You read that right.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway made what could be interpreted as a “legitimate rape” comment during a PBS panel discussion in 2013 when she said rape exists because women are physically weak.
“If we were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist,” Conway said. “You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off.”
First of all: holy shit.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me point out something that should be obvious: women are not the only victims of rape. Moreover, not all rapes are physically forceful or involve some kind of physical struggle. Some rapes, maybe even a majority, occur while the victim is unconscious or otherwise under the influence of substances. No amount of physical strength can save someone who is impaired. There are plenty of women in the world who could kick your ass and my ass but that doesn’t mean anything if you’re not conscious.
Furthermore, statutory rape may even include willing participants. Minors under the age of consent may be willing, but that does not make it okay for adults to take advantage of them. It’s not okay for a teacher to take advantage of a student even if the student think it’s a brilliant idea.
It’s also not okay for someone to take advantage of other adults who may be mentally or physically impaired through a disability. Are you going to say they weren’t physically strong enough?
The idea that lacking physical strength makes you responsible for your own rape is rape culture. This culture creates an environment where male victims are exceptionally reluctant to share or report their own assaults because it diminishes their masculinity or prowess. It creates an environment where women are seen as responsible for what happened to them because they allowed it to happen through some kind of personal failing. In this case the personal failing would be a lack of physical strength according to Kellyanne Conway.
To say that rape wouldn’t exist if women were physically stronger is so wrong I can’t even list all the reasons why here, but I covered the basics.
Rape wouldn’t exist if people (mostly men) would stop committing rape. That’s it. That’s how it will stop.