Rape Culture: Stop The Blame Game

rape culture

It’s time to put an end to the rape culture now!

“Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” Judge Robin Camp of Canada asked a rape victim this question during a trial. As if the previous question wasn’t already a stab, he pours lemon juice on the wound with another demeaning question. He asked why she couldn’t maneuver her body to avoid penetration. Silly woman, just be more careful next time. This kind of victim blaming is the foundation of worldwide rape culture. Stop the blame game, people!

The judge in this case really serves as a mouthpiece for what rape culture is all about. Not surprisingly, he acquitted the accused. However, he directed him to warn his friends… “To protect themselves, they have to be very careful.” The consummate authority figure then imparted his wisdom to women… “Sex and pain sometimes go together… that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” First, sex and rape are not the same thing. Second, a judge not knowing the difference is a paragon example of how institutionalized rape culture really is. His remarks fit the criteria of rape culture: Blame the victim and excuse male sexual aggression and violence towards women.

Fortunately, Judge Camp’s original verdict was overturned and he is now facing a judiciary hearing that could result in his dismissal. Since his original statements in 2014, he has apologized to the victim and has undergone remedial training related to sexual assault issues. A judge should already be equipped with knowledge of the law and be expected to administer it without prejudice or bias. Although we should be able to expect more from Judge Camp as an executor of the law, he is a product of society like anyone else.

That has to change. In this case, a new rape trial is scheduled for November. New trial or not, an alleged rapist has been free to rape again for the past two years. The woman has been victimized twice already. Her attacker violated her first and the judicial system violated her again. Now, the system will victimize her again because the defense for the accused will throw every minute of every detail of her romantic life in her face. Then, she will relive her ordeal by having it scrutinized in the court all over again.

Along with Judge Camp, our whole  society needs to go through remedial training regarding sexual assault. We need to raise our boys to respect women and their consent. We can’t just normalize male sexual aggression and tell females to fight harder or lower their skirts. Instead of victimizing victims further, it’s time society changes its mindset from “don’t get raped” to “don’t rape.”

For more, check out www.sameenakmughal.com. Also, check out Shaherazade;s Daughters and The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo, both available on www.Amazon.com.

author@sameenakmughal.com'

Sameena Mughal

Sameena K. Mughal is an author, blogger, and educator living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who is passionate about literature. Her debut novel, Shaherazade's Daughters was a feminist homage to the classic 10001 Arabian Nights. Her second book, The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo follows the adventures of eccentric scientists who, ironically, are too forward- thinking for a time that is known for its forward- thinking, the Golden Age of Islam. She also writes sociopolitical commentary on her Behind and Beyond the Veil at www.sameenakmughal.com