This week I stumbled upon a stunning story, where a lawyer had pleaded how the way the rape victim was dressed, got him to think: she wants ‘it’.
I come from the Netherlands, where this type of nonsense was settled years ago in court, when a judge simply stated, that even if the victim was wearing a short skirt or dress, this was not to be considered an ‘open invite’ of sorts.
It is becoming more and more ridiculous, the way that men and court are making women having to proof how they were a victim of a terrible crime, rather than to be someone who ‘asked for it’.
Then I watched a film from a couple of decades ago. I had never seen it before, but I was known with the concept itself: strong man sailing/conquering the world, suddenly gains stowaways, nearly always women and children. The journey always goes that the child messes up everything that is dear to the man, the woman always tries to make man think differently, in the end they cannot live without one another.
Given that as of late, women and men are more and more puzzled by how come men and youngsters think so badly about women, I do think I’ve found my answer.
Nowadays, films and series are at least making an attempt of making everyone equal within a storyline. But the woman being an emotional burden on whatever man she meets, is still there.
Then, we also have cultural differences.
On twitter I saw a source (I’m quoting them, but am not sure they want their name in my piece, so I’m leaving that out) ‘One finding from PhD is that whilst the family is seen as the most important support network for a woman after rape&abuse, they are actually the most common source of victim blaming and self blame. Despite the blame they induce, they are still the first port of call for support’.
This makes me think about many girls and women of religious faiths, who are, on a daily base, told how to think, dress and act. If they do not obey to these rules, or something happens, they are still found to be at fault, as their religious believes usually don’t leave any space for doubt about that.
As a Moroccan-Dutch journalist wrote a while ago: ‘we have #metoo aswell, but unlike others whom this happens to, we cannot talk about it, because it is ALWAYS someone we know’. When I read that, I wanted to pull my hairs out, as I thought: wow, you REALLY missed the entire point?! The thing that #meToo showed, once and for all, is that no matter what culture you’re from, it IS always someone you know.
The difference between cultures is the blaming. In all cultures, women are doubted. In some cultures, women are told on a daily base they’re a whore if they don’t wear that headscarf, if they eat a cucumber, a carrot, a banana or whatever in front of a man.
In western culture, women are far more emancipated than men from other cultures had anticipated on. The difference shows: headscarves vs no headscarves. A difference that we’ve learned to accept, even though it goes against our principles of a woman being free to do whatever she pleases.
So far, I have mostly seen that the mindset that comes with it, is not upgraded to the western values though. That you are a worthy woman. If you say no, it’s no. You are worthy, you are equal to men.
Related to the #meToo subject: my book:
When The Waves Break The Silence on Pumbo https://www.boekenbestellen.nl/boek/when-the-waves-break-the-silence/28025
On amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Waves-Break-Silence-Lanen-Vries-ebook/dp/B07J5WPF57/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540842084&sr=8-1&keywords=when+the+waves+break+the+silence&dpID=41qPIslfeuL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch