When political analyst Zerlina Maxwell appeared on Fox's Hannity this week, she suggested that preventing rape in America might have to do less with informing women to get guns/learn self-defense/dress different/drink less/what have you than it does with... teaching men, from a young age, not to rape. Jesus Christmas, how would you ever come to that conclusion?! She's obviously
totally sane UTTERLY MAD, I TELL YOU.
"The reality is that we need to be changing how we train and teach young men. We need to teach them to see women as human beings and respect their bodily autonomy. We need to teach them about consent and to hold themselves accountable."
Even outside the patriarchal, rigid confines of our beloved Fox network, it's pretty clear why this line of thinking is significantly underrepresented. It's so much easier instead, so much less daunting, to lecture women on why they should have brought their Glock to the bar or worn a rape-deflecting smelly Hefty bag covered in T.G.I.F. swag whenever they leave the house or whatever the fuck stupid shit they're saying now that women "should" be doing to protect themselves from being raped.
Maxwell, a rape survivor herself, illuminates the right wing tendency to want women to arm themselves because they assume that true "rape" is only perpetrated by a stranger in a ski mask with a gun who jumps out of the bushes. In fact, obviously, many rapes are committed by people the victim knows and trusts, even loves, says Maxwell: "Telling every woman to get a gun is not rape prevention. [...] We need a reality check. We're talking about the wrong things. We're asking the wrong questions."
Canada provides a model example of Maxwell's idea: after launching their "Don't be that guy" consent awareness campaign, the national sexual assault rate dropped (for the first time in years, at all) by 10%.
Naturally, the audacity of Maxwell to suggest that perhaps men should be more involved in the conversation about rape prevention earned her criticism from various news outlets (one called her argument "bizarre," and another interpreted it as an argument against women arming themselves). Not to mention the myriad Twitter trolls and Facebook assholes posting messages to Maxwell saying that they hope she gets raped. God. America, ladies and gentlemen.
'Can Men Be Taught Not to Rape?' [Salon]