Another day, another Donald Trump controversy, but there are certain comments people make that just CANNOT be ignored.
Last week Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager, made headlines with a clip that had been retrieved from a 2013 appearance she made on an episode of ‘To The Contrary’ (“an all female news analysis series”). Conway states,
“If [women] were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist. You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off”.
This uneducated and ignorant comment is exactly the type of thinking that leads society to continuously place the blame on the victim rather than the perpetrator.
Despite the fact that Conway’s comment hasn’t acknowledged that men are also victims of rape, her whole argument is just completely wrong.
Firstly, while being stronger than the male might have allowed the victim to get away in some incidents, the victim is often in a state of shock and confusion disabling them from any movement. Being mentally and emotionally equal to the perpetrator is obviously an advantage. Rapists take advantage of people more vulnerable to them all the time. This includes those who are mentally challenged or those suffering emotional trauma from abuse in the past as an example.
Finally, in the work place where the male has the authority over his female co-workers, there have been multiple incidents where he has taken advantage of his power. Therefore, professional equality also plays a role in a lot of circumstances.
Conway is making the assumption that if the girl changed something or did something differently than she would not have been raped.
Well that is complete bullsh*t!
Just like so many cases of domestic violence, the victim is always made to question what they did wrong? How they could have stopped it? What should they have done differently?
When will society stop questioning why the victim was at that location or how much alcohol the victim drank or what the victim did leading up towards the abuse?
Why should any of that matter? A rapist is a rapist because he raped someone, and the circumstances should be irrelevant. We need to make sure victims feel safe about coming forward with what has happened to them and to ensure that the shame and blaming stigma is lifted.
This conversation needs to continue until we can see change and the excuses for the perpetrators stop.