Imagine you’re at a traffic junction, one just outside your house. You cross on the green man, whistling away, and then a car comes out of nowhere and hits you. And now, a policeman is taking down your details so you can be justly compensated for your injury. And imagine the conversation goes as follows:
You: I was hit by so-and-so’s car, at so-and-so time, at so-and-so traffic junction.
Policeman: Do you cross roads often?
You: Uhm — yes?
Policeman: Well, it’ll be X dollars to pay the driver back for the damage to zie’s car.
You: Excuse me?!
Policeman: Well you deserved it, you shameless pedestrian! Who asked you to cross that road on your way to your house?
See, this is exactly what happens with victim-blaming. Especially with rape.
Now, rape is reasonably easy to define: Nonconsensual sex. It doesn’t matter if it’s between a married couple (cis or trans, hetero or otherwise, makes no difference), strangers, acquaintances, family members, friends — if it’s nonconsensual, it’s rape. If one party wants to have sex and the other doesn’t, it’s rape. If a party changes zie’s mind halfway and zie’s partner doesn’t stop, it’s rape.
Sounds pretty basic, dunnit?
Well, not where Mr. Benjamin Cheah is concerned.
So, let’s examine the gentleman’s statement.
Here, the woman claims that she did not agree to have sex with the others. However, it is simply the word of one woman against five others — all of whom were under the influence of alcohol.
= This poor deluded slut has no idea what she’s talking about. Let’s ignore the fact that she’s suffered such a violent and traumatic experience.
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to clearly prove in a court of law when the line between consensual and non-consensual sex was crossed.
= Well, she stopped saying no, so that totally means ‘yes’. And anyway, everyone knows women don’t mean what they say.
The perpetrators stopped when she started to bleed. This is not typical behaviour for rapists; this calls into question their intent to carry out their act, and maybe (but I do not know) mitigates their actions.
= I stabbed you. Your organs fell out. I stopped. I’m so nice, right?
The victim’s boyfriend called the police. The victim had a boyfriend. But by choosing to engage in what she did, she is showing to the court that she lacks a sense of responsibility.
The boys wanted female company. The group leader got the girl’s number from one of the others and called her claiming to be a schoolmate. The victim accepted the invitation for supper and was surprised when she arrived at the apartment to find a group of guys she didn’t know (only one of the five was known to her).
Please explain to me how she lacked a sense of responsibility when it’s very clear the deception was intended.
To declare ‘The failure of a woman to adequately assess the risk of attack does not mean that she caused what happens and should take blame for it’ is to declare that a drink driver should not take responsibility for running over a pedestrian.
= Hey you shameless pedestrian. Who’s asking you to cross the road, huh?!
The woman engaged in high risk behaviour. […] This whole case could have been avoided had the victim not showed up, left the moment she realised she didn’t know most of the people at the gathering, or went home before the drinking became serious. She took a risk, and she got burned.
= In fact, women should stay at home and knit. That’s low-risk behaviour, eh? Also, if the roof falls in, that’s their fault too. Who asked them to stay at home with such a dangerous roof? Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Women should stay at home and knit…
Ordinary and sober people do not normally commit crimes.
= Let me make a ridiculously generalised statement with no evidence whatsoever and see if I can get away with it.
Hormonally charged young men under the influence of alcohol could have interpreted her behaviour as that of sexual availability, or at least an opportunity for sexual activity. This, or a permutation thereof, could have occurred in this case.
Rapes aren’t natural disasters. They occur because someone decided hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea if I raped this person? Yay! Let’s do it.
Rape victims don’t exist because they asked for it. Rape victims exist because someone raped them. And in our society, we should be asking these dickhead rapists to stop raping people. That‘s how we get rid of victims.
I wish there was someone like MacYoung in Singapore, someone who is extremely knowledgeable and experienced with self defence and the law, but I’m not going to hold my breath, and I won’t hold out for him. Nobody should.
Well, I was under the impression that you, Mr Cheah, were knowledgeable about these things, seeing as you delight so much in your mansplaining. A woman may not be cautious for many reasons, but that’s not “sexual availability” and it most certainly isn’t an open invitation to rape. The onus is not on her to prevent rape, just as it isn’t the onus of a pedestrian to get hit by a car while crossing the road.
ETA by Wednesday: Considering this MacYoung believes that feminism exists so that women will get raped (note the passive voice: no subject! no perpetrator!) — well, Mr Cheah, I’m sure glad that there’s no MacYoung in Singapore. (But men like MacYoung are universal under patriarchy. Sadly.)