Meeting men in parking lots: A KelCoh Critique

25 Apr

Lately we’ve been taking a closer look at rape, campus rape culture, and sexual assault education. I’ve enjoyed reading the views of several Mislabled writers on these topics, so I thought it might be time to add my own two cents, or as some have come to begrudgingly/affectionately call it, the KelCoh Critique.

I thoroughly stand by the notion that we need to educate students as they enter college; particularly, we need to paint an accurate picture of what rape and consent truly mean.  MacDonald actually makes some good points in her article, “The Campus Rape Myth” – NOT that the rape crisis “doesn’t exist” but that assaulted women often do not believe they’ve been raped and don’t think their experiences “are serious enough to report.” Many college-age women might be surprised by some of the stats on sex offenders, namely that the vast majority are NOT masked OR hiding in the bushes, but are rather someone they already know:

  • 73% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance
  • 28% of rapists are an intimate*

Let me be clear: I’m not saying women are “asking for it” by drunkenly dancing with boys at a bar or that it’s “their fault” for hopping into a car with strange guys at a Spring Break hotspot (see below). But I am continually shocked when smart, strong feminists overlook the power they have to stand up against rape culture by, for lack of better words, “taking responsibility for [their] drunk, slutty ass.”

All this was epitomized in a recent “Ask A Lady” (if you haven’t figured it by now, the majority of Mislabeled writers live and breathe by The Hairpin) when a concerned male-could-be-ally asked why women get into cars with strange guys and the Lady balks that he wants to “‘Save the womennn!’”

I’m a guy living in a big Spring Break hot spot. During this time, one question always comes up between my friends and I, why do women get into cars with strange guys? In my experience this isn’t rare and it isn’t limited to drunk college girls. So, what’s up with that? It seems like a bad idea.

Spring Breeeaaak!!!!

What’s up with the fact that you and your friends probably also see women binge drinking, smoking cigarettes, blowing coke, eating Red #5, TANNING WITHOUT SUNSCREEN, and all sorts of other dumb things and aren’t at all phased? But when they pile limitlessly into cars with dudes they just met, you’re all, “Somebody save the womennn!” Or that you don’t think it’s a bad idea for the guys in this story to let strange women into their cars? Hmmm? You and your friends are very nice, and it’s very nice that you’re concerned, but also any place that can be described as “a big Spring Break hot spot” sounds like Bad Idea Town, Population : D so it’s interesting that you think the riding in cars with boys thing is a worse idea than all of the other things that probably go on, is all.

Since you’re basically asking why women sometimes do risky things, I guess the answer is because women are human. Girls just wanna have fun. Sometimes it’s fun to get in a car with a strange guy, ’cause cars are awesome, guys are cool, and strangers are exciting. And sometimes it’s a bad idea to get in a car with a strange guy, ’cause cars are dangerous, guys are jerks, and strangers are terrible. No real way of knowing, other than to trust your instincts. You’re way more likely to hear about the times a woman did something that turned out to be a bad idea, because Law & Order: It Worked Out doesn’t air 25 times a day, and the 10 o’clock news is never like, “Coming up after the break, another wanton slut gets her shit banged out vacation-style by a guy she met in the parking lot, describes the entire ordeal as ‘fucking incredible.'” Doesn’t mean those things don’t happen too. Not all men are predators on the hunt, and not all women are victims-in-waiting. Sometimes people are just people, tryna get they party on, you know? You know. Spring Breeeaaak!!!!

Now, maybe this is an easy stance for me to take because I’m bit of a prude, and to be perfectly candid, the thought of having my “shit banged out vacation-style” especially by someone I met in a parking lot sounds positively terrifying.  And, perhaps I’m too blinded by my sexual oppression to understand the draw of being reckless over being responsible. I guess you’ll have to call me old-fashioned, but I call it empowering.

This post is brought to you by Kelsey, who knows all Woman Trends.

*Meaning someone who has banged your shit out vacation-style or otherwise

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