Saying “No” Has to be Enough

June 13, 2014

In this article from The Atlantic, Mary Adkins explores the dilemma women face when being sexually attacked: do they say “no” and fight, risking further violence, or do they say “no” and resign themselves to passivity, hoping that the move will increase their chances of survival? This isn’t exactly a “choice,” as the very fact of being assaulted removes choice. Nevertheless, an insane judicial trajectory in our rape culture requires that victims fight their attacker(s) and that merely withholding consent is not enough.

We cannot accept this. We must call out rape for what it is, regardless of a victim’s “choosing” to fight the attacker. To do otherwise is to consent to rape culture itself.

In Mary’s own words, “When someone recently asked me if, when I ever have children, I would prefer a boy or a girl, I cringed at the idea of bringing a daughter into this world. Odds are that someone will violate her, and she will face the decision: react and become a victim, or don’t, and remain a non-victim—which is … what? Sometimes, saying ‘no’ is as brave as a person can be. Isn’t that brave enough?

Read the article from The Atlantic here.

Here’s a related story by James Hamblin, “All She Said Was No.”

posted by Corbin Lambeth

The Christian Feminism Today website addresses topics of interest to Christian feminists. It features articles, opinion pieces, reviews of books and recordings (audio and video), interviews with Christian women and men who live according to Christian feminist principles and promote gender equality, love, and social justice among all people. We welcome submissions for consideration. Writer's guidelines are here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.