The Fault In Our Patriarchy / Zoe

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, for we are underlings.

– William ShakespeareJulius Caesar: Act 1, Scene 2, Page 6

You said it, Will (and no, this is no ode to John Green). Whether you’re surfing through a feminist-extremist website, or simply following a Tumblr user with strong beliefs supporting the feminist movement, you’ll often read that the patriarchy is to blame for women being raped and sexually assaulted. I don’t have enough strands of hair on my head to count how many times I’ve read ‘blame it on the patriarchy‘. To the cavemen of today, there is no fault in our patriarchy, and according the the feminist theory, the very oppressive patriarchy is inherently at fault. (Harsh both ways, right?) I mean, sure, you could definitely hold the patriarchy responsible for most sexually aggressive cases that take place, but really, we’re blaming the wrong cast of people here. If anyone is at fault, it’s ourselves; it’s the education system. Now, I’m not just talking about SATs or anything―I’m talking about parents misinforming their children (not having ‘the talk‘, if you will), and teachers scaring students instead of educating them about sex. The increasing incidence of rape, sexual assault/abuse, STIs, teen pregnancy, and abortion are due in large measure to the youth of past generations misinforming the youth of today.

With all these forms of birth control that allow women to be equal to any man, the patriarchy still takes it upon itself to blame us (women) for our problems. Now, don’t get me wrong―there are still male victims out there and women to blame, but it seems like it’s always the woman’s fault and never the man’s. (I’d just like to take this moment to state {blatantly} that no matter the case, whether it’s rape or sexual abuse, it is never the victim’s fault [both men and women alike].) The continuing assault on feminism and patriarchy tends to obscure the more important point of sympathy for the victim.

Perhaps rape and sexual assault wouldn’t happen as often as they scarily do if both sides just paid more attention to properly informing the youth. Now, many educators and parents may object to what I’m saying, arguing that the youth are in fact properly educated about sex. But, alas, as a teenage student in North America, I can tell you that boys are told close to nothing about the act of raping, and girls are always reminded to not get raped. Nowadays, for a male encountering a female in a short skirt with a pretty smile, her fluttering of eyelashes are apparently an invitation for sex. When a girl doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, she’s supposedly ‘playing hard to get’ and ‘asking for it’, making it apparently OK to slip date-rape drugs in her drink (you know the rest). Then, when it gets time to head to court, everyone nods in sympathy to the offender because hey! It was the victim’s fault, right? The offender was high and/or drunk, and if her bra strap wasn’t so flagrantly showing, then she wouldn’t have been raped. She provoked the rapist with her clothing! How was any man supposed to control himself under the influence? She deserved what came at her, that whore! 

There are never excuses for rapists or sexual abusers. They chose to rape and to abuse. This, dear Brutus, is one of the many faults in ourselves. We teach women to not get raped and how (men and women alike) not to get sexually assaulted. I cannot believe that people don’t see how obvious it is that we ought to be teaching not to rape and not to sexually abuse, as opposed to always using the ‘buddy system’ and not to wear ‘provocative clothing’.

Rape-culture-pic

It’s become such a norm nowadays to hear on the news about a girl being raped and/or killed, or about boys and girls being sexually abused. What’s terrifying, is that if these sexual assault cases keep on occurring as frequently as they do, my generation will most likely continue inflicting what’s being inflicted upon us on the future youth. The youth are the future, and if we have any hope of ensuring safety in this world, it all starts with properly educating children about not raping and not sexually abusing others from a young age. We always wish that no one would rape, but nothing will ever change unless we actually do something about it. So, what are you going to do about it?

 

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