Dear Diary: The Fault in our Patriarchy


"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, for we are underlings."
- William Shakespeare, 
Julius Caesar: Act 1, Scene 2, Page 6

You said it, Will – and no, this is no ode to John Green. Whether you're surfing through a radical feminist website, or simply following a Tumblr user with strong beliefs supporting the feminist movement, you'll often read that the patriarchy is to blame for women being raped and sexually assaulted. I don't have enough strands of hair on my head to count how many times I've read 'blame it on the patriarchy'. To the cavemen of today, there is no fault in our patriarchy, and according to the radical feminist theory, the very oppressive patriarchy is inherently at fault. (Harsh both ways, right?)
   Well, that harshness is our reality; because we live in a patriarch-dominated society, males feel the need not to educate fellow males, but solely women about how not to get raped, etc. All cis-sexism aside, this is one of the many major faults in our patriarchy: lack of in-depth sex education. For most people, because sex education does not seem very important, parents misinform their children by either not having 'the talk' or trying to sugar coat the facts about sex, and teachers scare students into not having sex, as opposed to properly educating them. The increasing incidences of rape, sexual assaults/abuse, STIs, teen pregnancy, and abortion are due in large measure to the youth of past generations misinforming the youth of today.

"Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it."
- i-D Magazine

   With all these forms of birth control that allow women to be equal to any man, the patriarchy still takes it upon itself to blame us women for our problems. Of course, there are still male victims out there and women to blame, but it seems like it's always the woman's fault and never the man's, when in reality: it is never the victim's fault ― both genders alike. The continuous assault on both feminism and patriarchy tends to obscure the more important point of sympathy for the victim.
   Perhaps rape and sexual assault wouldn't happen as often as they scarily do if both sides just paid more attention to properly informing the youth ― my generation. Now, many educators and parents may object to what I'm saying, arguing that the youth are in fact properly educated about sex. But, alas, as an American high school student, I can tell you that boys are told close to nothing about the act of raping, and girls are always reminded not to get raped.
   Nowadays, for a male encountering a female in a short skirt with a pretty smile, her fluttering eyelashes are apparently an invitation for sex. When this girl doesn't reciprocate his feelings, she's supposedly 'playing hard to get' and 'asking for it', apparently making it acceptable to steal what isn't rightfully anyone's but hers. Then, when it gets time to head to court, everyone nods in sympathy to the offender because hey! It was the victim's fault, rightThe offender was high and/or drunk, and if her bra strap wasn't so flagrantly showing, then she wouldn't have been raped. She provoked the rapist with her clothing! How was any man supposed to control himself under the influence? She deserved what came at her, that whore! 

This video about empowering women standing up to men who harass females on the streets is something you simply cannot pass up watching:



 
There are never excuses for rapists or sexual abusers. They chose to rape and to abuse. This, dear Brutus, is one of the many faults in ourselves. We teach women not to get raped and sexually assaulted. I simply can't believe that people don't see how obvious it is that we ought to be teaching not to rape and not to sexually abuse, as opposed to always using the 'buddy system' and not wearing 'provocative clothing' for personal protection and safety.

Image found here
   It's become such a norm nowadays to hear on the news about a girl being raped and/or killed, or about boys and girls being sexually abused. What's terrifying is that if these sexual assault cases keep on occurring as frequently as they do, my generation will most likely continue inflicting what's being inflicted upon us in the future. The youth are the future, and if we have any hope of ensuring safety in this world, it all starts with properly educating students from a young age not to rape and not to sexually abuse and assault. We always wish that no one would rape, but nothing will ever change unless we actually do something about it. So, what are you going to do about it?