An article came out last week on XOJane titled ‘Nice Guys Commit Rape, Too’ by Alyssa Royse.
Basically, this is a terrible terrible article by Royse, who according to the writing has done rape crisis work and even speaks about fighting rape regularly. Royse’s friend raped a woman, came to her for advice, and instead of putting the blame on him, she blames the culture we live in.
Alyssa Royse is correct in saying our culture is pretty fucked when it comes to the over sexualized objectification that happens. She’s also correct in saying that when men and women go for a night out, they both expect certain things when it comes to sex and what leads up to sex. It’s awful that people assume that wearing certain clothing means someone is ‘asking for it’.
However, Alyssa Royse is completely wrong when she takes the blame off her friend, who raped a woman while she was sleeping, and solely directs it at our culture:
The problem is not that she’s a “slut.” The implications of that word make my brain shrivel when sprinkled with the salty insinuations that so often accompany it: that a woman who exhibits a fondness for her own sexuality is somehow inviting anyone who sees her to have sex with her.
The problem isn’t even that he’s a rapist.
The problem is that no one is taking responsibility for the mixed messages about sex and sexuality in which we are stewing. And no one is taking responsibility for teaching people how the messages we are sending are often being misunderstood.
“The problem isn’t even that he’s a rapist.”
What?? Yes, that IS the problem. Royse’s friend hung out with this woman all night. They drank together, and when everyone was falling asleep for the night, the two of them fell asleep together. Then she awoke to him penetrating her.
There are no mixed messages about that. That was rape, your friend is a rapist, and the fact that he raped her is HIS fault.
It scares me that this woman has done rape crisis work and speaks at events protesting rape culture. And it really scares me that when faced with a scenario with a friend, she frees him of blame and points it elsewhere; as if she believes in fighting against rape and rape culture, but not if it hits too close to home.