I never expected this picture to be a source of conflict, yet that’s exactly what it became on a friend’s Facebook page.
People were decrying her for posting it saying “This seems like a very bad way to portray all men” and “it doesn’t make sense” and just in general criticizing with the impression that it was wrong.
To be clear… firstly, this meme does not say every man is a rapist and, secondly, this meme is written in response to tips women get all the time to avoid rape. Women are told to not accept open drinks from strangers, to not walk alone, to stay locked in your car if you breakdown, to avoid elevators rides alone with a man, to keep all doors and windows locked at all times, to do laundry with friends, never alone, to go everywhere with someone else, carry a whistle to gain attention if you are attacked and to tell your date if you’re looking for sex before the date starts. As foolish and silly the meme appears to be, women live this… starting in adolescence!
To me, the meme says… blame the criminal, not the victim. To me, it is a reminder that we have to teach people to treat others honorably. Maybe the satire of this meme is uneccessary, maybe it will have absolutely zero effect on absolutely everybody who reads it, but….
It will reach one person. It will reach that one boy who grew up in an abusive home, who was never shown or told that you needed to treat other people with respect, who was shown that women were there for him to use and abuse.
Maybe I’m giving too much strength to a meme. Maybe others aren’t giving it enough.
There are people who are hurting in this world. There are people who simply haven’t been taught the proper way to interact, to have relationships.
There are boys and men who believe women are theirs for the taking. There are boys and men who don’t know any better because all they’ve ever seen is women being used instead of being loved. There are boys out there who have been inducted into gangs and rape because that’s what is expected of them. They may even not realize the depths of how wrong it is.
Yep. You can argue with that statement, but think about it carefully. If all you ever see is hatred, violence and abuse; if your largest source of influence teaches it is okay and promotes it, will you truly see the danger and risk of it? Would you have the courage to do differently?
Maybe it will speak to that one girl who has been sexually victimized from as early as she can remember. Maybe it will tell her that it’s not her fault. That her existence does not mean she has to remain a victim because the crime, the shame, is not hers. Maybe it will give her the strength to start believing that she has value.
Maybe that girl thought she could only be loved if someone was using her sexually. Maybe she doesn’t even realize yet that she’s been raped because … it’s only ever been taken from her.
Maybe, this just brings home to one person that rape is not the victims fault. Maybe, the next time you sit on a jury this meme will ring in your memory and you will look to the suspect, not the victim to explain why they are sitting in the courtroom. Maybe, just maybe it might start to change societal views, police attitudes, justice….
Maybe…. if we started looking at it differently, we’d start seeing a different result.
Let’s be honest. It’s a meme. It’s using satire and humor to address a very serious issue. It’s not a perfect representation, but isn’t it time someone said it?!
Today’s YouTube video isn’t a song, but it’s a powerful story of how we change when we see others from a different perspective, from their perspective.