Article Criticizes Perpetrator-Blaming In Rape, Causes Backlash - FOX 35 News Orlando

Article Criticizes Perpetrator-Blaming In Rape, Causes Backlash

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On November 1st, 2013, an article published in the SMU Daily Campus caused controversy. The author, Kirby Wiley argued that alcohol abuse was the key factor in many sexual assault and rape cases. Furthermore, she told women to quit putting themselves in situations where they appear vulnerable.

The best way for women to prevent these assaults from happening to them is to never drink so much that they cannot control themselves or remember what happened the next day. If women quit putting themselves in situations where they appear vulnerable, it will be much less likely for men to try and take advantage of them.

The article then goes on to criticize the media's continued sole blaming of the perpetrator.

So media, please help prevent future victims of sexual assault and rape by reporting the other side of these cases, and young women, please wake up and realize that the majority of these incidents happen when the victims are intoxicated.

The article has generated a lot of backlash. In the comment section of the article, the highest liked comment says, "You know what prevents rape? Rapists not raping." The second highest liked comment says "Holy … this is awful. The only one responsible for rape is the rapist."

Despite the backlash, Kirby isn't the only one to express these views. Emily Yoffe of Slate Magazine has also wrote an article arguing similar points. However, she's very careful with her words:

Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue.

On Change.org, Kirby's article has prompted a petition to prevent SMU Daily Campus from publishing what the petitioners call "numerous sexist and misogynistic articles." So far, 321 people have signed their signatures.

Kirby has also spoken, with her face hidden, to reporters about the backlash. "My intentions were only to help women," she told a reporter.

"I do not place any blame on anyone, and if I could go back and write my article differently, I would," she emphasized.

"I think that it's great people are discussing it," a student on campus said about the controversy.

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