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John Noblejas
Prof. Makarosyan
English 114B
11 May 2015
The Injustice of Rape and Victim Blaming
Sex is a bountiful thing shared by two people in order to flourish and populate the world.
However, there are people who abuse what sex is truly meant for. Rape is forcible sex that
involves that victim into cooperating to have sex with the person against their will. The
controversy that strikes many people today is the issue of victim blaming. Victim blaming is
when the victim either man or woman is being blamed for whatever tragedy has happened to
them. Nowadays women are being blamed for being raped for reasons such as, what they were
wearing and what time they went out at night. Men are the real culprits of rape because they are
the ones who are forcing women into sex. Society believes that the victims of rape are the ones
to blame for due to their actions. Mostly women are victims of rape and they are being accused
for it because they are believed to be at fault. Rape victims are not at fault because they are the
ones being harmed, women have rights to themselves, and to determine the significance of
gender variables at rape cases.
Victims of rape are the ones being done the harm and they should not be guilty of their
actions. Whatever the case may be, the person doing the raping should be at fault because it is in
their intentions to do harm to the person. Rape is defined as an act of sexual assault with the
person having intentions of doing harm to someone. It is something that should not be treated
lightly, however people blame the victims of rape because they should be more careful. It is
wring to think in such as manner because women are being treated unfairly in court and
numerous rape cases. For example in the story No Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston,

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the protagonist talks about her aunt who was raped and the whole village raided her because of
that. Giving birth outside of marriage was seen as an offense by the villagers and punished her
for it. She states, She kept the mans name to herself throughout her labor and dying; she did not
accuse him that he be punished with her(Kingston 11). The protagonists aunt hid the mans
name from everyone else to only make her the one to blame. Even though, the man was the one
responsible the villagers blamed her for being raped and she took the punishment for it.
Additionally in the article Rape Victim Blaming as System Justification by Tomas Sthl, he
explains the basis of victim blaming and further explains why women are the ones blamed for
being raped. He states that, Thus far, most research suggests that rape myth acceptance and rape
victim blaming is driven by a general hostility towards women(Sthl 1). He believes that the
reason women are being blamed is because of sexism. In society men are generally preferred by
everyone and women are treated unfairly. Being biased towards men and not women, would
explain all the more reason to blame women than the man in the rape case. Therefore, sexism and
culture can affect our judgement are predisposition towards blaming the victim in rape.
Women have civil rights that should be protected at any given time to ensure their
protection from being blamed for rape. They are the general victims of rape and yet however,
women are the ones being blamed for being raped. Women should stand up and fight for
themselves to avoid being the victims of rape cases. For instance in the article Real Women,
Real Rape by IB Capers, he justifies the need for women to express their rights to avoid being
blamed for rape in todays society. He says, feminists argued that further reforms were
necessary to obtain convictions in sexual assault cases and to "protect the public from crimes of
sexual violence."(Capers 1). In his article he explains that feminists are fighting for their civil
rights to obtain proper justice in rape cases. Without women civil rights, they would be the ones
being blamed for every time. Their rights show significance because women have the rights to be

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themselves as well as men at any given place and time. Additionally, IB Caspers explains the law
of how women in court are being needed to show their previous and sexual background to the
court. He states, The resulting rule, Rule 412, declares evidence of a victim's past sexual
behavior or sexual predisposition inadmissible in any civil or criminal proceeding involving
alleged sexual misconduct(IB Capers 2). Women should feel free without having to consent
their sexual activity to anyone even in court. Women have rights and they should be free to use
them and not only men. It should not matter where a woman was or what time it is, she should
also have outmost freedom as much as a man. Therefore, the rights that women have should be
more flexible to rape considering that they need justice from rape victim blaming.
Gender variables also show their importance when determining whether who is to blame
in rape cases. Even though the person doing the act of raping should be at fault, society tends to
change their judgement and blame the victim because of certain biases such as being sexist. For
example in the article Examining the Relationship Between Male Rape Myth Acceptance by
Michelle Davies, she explains the variables that change peoples perception on rape cases and
proves how sexism comes into play when judging rape cases. She says, Hostile sexism reflects
denigrating attitudes that punish women who fail to conform to traditional gender roles(Davies
2809). Sexism towards females in rape cases blame women for being raped because they should
conform to their weakness and let themselves get raped. The person doing the raping should be
blamed at all costs because they are the ones doing the act of wrongdoing and not the women.
Using sexism allows men to blame women for being raped, without even thinking that whoever
did the raping should be the one at fault. Additionally in the same article by Michelle Davies, she
explains the inequality of men and women in society by saying, Furthermore, individuals who
maintain rigid gender role stereotypes are more likely to believe it is natural for men to dominate
women(Davies 2809). Men and women should be served justice equally. Stereotypes change

