Trigger warning: the following contains photos that may serve as a trigger to victims of sexual violence
It seems that the Police believe that women would not worry about their own safety if the Police did not tell them too. Therefore, in order to reduce rapes, the Police tell us to follow their top safety tips, which apparently will stop rape happening: do not drink; do not walk home alone; do not take minicabs; do not behave in a “seductive” way; do not talk to strangers; do not dress “provocatively,” etcetera etcetera. If you neglect to follow these tips and you are consequently raped, it is your own fault. The rapist has no agency in his actions. Rape is a passive phenomenon that women leave themselves open to if they do not behave in certain modest ways. Men cannot help themselves. Or so imply the Police’s anti-rape campaigns.
Let me add that the Police seem to be unaware that most rapists do not follow the “knife-wielding stranger down the dark alleyway” model (although, truth be told, some do), that most rapists are known to the victim, and that, therefore, the Police’s “tips” are redundant since the only way for a woman to avoid getting raped is to avoid being in the company of rapists, which is, unfortunately, impossible.
Let’s be clear – all things considered, the Police’s safety-tip-focused, don’t-get-raped campaigns are somewhat misogynist, given their focus on victim-blaming (the non-misogynist alternative would be anti-rape campaigns that encourage men not to rape). In response, the wonderful world of twitter feminists has created a few sublime #safetytipsforladies to complement the Police’s ridiculousness.
Ladies, to avoid rape, try the following:
– “Carry a whistle, people may think you are a high school football coach and respect your autonomy”
– “It’s well known that rapists have evil background music accompaniment, so keep your ears open and listen!”
– “Avoid places where there are rapists or possible rapists, the moon for example is currently men free”
– “Fill your vagina with cement and let it dry”
– “Safe fashion outfits include a Sherman tank, a hollowed-out rhinoceros, and a Wheelie bin with holes cut for your feet”
– “Skin tantalizes rapists, whether visible or coquettishly covered. Leave your skin at home.”
– “Don’t be attacked by guys with a promising future. That is the absolute WORST decision you can make.”
– “Rapists love ponytails. Surround yourself with ponies and the rapists will be too confused to attack”
– “Always project strong body language. Rapists are put off by women who walk on their hands continuously”
– “The majority of rapists are known to the victim. Consider not knowing any men.”
– “It is a fact that rapists target human ladies, so be an animorph. Transform into an eagle at the first sign of danger.”
– “If you hide your forearms in your sleeves, the rapist will mistake you for a T-Rex and carry on his way”
– “If you wear a broccoli safety-pinned to your lapel manly carnivorous men will be repelled and won’t rape you”
– “Always carry a Furby. It’s a proven fact that everyone is afraid Furbies, so when attacked, throw it at the rapist.”
– “Just accept rape cultures definition of consent. Then you can never be raped.”
– “Take a course on personal empowerment and then wear a cape to let would-be-rapists know that you are empowered.”
– “When approached in a bar by a man you don’t know … what were you doing in a bar anyway you slut?”
– “Stop being a woman in public”