When I first started the website for End Rape Culture and decided to print stickers, I knew by speaking out against victim blaming, the protection of the rapist, and the way our society views rape was going to invite people to argue with what I am doing. I knew this going in.
However, it was still a shock to receive the backlash. It included people saying that rape culture is made up (which is what I was expecting the most), as well as people saying feminism is the root of all evil. It also introduced me to lovely little hate group: MRAs. Men’s Rights Activists. They attacked my website, Facebook, and sent messages attacking me personally. For a few days there it was really intense and I wrote a post titled ‘I Will Not Stop Fighting’ in response. If you see the comments to that post you can read a few of the arguments I was getting.
Since then, the arguments and hurtful comments from MRAs and others have lightened up significantly. But about every month or so, I get a troller on Facebook just looking for a fight. I have often asked myself where to draw the line. I don’t want to delete every comment and argument that challenges my own beliefs. But I have banned users just for the sake of trolling: commenting on every single post I have just to be seen. This isn’t productive and they’re not going to engage me in a conversation by being a bully.
Yesterday a man started commenting for the second time on multiple posts. The first time he commented making fun of feminists, I clicked on his profile basically to see if it were worth spending the time to have a conversation. I saw that almost every day he bragged about getting banned from another feminist page or website. So I stayed away and decided not to give him the pleasure of another banned site. Then after his second visit I decided to speak up and try to explain to him the purpose of my website. See, he wasn’t just questioning rape culture, he was saying that victim blaming is a valid action. After giving examples of victim blaming: “why were you out so late? What were you wearing? Why were you drinking so much?”, etc… he said:
That is your argument…people asking sensible questions…
Life is unfair for everyone, but the elite.
Women are responsible for their actions and when they go out late in bad neighborhoods alone when they don’t know proper self-defense and awareness, opportunists will take advantage of their stupidity.
Then a woman (who I’m fairly certain was a friend of this man) joined in asking about rape culture, mocking it and feminists. They both said that feminists are “killing our culture by telling our girls that they are victims and telling our boys that they are evil oppressors”.
So if any group of people speaks out against the oppression that occurs towards them, then they are playing the victim? Try making that case against the people of color that marched in DC to fight for civil rights.
So I argued their ridiculous views, and the girl said:
I’m just stating something. It’s not like someone just raped you. Don’t get butthurt.
And that’s where I drew the line and blocked them both.
This is why we need to fight rape culture and give survivors the support they deserve.
Please continue to send me photos of your answers to ‘How do you fight against rape culture?’
I’d love to see them. Thanks.