Last night I went to a gig. I had a few pints, and I probably danced like a bit of a tit, as I sometimes am inclined to do. I got talking to some people about bands we like, and accepted an invite to go to theirs for a beer. Upon arrival, they (cis men, for the record) got a bit sleazy with me, so I left. Nothing harmful happened (I was pissed off, but whatever).
But let's imagine something did happen. Suddenly, not only would my life be upside-down, what could I do about it? Would I report it? Honestly, no.
If something had happened, and I said something publicly, people would be queueing up to tell me it was my own damn fault. I was drunk. I went to a strange man's house. I was wearing a minidress and leggings. It was late. What did I damn well think was going to happen? Actually, I thought we were going to go listen to some punk music and talk about it while drinking beer. Notice how that previous sentence does not contain the phrase 'have sex'.
I'm not a man-hating feminazi, primarily because such a thing doesn't exist, but also because I'm mates with a lot of guys. So before anyone jumps in with accusations of 'misandry' (also a thing which does not exist, by the way), consider this - I want to hang out with guys. I want to be friends with guys. I want to have sex with guys. I just also want to be assured that if one of those people rapes or sexually assaults me, I won't be blamed just for being in the same vicinity as him while not being a cis-man. What actually IS misandric is the suggestion that no one should be friends with men in case they rape them.
Did you know one third of the UK's population would have said it was my fault if I'd been raped last night? Thirty fucking percent of people think that if a woman touches alcohol, she's declaring open-season on her genitals.
FUCK THAT SHIT.
Why am I telling you all this anyway? Well, last night, a hashtag got going on Twitter, titled #ididnotreport. This was inspired by the Mumsnet 'We Believe You' campaign, designed to highlight the hidden problem of rape and sexual assault. On it, thousands of people - men and women told their personal stories of why they didn't report their rape or sexual assault. And it's because of this VICTIM BLAMING BULLSHIT. Some trolls got on the tag, including a confessed rapist by the name of @NiceGuyBrianG (SERIOUS TW for that link), who thinks that the law on spousal rape shouldn't just be reverted, but should apply to anyone in any kind of relationship. Presumably only women should be allowed to be raped, because if I took him back to mine and tried to assfuck him with a strap-on, I'm sure he'd have some quite loud opinions.
I REPEAT, FUCK THAT SHIT.
It is NOT your fault if you are raped. No ifs, no buts. It is only a rapist who decides to rape people. It is NEVER A VICTIM'S FAULT. And I want you all to know that and shout it with me.
Rape apologists, I'm going to give you a quick lesson in human interaction, because you sorely need it: YOU ARE NOT OWED SEX. NO ONE OWES YOU ACCESS TO THEIR BODY. PERIOD.
"But Nat, what if [insert convoluted scenario, possibly involving drink, usually espousing just how darned confusing this whole 'consent' thing is]??!?!?!"
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE, ASK THEM. POLITELY. IN FACT, IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE TO BE POLITE. "WANNA FUCK?" WILL USUALLY SUFFICE. IN SOME CASES IT WILL NOT.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHETHER SOMEONE ACTUALLY WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU, WHETHER IT'S BECAUSE OF DRINK OR YOU PRESSURING THEM OR WHATEVER, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT PERSON.
THE EASIEST WAY TO AVOID BEING ACCUSED OF RAPE IS TO NOT HAVE SEX THAT MAY BE RAPE.
UNLESS YOU ARE 100% ABSOLUTELY IRON-CLAD CERTAIN A PERSON WANTS TO HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH YOU, DO NOT HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH THEM.
I genuinely can't make that any clearer. If you wish to comment with a wonderful scenario of your concoction about just how gosh-damn tricky it is to not stick your penis in people, I suggest you take your scenario and shove it up your rape-apologising backside. Here's some (long but awesome) posts on consent: