THE BLOG
04/18/2016 08:28 pm ET Updated Apr 19, 2017

Open Letter to John Kasich About Rape and Victim Blaming

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Dear Governor Kasich,

Your recent advice to a female student concerned about sexual assault was: "Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol."

Oh, John. That was really stupid advice.

After the inevitable backlash to your ignorant, victim-blaming comment, you told CNN's Dana Bash you didn't understand all the criticism you were getting.

That's precisely the problem, John. You don't understand. You told Bash, "It's just, you have to be careful. When alcohol is involved, it becomes more difficult for justice to be rendered, for a whole variety of reasons. But we can still find the perpetrator."

When Bash pressed you about blaming victims, you replied, "Actually, I don't know how anybody would take it that way."

Please allow me to help you understand how moronic, misogynistic and ignorant your thinking is regarding sexual assault.

Your comment that women should avoid parties where there's a lot of alcohol implies that men are unable to control violent sexual urges after consuming alcohol. You're saying that women shouldn't go to parties, because men will be men and they will rape. Worse, women who drink alcohol deserve to be raped.

I know, you just meant we all must make good choices and avoid dangerous situations. But John, you miss the point entirely, and your message is utterly barbaric. Obviously, people need to make smart choices. No one should leave an expensive car unlocked in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. No one should go to bed leaving their front door open. Duh! Yes, we all get it. However, telling women to avoid parties where there's a lot of alcohol so they don't get raped is one aspect of "rape culture."

What is rape culture? Here's a brief definition:

Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence, or some combination of these. The notion of rape culture has been used to describe and explain behavior within social groups, including prison rape, and in conflict areas where war rape is used as psychological warfare. Entire societies have been alleged to be rape cultures.

In other words, your advice to women was embarrassing and abhorrent, not to mention inaccurate. It highlights your blindness to the realities women face every day.

Why do Republican leaders still think they can publicly blame women for sexual assaults? Did the 2012 political gaffes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock teach you nothing? You're the "moderate" GOP 2016 candidate, but you're just as ignorant about women as the rest of the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals in your party who continually blame women for the actions of violent rapists.

I have some advice for you: Instead of advising women on a subject of which you obviously know nothing, why don't you do some research and educate yourself about sexual assault? You'll find the people you should blame for sexual assaults are the ones who are committing sexual assaults.

If a man drinks any amount of alcohol and rapes a woman, he's a rapist and he's at fault.

If a man sexually assaults a woman wearing a mini skirt who is walking to her car late at night, he's a rapist and he's at fault.

If a married man forces himself on his wife, he's a rapist and he's at fault

If a woman flirts with a man, but chooses not to have sex with him and he rapes her, he's a rapist and he's at fault.

If a woman and a man are engaging in sexual activity and she tells him she doesn't wish go any farther, but the man forces himself on her sexually, he's a rapist and he's at fault.

You see, John, you can't realistically blame women for the actions of rapists. Rape is a violent act and a means to exert the worst kind of control over a woman. Period.

If you're walking down the street wearing loose cargo pants with lots of pockets and a thief picks your pocket and steals your wallet, it's not your fault for being robbed. It's the fault of the thief.

If you go to a bar, have a few drinks and meet a woman who hits you over the head with a bottle of Jack Daniels because you turn down her flirtatious advances, she's the one who's at fault, not you. It's really pretty simple. The person who commits the crime is at fault. No one asks to be raped, which is defined as: a crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.

Instead of blaming women for the actions of violent rapists, please take some time to educate yourself and start placing the blame where it belongs: on the rapist.

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