#MyAntiRapeFace Twitter Hashtag Strikes Back Against Ramapo College's Victim-Blamey Assault Seminar
Women have been told that their choice of clothing or shoes or social activity or alcohol can prevent rape...but what about their facial expressions? Women are taking to Twitter to start a #MyAntiRapeFace hashtag that began as a reaction to a presentation at Ramapo College in New Jersey entitled "Haven – Understanding Sexual Assault." After the presentation, Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention coordinator Cory Rosenkranz came under fire for saying that women needed to watch their body language and facial expressions to avoid rape. According to Brandon Molina, a returning peer facilitator at the college:
[Rosenkranz] started the presentation by talking about preventative measures…but then it became kind of peculiar, the extent she was taking it to. She was saying that women need to watch their body language and that women should practice how they articulate their face [in a social setting] by practicing in the mirror.
The Ramapo News also reports that Rosenkranz told female students that they needed to be aware of how they dress, how they interact socially, and how much they drink, since any of these things could invite sexual assault.
This "advice" is obviously a ridiculous example of victim blaming, and it's particularly shocking that it came from the mouth of a coordinator of substance abuse and violence prevention. The good news, however, is that Ramapo students and their fellow Twitter users were able to counter the idea via the #MyAntiRapeFace hashtag. As one can see from the diversity of images below, women using the hashtag have proven that there is no one face against rape. More importantly, their powerful responses to Rosenkranz's comments serve to illustrate that no face, no matter how provocative or endearing, is ever "inviting" of a rape.
For more responses, check out the #MyAntiRapeFace hashtag on Twitter, and consider adding your own to the mix.