31 Things That Are Not An Invitation to Rape

It has recently come to my attention that some folks are having trouble when it comes to learning how not to rape, so I thought I would put together a little 101 for you in the interest of public service.

Mar 15, 2013 at 3:30pm | Leave a comment

It has recently come to my attention that some folks are having trouble when it comes to learning how not to rape, so I thought I would put together a little 101 for you in the interest of public service.

I know there's some confusion about what rape actually is; in the media, it's depicted as a stranger jumping out from behind a bush, wearing a ski mask, but most rapists are actually known to their victims, and may in fact be intimate with them. Rape is about unwanted sexual activity, period, and it doesn't have to involve strangers or force. 

Rape is often characterized by confusion, pushing the target into something she doesn't want to do. Rape happens when someone doesn't say yes; or says no, but isn't listened to. It happens when someone isn't in a fit state to consent. It happens when someone who's willing to be pushy about sex carries that attitude to the logical conclusion. Rape is not neat and tidy, sometimes. It often lies between the lines. 

Did a partner not say yes, or indicate consent in some other, clear way? Is a partner clearly uneasy and uncomfortable? Have you talked beforehand about what you both want and expect? 

Are you, perhaps, confused on the finer points of when people are asking for it? (Hint: The answer to this question is "never.") 

Hopefully this list will serve as a helpful guide of just some of the many situations in which it is not okay to rape people. 

1. A short skirt (and/or heels) is not an invitation to rape.

2. Intoxication is not an invitation to rape. 

3. Being unable to say no is not an invitation to rape. 

4. Being a Native American woman is not an invitation to rape.

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Photo credit: Lindsey Gee.

5. Being a member of the armed services is not an invitation to rape. 

6. Going to a nightclub is not an invitation to rape. 

7. Working for a military contractor is not an invitation to rape.

8. Being a student is not an invitation to rape.

9. Being married is not an invitation to rape. 

10. Being a farmworker is not an invitation to rape.

11. Being an immigrant is not an invitation to rape.

12. Seeking medical treatment is not an invitation to rape.

13. Being a child is not an invitation to rape. 

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Photo credit: Paul Hagius

14. Going to college is not an invitation to rape.

15. Having a promiscuous sexual history is not an invitation to rape. 

16. Being out at night is not an invitation to rape. 

17. Wearing tight pants is not an invitation to rape.

18. You being drunk and/or high is not an invitation to rape.

19. Not carrying a gun or other weapon is not an invitation to rape. 

20. Being transgender is not an invitation to rape. 

21. Being a Black woman is not an invitation to rape. 

22. Being a sex worker is not an invitation to rape. 

23. Hitchhiking is not an invitation to rape.

24. Being in immigration detention is not an invitation to rape.

25. Being an aboriginal or indigenous woman is not an invitation to rape.

26. Being disabled is not an invitation to rape. 

27. Being incarcerated is not an invitation to rape. 

28. Having tattoos is not an invitation to rape.

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Photo credit: juliet_earth.

29. Meeting online is not an invitation to rape.

30. Being under the influence of drugs is not an invitation to rape. 

31. Enjoying BDSM and kink is not an invitation to rape. 

Nothing, ever, is an invitation to rape.