Hello there. Many of you in the me-reading community may remember this post, in which I enumerated a few simple, easy-to-follow tips on how to avoid raping people, for the benefit of those many millions of young men who were finding it difficult to not rape anyone for any significant length of time. It was a great success: many readers wrote to me to let me know that they had greatly reduced their raping-people rate, and in some cases, incredibly, stopped raping altogether.
This was very gratifying, of course, but I have recently come to the realisation that my job was only half-finished. I had addressed one side of the equation - men - but what of the other side? What of women? I guess it was the commonsense, firm-yet-fair, down-to-earth, nitty-gritty, wise advice provided to young women by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione that brought this home to me. His sage council to young women to tell their friends if they plan to have sex, so their friends can stop them having sex if they don't want to, or help them have sex if they do want to, or join in if a passing video producer pays them to, really drove home to me how neglectful I've been.
Sure, I thought to myself, I've provided useful advice to men on how to stop being rapists, but what about women? Don't they need useful advice too? After all, as Paul Mercurio tells us, it takes two to tango, and likewise doesn't it also take two to rape? I'm pretty sure it does - you never see the headline "Man rapes nobody" in the papers - and so I feel I should apologise for my oversight. But nobody can ever accuse me of being a man who doesn't correct his oversights, and so I hereby present:
HOW NOT TO BE RAPED: A HANDY GUIDE FOR MODERN WOMEN AND ALSO THEIR FRIENDS
1. When you meet a rapist, try to stay away from him.
2. Learn to idenfity rapists. You can do this through some canny questioning. Like for example you could ask, "Are you a rapist?" If the rapist is clever he'll see through that though, so you might have to ask more subtle questions, like, "Would you like me to have some Milo?" or "Are you a professional football team?"
3. Avoid men in general. Most women are raped by men, so it's important that a woman who doesn't want to be raped stays well away from men. It's a bit like cats and meat: if a piece of meat walked into a cat's mouth, would you blame the cat for eating it? Like in The Empire Strikes Back, when they fly into that alien thing's mouth. Do you blame the alien for swallowing the Millennium Falcon? No, it is Princess Leia's fault for wearing that bikini. That's an important lesson to remember. If you, as a woman, choose to conduct your activites in the same location as men, you must accept the consequences. If you're going to hang around penises, don't be surprised when penises do what penises do. Men in general have poor impulse control and will under most circumstances have sex three or four times a day whether they want to or not. If you HAVE to associate with a man, for business reasons or because he is your father, wear a wetsuit.
4. Don't be unconscious.
5. Keep an eye on your drink. Research shows a lot of women are raped after leaving their drink unguarded, or as this is known in legal terms, "consenting to sexual intercourse". If YOU don't want to be raped, make sure you have an eye on your drink at ALL times, and avoid flirtatiously allowing strangers to drop pills in it. Even better, drink from a bottle. Or don't drink at all - koalas gain all their hydration from eucalyptus leaves, and koalas are rarely considered slutty. Except that one who died of chlamydia. Point is, if you avoid drinking fluids of any kind, you can avoid that awkward situation where a reasonable person might interpret your unknowingly ingesting a foreign substance which renders you incapable of resistance to violent sexual acts as something of a "come-on".
6. Dress appropriately. Studies show that over 90% of rape victims were raped when wearing some kind of "clothing", which strongly suggests that clothing plays a massive part in rapists' selection of their victims, or "partners", as they are called when wearing midriff tops. It is important that any woman who doesn't want to be raped avoids wearing any type of clothing that sends the message that she is "up for it". This is difficult, obviously, because as noted above, if a woman wasn't up for it why would she be hanging around near men anyway, knowing full well that men like to have sex? But as long as a woman avoids wearing low-cut tops, short skirts, short shorts, tight jeans, figure-hugging sweaters, loose sweaters, long skirts, skivvies, baggy pants, neck-to-knee swimming costumes, policewoman uniforms, or any item of clothing that provides any clue as to the woman's general shape, she can be fairly certain that her behaviour will be considered only conditional consent by the legal system. Which ties nicely into the next point.
7. Do not draw attention to your femininity. Most people who raped women admit that before raping the woman, they wanted to rape a woman. It is therefore vital when out in public that women don't make a big deal about being a woman. Try not to act too much like a woman - don't go around washing dishes or shopping. It can be a good idea to strap your breasts down and cut your hair short in an attempt to pass as a petite teenage boy. But some people consider that extreme - it's more important just to direct conversation away from the fact you are a woman. If you see a man lurking nearby, try to ward him off by casually remarking, "Goodness, I'm having a nice time out today - it's probably my lack of oestrogen making me feel so good"; or, "I wonder what having a vagina is like, because I certainly don't know!" In fact it is always VITAL to prevent people's focus being directed toward your vagina - reputable opinion polls indicate over 60% of people consider a rape victim was "asking for it" if she was found to be in deliberate possession of a vagina.
8. Don't go out alone. I mean this is pretty self-evident unless you're a prostitute, but I thought I'd throw it in.
9. Don't be a prostitute.
10. Make your intentions clear. If you don't want a man to have sex with you, say, "I would not like to have sex with you, thank you." If he still wants to have sex with you, say, "No, really, I do not want to." If he persists, shout "NO!" and knee him in the testicles. If he doesn't get the message, scream for help and try to run away. If, after all, this, he still ends up having sex with you - well you obviously weren't clear enough, try harder next time.
If young women take these tips on board and follow them closely, then I feel confident that with a little bit of commonsense and community spirit, we can move towards a future where young women don't feel unsafe when they leave the house, young men don't feel guilty for their perfectly normal biological urges/crimes, and the heinous act of rape is eliminated from our society except for those times when really what else would you expect?
Happy not being raped!