Friday, July 2, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- I Am Not Afraid

by Connie Chastain*

When I step out of my house, get behind the wheel of my little S-10 pickup and drive a mile or so to Winn-Dixie, or to the next county to visit my kinfolk, or most anywhere, for that matter, the first thing that pops into my mind is not, "Gee, I hope I don't get raped while I'm out." That's particularly true if it's daytime.

When it's night, I'm apt to be a bit more cautious, aware of the possibilities of mischief abroad. Scripture says wicked people (that would be women as well as men) love the darkness of night because it hides their evildoing. So I don't take chances. No giving rides to people I don't know. No stopping to help someone with a flat tire. I'll call for roadside assistance, but I won't stop myself. I can't change a tire, anyway, so I'd be no help.

My caution, though, can't be chalked up to "rape culture." I know that if I'm waylaid in the dark, it's more likely that I'll be robbed by some crazed druggie wanting money for a fix than by a calculating rapist.

But isn't that what I'm supposed to be afraid of? Isn't that what "Take Back the Night" and claims of "rape culture" are all about? Women victimized by legions of rapists skulking in the nighttime shadows?

On the "History" page of the website for Take Back the Night Foundation, a paragraph describes how a woman walking down a dark, empty street is terrified by the shadows until she reaches her destination. We're supposed to come away with a sense of what a tragedy it is that women feel anxious when they walk alone at night.

In that case, it makes sense to me to not walk alone at night unless you must. Drive, baby. Call a cab. Get someone you trust to walk with you. Or stay in until it's daytime.

And remember; men are victims of nighttime mischief, as well. Women don't have a corner on victimhood. But where are all the organizations, rallies and websites, not to mention legislation, aimed at protecting men who are victims of nighttime crime? Why do only women deserve this attention?

And is it just me, or does everyone who visits the Take Back the Night website notice the big blue "donate now" button at the top of every page?

Frankly, judging by personal observation, my town is just full of women who are also not afraid. They drive alone, shop alone, ferry kids around, they work, play, worship without living in fear of rape. It would seem that the campaign to make women fearful -- and that's what all this "rape culture" baloney is about -- isn't working too well.

The attempt to instill fear of rape in women is really an attempt to instill in them the fear of men. And that must be disappointing for the radical feminists trying drive a wedge between the sexes and fundamentally alter the way human beings relate. The majority of women, even those who've come under feminist influence without consciously embracing it, don't see "rape" and "men" as synonyms.

What they--what we--see is that it is men who protect us, who partner with us to share our homes, our fortunes, our lives, our families. The are not our victimizers. They are our fathers, our sons, our husbands, our brothers, and it will be a cold day in hell before feminism will succeed in making me fear the wonderful men in my life who love me and see to my well-eing.

It is largely because of them--and the legions of men I don't know who live decently and virtuously, who protect and provide, who do the right thing because they are men of honor and conscience--that I am not afraid.

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is