Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Nick Ross – If it looks like a duck & quacks like a duck…

This post was first published here.  We have reproduced it with permision from the author.

If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck

Another Sunday morning, another article blaming women for men raping them in the Daily Mail.

This time it's Nick Ross, a very experienced journalist who for years presented Crimewatch at the BBC, that well-known hunting ground for sexual predators and rapists.  Here's the article for anyone who wants to read it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330934/Its-heresy-I-know-But-women-victims-And-rape-rape-Crimewatch-creator-risks-backlash-outrageous-views-sex-crimes.html

He trots out the usual rape apology - women are like unguarded laptops, making it clear they have vaginas which can be penetrated (although given that they've usually got knickers on in public, along with garments which cover those knickers, surely their vaginas are covered in the same way that hidden laptops are? But  that's obviously not covered enough, maybe women should all go out disguised as post-boxes or something, so that it's not obvious we have vaginas?  But then I suppose men would rightly criticise the fact that we've got letter slots that incite them to wank into them, so post boxes wouldn't work.  I'll have to re-think that disguise, maybe I'll get back to you sometime with alternative suggestions).

But I digress.  Back to women and how we cause rape.  We get drunk, we go out unescorted, we stay out late, we wear clothing which can be seen as "incitement" to rape - all the bog standard arguments which we hear over and over again but which Nick describes as "heresy".  He seems unaware that far from being heresy, this is the usual victim-blaming rubbish churned out to justify men's sexual abuse of women on a regular basis.

As with all rape apologists, Nick doesn't seem to be aware that a woman can only incite rape, if there's a rapist around to be incited.  Men can't be incited to rape, if they're not rapists.  So Nick seems to believe that all men are rapists, otherwise his argument would not make sense.  Fancy that. Though he does concede that "no amount of temptation can excuse rape", the implication being that men are struggling through life desperately trying like St Augustine, to resist temptation.  Which makes one feel rather sorry for them.  It must be so difficult for them, poor darlings, all these women all around the place on the train, on the streets, in bars, in the workplace, just being there and tempting men, who must be making herculean efforts to not rape them.  I mean, it's not as if these women leave their vaginas safely at home either, where men can't get to them - they are silly enough to take their vaginas along to the workplace etc., with them, almost as if they're just another body part and not a dangerous incitement to men. I expect those reckless women are the same sort who don't passport-protect their laptops.

Here's the thing.  I don't believe most men do go through life resisting the temptation to rape women, because I don't believe all men are rapists. When men tell me that women are partly responsible for rape which men perpetrate because of xyz boring so-called heresy-rape-apology, when men use words like "temptation" as if they deserve some sort of gold medal for being strong enough and good enough not to rape a woman, I look round nervously to check that I'm not completely alone with that guy.  Because rapists don't tell you they're rapists before they rape you, but they sometimes give you clues, by expressing their views about women and rape.

The sort of men who think women are "temptations", rather than human beings, have the same attitudes to women as rapists do.  The sort of men who believe women are partly responsible for rape because men can't be held responsible for their own behaviour, have the same attitudes to their own behaviour as rapists do. So when men say or write stuff that makes them sound like rapists, women are justified in consigning that man to the "never be alone in the same space with" corner. Because women know that if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it might just be a duck.  It might not, but women can't afford to take the chance.  So men, here's a tip: try not to quack like a duck lest women mistake you for one.

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4 thoughts on “Nick Ross – If it looks like a duck & quacks like a duck…

  • harrie says:

    the bit that made me angriest was this: “real experts, the victims, know otherwise. Half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped, and this proportion rises strongly when the assault involves a boyfriend, or if the woman is drunk or high on drugs: they led him on, they went too far, it wasn’t forcible, they didn’t make themselves clear… For them, rape isn’t always rape.”

    well maybe they don’t see it as rape, but that’s not because it’s not rape, it’s because they’ve been conditioned by a society that tells them that (a) men have “needs” or “rights” – especially partners, and that (b) if they get coerced into sex (violently or otherwise) it’s their fault, they wore the wrong clothes or flirted a bit too much or whatever.

    i don’t even know what to say, except what a vile article. and it’ll no doubt be influential.

  • harrie says:

    no, wait. i just got to the bit about roofies being a fabrication *seethes*

  • Sue Rose says:

    A very interesting article. Very well written. I have no idea why this is causing offence …?

    • Admin says:

      We’re not sure what you mean – if you are talking about the Nick Ross article being a good piece and not having any idea why it has caused offence, this campaign is probably not for you.
      If however, you thought that Nick Ross was unhelpful, an apologist for abuse and wrong, this campaign is definitely for you 🙂