Until recently, I had thought that rape involved any sex that was non-consensual. I had also thought that it was easy for people to tell whether or not their partner consented to sex (just ask them?). However, in my quest to become a socially acceptable woman by paying attention to what mainstream culture says about being woman, I have learnt that rape is not as simple as I had previously thought. I have also learnt that the onus is on women to ensure that rape does not happen. It seems that it is important to talk about rape in these terms – as something that happens to women – because it emphasizes the lack of agency suffered by men when it comes to sex. If, as mainstream culture implies, women “provoke” rape, this simultaneously implies that men can’t control themselves. If some men reading this (and the rape prevention tips below) find this suggestion patronizing and ridiculous, this is probably because they aren’t masculine enough. As mainstream culture suggests, real, manly men exist only to have sex with as many women as possible, by any means necessary. If you think you are a man but do not act like this, then I suggest that you seek to become more masculine, by reading Nuts magazine or by using Lynx grooming products, for example. Meanwhile, women who wish to behave in the proper, feminine manner should pay close attention to the advice set out below.
Thankfully, the media has recently provided us women with plenty of pointers to help us to a) avoid rape happening and b) react properly if we fear we may have been raped (note that we are most likely to be mistaken if so). I have summarised these pointers into ten simple tips:
- Don’t wear an outfit that a man may find attractive. If you do, it may be understood that you consent to having sex with all men in presence of your outfit (Source: endless examples of court cases where the clothes of the woman are used as key evidence by the defense)
- Don’t drink alcohol. If you do, it might be understood that you consent to having sex with any man in your presence (Source: ESRC research into English juries)
- Don’t fall asleep next to Julian Assange (Source: Julian Assange’s defense lawyer)
- Don’t ever have a consensual sexual partner. This may be understood to mean that you consent to having sex with him for an indefinite period of time after your act of consensual sex (this includes without a condom but not sure if this includes post-death? If anybody can enlighten me, please let me know!) (Source: Julian Assange’s defense lawyer)
- It is commonly known that foreplay is more enjoyable for many women than penetrative sex. As a woman, you may wish to enjoy foreplay without having full sex. However, if you do so, be aware that this may be taken as a sign that you consent to penetration. It may therefore be better to avoid all foreplay if you do not wish for rape to happen. In fact, it is probably best, in the presence of males, to look at the floor and only speak when spoken to, as friendliness may be interpreted as flirting, which we all know is always an invitation for sex (Source: see sources for tips 1 and 2).
- Don’t be out of the house without a chaperone after dark, or get in a taxi by yourself. If you do so, you are “asking for it”, or in other words, consenting to sex with a) anyone else who happens to be in the street after dark b) the taxi driver (Source: UK Police anti-rape campaigns across the country)
- Don’t have lots of sexual partners (obviously “lots” is a subjective term, so it’s probably best never to have sex with anyone, to be on the safe side). If you do, people may understand that you consent to having sex with anyone, anytime, and may jump on top of you at will. (Source: endless examples of court cases where a woman’s known “promiscuity” has been used by the defense, since, obviously, past promiscuity equals consent)
- If you think you were raped and you become pregnant as a result of the incident, then you are mistaken about the rape. This is because, in “legitimate” cases of rape, it is impossible to become pregnant (Source: Senate candidate Todd Akin)
- If you are a prostitute and you think you have been raped, then you are mistaken, because it is impossible to be raped if you are a prostitute (Source: any good Yahoo or Daily Mail discussion forum). By being a prostitute, you have consented to having sex with anyone, any time, in any way they want, with or without payment.
- If, at any time, you think that someone has raped you, think twice about reporting it to the police, because it might be the case that the incident was “surprise sex” rather than rape. (Source: an actual comment that appeared on my facebook page in response to an anti-rape campaign poster. To quote the comment: “Simon calls it a ‘struggle snuggle’ or ‘surprise sex’ apparently the word rape takes the romance out of it (SIC)”. Please note that said “Simon” works as a police officer).
Oh, a couple more for the road. Don’t go anywhere near Dominique Strauss Kahn. Perhaps avoid George Galloway (and John Pilger and Tony Benn for that matter. But it’s not all doom and gloom – don’t forget that rape can be funny: just ask Jimmy Carr or Russell Brand! :)! Have a nice day!