ByÂ Jai Vipra:
Every time a child being raped makes the news, a lot of people like to say, “Now what? Was the child asking for it? Was she being provocative?” On the surface of it, it seems like a great question. It points out that you cannot keep blaming rape on the victim, because clearly a childÂ wasn’tÂ asking for it.
But what assumptions does that make? Hypothetically, what if the child was dressed provocatively? Would it be okay to rape her then? Of course not. Why should this be pointed out only when children are abused?
Why not adult women? The point is, even if a woman is provocatively dressed, you have no right to violate her personal space. Even if a woman ventures out at night in the shadiest localities possible, she is not asking for it. The whole issue of consent is ignored. Consent ought to be explicit and continued.
It is not a good idea to ask why a child was raped even if she was a child. Because no one should be raped, not children, not grown women, not men. Regardless of how old they are, how they dress and what they do, everyone deserves to have their consent asked for.