(Edit: Per comments from Ursula L and Kit Whitfield, added tips about witnessing/hearing about rape.)
The FBI announced a new definition of rape this week. For 80 years, the FBI has only considered rape by force, even though the weapon of choice for rapists is alcohol.(1) Suddenly the FBI will be counting the 89 percent of rapes committed without a weapon being involved. This is huge, and very good news for everyone except fans of rape.
Oh, it also now includes the 10 percent of rape victims who are male.(2) So, one of the changes affects 89 percent of rape victims, the other affects 10 percent of rape victims. Can you guess which one is showing up in more headlines?
If you said, "The one about men," you understand our media's fucked-up priorities.
Anyway, in honor of these headlines, I would like to offer some tips on what men and women alike can do to prevent rape.
- Don't rape anybody.
- No, seriously. Don't rape anybody.
- Don't have sex with anybody who doesn't want to have sex with you. That would be rape.
- Don't have sex with anybody who cannot indicate whether they want to have sex with you. That would be rape.
- Don't have sex with anybody who wants to have sex in general, just not with you. That would be rape.
- Don't have sex with anybody who wanted to have sex with you before, but now doesn't. That would be rape.
- If the only way to get someone to have sex with you involves alcohol or other drugs, don't do it. That would be rape.
- If you have to ask whether something counts as rape, it probably does. Don't do it.
- If you have had sex with someone who didn't want to have sex with you, regardless of circumstances or who that person is or what your relationship to them is, you are a rapist. Turn yourself in to the police before you rape again. Alternatively, there is always the option of dying in a fire.
- If you think any of the above would restrict your ability to have or enjoy sex, you are either already a rapist or on your way to becoming one. See number 9.
- If you see someone doing any of numbers 1-9, stop them if possible or call the police.
- If learn that someone has done any of numbers 1-9, call the police.
- If your response to numbers 11 and 12 is anything along the lines of "But he's my friend!" or "She deserved it because..." see number 10.