- be it in a country like India or in our so ¨civilized¨ Western world. When will people (men AND women!) understand that no one EVER deserves to be sexually assaulted?!?!
    Thank you so much for this great post!!! I love your blog ❤

    • Thank you for the great comment, Katrin! The sexual assault reports from India have been making me nauseated these last months. The overriding theme always seems to be “If you’re dressed a certain way or acting a certain way, you’re fair game.” It’s sickening.

  10. Why, oh, why, do we still need to discuss this? Everyone should know that. But still, it happens too often, doesn´t it? Two tourists from Switzerland went to India and traveled through the country. The husband was handcuffed. He had to watch while six men raped his wife. Guess what the police said? It´s their fault, that´s what they said. Because she wasn´t dressed appropriately and they were both not careful enough. How can that be?
    Thanks for putting it so perfectly, Grace. Very well said.

  11. Grace I think I love you. (purely in the writing sense of course and with no connotations of perceived or refuted literary advances) I see this all to often in my job and some days its all I can do to keep calm when treating a male suspect in custody. (yes I know innocent until proven guilty blah, blah, blah)We are supposedly an advanced civilization yet for some reason Troglodyte/Caveman continues to re-appear! Me like you- you pretty-me thump you- me have sex with unconscious you! It needs to stop! I am re-blogging your post for the benefit of all 12 of my readers! And with your permission I will expound the issue with a twist of my own!

    • Betty, I don’t think I would be cut out for your work at all. I know innocent until proven guilty, but my rage would be uncontrollable! The caveman culture needs to die. Quickly and violently. Also thank you for reblogging! The more this message spreads, the more we have a chance to change things.

  12. This story is making me sick now. Every time I see this I get so angry. I do not find it emotional to watch them breaking down in court. If you don’t want your life ruined by becoming a registered sex offender, don’t ruin the life of a young woman by raping her. No one – no woman or man – no one deserves to be raped. Excellent post. It is just a shame that things like this still need to be written.

    • Amen. This was not just some childish mistake they made. Sexual assault is rarely a one-off crime, but instead a deeply ingrained devaluation of both women and their consent. These young men’s lives are not ruined, they are justly paying for their crimes.

  13. Thank you for writing this. It really hit home because last week I nearly got raped by a guy that I’ve known since 2010. We aren’t even friends but we’re mutual with each other. It took alot of physical strength for me to eventually be able to push him off me, it was so terrifying. It makes me so said when I hear of different rape stories from all over the world. I wish men would start acting like “real men” and help protect children and women of all ages instead of taking advantage of them.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Namhlasm. We all need the reminder that this happens all the time, all over the world, to completely normal women. That so many of us share this common experience of sexual assault proves your point precisely: men need to be taught not to take advantage, so no woman is ever so terrified again. Also, can I just say how relieved I am that you were able to fend off your attacker? Thank heavens.

  14. Reblogged this on Seize the Latté and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more with this post from A Confederacy of Spinsters (an awesome blog that everyone should follow, stat!) – this perfectly sums up everything I’ve been thinking and feeling about the Steubenville trial. Many thanks to Grace for writing this.

  15. Everything said is correct, but blue balls are a real thing. Not an excuse to rape or even pressure sex, but a real thing.

    • If by “blue balls,” one means a temporary heaviness that occurs without completion, then yes, that is a thing. If it means an awful, horrible pain that can only be fixed with sex, as most often said during sexual peer pressure and the way I mean here, then no.

  16. I live in Indonesia, and shortly after I moved here, five men tried to break into my house at 2am. When I told my neighbor and boss about it, they said “well, when they see you out at night and wearing shorts, that’s confusing and they think you’ll be easy” So my shorts are invitation for anyone to crawl into my bedroom window in the middle of the night? I’m gunna go ahead and say no.

  17. Pingback: An Introduction on Modesty and Gender Equality: | Hey Allie!

  18. Pingback: Date Rape Does Exist | thisbloggingbitch

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