Stef (firecat) wrote,

rape, men as potential rapists, fear of

There's an Internet conversation about rape, one post about which is here.

After reading that post, I saw several posts in which a woman said although she intellectually understands that many women fear men as potential rapists, she doesn't have that fear, and she has never been sexually assaulted, either because no one tried or because she defended herself with words or weapons.

I'm really glad that these women haven't suffered sexual assault or fear of sexual assault.

But I don't understand why a number of women are apparently responding to this conversation by saying that they aren't afraid of rape and don't have a general fear of men as potential rapists. Do they feel they should be afraid? I'm getting the impression that they feel not being afraid of rape makes them weird. Maybe that it makes them unfeminine somehow? Is this because our culture sends the message that all women should be afraid of rape?

I'm also not sure what I think about the suggestion that a certain attitude or body language -- specifically, attitude/body language that shows a lack of fear -- can prevent an assault from happening. I think it can make a difference in some situations--maybe a lot of situations. (I gather that it's part of what's taught at self-defense classes.) But I don't think it's any kind of guarantee. I know plenty of people who have a "don't mess with me" attitude/body language who have been assaulted.

(For the record, I haven't experienced sexual assault either. I have feared it in a few specific situations.)
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