Saying “she had it coming” is giving rapists an excuse to act.
By: Kelly Glueck
She looked good; she felt great. Her long, slender legs exploded like fireworks beneath her skin-tight black skirt. Her designer stilettos announced her presence, echoing loudly down the dimly lit city street. The night was over; she was exhausted, nothing on her mind but snuggling into her fluffy, duvet comforter. She was home. Home sweet home.
She woke up abruptly. It only took her few seconds to realize this was a living nightmare, as she bit the barrel of his .32-caliber pistol. Her hands were bound and her tight dress had lost all its elasticity.
“She had it coming.”
Does that phrase ring a bell? Perhaps you have heard someone mutter those words? Perhaps that someone was you? Reconsider those words. Think about what they mean for the victim, his or her villain and society. Sharp judgements demean someone who has lost power, they give a rapist an excuse for traumatizing a human being, and they reinforce a society that believes that it is acceptable to rape a person because they are fit and feeling good.
Those who did not know her said she had it coming. They did not know she was taking a break from finishing her thesis. They did not know she was walking home to avoid drinking and driving. They did not know she was engaged and would not be able to stomach conception for months after her wedding day because of that night. She was only a girl in the city wearing a shapely dress.
She should be able to flaunt her body without feeling shame.
I was not always able to do the same. I was not always proud of my physique.
For eight months, I exercised regularly and controlled my cravings. Being fit takes control and hard work. Now I have my own shapely dress. Does that mean I deserve to be raped? Your body acts as your trophy and it deserves to be on display. It does not deserve to be vandalized, scarred or taken.
Rape is the result of an uncontrollable and savage urge, an urge undeserving of any excuse or sympathy. It is a vile act of assault, theft of one’s dignity and pride and can include
the physical, mental or emotional sacrifice of a human being. It is a crime that cannot be fixed or replaced. It is an act without justification.
To say one “had it coming,” is to say this crime is legitimate and that a confident person deserves to lose his or her sense of security and self. The next time you hear someone say this, remind them of what they are saying.