Victim Blaming Among Peers

During Week Of Welcome at Marshall University, incoming freshman were required to go to an improv show called Sex Signals. Sex Signals featured a guy and girl who acted out different dating scenarios. They asked for audience participation and wanted to hear our views on what was happening in the scene.

In one particular scene, the guy was playing the role of a popular boy who claims it wasn’t rape. The girl started talking to him, she invited him over, he brought beer and they got drunk. The boy brought the beer without her asking for it but she drank it. She said stop several times and he did but she’d start it back up to something innocent like tickling or wrestling. The actors asked us if it was the boys fault, the girls fault, or both. An overwhelming amount of my peers boldly announced both. I was one of the few standing firm that it was the boys fault. They had us comment on why we believe what we believe and many said that the girl shouldn’t have gotten drunk or been alone with him.

This attitude appalled me. It doesn’t matter what the girl did, just because she was drunk doesn’t mean she wanted it. She said stop which shows her hesitation. I was relived when the actors talked about what the correct answer was. They said that the boy should have read the signs and could tell that she wasn’t into it. I’m glad that the actors handled the victim blaming in a gentle yet necessary manner. They eased into the serious subjects with humor that wasn’t offensive but informative. 

My main point is, it’s insane that my peers victim blame at all. We see it everywhere, no college campus, or even popular media hasn’t completely gotten rid of victim blaming. I think the important thing to learn here is that we need to continue educating college students and Americans in general. Another comment that bothered me was a peer in my class believed that both the girl and boy should be charged with something. I quickly told her that you can’t be charged with rape. The girl was old enough to drink which means that there is absolutely no fault. It bothers me that people I am attending school with are not aware of the definition of rape. I’m not try to completely diss my peers, I believe that there are some who are very knowledgable about rape. On the other hand, I refuse to stop these discussions until all of my peers are aware.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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