I have been blamed.
This is the first time I have publicly shared this story.
The most recent was a few years ago at a “friend’s” birthday party. I was dancing to Womanizer by Britney Spears. A male friend (let’s call him S.C.) of mine was watching and I jokingly went up to him and bumped him with my butt and then continued dancing on my own. Later that night, as I was settling into a big chair to go to sleep (I stayed the night), S.C. approached me (a little more drunk than earlier in the night) to say goodnight. We exchanged goodnights and he gave me a hug. Then S.C. asked for a kiss goodnight. I told him no and he asked again. “Only the cheek,” I said. He he replied, “No, on the lips”. Feeling trapped, because I was (I was stuck between the chair I was laying in and his body), I gave him a quick peck. “Ok, there you go, goodnight!” I said. “No I want a better one,” he said. I told him no again. I then heard another male voice said, “S.C., she said no man!” and S.C. got up and left. “Are you ok?” asked J.U., the guy who had spoken to S.C. I replied with yes but the answer was no. The reality was, this wasn’t the first time S.C. had done something like this.
A few days later while talking to the “friend” who held the party I shared with her what happened and how I was outraged that S.C. hadn’t listen to me and that he felt he could do whatever he wanted. She replied, “Ya, well, what do you expect. Look at how you were dancing earlier.” The feminist in me started screaming! “How dare she engage in victim-blaming! She is contributing to violence against women and is just as bad as the idiot guys who think they can take what they want from women!” The less radical side of me started crying. “She is supposed to be my friend. Why isn’t she angry about what happened to me? Why is my friend blaming me? I would be on her side if this happened to her. I would support her. Why can’t she do that for me?”
These people are no longer in my life. For reasons other than the short story above. This is my tamest example of victim blaming. Many of us, both women and men, have more horrific examples and none of them are the fault of the victim. We never ask for it. No, means no. Victim-blaming is just as bad as actually committing any type of sexual assault and rape. Victim-blaming contributes to the oppression, the silence and gives power to those who need to be held responsible for their disgusting actions.