Anna Akana's "How To Not Get Raped" Video Drives Home Why Teaching People Not To Rape Is The Most Important Thing We Can Do
There's an unsettling amount of advice out there for women on how to avoid being raped, and we've all been hearing it for most of our lives. But for a few more... imaginative... ideas for how to tackle the problem, you can check out YouTuber Anna Akana's new video "How to Not Get Raped." Because, as she sarcastically points out, it's only right that this be our problem, right? The key word there is "sarcastically," by the way, with the genius of the video being how it makes its point: Telling people how not to get raped is ridiculous. We need to be reaching people not to rape in the first place.
It really is kind of mind-boggling just how much stuff women do on a regular basis to protect ourselves against rape. And a lot of times, we don't realize it because it's second nature now. I mean, I scan the street to see if anyone's following me as a matter of course if I'm ever walking somewhere after dark. I always tell people where I'm going to be, just in case I don't come home; I avoid places where I've been catcalled before; I don't walk around cities I'm not familiar with after dark; I text my roommate my cab number when I'm coming home from the airport. Even weirder, I worry that I'm not doing enough, because I don't own pepper spray or a rape whistle or one of those eye-gouging key chains.
But why? Why are we constantly told that it's up to us to make sure we don't get raped? Why are we not going right to the source and teaching people to, you know, not sexually assault others instead? The truly ridiculous thing is that despite every woman I know taking these sorts of precautions, rape still happens all the freaking time. And to throw into sharp relief how out of hand this all is, Akana's satiric "suggestions" for avoiding rape are only slightly more out there than the ones we're already told to try:
1. Pretend to Be Someone You're Not
Men can be raped too, so Akana recommends pretending to be a rapist yourself. Why? "So other rapists will see you as a colleague." Sounds a lot cheaper and easier than taking one of those useless self-defense courses.
2. Hire a Bodyguard
Because bodyguards would never rape anyone. They're there to protect you. Like those guys that walk you home from the party. And trying to be safe never backfires, right? (Wrong)
3. Arm Yourself
Carrying a gun is a real suggestion often given to women looking not to be assaulted, but that doesn't make it a good one. After all, it's not like rapists wear ID tags. So how can you know for sure that you will be able to shoot your rapist before he gets close enough to get it away from you (and probably use it against you, which is what usually happens)? Easy. Just shoot everyone.
But in all seriousness, there is a much better solution to all of this. And it's the suggestion that people have been saying forever: Teach society that rape — all forms of rape — is completely and utterly unacceptable.
Images: Anna Akana/YouTube (3)