I still don’t like metaphors. This is not a metaphor. This just happens to be a similarity between two things that I’ve noticed and would like to share.
Car accidents are nothing like rape, rape is nothing like a car accident. Both are horrible, traumatic, and way more prevalent than they have any excuse to be. There’s a Big Fucking Important Distinction That Isn’t Really Relevant To This Narrative But Is Still Worth Saying Pre-emptively, though: car accidents can be the victim’s fault, but rape never is. There, that’s said and established, and I won’t touch on it again for the duration of this post.
Society’s reaction to them does have one important parallel, though.
Have you ever noticed that, when someone drives extremely cautiously – going five miles under the speed limit, turning off the radio or any other distraction, pausing even when they have the right-of-way in case someone runs a stop sign, never merging unless there’s another car in sight – people get fucking pissed at hir? At best, ze will be ridiculed for being “paranoid”; at worst, an aggressive driver will actually attempt to cause hir harm or start harassing hir.
But then, as soon as a person gets into a wreck, every little thing ze might have done suddenly is treated like it should have been common sense. Suddenly, ze should have paused just a second longer at that four-way-stop, Damnit What Were You Thinking There Are Some Motherfucking Crazy Drivers Out There And I’m Not Saying It’s Your Fault Exactly Just Well You Should Have Known Better Than To Let Your Guard Down. Even if the person was parked, well, what if ze was parked wrong? What if ze just should have known not to be on such a busy street?
Fast-forward two months, and every goddamn person will once again be on hir ass about how driving cautiously is just unnecessary and paranoid.
People react the same way with rape.
Practically in the same breath, I will be told that carrying a knife on me is hopelessly neurotic, but that I was just asking to be raped by being alone with someone who may possible have had an interest in me. I am scolded for misandric notions and distrust of men, then told that I should have known that no straight man would ever be interested in just a friendship with a woman and that I was being a tease for accepting an offer of spending time together without the expectation of sex.
I was dismissed as naive, careless, stupid, and entirely to blame when I failed to treat every man as Schrödinger’s Rapist and that did, in fact, lead to my rape and much more besides.
And now, now that I do take the Schrödinger’s Rapist idea much more to heart, I am accused of being a man-hater, a drama-queen, an attention-seeker, a misandrist and a worrywart.
Make up your goddamn mind. You’re not making a very good case for yourself, here.