She was out far too late. She might have been drunk. Her dress may have been short. But it wasn’t her fault.
It’s an issue none of us like to hear about, but we all love to argue about.
She was sexually assaulted. She was raped.
But that isn’t all we say about it, is it?
No, we remind everyone she was drunk.
We tell them about her clothes. Her dress was too short.
We let them know that she is known for being a party girl.
She knows better but still, she goes out all the time and stays out far too late.
Shouldn’t she know better? Why didn’t she have a friend with her? Girls need to have a friend with them at all times.
What was she thinking, right? Not him, but her. It’s a story we hear all the time.
We encourage our girls to stay in at night, to cover their thighs, and to never let alcohol blur their minds.
We let our boys grow up to believe they are entitled to every girl they see. “No, son of course she doesn’t have to agree.”
Maybe we don’t tell them that in those exact words, but isn’t it the lesson they always seem to learn?
A girl is out at the bar. She drinks until her words begin to slur and the bar starts to blur.
She starts to dance, and a boy begins to stare. Why wouldn’t he, if that’s what she decided to wear?
He assumes she wouldn’t be here, in this bar, showing those legs, and drunk late at night if she wasn’t looking for a quick lay.
He asks her to dance, and she agrees.
They have a good time, until it’s time to leave.
He pretends he’s a gentlemen, and he walks her outside.
She says a quick goodbye, but he isn’t done.
Why the hell did he waste his time if he doesn’t get any fun?
He plasters a smile on to his face, and latches his arm around her waist.
She’s pushed in to the alley as she struggles to get away. She doesn’t, and in his mind that means “Okay.”
His mouth crashes down on hers. The bile rises in her throat.
Her dress is hiked up, and he’s in before she can even yell stop.
He’ll go home that night and forget all about it by morning.
She might keep quiet, or decide to call the cops.
Either way, it’s something she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life.
He’ll be able to blame it on the alcohol because boys get horny when they’re drunk.
She’ll be scolded because she should know better than to get that drunk.
After all, girls need to be smart while they’re out, right?
Stop. Just. Stop.
It didn’t happen because her dress was too short. It didn’t happen because she was drunk. It didn’t happen because she wasn’t smart.
It happened because we let society continue to say these things.
It happened because we teach girls to be careful instead of teaching people not to rape.
It happened because a woman is ridiculed for what she wears, guilty because she was drunk, and a liar when she comes forward.
She wasn’t asking for it, he wasn’t entitled to it, and society is far from innocent.
She was out far too late. She might have been drunk. Her dress may have been short. But it wasn’t even close to being her fault.