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

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