Today's viral hero hails from New Zealand and will go down in your web history as the woman whose Facebook post about victim blaming was one of the biggest and most eye-opening mic drops there ever was. Alice Brine is a stand-up comedian who took to her Facebook page to draw attention to a very sensitive and serious topic with a wildly creative but perfect analogy, as comedians often do. It's somehow always easier to understand the complexities and absurdities of human nature through humor. Comedy helps to make heavy ideas more easily digestible and logical.
Among the dozens of unfortunate, negative and deflective social trends around putting blame on victims of sexual abuse and rape — because it's never the victim's fault, no matter the circumstances behind it. Most infamously, victims often have their consumption of alcohol brought up to question their ability to give consent, even as recently as the victim in the Brock Turner case. This awful yet frequently used tactic is meant to somehow absolve the perpetrator of responsibility for their actions, and is still frequently abused despite public outrage.
Brine cleverly parodies this by using the example of stealing from someone who was drunk because she couldn't really tell if they were OK with her taking their things or not, because they were drunk. The symbolic use of the term "stealing" is not lost on us — when you rape someone, you are taking something that's not yours. She posts on her personal page:
"I’m gunna [sic] start going home with random very drunk guys and stealing all of their shit. Everything they own. It won’t be my fault though… they were drunk. They should have known better. I’ll get away with it 90% of the time but then when one brave man takes me to court over it, I’ll argue that I wasn’t sure if he meant it when he said ‘no don’t steal my Audi’.”
The reactions to Brine's post were mixed. Most people completely understood what she was trying to illuminate, while others were bothered and sent her taunting threats — only furthering her (and the world's) frustration with the lack of justice and empathy on the subject of sexual abuse and rape.
Overall, though, the post has close to 200,000 shares and likes already, which means that most people are receiving it well, and with gratitude. Sometimes it takes the creative analogy like this for people to realize the magnitude of the topic. While it might seem like everything is subjective, consent never falls under that umbrella of perspective. Consent is not a complex concept, it's not flexible or multidimensional — it's "yes", or and anything other than that is a "no." That's it.
Whether it's a celebrity or just a regular stellar human being, there's always a risk in talking publicly about rape. Because when you talk about it, you open up the conversation. That said, I think it's really brave when people put themselves out there by sharing their impassioned feelings on controversial topics.
Image: Alice Brine/Facebook