I’m extremely anti-rape culture, in case you haven’t noticed. Because politicians have control over what happens to me and everyone we know (well, with the semi-exception of really, really rich people), I hold them to a higher standard. Whereas when an acquaintance makes a tasteless rape joke (HA, ASSAULT, SO GOOFY!), I brush it off. I may point out that they’re perpetuating a sexist environment that feels uncomfortable to which they’ll moan like a three-year-old about me being a wet blanket, but it’s easy to brush it off.
However. When a politician, a lawmaker, somebody who affects our government, makes a callous statement about rape, I do not brush it off. It would be irresponsible to do so as a human being and a citizen. So, to Roger Rivard: you, sir, are an ass.
He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”
Yeah, uh, women are just running around, clammering to lie about being raped because we regret it. That’s a really good message to send! I’m not saying that people don’t ever lie about crimes, but considering rape is underreported, I hardly think that it’s commonplace nor worthy of “advice” from a parent to child. Yes, a teensy percentage of all people have lied about all sorts of crimes, from abuse to robbery to identity theft to assault. But how often do parents run around saying, “Don’t borrow your friends clothes ever! If you do, they’ll probably call the cops on you and tell everyone you robbed them. Some friends, they rob so easy!”
Up until this incident came out, Paul Ryan was endorsing Rivard. Despite those comments being stated in December and Ryan endorsing Rivard in August, he withdrew his endorsement upon the news of Rivard’s statements being spread. In high school, if Person A were friends with Person B despite not realizing that Person A had punched a little kid and was secretly racist, I wouldn’t blame Person A for not realizing it (provided he or she withdrew their friendship because, seriously, who wouldn’t?). But because, again, I hold politicians to a higher standard, I would simply assume somebody on Paul Ryan’s staff would’ve researched a person they were endorsing. They’re adults, they have a multitude of resources to do so.
I don’t forgive the statement as being from a “past generation” that “didn’t know any better,” as people often do with idiocy from the elderly. Sorry, but I refuse to accept an excuse of “well, they were basically toddlers despite being adults.” I don’t forgive past racism, I don’t forgive past sexism nor any other type of discrimination simply based on a “different time.” I’ve had people try and convince me, but it’s futile because I believe people are responsible for their statements, actions and (frequently) impact. I believe in not progressing negative ideas and stereotypes about other human beings; the fact that Roger Rivard thought that, for even a second, it was okay to publicly repeat these words and potentially progress them as ideas (then defend them) is absurd.
Whether it’s pure anti-woman, idiotic inaccuracies spewing from Todd Akin or any form of “forcible rape” laws or this guy, I don’t think it’s all right for us young women, who certainly have voices worth hearing, to not speak up about these statements. Rape apologists need to be quickly funneled out of anywhere they can make decisions that impact us or anybody else. I would apologize for being so angry, but I can’t, because if I weren’t angry about this… I wouldn’t be staying true to my beliefs.
Lovelies, what do you think about this incident and Rivard’s statements?