Nobody asks to be raped.
Yet, a culture of victim blaming still persists when it comes to victims of sexual assault – the idea that they were ‘asking for it’ because they’d been drinking. Or because they were wearing a short skirt.
As though that excuses the rapist. As though they aren’t responsible for their own behaviour.
Fortunately, New Zealand comedian Alice Brine, 27, is here to explain, with the help of a simple analogy, just how ignorant this defence is.
‘I’m gunna start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better.’
The post in full:
‘I’m gunna start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit. Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better.
I’ll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I’ll argue that I wasn’t sure if he meant it when he said ‘no don’t steal my Audi.’
I just wasn’t sure if he meant it. I said ‘Can I please steal your Gucci watch?’ He said ‘no’ but I just wasn’t sure if he meant it.
He was drunk. He brought this on himself. You should have seen how he was dressed at the club, expensive shirts and shoes.
What kind of message is he sending with that!? I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit.
He was asking for it. When he said ‘no’ to me taking everything he owned I just didn’t know if he meant it.
‘No’ isn’t objective enough, it could mean anything.’
‘He brought this on himself. You should have seen how he was dressed at the club…what kind of message is he sending with that?! I thought he wanted me to come and steal all of his shit. He was asking for it,’ she concludes.
Alice’s Facebook post has now been liked over 131,000 times.
Alice told The Tab she wrote the post after getting angry about how rape cases are reported in the media. ‘There was a headline I read recently, like “she said no, but did she really mean no”. It’s crazy that that’s the quotes in there, I read it like, are you f*cking kidding me?’ she said.
‘I was fuming reading things like that. The fact that in New Zealand and in other countries that the argument “did she mean it” is even allowed to stand is infuriating.’
Alice adds that she received hundreds of messages from people grateful to her for speaking out, including some of have been victims of rape and sexual assault.
‘My inbox is full of messages, it’s been overwhelming. But it’s really inspiring to hear people say, I’m so relieved you did this,’ she said.