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mens view on women thinking that they are dominant over women all the time. Rape is not
determined whether a man is dominant or not, but it should be fair because men and women alike
have not much differences.
At most cases, women do not report their rape incident because they know that they will
be ignored by the police. Rape justice is low because society tends to blame the victim for their
actions, resulting in victim blaming. Factors that contribute to victim blaming are such as sexism
and gender roles. For instance in van der Bruggens article A review of the literature relating to
rape victim blaming, she explains the tendency of people ignoring the importance of what it
means to be raped. She states, Moreover, reporting rates to the police are exceptionally low and
few perpetrators are successfully prosecuteddegree to which a victim is blamed and the
perpetrator is exonerated for the rape(van der Bruggen 1). The repetition in low amounts of fair
trials for rape, resulted in low amounts of rape because they know that they will be the ones
blamed for. Crimes of sexual assaulte should be dealt with right away but no one seems to care
anymore. Police whom are figures of justice should know better and help women, instead of
blaming them. Additionally in the article by Michelle Davies, she explains in her study on why
women are being blamed for rape. Males tend to think that they are dominant just because they
are men and women are weaker. She states that, In an early study on the structure of male rape
mythshighlighted three generic myths about male rape(b)male rape is the victims
fault(e.g. ,men are to blame for not escaping or fighting back)(Davies 2810). Just because the
woman did not fight back means that she wrong was not to do so. It is the actions of the
perpetrator and not of the women who should be at fault. A man deciding to rape a woman is on
his intentions to do harm to her.
Culture plays a big role in victim blaming as well. A woman giving birth outside of
marriage is unacceptable in some traditions. Also getting pregnant without a father or in some

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cases being abandoned, brings shame to the family causing them to blame the woman. In the
story No Name Woman, the narrator explains how her aunt got pregnant without even getting
married and outside of family. She says, He may have been somebody in her own household,
but intercourse with a man outside the family would have been no less abhorrent(Kingston 11).
By getting pregnant without anyone knowing, shames her family and ultimately blaming her
wrongdoings. Family and culture is important in Chinese culture and if it didnt, they wouldnt
have called that event abhorrent. Additionally the village in which they lived in shamed her
family because the narrators aunt betrayed them. They shunned her aunt and ended up banishing
her. She states, Death is coming. Look what youve done. Youve killed us. Ghost! Dead ghost!
Youve never been born(Kingston 14). By shunning her family the village decided on banishing
her. By superstitious belief, the village believed that evil spirits would come and haunt them by
disgracing their family. That is why they mentioned Death is coming. The village banished her
and from that moment did not consider her a person anymore because of her actions.
Overall, rape and victim blaming is a serious controversial issue that brings injustice to
women all over the world. They should not be blamed because they are the ones being harmed,
women have rights to themselves, and how gender variables play a huge role in determining who
is at fault. Soceity should end the sexism and serve justice to those who truly need it. Women all
over the world who are being blamed are suffering. Justice should be brought upon the
perpetrators of rape because a crime is a crime no matter what the consequences.

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Works Cited
Davies, Michelle, Jennifer Gilston, and Paul Rogers. "Examining the Relationship Between Male
Rape Myth Acceptance, Female Rape Myth Acceptance, Victim Blame,

Gender Roles, and Ambivalent Sexism." Journal of Interpersonal

Violence, 27.14

(2012): 2807-2823.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts. New
York: Knopf, 1976. Print.
Sleath, Emma, and Ray Bull. "Male Rape Victim and Perpetrator Blaming." Journal of
Interpersonal Violence, 25.6 (2010): 969-988.
Sthl, Tomas, Daniel Eek, and Ali Kazemi. "Rape Victim Blaming as System Justification: The
Role of Gender and Activation of Complementary Stereotypes." Social Justice

23.4 (2010): 239-258.

van der Bruggen, M, and A Grubb. "A Review of the Literature Relating to Rape Victim
Blaming: An Analysis of the Impact of Observer and Victim Characteristics on
Attribution of Blame in Rape Cases." Aggression and Violent Behavior,
19.5 (2014):