|Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel...|
I love Facebook sometimes. It might be full of a certain level of crazy, but it’s also full of some inspiration and some fun.
Someone shared a piece that a guy wrote. The piece was all about how he traveled across the country using the train for only $213. Awesome deal. So impressed.
I’m not sure he included the cost of his meals in it. And I didn’t see any mention of the lack of showers for those four days.
But most importantly – it was written by a guy.
Wait, hear me out.
This fit right into a thought I had last night. It’s all connected.
See, someone’s car got broken into. The criminal who broke into the car stole some stuff…and a gun.
I began by thinking, geez, what kind of idiot leaves a gun in their car?
Woah, I told myself. I was victim blaming. And I was. But that’s as far as that went. When it came down to it, I blamed the criminal who stole the gun. Yeah, maybe a gun shouldn’t have been in a car, but regardless, the criminal who stole the gun made the choice to break the law, to break into the car, and to steal the item. It was the criminal’s fault.
Following me so far, right?
Okay, but if that had been a woman being raped, how many people would have said, “Yes, it was the criminal’s fault for raping her, but she shouldn’t have been [fill in the blank here].”
It wouldn’t come up in court that the gun was “asking” to be stolen.
It wouldn’t matter in court that the gun “shouldn’t have been there.”
It wouldn’t come up in court that the gun “was too tempting.”
It wouldn’t come up in court that the criminal “couldn’t help himself.”
The quality of locks and the alarm on the car wouldn’t be presented as evidence to mitigate the seriously of the theft.
Have I lost you yet?
I hope not.
Because here’s the connection: if I rode the train the way that guy did, just buying a cheap ticket and sitting and sleeping in a general shared compartment without being in my own sleeper with a lock on the door. If I did that, and if I got sexually assaulted or raped, someone – or a lot of someones – would cry out that it was my fault. Why had I slept on the train? Why wasn’t someone watching over me? Why had I dressed in a way that allowed someone to rape me?
See, I think that I have the right to ride that train in peace. I have the right to take the same trip the guy took. I have the right to do that, and the right to feel safe doing it. But I don’t feel that way, and I’m betting I’m not the only woman out there who would not feel safe. And part of that lack of safety is knowing that, if anything happened, and if it happened to make it to court, I would be put on the stand and questioned. I would be accused. I would be just as guilty simply because I had existed in the same space and time as the criminal.
When it comes to a gun sitting in a car, we don’t blame the owner of the gun or of the car. We blame the criminal. We put the criminal on trial. That’s what we should be doing. Putting the criminal on trial.