I was talking with a friend of mine a few days ago, a guy friend, about a plan he was devising to create a dating app similar to Tinder. He wanted to build an app with solutions to the prominent issues that the current online, match making site had.
“The biggest problem for girls is they don’t want to be raped or roofied, and the biggest problem with guys is they don’t want to be catfished. So…. to fix the guys’ problem….”
I didn’t let him finish that thought before I interjected with “Oh, so don’t fix the fact that women are being raped by participating in online dating?”
“Yeah I mean, that’s just too difficult to do,” he responded.
Is it too difficult to keep men from luring women in through dating apps and websites to rape them? I don’t want to compromise the integrity of a friend of mine, because it isn’t particularly his fault to think this way. Society has made rape and sexual assault a taboo topic. It’s “embarrassing” or “inappropriate” for women to have discussions on their experience with rape. It’s unsettling to feel like there’s no answer to sexual abuse for the fact that men, quite frankly, don’t want try to find an answer.
So, let’s talk about it.
Recently performing artist, Kesha, has been in the public eye dealing with her court case to get out of her contract with Sony. The case was brought on over the ordeal of her claims that producer, Dr. Luke, had sexually and physically abused her. She didn’t even want to get out of working with Sony altogether, but simply asked to record an album without interference from Dr. Luke and Kemosabe. Yet in her case, the judge ruled against her. Another instance where a woman’s claim of sexual assault is dismissed, where her words weren’t enough proof.
In a study done by the Department of Justice on Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization of College-Age Females, 80% of students and 67% of non-students surveyed didn’t bother to report cases of sexual assault to police. Reasons for not reporting a case included believing the “police couldn’t do anything to help” or “fear of reprisal.” I read these statistics and try to wrap my mind around a man in fear of reporting any crime committed by a woman because he was scared of retaliation. Would that even happen? Why would women feel comfortable making their case for sexual assault when high profile cases like Kesha’s are clearly dismissed?
Kesha isn’t the only one undermined by sexual violence in the work place. From personal experience, even from the age of 17, I’ve had cases where male managers have said crude things to me in person, via text, etc. I was put in situations where I could playfully brush it off or lose my job. Sometimes I wonder, what would have happened if I would have spoken out? When the result is typically a scenario like Kesha’s, where NOTHING was done, where she is expected to play nice or see her career crumble, it makes it very difficult to believe that anything beneficial would have come from it.
What is it going to take?
We, women, need to come forward and talk about rape. We need to make people uncomfortable, like we have felt. 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, and who knows how many unreported numbers could be factored into that statistic. Our voices are a lot louder than they were decades ago. We have power to make it known that we are not the perpetrator’s of rape, we “don’t ask for it,” and we deserve our cases to be taken seriously.
We need to work to get to a point in society where fear of being raped isn’t “too difficult” of a scenario to solve in dating apps, or any case, period.